One look at our home and it is obvious that we have a passion for greening the world. Green spaces can be city parks and boulevards, but also include community garden plots, shady plantations near buildings, and green roofs. You can even grow vines that will flourish, produce food, and shade sun-drenched areas such as large windows, decks and patios, hallways, and driveways. And let’s not forget to mention the water gardens, orchards and green roofs as well.
When we bought our first house, a repair house, we turned that abused ex-renter into a little green cabin oasis filled with trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens for food production. It was featured in a small local magazine and also in the local newspaper at the time. That was 11 years ago. Since then, we have done the same with our property here, totally changing this house and property to the point that it is no longer recognizable to the people who rented here a dozen years ago. It was exciting to have our certified wildlife habitat, bee-friendly property, featured in I Love Creston magazine a few years ago.
If you do an online search, you will find that we are so passionate that we have written countless articles, hosted many dozen radio broadcasts on the subject, have been invited to do interviews sharing our advice, and more. And through all of this, in the hope that we have inspired others to green their spaces as well.
Plants do more for us than feed us and cool our homes. Evergreen shrubs, plants, and trees help mitigate climate change by absorbing pollutants like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides, releasing clean oxygen into the air. They will also filter dust from busy roads and reduce soil erosion on farmland. They reduce UV-B rays (which cause skin cancer) and prevent our vehicles from being too hot in the summer. They protect the soil by preventing erosion and water compaction, reducing flooding and creating soil throughout their life cycles.
They will also help cool the air by releasing water vapor through their leaves, protecting the plants around them from dehydration. Plantations can muffle noise, reduce heating and cooling costs for our homes, and improve the neighborhood. They attract pollinators and provide a habitat for numerous types of wild creatures, from insects to birds.
Did you know that communities with lots of trees and green spaces actually have less crime? Children are also less obese in these areas, because they are playing and participating in outdoor community group events. Plants also provide us with food annually, especially trees and perennials that produce crops of fruits and nuts annually. Gardens can help create stronger neighborhoods as we are more likely to connect and share bountiful harvests.
Gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays really hit a tight budget. By sharing prepared meals, natural products, bouquets or preserves (jams / jellies / syrup / wine / dried herbs) made in the garden, the costs incurred for gift giving can be greatly reduced or even eliminated.
Here, we have noticed time and again, people walking in pairs, in family groups, alone, stopping to enjoy the experience of witnessing a busy bee, a floating butterfly dancing on the leaves, a happy bird chirping … the leaves turning. and swaying in the breeze … the relaxing shade that gives people and their dogs a respite from the summer heat. Children squeal with joy at the views and the elderly love to stop and chat, share memories and tell us about other amazing gardens they have seen on their walks. Neighbors stop by and come forward to comment or ask questions.
There are many benefits to even the smallest green space: a balcony garden, a front potted area, a terraced wall garden … they all contribute to making the world a better place. Gardeners, however, benefit the most from their sheltered homes, reduced energy costs, improved land values, and freezers and cupboards filled each year with the food they produce. Herbs, for example, can be very expensive and can be stored frozen or dehydrated for more than a year. Just a few pots on the front step can produce all the herbs you can use; if they are very happy, you will also have some to share.
For those of you who want to learn how to use your garden crops, or want to take advantage of deals during peak harvest season through local farmers, check out our new cookbook! – From a Small Garden – Over 300 delicious and nutritious recipes are now available on Amazon!