The vision for my world is simple. Why beat a single drum when you can accomplish more with an orchestra set and symbols too!
My celebrity band doesn’t include a single snare drum for an individual celebrity–monarchs, pollinators, bees, native plants, and so on. My band beats for an entire orchestra, with multiple surfaces! When we play it safe through sustainability, we meet all the needs for the music of our gardening life.
There are many ways gardeners define sustainably garden practices. Here’s my definition and practice:
Simply put, sustainable gardening is the practice of conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. @Helen Yoest #BeeBetter Click to Tweet!
Please know, I admire all those who are helping to the save the monarchs, bees, pollinators, and others; but did you know by helping the one you can help us all?
My message is simply: while you’re working to save one, you can help save them all through #sustainable #gardening practices. #SimplySustainable @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!
Through sustainable gardening practices, you can and will be the change. The burden of saving an entire entity shouldn’t fall on your shoulders. But there is something you can do. By gardening sustainably, you are helping to save the __fill in the blank__, one garden at a time. Lead by example, by practicing suitability to your own property.
If you stop using pesticides, you are saving the living organism in its would-be path–butterflies, all of them, not just monarchs, native bees and the European honey bee, and yes all the other pollinators. Remember, those pests you’re trying to rid are the food for the bird in their circle of life.
When planned right, Nature provide’s all your garden’s needs. While the BEE BETTER Teaching Garden was planned for the safety of all wildlife, we do bring in a load of composted leaf mulch to top dress each of the beds; we even add mulch to those beds already dress with falling leaves. There are many advantages to adding mulch, including moderating soil temperature, providing water retention and weed control, and enriching the soil by adding nutrients. Personally, I also like the way it tames a “wild”life garden.
If you want a fully sustainable garden, plant choice makes a difference. Not only do you want to plant the right plant in the right place (cultural-wise), but also consider the plants needed at each stage of the bird, bee, and butterfly’s life cycle.
For our area birds, include a diverse selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, ground covers, and vines. The berries, fruits, hips, and seeds will provide food year round.
For our area bees, don’t be so tidy in your annual cutbacks. Many of our native bees nest in hollow stems. And while I mention the tidy look of mulch above, I also keep some areas mulch-free for our area native ground-dwelling bees. They are looking for ground to nest without mulch or another cover.
For our area butterflies, include a diversity for each phase of their lifecycle–egg, larvae, chrysalis, and adult.
To fully sustain the monarch butterfly, provide their specific host plant–Milkweed, Asclepias spp.–the only food for the larvae stage. Monarchs as well as all butterflies lay their eggs on their host plant. This becomes the food for the emerging caterpillar (larvae) to feed.
Click HERE for a list of plants for other area butterfly host plants.
The general rule for wildlife–the more diverse the habitat plant selection, the more diverse your wildlife will be.
Yes, there are days when I think I sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress enough the good that comes for a waterwise design. Remember BEE BETTER‘s definition of sustainability–Simply put, sustainable gardening is the practice of conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources. @BeeBetter Click to Tweet!
Water is an important natural resource. The more you can do to conserve, the more sustainable you are. A waterwise design is practical and one that will save not only our natural resources but yours as well.