My Blooming European Vacation

There's no way I could pass up a chance to check out this flower shop in Slovakia. Photo: Jim Mumford
In May, I had the luxury of spending a couple of weeks traveling through Eastern Europe on vacation with my family. It turned out to be more than just a good time. It was an education seeing how our European neighbors view the importance of integrating nature into their environment. Those lessons are well worth sharing – along with a few vacation photos to make the point! We began our river boat cruise in Budapest, Hungary, worked our way to Vienna, Austria and concluded our adventure in Germany. Europeans take climate change seriously. It’s a fact, it’s not a debate. They are doing their best to change their everyday practices to slow down the effects on the way to a full stop.… Read More

Our Love For Blue Flowers: It’s Complicated

Closeup of a beautiful hydrangea. Do you see blue or lavender, or something in between? Photo: LL Marei, Flickr - Creative Commons License
With Memorial Day coming up and the Fourth of July not all that far away, the red, white and blue decorations are starting to appear, including garden and floral displays. Commercial garden centers and big box stores are putting their red, white, and blue flowers and plants front and center. Forty years ago when I sold flowers downtown, the only option I could offer to patriotic customers were red, white and blue carnation bouquets. I’ll let you in on a secret: those blue carnations were NOT found in nature. Naturally blue flowers aren’t just rare. They don’t exist. True blue pigment doesn’t exist in plants of any kind.… Read More

Stop Bugging Me: Control Plant Pests Without Pesticides

Keep your indoor plants healthy and pest free with gentle cleaning. Photo: Madiase/Flickr - Creative Commons License
Summer is coming, we promise. Summer brings so many good things, but it also brings some not-so-good things. Plant pests love the summer weather as much as people do. While bugs can bug your indoor plants any time of year, they get more opportunities to thrive in the late spring and summer months. The weather warms up. You turn off the heater, and open your windows and doors. Pests have more ways to enter your house, and they like the more humid air. You see your indoor plants have a growth period as spring arrives. Bugs see a plant buffet. If your first reaction to finding pests on your plants is to grab the pesticide, please stop!… Read More

Expose Yourself to World Naked Gardening Day on May 4

Barbie is on board! World Naked Gardening Day is on Saturday, May 4.
I first learned about “World Naked Gardening Day” two years ago. I thought for sure it was a joke played on me by some of my friends. What a surprise to find out it’s a real event, not just what I used to do when I lived in rural San Diego without neighbors close by. And it’s been going on for years. So I wrote a blog post about it. So the laugh is on me, because the original 2017 blog post about World Naked Gardening Day is one of our top most-read blog posts of ALL TIME.  Who knew so many people were interested in this phenomenon?… Read More