Sustainability In Your Own Garden

Sustainability. Organic. Green. We hear those terms a lot these days. Unfortunately, those terms are now often used for marketing materials and sales tools, and so are losing some of their impact. The term sustainable can be defined as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ So, how does that apply to our own little corners of the earth?

As I travel up and down the streets of Los Angeles I can’t help but notice mile after mile of water guzzling lawns. You’d think we lived in Kentucky! And dotted all over those lawns are the creative manipulations of the typical landscape: plants that are hedged and trimmed into geometric shapes, or the endless carpets of impatiens. But what is important to realize is that poor planting choices are only the beginning of the story.

To me, when I think of a sustainable garden, I think of it as a system; one that encompasses a variety of elements such as soil, water, permeability, plants and habitat. And when these elements are modified and improved we discover that the whole is significantly greater than the sum of its parts. For in a sustainable garden, there are not only tangible benefits such as less water use, less toxins and less maintenance, but there are intangible ones as well, e.g.:

A renewed sense of connection to the earth
An increased sense of community when a neighbor inquires about your garden
A slimmer waistline from doing your own gardening
An improved diet from your own vegetable garden
A spirit delighted by the fluttering of the butterfly
An activity to do with the kids besides watch television

So, how do we get from the current resource guzzling gardens to ones that feed our soul as well as the planet’s? Next time – ‘its not just dirt.’

Marianne Simon

First Tuesday About First Tuesday

First Tuesday is a Professional and Social Network for Extraordinary Women. Gatherings are held in private homes or public venues on the first Tuesday of each month. Each evening includes unstructured social time, dinner, networking and a program on subjects that span the mind, body and spirit. Newcomers are welcome to join us!

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