The time, energy and resources spent maintaining them can be harmful to your health and those around you. It is wasteful and definitely not sustainable. Spread the word and help support this compelling documentary.
What can you do to help? Start reducing your lawn square footage today. Plant perennial gardens, xeriscape using native plants, grow vegetables, anything but a lawn. Add more hardscapes, such as paths, boulders and gravel.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY HERBICIDES OR PESTICIDES… PERIOD! If we stop buying it, perhaps they’ll stop making it? CANCEL those toxic lawn treatment services. You know the ones that put the little signs in your yard to Stay off the lawn because it was just treated signs. If you must have a lawn, go organic. Get a copy of the Organic Lawn Care Manual and make some changes now. Visit the SAFE LAWNS blog to learn more.
I just purchased a new Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera after some extensive research. It came with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) and today I took some close-up pictures of flowers and plants in my garden. I am an novice at using an SLR camera, but these pictures came out really nice right out of the box using the MACRO setting. I decided to upgrade from my old Sony Cybershot camera (which I have been using for the past 5 years) because it is difficult to capture product photos for our website without a lot of Photoshop touch-ups. That can be very time consuming.
Coleus in my Down Under Pot
Hamelia patens (Firebush)which grew as a volunteer in the corner of my backyard up against the fence. I didn’t have the heart to pull it out when I first noticed it and now I am glad I didn’t. It is about 5 feet tall and the butterflies love it.
Need I say more. I love Orange and this Hibiscus is one of my favorites.
These Vitex trees are in a shopping center on the West side of Houston off Eldridge Pkwy and Enclave Pkwy. I first noticed them blooming two years ago. First let me say that I really like the calming color of blue in the garden. I guess it complements my desire for Orange flowers. I love orange in the garden too. My orange hibiscus is a favorite of mine near my kitchen window.
The scientific name is Vitex agnus-castus, but commonly known as Chaste trees, Lilac Chaste Tree, Hemp Tree, Sage Tree, or Indian Spice. Originating in China and India, they became naturalized throughout the Southern US. The Vitex tree is a great substitute to the extremely overplanted crape myrtles in Houston and is hardy in zones 6-9. I only wish that my house had these instead of the crapes to line the driveway. (they were there when I bought the house in 1991).
Vitex is an good choice if you are looking for a small flowering tree or large shrub. It flowers best in full sun and prefers well drained soils.
Like most plants in the Vervain family, Vitex attracts butterflies. New improved varieties such as ‘Montrose Purple’, ‘LeCompte’, or the pink ‘Salinas Pink’ have spikes as long as 8 to 12 inches in length. In my garden this year I’ve seen a lot of monarch butterflies.
I am going to replace my Redbud tree this fall (now 18 years old and leaning) with a Vitex I bought this year. The variety of Redbud I have does not flower well here in Houston. It does provide a nice shaded spot to hang my orchids on. In the meantime, the Vitex is on my driveway in a five gallon pot, trying to get through this long, very hot summer.