Finding Joy in the Garden…and climate change…On June 9, 2023 by Pam
I love gardening. This week, the garden has come alive with a reminder of the importance of beauty and colour in our lives. This week has also been a week of reminders about climate change. Climate change requires us to be smarter and being smarter in your garden can be a smart. I feel as if there is very little that we can do to move against the big industry and big business and even the governments that could make such a difference for our climate. In order to sing my song of significance when it comes to climate change, I plant my garden, compost and try not to overuse water, electricity, oil and gas.
I have converted my front yard into a green space. We have very little grass and we are slowly converting the grass we have to clover – for the bees. Green spaces can cool temperatures and plants uptake carbon dioxide. Flower abundance and plant diversity in the garden benefits pollinators and other wildlife. So, I watch my garden grow – a few tomato and pepper plants, some mouse melon vines and starting some plants in our basement “greenhouse”. I move many of my outdoor plants indoors for the winter. There are so many ways to make a small impact.
Here are several ways that you can build a resilient climate change garden:
1. Minimize tilling – leave the ground as intact as you can – try not to dig or plow deeply into the soil in order to preserve what is underneath.
2. Keep something growing – don’t leave bare soil – keep the ground covered year round. Grow perennials – grow winter vegetables – plant flowers that grow in winter – mulch around plants – plant a cover crop.
3. Avoid synthetic fertilizers.
4. Don’t use pesticides.
5. Use plant diversity to build resilience. A garden with man species and varieties has a greater chance of resisting stresses and disease.
6. Include native plants that support bees and wildlife.
7. Create microclimates that shield your plants from heat, drought, wind, rain and cold.
8. Save seeds.
Here are some pictures of the variety in my garden. Some plants have been transplanted from other gardens (I also dig up pieces of my plants and share them with others), some are started from seeds in our basement, some purchased, some divided….from butterfly bushes to rhododendrons, we have beauty in our garden – trying to support our climate one plant at a time.
Foxglove, Dahlias and lupins….below…