Saturday, February 23, 2008

Illegal Gardens

A rant on conservation and possible illegal gardens, even though all this is good advice some of it may be illegal to implement ! I started this post thinking about conservation of heat loss using nature where according to the U. S. Dept. of Energy buildings in the United States use a whole bunch of energy. I had some numbers but they referred to "buildings" and even though the article I was reading was about landscaping for conservation in houses the statistics quoted were not qualified as just for homes. I don't argue that having deciduous trees positioned properly around your house will definitely help cool it in the summer and let light in the winter. We have what we call the garden room facing south. There are many days in the winter the furnace does not go on all day. We also have a ceiling fan that helps move the air to the rest of the house. We have two trees and a garage about 30 feet from the house. Keep these trees away from your ponds.

If you must have coniferous tress in your yard I think they should be on the north to northwest side of the house, at least where we live. It is said tall hedges or trees can cut heating costs as much as 40 percent. Then I started thinking about the advice about creating rain garden (remember it's a good idea) and replacing turf with native plants and grasses, so less water is used for watering and helps eliminate the environmentally damaging upkeep such as mowing and fertilizing. The biggest problem I see with this is local ordinances that have requirements for height of yard grasses. It is a mental adjustment, I remember a number years ago I was in Chicago and was lost , as we tried to find our way back to down town we were in a residential area where people did not cut their yards, I don't mean just a few none of the yards were cut for quite a few blocks. I was appalled at the thought that they did not care about how there yards ;looked now I realize I was looking through the glasses of a rural Lutheran and whether these folks knew it or not they were years ahead in conservation practices. We have one old fellow in town that mows around all the groups of ox-eye daisies that grow in his yard. People talk about him as being nuts but on thinking about it. He is doing exactly what the EPA is talking about. I am sure he is in violation of local ordinances. I wonder what other people think about replacing the lawn mower by naturalizing the yard ?

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