DIG THIS! Green Musings from GBG inc.

Water Conservation Sweeping The Nation!

…Starting with our own KCBX!

Many thanks to Mike Bush of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden who, during his January 25th, 2012, interview on KCBX, mentioned a garden we completed with water conservation champion Mary Wilhelm. We were happy to be able to feature Mary’s garden in an article with the Tolosa Press, highlighting that due to her efforts to reduce her water usage, she hadn’t watered her garden at all during 2011. Take a listen to the SLOBG’s Executive Director as he discusses upcoming SLOBG events, signature qualities of Mediterranean climates, and the future of our inspiring local garden:

Mike Bush SLO Botanical Garden KCBX Interview 





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Princely Protea for our Central Coast

Not all magic is from the world of Harry Potter!

With the highly anticipated release of the final Harry Potter movie, magic is in the air! This month we’re featuring a little bit of magic whose plant ancestry goes back 300 million years to the family of Proteaceae. Sounds like Poseidon’s cousin, right? It very well could be–this exotic plant line has its origins in the coastal mountain ranges of South Africa,one of the earth’s five unique Mediterranean climates. As diverse and varied as the continent they originate from, Protea will add a magical touch to your garden and your home. Protea enjoy wet-dry cycles making them ideal for our central coast climate. With their unique shapes, their flowers add beauty and distinction to Los Osos, Morro Bay, Cayucos, and Cambria landscapes, and cut flower arrangements as well. When the blooms in your vase reach the end of their colorful life, simply empty the water into your garden and tuck them back into the vase. You’ll end up with lovely intricate sculptures of dried material that will make unusual and attractive decorations to adorn your home. An amazing magic trick you can perform without the need for a trip to Ollivander’s Wand Shop in Diagon Alley!

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Kangaroo Paws Hopping Into Central Coast Landscapes

While you’re still going to have to visit the zoo to see the marsupials, you may have noticed these stunning plants adding vibrancy to local gardens. These flowering plants have long, flattened leaves with striking tubular flowers coated with dense, fuzzy hairs. The claw-like paw formation of the flowers gives this garden gem gets its name. Although they have no fragrance, bright crimson, magenta, pink, and yellow flowers naturally attract birds and other curious pollinators. Kangaroo Paws love open and sunny places in the garden, making them ideal for life on our Central Coast. These plants need excellent drainage and thrive with little water. Kangaroo Paws offer your garden the beauty of Western Australia, without the need for a passport!

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Lawn: Use It Or Lose It!

What a treat it was for those lucky enough to hear the esteemed David Fross (plant guru and part owner at Native Sons Nursery) talk recently at the SLO Botanical Gardens. His talk touched on conservation in a myriad of ways, and the one that stuck with me was about water–do you know where it comes from? I’m not talking “from the hose” or “from the tap” here, but back at the source, the Colorado River. This 1,450 mile-long lifeline sustains more than 30 million souls and 3.5 million acres of farmland in seven states, 34 tribal nations and Mexico. Unsurprisingly, it’s in decline. What can we do? Well, for starters, just knowing that when we water anything, we’re draining this mighty river is enough to get you thinking.
Also, that green water-gulping lawn is certainly an area where we can make improvements. Fross talked a lot about the pros and cons of lawn, but his main point wasn’t to exterminate all flat green spaces. Instead, he challenged us to think about how they’re used. What about the public park where Scouts meet and kids play baseball all summer? Water those and keep them soft and friendly! What about the patches of grass whose only foot traffic is the lone landscaper? These are wasted space. Rip ‘em out and re-purpose the land into something beautiful for people to visit. Not only is this be good for our wallet, but also for the entire marine ecosystem of the Colorado River. Sound radical? Maybe so. But endlessly watering something that gets no use could be considered kinda nutty.
A recent post of ours wrote about Fross’s book, “Reimagining the California Lawn,” enumerating changes you, yourself, can make to your property to make it water-wise and lush. Check out your space and see if you’re using your garden to its fullest potential for enjoyment, food production, and conservation of our precious resources.

(Colorado River facts found here.)

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