California’s Drought and What To Do About It

...on the over-sized worms emerging from our compost bins. But I digress. Let’s cover what we’re doing at the Root Simple compound. We’ve expanded our drought tolerant plantings over the past few years. These plants use less water and encourage beneficial wildlife. I consider them part of the vegetable garden, in a way. I just made a major change to our laundry to landscape greywater system–more on this in another post. I&#...

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Greywater Design and Installation Workshop

...for your home and landscape How to build a system- you’ll create a “mock-up” of a real system with real greywater parts What parts you’ll need for your home How much greywater you produce and how many plants you can water What soaps and detergents are “greywater friendly” Tour Real L2L greywater system Gravity “branched drain” greywater system from sinks Date: February 22, 2014 – 10:00am t...

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Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder

...d they are only about a year old, but they are already rich with bird and insect life. (A poorwill even visited, which apparently caused quite a bit of excitement in the birding community.) This is because the designers chose plants to serve wildlife, and the wildlife responded. Build it and they will come. Off in one shady corner of the garden, I watched two bird feeders being merrily ransacked by more types of birds than I’ve ever seen i...

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Saturday Linkages: Can We Please Have More Underpass Chandeliers?

Ballroom Luminoso: Ugly freeway underpass beautified with recycled bike chandeliers : TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/ballroom-luminoso-underpass-converted-bike-chandeliers-joe-oconnell-blessing-hancock.html … Yes, the farm bill is politically corrupt. Veto it! http://goo.gl/fb/vhLtK  What’s wrong with an ugly winter garden? http://gu.com/p/3mb4a/tw  The secret light of plants by Elizabeth Licata http://feedly.com/e/_hlI...

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Ask Lowes and Home Depot to Stop Killing Bees

If you haven’t heard, Friends of the Earth is swarming (ahem) Home Depot and Lowes with cards around Valentines Day, asking these retailers to “show the bees some love” and stop selling bee-killing pesticides (neonicotinoids) and garden plants which have been pre-poisoned with such pesticides. In our opinion, systemic pesticides, like Imidacloprid (which is a neonictinoid) should preferably not be used at all, and certainly s...

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Saturday Linkages: Sad Cookbooks, Pancakes and Tiny Homes

...http://feedly.com/e/0H12BeW1  Tiny Apartments in Cities: Trending Concept http://feedly.com/e/EEk6UuSd  Teacher Builds Tiny House in the Forest http://shar.es/9K57L  Food Chain Restoration: Reconnecting Pollinators with Their Plants http://feedly.com/e/Q3gdfekh  Cool hut? http://feedly.com/e/OQ1pOJ6a  The Electricity-Generating Bicycle Desk That Would Power the World – James Hamblin – The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/health/arc...

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Saturday Linkages: Elves, Archdruids and Open Source Furniture

...ter.html … When The Economy Stinks, Our Books Get More Depressing http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/when-the-economy-stinks-our-books-get-more-depressing-1498156174 … Did you miss this last month? : Michael Pollan: How Smart Are Plants?  Human-powered glider sets flight record in 1937 http://www.dvice.com/2013-3-18/image-day-human-powered-glider-sets-flight-record-1937 … Presence, Not Praise: How To Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Achievemen...

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Why Your Garden Should Be Dark at Night

...floodlight. Switch lights off when not in use. Reduce wattage–you don’t need as much as you think. Here’s another idea: garden with moonlight. Rather than light up your garden with artificial light, include plants with silvery-grey leaves or white flowers. Our white sage glows spectacularly during a full moon. I’m also happy we put in a climbing white rose over our entrance arbor. By embracing the darkness we can open our...

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As Above, So Below

Inspired by the response to my post on the need to keep our gardens dark, I decided to reclaim my childhood telescope from my mom’s garage and get it working again. It occurred to me that I haven’t looked up at the night sky in a long time. What a shame. This past week I’ve been thinking about how important it is to look up at the stars–just as important, I think, as staying in touch with the plants, insects and animals...

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How Can We Fix Our Public Landscaping?

...chools as well as private homes. These gardens provide an example that others can follow. The Ecology Center has a spectacular garden that shows do simple water harvesting to create a beautiful landscape with drought tolerant plants that attracts beneficial wildlife. We need similar organizations in Los Angeles. We have an immense pool of talent here that could fix that terrible purple gravel and artificial turf atrocity and go on to do so much m...

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