Apr 30, 2018
by Kellen Watson, Daily Acts
Thanks to the late season rains, our gardens and wild places are now bursting with color and bustling with activity, making it finally feel like spring! This is a great time to be outside, reconnect with nature and take in all the unique sights, sounds, smells and tastes that come with this season of renewal. While many of us may have spent the last few weeks removing the incredibly healthy weeds that were taking over our gardens, I would like to encourage a shift in focus this month to enjoying the splendor of spring and all the gifts it offers. Below are some of my favorite springtime references, garden activities and suggestions for taking advantage of the season.
Sights—annuals, wildflowers, nesting and mating rituals, birds, butterflies, and bees oh my! For those with kids, setting up opportunities for observation or exploration can be a great way to spend a day in the garden. I suggest going on a bug hunt or constructing a bug hotel to encourage more insect diversity in your garden. Planting annuals or other habitat providing plants with different flower shapes and colors will also help attract more wildlife to the show.
Sounds—buzzing, humming, munching, chirping, quacking, clucking, baaaahhhing… You get the idea, spring is bursting with new life whether it be plant, insect or animal. This is a great opportunity to take a pause, practice a little sound therapy and let the vibrational energy of the garden revitalize you.
Smells—sweet like honey, fresh and woodsy, peppery and clean. These scents are meant to attract insects and other pollinators to their food sources, potential mates and are essential to help spread that pollen around to create new life. These scents can be intoxicating, mood lifting and occasionally distracting in a good way. To make these feelings last a bit longer or collect other health benefits, why not make a flower essence or clip a bouquet to enjoy indoors as well.
Tastes—wild, bitter and spicy! Spring is a season for cleansing and so it is no surprise that many of our edible annual weeds also provide medicinal properties that help our bodies prepare for the year ahead. Next time you think about weeding that dandelion, why not harvest some leaves for your salad or dry down the root to make a liver support tea. Once you dive into the world of bitters, you will never look at these weeds the same!
For those of you wanting to promote this wildness in your gardens, Daily Acts has a few events that will help you cultivate habitat and design in the multi-functional plants that we celebrate during this season.
Garden Design Workshop—Dreaming Up your Water-Wise Oasis on Wednesday, May 23rd from 5:30pm-8pm – Join us for a simple five-step process that will bring a little bit closer to the garden of your dreams. We will cover how to draw to scale, plant selection, irrigation, soils and other garden practices and aesthetics.
Water-Wise Habitat Gardening for Pollinators on Monday, June 4th from 6pm-8pm—Learn how to create a wildlife and pollinator-friendly habitat garden in your own yard with tips from our Sonoma County experts at the Bee Keepers Association, Master Gardeners and Native Songbird Care & Conservation.
And of course, if you come to any of these events or take any of these actions in your garden, please register for the Community Resilience Challenge at communityresiliencechallenge.org/ and share you story with us. This is how we collectively change the world by starting in our own gardens!
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