Guest post by Emira Mears
I’m a pretty big fan of Branch the currently online/soon to also be a physical store in San Francisco that bills itself as a purveyor of Sustainable Design for Living. They have a pretty great gardening section that seems to be a combo of novelty grow-in-one containers and some graceful design pieces like the Perch birdfeeder.
I just received their latest email newsletter and was inexplicably charmed by the very absurd Plant Me Pets. I think it might be the kind of situationist overtones of their “Plant Me” and “I’m the Tomato” badges that really seals the deal for me. I might just need one of these for work to remind me of the dirt waiting for me at home.
Guest post by Amy Urquhart
I disovered a cool magazine when I was visiting my grandmother a couple of weekends ago. It’s called Birds and Blooms (Beauty in Your Own Backyard). It’s an American publication dedicated to showcasing…well, you guessed it: birds and plants (and butterflies too).
My interest in gardening extends back a few years, but just last year we started putting up bird feeders and buying bird seed and used a field guide to identify the feathered friends in our yard. So I was really happy to find a magazine that combines these two interests in such a natural way.
Guest post by Christina Radisauskas
I work at a university that has finally decided to develop a “sustainability initiative.” Because I am a librarian, I was asked to create a bibliography of resources to enhance our faculty’s understanding of the concept and how they might incorporate it into their departments’ curricula. While I worked on this project, it was difficult for me to keep from looking at all of the gardening-related sites that I kept finding. Of course, there are zillions, but one that I really liked, and have gone back to from time to time, is gardensimply.com. There is plenty to look at there, and it is written with the layperson in mind. The books section is lacking, unfortunately, but overall, I think it is a fun site with a lot of practical advice about things like building compost and worm bins, preparing a new garden, identifying your soil type, etc. My favorite page on this site has got to be the what-to-do-when-in-your-zone. Now, if only I could get myself to remind myself to look at it in time…
While I’m at it, here’s another few sites for wanna-be environmentalists. Ideal Bite is a down-to-earth site containing tips for “greener” living – from shampooing your rugs to using natural lubricants (shhh…) I get their Daily Tips in my email, and quite often I learn something new.
Eartheasy is another site that has tons of suggestions about where to buy natural clothing, how to conserve energy in the kitchen, how to give environmentally friendly gifts, etc. In case you are interested in digging a bit deeper, their suggested reading list is pretty good, too.
Taking the EcoFoot quiz to get an idea of how your lifestyle relates to the natural resources available is eye-opening. I’m embarrassed to say that according to my results, if everybody lived the way I do, we would need 4 earths to sustain us. Eek! I am a gluttonous pig!
So they’re not very stylin’, but these self-watering planters made from junked pop bottles are pretty handy for the well-intentioned but forgetful gardener. The bottom watering system keeps cuttings and seedlings on the right side of moist without the discipline (and hassle) of routine dampness patrol.
There’s more talk and experimentation with this concept in the forums.
Guest post by Kelly Gilliam
So besides being an avid gardening, I’ve an avid knitter. That means I’m always looking for cool new things to knit up.
Today I got the idea in my head “hey, what about knitting plants??”
So after a little searching I found these awesome knit plants that you can make.
Baby Knit Veggies
Garden Variety (more veggies!)
A knit opuntia (sorry no instructions, but can be a launching point for ideas!)
And possibly the most easy thing you can do:
1. Get a feltable yarn (a 100% non-superwash wool will work)
2. Knit the basic shape of a flower (a great directory of free flower patterns here)
3. Knit an i-cord.
4. Felt the i-cord and string a sturdy wire through it.
5. Sew a pot from felt (a-la the above knit opuntia)
6. Put it all together and ta-da! A knit plant! Guaranteed to never wilt or die, and never need watering.