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Monday, January 30, 2012

Miscellaneous Musings

After last year's drought, I have a tendancy to get excited if we get any significant amount of rainfall.

Imagine my joy then, when we got over three inches last Wednesday.  Of course the problem with getting over three inches of rain in one day is that it tends to lead to flooding. As it happened, we were lucky and by afternoon it had cleared up, so the street flooding that often occurs around freeway off ramps and service roads had, for the most part, cleared up by evening drive time.

I was actually home from work on that day and spent the day indoors, watching the water gushing out of the downspouts and out to the street to the storm drain.

It was raining so hard and so fast that the water started pooling in the back garden and I got worried about flooding.

 Eventually though,  most of it soaked in to the ground (I'm sure the pine tree was loving it) and the swales around the house took the excess water out to the street too and out to the storm drains.

The sight of the steady stream of runoff between the houses to the street got me thinking about something else I read about last week. 

As I watched the steady stream of runoff water, I felt relieved to note that I don't use any kind of chemicals on the yard, so we weren't contributing any pollutants to the local streams and rivers through the storm drain system.

Fellow gardeners have probably heard about the proposed partnership between NWF, National Wildlife Federation and Scotts Miracle-Gro in NWF's Be Out There program, aimed at getting kids outside and reconnected with the outdoors and with nature.

There was a firestorm of opposition in various blogs around the internet, as well as on Facebook and Twitter from people who couldn't understand why an organization which condemns the use of pesticides and other chemicals in the garden and promotes gardening for nature would partner with the company which makes its money selling said pesticides and chemicals, such as Round Up.

Now I'll admit, I've used Miracle-Gro on my houseplants and a few years ago I spent way too much money having Scotts come out quarterly and treat the lawn, before I learned about the benefits of organic gardening.

I've even got Miracle-Gro Organic Choice fertilizer in the garage now and use it, and I feed the birds in the garden with Scotts No-Mess Patio Blend seed, which they relish.

So I'm not totally anti- Scotts or Miracle-Gro, but I did feel a little disappointment that my recently NWF-certified wildlife habitat was now a little tainted by the association with Scotts in the minds of many gardeners.

I read later in the week that an issue had come up involving a pending legal settlement that Scotts were involved, dating back to 2008, in which they had not disclosed to NWF. 

Because of that pending legal settlement, NWF announced that the partnership would be ended

NWF is still going ahead with the Be Out There campaign, which I highly endorse -- I spent my whole childhood outdoors and loving it and often think how kids today are missing out on something great.  I hope the program is a success.

Something that might get myself and my husband outside more in the near future has been the arrival of seemingly every seed and plant catalog in existance!

We're planning a small vegetable garden on the unused east side of the house. It will be raised and will be created using bricks left over from the building of the house, which have been taking up room in our garage since we moved in.

I'll keep you updated as it progresses. 

And finally, we added a new birdhouse in the back corner. I think it adds a cottage garden look to the garden.

I hope Mrs. Wren or Mrs. Chickadee like it.

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


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Carol said...

Hi Jayne, I have enjoyed the rain up here in Conroe, too. Got a bunch more today and looks like tomorrow, too. We have started our seeds for our garden, and will get them under gro lights this weekend. Will post pix soon. Sent off a soil sample and got the test results back. Hopefully, that will help us have great tomatos this spring and summer. Where is winter? Carol

Maia said...

Hi Jane,
I love your new birdhouse, another lovely addition to your beautiful garden decorations.
About the rain, well, you are lucky that it's only rain and not blizzard, like by us.
Have a pleasant new week!