Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spring Thoughts

Spring has sprung here at the Hatfeathers studios...more like sprung a leak! This has been one of the wettest springs in recent memory, but, in between sprinkles there has been some planting going on. Being a Midwesterner, we have to choose wisely when planting. Our garden friends have to be tough enough for 100+ degree heat and dips down to below zero, rain in buckets and months without. We manage, though, and if you can, so should you.

In a recent newsletter from the National Gardening Association, I read this interesting tidbit:

"Researchers at the University of Virginia found that air pollution from power plants and automobiles is destroying flower fragrance and making it harder for bees to find flowers when foraging. The result is that bees visit fewer flowers and gather less nectar. Researchers found that scent molecules could travel up to 1200 meters in the 1800s. However, with pollution, today’s scent molecules travel only 200 meters. When the scent molecules bind with common pollutants, such as ozone, hydroxyl, and nitrate radicals, the flower’s aroma gets destroyed. The bees can’t find the flowers so they go hungry and the flowers don’t get pollinated. "

So what's a vintie gal to do? Why, plant some flowers! Easy grow "old school" flowers like daisies, coneflowers, bees balm (monarda), any type of mint, coreopsis and black eyed susan will give the bees and butterflies something to enjoy. You'll love it, too! The rewards of gardening are many; there is the physical aspect of getting out and moving, plus the beauty of the flowers in your yard. Also, a good sized flower bed cuts down on mowing time, reducing the polutants and cutting down on gas use!

Don't have a yard? How about looking for a local garden club that does public garden projects? Perhaps your local retirement or nursing home could use a hand brightening their landscaping. Does your apartment building allow window boxes, or is there a small green space that needs some work? Even a small herb garden can be grown in an old bucket. There's just no reason not to have plants around.

Hooray for flowers!

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