Greywater Workshop at Good Magazine

...elevating with scrap lumber to get a gravity assist. We’ll also look at Art Ludwig’s direct “laundry to landscape” system. Topics will also include: Greywater compatible detergents Choosing the best plants for greywater Creating mulch basins Greywater dos and don’ts Plumbing parts Water conservation and efficiency Greywater cocktails (just kidding) Hope to see you all tomorrow!...

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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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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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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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Picture Sundays: The Backyard in Spring

Thank you Mrs. Homegrown for the amazing planting in our reworked backyard. Version 4.0 of the garden in 16 years? This afternoon I sat down in one of those red chairs and admired the view. We really need to get around to profiling a few of the plants Mrs. H selected. In the meantime here’s a closeup: Now I need to get around to building the garden shed . . ....

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How to Search for Science-Based Gardening Advice

...oaden searches through the use of “and,” “or” and “not.” And when looking up chemicals you may need to enter, for example, both “hydrogen peroxide” and “H2O2.”  With plants you may need to use both the popular and scientific names. Unfortunately, as Chalker-Scott noted, there’s a lack of practical small-scale gardening advice in peer reviewed literature. But a search of the researc...

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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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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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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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Decomposed Granite as Mulch: A very bad idea

...ppy succulents and crabgrass, the flippers are long gone. I’ve got a big issue with DG as mulch. In order for DG to look good, it’s got to be compacted and soil compaction is really bad for plants, including hardy natives and succulents. It stifles the life of the soil, and does not build new soil. And eventually, the plastic will fail, and the weeds will come through (some come through even when the plastic is new), and whoever is le...

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