The Roswell community has no shortage of nature-lovers and tree-huggers. There are endless prestigious organizations that spread environmental education and activism, such as the Roswell Garden Club and the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Oftentimes, the environmentally-conscious choice is not the most convenient, but there are numerous ways to get involved.
Transforming your home into an eco-paradise can be easier than one thinks. At the end of the day, some people do not have the space, financial standing, or freedom to live a 100% eco-friendly lifestyle. Baby steps are the key to modification. If you don’t have room for a compost bin, use eggshells, which are full of calcium and other nutrients, as a plant fertilizer. Reducing red meat intake substantially reduces an ecological footprint. Try to go zero waste with the help of reusable storage bags and water bottles. One of the easiest recommendations is a simple switch to Ecosia, an online search engine. This company plants a tree for about every 45 searches in heavily deforested areas around the world, such as in Indonesia and Amazonia, with the use of ad revenue. While it seems too good to be true, there is no catch: Ecosia is extremely transparent with its financial reports and afforestation projects.
Another way to care for the environment is to garden with plants native to Georgia, such as Stokes’ Asters, salvias, and honeysuckles. Growing plants help pollinators like bees (arguably the world’s most important animals) to pollinate a third of the Earth’s food supply. More so, plants are the basis of all habitats for animals; they are needed to encourage biodiversity in insects and bird species. The garden’s hospitality reaches to all pollinators, including bees, butterflies, beetles, birds, and moths. One cannot emphasize the importance of native plants enough. The most foolproof way for a habitat to remain sustainable is by restoring the area with its native plants. Georgia’s own flora needs the least maintenance, which often means less water and fertilization, and creates a sense of place. Georgia should be as proud of its elderberries as much as its peaches! Gardens do not necessarily have to be outdoors, especially when there is a shortage of space. Keeping houseplants and growing herbs indoors like sage and mint are nonetheless a great option.
Taking an environmental science class and partaking in a school’s environmental group are wonderful ways to spread awareness and to meet others with the same passions and concerns for the Earth. At Roswell High School, the Environmental Club leads the charge to reduce the school’s ecological footprint. For example, the Environmental Club (fondly nicknamed the “Green Hornets”) assists by sponsoring drives. Let it be for old towels, dead batteries, or plastic bags, these drives confront students and staff with the shameful reality of human wastefulness―trash does not disappear after the garbage truck drives away, after all. The Green Hornets expand interactions with other Roswell-founded organizations, such as the Small Dreams Foundation’s Fun Run Toward Sustainability to participate in the community. While on a smaller scale, many mornings are spent picking up litter on the campus.
While it may be easier for the human race to ignore the wreaking of havoc onto the environment, ultimately it will be humans who will suffer in the end. Fortunately, there is a solution: awareness and action, which are both provided by the Roswell community. Change is challenging, but possible as a passion for the Earth’s wellbeing perseveres in the hearts of Roswell citizens. All it takes is one small step in the right direction, even if that step is as minimal as switching a search engine.
Photo caption: Tomato ripening on the vine. For a hot summer in Roswell, this August harvest will not be the last. (photo credits: Emma Guglielmo)
Nowadays, a very recurring issue is the fact that we need to change our actions towards planet Earth urgently. Our planet is collapsing and we are currently living in times of several environmental crises all around the world, as the recently rainforest fires in Brazil.
In July 29, the 2019 Earth Overshoot Day happened, meaning that humans have already used all the planet’s ecological resource budget for the entire year. And the reason this date is so remarkable is because each year we are reaching the Overshoot Day earlier. The world is using up resources so fast and in an uncontrolled way that the planet’s ecosystems cannot regenerate them in time.
The most shocking part of all this is that many people still do not understand the reality in which we are experiencing. Several researches about each country’s consumption habits point out that if everyone on the planet consumed as much as the average United States citizen, it would be needed approximately four Earths to sustain everyone. And still, it does not look like people are worried about it.
As an exchange student from Brazil, it is very clear for me to see all the differences in people’s daily habits towards the planet and the obvious reason why the US would need more than one Earth.
People in Brazil are more used to go to places using public transport or riding a bike and I think this is an essential key to an ecological improvement. There are 276 million vehicles operating on roads and the US has a total of 327.2 million inhabitants, which means that In the US there is practically one car for every adult.
Besides that, the US produces 11 million tons of textile waste per year and over 90% of cotton is genetically modified using large quantities of water and chemicals. The solution to this problem is easy, but people insist on ignoring it. Buying in thrift stores should be encouraged since it is made in a more ecological and humane way and you are not supporting the unbridled production of the fashion industry. There is no creation of new clothes and the prices are more affordable. It should also be also considerate that less than 1% of all material is recycled.
Also, although I am not a vegetarian, I understand that reducing the consumption of meat and animal products is necessary. One third of water is used in the meat and dairy industry, 51% of greenhouse gases come from livestock and their by-products and 45% of the planet’s soil is used for livestock.
