Green Spaces for Cities — Part 2: Living Walls and Green Roofs

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Houseplants, Benefits of Nature, Deflecting sound, Green Roofs, Health & Wellness, Indoor gardens, Interior landscaping, Living walls, Uncategorized, Water Management

One of my favorite sessions from the recent Perennial Plant Conference I attended in Chicago was on Living Walls. It had been a reluctant choice at first — a lesser of two evils type of choice. Surprisingly though, after the first few minutes, I was hooked. The presenter didn’t try to teach me how, instead …

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Green Spaces for Cities — Part 1

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Perspectives change over time, don’t they?   We were on I -90 headed to Chicago’s Union Station when I glanced out the window and noticed the downtown skyline. Ten years ago I would have commented on how exciting it was to see all of the sleek buildings dominating the landscape. This time the view made …

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Intimate Spaces in Large Places

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Design, Health & Wellness, Intimate spaces, Landscaping, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

Our eldest daughter is a textbook type A personality. She finds it difficult to just sit and relax because there is always another task to be completed. Her ability to keep going and going and going is truly amazing and somewhat exhausting.       The other day, while she was at our home, she …

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The Not So Secret Lives of Bees

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Causes of Insect Decline, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

Originally published in September 2018, our two part series on native and non-native bees adds important information to our current discussion of native pollinators.        Two years ago, when we moved into this house, I planted the beginnings of a butterfly garden. Last summer it didn’t amount to much — the perennials were small and it …

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Declining Insects — Declining World

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, ecosystems, Insects, Uncategorized

  Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely.  (Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers Biological Conservation, Apr. 2019).         If your initial response to these …

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Bring Nature In — Let Stress Out

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized

I have been feeling incredibly stressed lately.  Unfortunately, when I am stressed, I just shut down which, of course, increases my stress level and renders me virtually useless. My “To Do” list gets longer and my “Done” list stays blank.The only way I can interrupt this cycle is to take a nature break.     …

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Folklore or Fact? Predicting the Weather Using Nature Clues

Posted by & filed under Juncos, Uncategorized, Weather Forecasting, Weatherlore

Last week the white dusting of snow we got seemed like a welcome reprieve from my end of the season chores —  the perfect opportunity to avoid doing any of the necessary but boring yard work ahead of me. Since it was only the beginning of November, I rationalized that there would be plenty of …

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Memory Gardens — A Natural Lifeline

Posted by & filed under Alzheimer's Gardens, Benefits of Nature, Design, Garden Design, Gardens, Health & Wellness, Landscaping, Memory Gardens, Uncategorized, Wellness Gardens

Watching someone you love slowly disappear from the present, fade into the past and eventually lose the ability to function is both frustrating and painful. Millions of American families are currently experiencing these emotions as their loved ones struggle with the challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the …

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Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate — In Nature

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Children and Nature, Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

I honestly thought that when I retired from teaching the pace of my life would dramatically change. I imagined spending hours outdoors — working in my gardens, exploring new places and just generally basking in nature  — since I wouldn’t be tied to a desk grading papers anymore. What I discovered was that the ending …

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