Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Nature's Babe
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Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:10 am

Are you gardening sustainably? How do you mesasure this ? How are you making a difference? We are now using resources faster than nature can replace them
Sustainable gardening as defined by Wiki.

Sustainable gardening (which is taken here to include sustainable landscapes, sustainable landscape design, sustainable landscape architecture and sustainable sites) comprises a disparate group of horticultural interests that share, to a greater or lesser extent, the aims and objectives associated with the international post-1980s sustainable development and sustainability programs developed to address the fact that humans are now using natural biophysical resources faster than they can be replenished by nature.[1] Included within this compass are those home gardeners, and members of the landscape and nursery industries and municipal authorities, that integrate environmental, social and economic factors in an attempt to create a more sustainable future.

Organic gardening and the use of native plants are integral to sustainable gardening.[2]

more here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_gardening

RHS on sustainable gardening
http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening

Conserving water
http://www.uri.edu/ce/healthylandscapes/cecenter.html
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:57 am

Nature's Babe wrote:Organic gardening and the use of native plants are integral to sustainable gardening.[2]


That will leave the veg plot a bit depleted then ?
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby madasafish » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:34 pm

I am writing this on a plastic keyboard made from oil, using electricity made with coal..

How I garden - sustainably or not - is an irrelevance I suggest in the larger scheme of things..

Having said that, I only use natural fertilisers and only soap as a pesticide. As far as only UK plants, the idea is of course a joke and I assume designed to make the authors lose any credibility..

My pear trees are French, my blueberries are American and my budlleia are Himalayan..

Bull excrement .
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Mike Vogel » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:32 pm

NB didn't say "ONLY the use of native plants ....." But most of what we do does revolve around promoting the successful growth of vegetables and fruit which are not originally indigenous. For example, I am in the process of harvesting my sweet potatoes. Not too bad this year, but I have to ask myself whether they are worth the effort.

However, many of these non-indigenous veg have been cultivated in this country long enough for the seeds or tubers we use to be thoroughly naturalised and thus native to this country. So i think we can continue to grow tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, cucumber, etc without violating the principles which NB cites.
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:39 pm

That's why I included those two - to spark discussion, but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. The RHS article doesn't mention veg or fruit either. Sustainability is important, that's why I ask - How do you factor in sustainability? One thing I do is allow our native flowers a little space in the fruit and veg garden, things like foxgloves, mallow, and teazles, herbs too are allowed to flower and seed themselves, this encourages all the beneficial insects and pollinators, moths and butterflies, at the moment they are in decline and need all the help they can get. Elderflower, hazel, and ivy,and fruit blossom also keep them busy, including early and late sources helps. When the cane fruit are in blossom the whole garden seems alive and buzzing.
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby alan refail » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:45 pm

We are now using resources faster than nature can replace them


Yes, but mainly NOT in gardening.

One thing I do is allow our native flowers a little space in the fruit and veg garden, things like foxgloves, mallow, and teazles, herbs too are allowed to flower and seed themselves, this encourages all the beneficial insects and pollinators, moths and butterflies, at the moment they are in decline and need all the help they can get. Elderflower, hazel, and ivy,and fruit blossom also keep them busy, including early and late sources helps.


Give up gardening and nature will get on with it!
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:08 pm

I was hoping for something more positive from you Alan, especially as you had just been advocating sustainability. Who says I only consider sustainabliity in the garden? Actually I work hard to keep my carbon footprint low, I love my grandchildren and want a decent future for them.
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby madasafish » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:55 pm

I keep beees: just started this year. One thing beekeeping teaches is to grow bee friendly plants.. I have planted a lot of plants whose names escape me at the moment which I would never do if not interested in bees: and this started several years before I had any bees...

Now begonia are bee unfriendly and not sutainable ... but I still grow them..:-) And dahlias...

As far as carbon footprints go, I loook forward to all air travel being cut by 75%... then I know as a country we are serious..

