Sunday Morning had a very interesting segment on flowers and the senses of flowers. Also mentioned was a new book called What a Plant Knows a new book by Daniel Chamovitz.
This book is available through The Garden Club of Nashville website for purchase through Amazon.
Today the Sustainable Cities Collective, the self proclaimed "world's best thinkers", posted an interesting article on an Orlando Florida initative to create urban growth boundries through land protection.
The USA Today's cover story today coincides with the official position of the Garden Club of America's on Climate Change.
The Nashville Tennesseean reported today that "seed money might actually involve seeds".
Community Food Advocates, an organization dedicated to healthy and sustainable food for all, will conduct the first in a series of monthly dinners called Seed Money Suppers on Monday to raise money for projects that help improve our local food system.
Special Recognition in The Freeman Medal category for the Torreya taxifolia (Sticking cedar, Gopherwood) Torreya taxifolia is a stately evergreen tree that gains its unusual common name from the pungent odor it produces when any leaves or cones of the tree are bruised. Torreya was one of the first species to be listed on the Federal Endangered Species list due to a catastrophic population decline in the 1950’s following a widespread fungal infestation. The Nashville Garden Club, a member club of the Garden Club of America, and the Howe Garden at Cheekwood, have undertaken a restoration project of the tree through sexual and asexual reproduction. It grows in USDA Zones 6-9.
The Freeman Medal is the only award given by the Garden Club of America to a plant. Beginning in 1995, the award has been given to a choice native plant which is under-utilized but which possess superior ornamental and ecological attributes. The goal of the award is to encourage distribution of these plants furthering their use in the landscape. The Medal honors Montine McDaniel Freeman, a member of the New Orleans Town Gardeners and was given in her memory by her son and daughter-in-law, Louis and Judy Freeman.
This book review is by Saving Birds Thru Habitat Executive Director Kay Charter.
Tallamy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, demonstrates the importance of native plants to healthy, viable terrestrial ecosystems. I learned about this book last fall, when I emailed Dr. Tallamy and asked permission to quote an article he had written about the relationship between native plants and insects. He not only granted permission, he generously sent me a disk with the pre-pub galleys of his book and I’ve been anxiously awaiting it since. It was well worth the wait.
The good professor says in his first sentence, “Occasionally we encounter a concept so obvious and intuitive that we have never thought to articulate it, so close to our noses that we could not see it, so entangled with our everyday experiences that we did not recognize it.” The concept is that because there is too little space left for the wildlife we care about and love to watch, we must make our yards friendlier to the birds, frogs, butterflies and other wild creatures with which we share this planet. With roughly forty million acres of land in American yards, his is a compelling argument.
Tallamy appeals to the gardener in all of us to do just that. Although he says that Bringing Nature Home is not a “how-to” book, in a way, it is precisely that. While he does not attempt to instruct us on how to landscape, he takes us step by important step through the crucial reasoning around why we should – indeed, why we who care about wildlife must – return as much of our personal property to native plants as possible. We must do that because native plants do (in spite of the above-mentioned biologist’s doubt) support the insects upon which those same birds, frogs, butterflies (and all the rest of us for that matter) depend.
Dr. Tallamy discovered the importance of that link when he and his wife purchased 10 acres in southeastern Pennsylvania. The land, previously farmed, was filled with alien plants such as autumn olive, multiflora rose, Bradford pears and others. He told me in a recent interview that the vegetation was so dense, they had to cut trails through it in order to get inside of it. One day, he took a walk through the trails to look for insects and found virtually none except on the few natives struggling to survive under the stranglehold of invasives. It was a defining moment for him and he began to present programs to educate the general public about his discovery. The pamphlet he made up to hand out at these presentations ultimately grew into the book.
Those birders among us who still support the idea that autumn olive is good for birds will gain insight from the following, “…the foliage of autumn olive is inedible for almost all native insect herbivores. A field rich in goldenrod, Joe-Pye weed, boneset, milkweed, black-eyed Susan, and dozens of other productive perennials supplies copious amounts of insect biomass for birds to rear their young. After it has been invaded by autumn or Russian olive, that same field is virtually sterile.”
Filled with beautiful photographs of insects, plants, birds and hard data presented in an easy to read style, Bringing Nature Home will persuade all of us to take a look at what is in our own yards with an eye to how we, too, can make a difference. It has already changed me; I will not be so quick to kill a hornworm on our tomato plants after reading it.
Ketzel Levine, NPR Senior Correspondent, blogged about Doug Tallamy's book on NPR's Talking Plants.
PHILADELPHIA – Greening of vacant urban land may affect the health and safety of nearby residents, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology this week. The team, led by senior author Charles C. Branas, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, found in a decade-long comparison of vacant lots and improved vacant lots, that greening was linked to significant reductions in gun assaults across most of Philadelphia and significant reductions in vandalism in one section of the city. Vacant lot greening was also associated with residents in certain sections of the city reporting significantly less stress and more exercise.
To read more click link above.
The Nashville Tennesseean reports that Nashville’s collection of parks and greenways is poised to grow by approximately 600 acres, with Metro nearing the acquisition of farmland near Stones River in Donelson, highly coveted property that developers and Metro officials have eyed for years.
A formal announcement is slated for Tuesday morning, when officials from Mayor Karl Dean’s office, Metro parks department and the Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization, plan to gather at the property off Cliffdale Road, behind the Donelson Plaza shopping development off Lebanon Pike.
On March 6, 2008, Anne Raver of The New York Times wrote an informative article on Doug Tallamy, who will be speaking in Nashville on January 17, 2013. The Garden Club of Nashville a member of The Garden Club of America, will be hosting a Community Meeting free to the publc featuring Doug Tallamy at St. George's Church at 4pm.