The Color Green

Envy
1.desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else).
Greenvy
1. same as above but limited to the quality of green. (coined word)

Especially for Bridget…and those who are struggling with restoring fertility to soil…here’s a little secret…and what I have done and continue to do to restore health to the soil…I pee in a bucket and mix it 10:1 with rainwater…it is marvellous liquid fertiliser and helps to get good bacteria developing in the soil.

Many of you may know of Colette’s wonderful success over the course of 12 years, restoring a depleted 3 acres in the West of Ireland. She’s a phenomenon. The above excerpt is from a blog post she recently published that you can go directly to by clicking the link within the quote.

The climate of Ireland is mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. Ireland’s climate is defined as a temperate oceanic climate, or Cfb on the Köppen climate classification system, a classification it shares with most of northwest Europe.[1][2] The country receives generally warm summers and mild winters. It is considerably warmer than other areas on its latitude, because it lies in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, and as a result is warmed by the North Atlantic Current all year.

For this desert dweller however…

Climate of Benson, AZ  Similar to other desert plains areas of Arizona, Benson receives little rainfall and is relatively hot. Some snow occasionally falls in the winter.

If you click on the link above you will see a chart with all of the details.

Suffice it to say, we have extremes. We are NOT temperate.

The pee thing works no matter. The color green thing…not so much.

Coming 13 years ago from Southern California, which is considered a desert by some and certainly has desert areas, I had more optimism than I do today for having a green oasis. That doesn’t mean it can’t be lush. There are lots of desert plants that love the heat and abundance can be created. It’s a learning curve.

International Wildlife Museum  4800 W Gates Pass Road Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 629-0100

International Wildlife Museum 4800 W Gates Pass Road Tucson, AZ 85745 (520) 629-0100

  • Desert dwellers humbly accept the inherent constraints of the desert. As I’ve noted, a Pulitzer Prize-winning western writer once quipped that newcomers to the desert must learn to “get over the color green.” Because many of us recognize that water scarcity is a norm, not an aberration, the water-saving strategies of desert plants can inspire us to innovatively make the wisest use of the resources that are available.~ Gary Nabhan – Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land pg. 44
Evergreen Juniper, "Spearmint"

Evergreen Juniper, “Spearmint”

This Juniper is drought tolerant and grows in almost any soil.

Perennials

Perennials

Rosemary

Rosemary

Mexican Petunia

Mexican Petunia

Mexican Petunia grows easily from stalks pulled out from existing plants with some of the root intact. These all came from a client and are already sending up new plants from the underground rhizome system. The flowers last only a day, fall off and new ones appear the next day, all Summer long. The plant has to be cut to the ground in Fall, but comes bouncing back in Spring. Pollen seeking critters love them.

Propagation

Propagation

Another value to perennials is that most can be propagated. This saves in many ways; financially and environmentally.

 One of the most pleasurable might be the cooking series at the Desert Botanical Garden, one of only a few botanical gardens in the nation accredited by the American Association of Museums. The Garden features five thematic trails and displays the world’s finest collection of arid-land plants, along with fantastic Dale Chihuly glass sculptures. While there, visitors can take part in hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations, such as The Edible Desert –Healthy Gems from the Southwest class I took with Chef Denise Clayton.

Climate is changing even in ‘temperate’ zones, whether you subscribe to man-made or natural happenings. It behooves us all to use permaculture principals to mitigate a bleak and diversity-lacking future.

In “Why Some Like It Hot,” award-winning natural historian Gary Paul Nabhan offers a view of genes, diets, ethnicity, and place that will forever change the way readers understand human health and cultural diversity.

In "Why Some Like It Hot," award-winning natural historian Gary Paul Nabhan offers a view of genes, diets, ethnicity, and place that will forever change the way readers understand human health and cultural diversity. 1-55963-466-9

I can’t seem to help but be a little ‘greenvious’ of Colette’s wonderfully lush habitat. At the same time, I embrace the challenges and am constantly encouraged by the new things to be learned for creating a diverse, sustainable, lush environment; even in this extreme weather patch of the world.

The moral of this story is: Plant, plant, plant and then plant some more. It’s good for everyone and everything.

Gary Paul Nabhan Quote

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