I hope no-one here flies on holiday?
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby alan refail » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:04 pm

Nature's Babe wrote:I was hoping for something more positive from you Alan, especially as you had just been advocating sustainability.


Oh dear, NB, I think you must be confusing me with Patrick Holden.
How embarrassing :oops: :oops:
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:54 pm

Bees are fascinating creatures madasafish, we kept honey bees when I was a child, it was my job to spin the combs of honey into the drum by muscle power and centrifugal force. In those days there were a wealth of wild and cultivated flowers, fruit and nuts, gorse,blackberries and real variety for them to forage, to remain healthy like us they need variety in their diet. These days we put them in huge fields of monoculture - its like asking us to eat just lettuce or only carrots and remain healthy. Then there are bumble bees, solitary bees, and mason bees, too. The solitary bees nest in the ground, some bumble bees too will use old rodent holes. They do better now that I rarely dig. As for air traffic we can all choose not to fly if we
wish, personally I choose not to for that reason, air quality is important too
and many areas don't reach standards set by the EU.
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby madasafish » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:41 pm

Bees ARE fascinating, NB.. I could watch them all day - anytime when it's warm.

Been fortunate to find N Staffs beekeepers who train a novice very well..

Making another hive in anticipation of more next year - assuming they survive the winter..

Definitely a sustainable pastime :-) And organic as well..
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby sally wright » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:56 pm

Dear Madasafish,
you can grow most flowers if you do not use the double forms. What you have to consider is whether the bee can get to the pollen and nectar inside as this is the bit the bee needs for it to be "bee friendly".
There are single forms of begonias, dahlias and marigolds for instance.

True sustainability is, I consider, for only the hairiest shirted and wholemealyist shorted amongst us. For the rest of the population it is a laudable goal but not terribly realistic. So for me, sustainability is only bringing onto my garden what I must have to obtain crops and only getting rid of that which is beyond further use. Preferably by recycling but that is not always possible either. I save seed where I can and take good care of tools and materials to get the longest possible life from them.
Sustainability for the person in the street is about putting some thought and effort into the choices you can make about all the things you do and purchase. It is about being informed about the issues which blight our planet and how we as individuals can change small things to bring about an improvement.
Enough of the preaching, my tea is getting cold.
Regards
Sally Wright.
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby oldherbaceous » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:04 pm

Dear Sally, i don't think your thoughts came across as preaching at all, and i hope your tea wasn't cold. :wink:
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby Nature's Babe » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:16 pm

Sally if like you we all change a lot of small things it can make a huge difference. One of the things I changed was putting in more water butts which enables me to water the garden without depleting the mains water many reservoirs get really low in drought
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Re: Using rescources faster than nature can replace them.

Postby alan refail » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:13 am

Hi NB

I have read the links you posted more fully now.

I am confused by your title for the thread: Using resources faster than nature can replace them.
It has the ring of a good starting point for responsible gardeners, but what does it actually mean? If by "resources" we mean materials derived from fossil fuel - plastics, chemicals, diesel and petrol - then clearly these are not going to be replaced ever and must be conserved. Any use of them is by definition not "sustainable". If "resources" means renewables such as timber, bamboo canes, jute twine etc., then clearly they can only be used "faster than nature can replace them" up to the point of their non-availability.

Having said that, there is much that is worthy of consideration in "sustainable gardening". Unfortunately, like so many "causes" its proponents too often lapse into mind-numbing jargon. Take this from the Wikipedia article:

Site principles

Do no harm
Use the Precautionary principle
Design with nature and culture
Use a decision-making hierarchy of preservation, conservation, and regeneration
Provide regenerative systems as intergenerational equity
Support a living process
Use a system thinking approach
Use a collaborative and ethical approach
Maintain integrity in leadership and research
Foster environmental stewardship


Anyone care to translate?

Fair play to the RHS - I can understand what they are getting at :)
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