Monday, June 29, 2009

Something New In Old South

Old South is the name of the area in London, where I live. The Wortley Village is included in this area – I’ve described this unique community before (a few entries ago).

One thing that I’ve enjoyed about this part of the city is that many residences flavour their front yards with varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees. Lately, I’ve been a witness to the fact that this has become a growing interest for more and more residences.

This is my neighbour’s yard and they are in the process of putting in a brand new flower garden. Their lawn area is now half of it’s former size.

Maybe, they were inspired by their next door neighbour, who built this garden just last year.

As people are becoming concerned about the state of our global environment, we are beginning to look for solutions to these problems. We are becoming aware of the positive changes that we can accomplish in the places where we live – our homes.

By planting flower gardens, we are creating a more diverse environment that bugs, spiders, birds and toads can thrive in. These gardens only need to be watered during the first phase of planting. After this time they live on the water that is provided during our rains. Since the size of the grassed area is significantly reduced and sometimes totally eliminated, the use of gasoline powered lawnmowers is no longer required.

If one family can stop using 1000 litres of water and 5-10 litres of gasoline per summer season, by increasing the beauty of their home, imagine the combined conservation of these two resources if an entire community followed suit? That seems to be the growing trend and I applaud these efforts…

Another half a block away from where I live, another front lawn has vanished to be replaced with a flower garden. Even the small area between the street and the sidewalk has been reestablished.

Just down the street, another neighbour is preparing a small flower garden.

And another one…

This lawn has been scraped away and soon this fresh soil will be welcoming the planting of another garden.

Daily, Joanne and I go for walks around our neighbourhood and daily we see another flower garden being created.

This garden was planted last year and now it has doubled is size as the plants have grown stronger. I’ve talked about this type of planting before – where spring flowers are planted around the flowers that will bloom in the summer.

The spring flowers will die but their leaves provide shelter to the soil, stopping weeds from overrunning the garden. This allows the summer plants to grow strong until they are large enough to dominate the insistent weeds.

As I enjoy all the varieties of flowers and shrubs in my neighbour’s gardens I am studying things like colour, size, domination, overgrowth, undergrowth, etc. so that I can make my garden better. I hope that others are learning the same things when they view my flower gardens.

Last year I saw quite a few new gardens being planted. This year, I was watching a bit more closely and I recognized quite a large number of new gardens. If this trend continues to escalate then pretty soon lawnmowers will be found only on playing fields and golf courses. Many tonnes of water will be available for other purposes and let’s not forget the noise factors. We won’t have to hear a thousand lawnmowers chug-a-lugin’ – instead we’ll hear the twirps and tweets of so many more birds as they dance through the air celebrating a new kind of freedom.


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