The United Nation organization revealed through research that we have only 12 years to reverse climate change problems before they become irreversible. People need to understand that we have no time anymore to be wasting our resources on unnecessary things and our habits need to change. The future of the next generations are in our hands and there are so many simple things in our daily attitudes that can help the world. We do not need to use straws, plastic bags, eat all this amount of meat everyday, ride by car instead of public transportation, etc.
The time to change our habits is now and we need to vote on people that have ecological plans to represent us and make the world a better place.
Living in Roswell we are constantly surrounded by all different aspects of nature, from the Chattahoochee river, to the hiking trails at the mill, and rolling hills at Leita Thompson park. The outdoor scene has so much to offer in Roswell, but are we taking care of it? Living in an outdoorsman’s dream city we must take steps to ensure that we can keep Roswell as beautiful as it can be, ensuring that we take action on environmental issues we see around our community.
There are several simple at home ways to make a positive impact on the local environment, the first being recycling. Many neighborhoods throughout the city offer recycling services once a week. And while participation is more than encouraged, stay educated on what can and can not be recycled. Items such as glass, plastics #1-7, paper and folded cardboard boxes are all accepted, where as waste such as: plastic bags, light bulbs, ceramics and styrofoam can not be recycled. The simple review of what you put into your recycling bin can impact the efficiency of recycling facilities, creating a greener, minimal waste environment. In addition to educating yourself about the ins and outs of recycling, another great way to get involved in positive environmental change is through planting your own garden. Not only does this provide delicious herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits but it also paves the way to a greener, more sustainable Roswell. Gardening can provide homes to numerous animals and insects that inhabit Roswell, as well as offer fresh ingredients for meals. This also helps to reduce your carbon footprint because your food no longer has to be shipped to the grocery store, creating both vehicular and non recyclable waste from the grocery bags, but rather can be picked straight from your backyard.
On a larger scale, Roswell is home to a staple river that runs throughout both Georgia and Florida. Because we are located toward the top of the river, all of our waste dumped into the river flows downstream, affecting each ecosystem it passes through. Not only does Rivers Alive, a local group, help to organize events to promote the health of our river, they also host annual clean up events in which the community can gather to help make a difference for this vital part of home. Be cautious of what you throw away, make sure that it is properly placed in a waste receptacle to ensure it isn’t thrown into the river, and further be aware of what harmful chemicals may enter your drains, for they may end up in our rivers, affecting the flora, fauna and wildlife that rely on the river as much as we do.
If you are a student looking to be involved in local environmental issues, many offer a student run environmental club. Being one of the founding members of my high school environmental clubs has allowed me as well as dozens of other students to further their knowledge on the local environment as well as actively participate in making both the school and the city a more eco-friendly place to work, learn and play.
Whether it’s planting a new type of flowers in your garden, picking up waste around the river or making sure you know what’s in your recycling bin get involved Roswell, lets go green!
Many people think that you can recycle boxes and all paper products. My proposal is to have a sticker that is given out to each member of the community telling them what is and isn’t allowed in the recycling bin to reduce the amount of thrown out recycling materials that are being thrown out. For example, when you order pizza and think to yourself that you could recycle it, you actually can’t due to the grease and oil that would gum up the machine that compresses the recycling. If people would throw out the box then they would save at least 2-3 pounds of landfill trash that could be recycled and re-purposed. Another way to help our community in helping the earth would be to invintivate restaurants to move towards reusable straws instead of plastic. They would save money and decrease the plastic accumulation of plastic around Roswell. They would put the straw in the same package as your utensils and then wash and sanitize it when they sanitize your other utensils. It’s an efficient and practical way to decrease the use of plastic straws in the Roswell community. Along with the restaurants changing out plastic straws for metal, restaurants should also use cardboard takeout boxes rather than foam ones. The foam ones take a very long time to “disintegrate” into the earth. By replacing them with cardboard it’s still going to keep your food fresh and safe as well as being a great form of recycling and helping give back to our earth. I hope that the Roswell community can come together and have ideas and innovations to make the Roswell community greener. We have already made smaller steps by implementing new recycling bins that have mechanical arms to do all the heavy lifting and take the pressure off of the workers. I hope that my ideas can help make Roswell a better and healthier community.
Roswell Garden Club is excited to announce the winners of the 2019 Environmental Blog Entry Competition:
1st place – Reaching Beyond the Three R’s: More Ways to Care for the Earth, Emma Guglielmo
2nd place – Why the Environmental Acts Are So Important, Ana Clara Ferreira
3rd place – Take Action on Environmental Issues We See Around our Community, Ava Weinreb
4th place – Make Roswell Greener!, Sylvia Nelson
We encourage you to read the words of these student-bloggers from our community and take action on their suggestions. Let’s work together to take the National Garden Club, Inc.’s challenge and move from consumers to caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.
First Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you”
Offering a morning prayer of thanks is an incredible way to start the day. God, the giver of life, allows each of us to wake up to new beauties each day, so it’s important that we turn to Him and offer up our gratitude.
Thanking the Lord in the morning is also a method of keeping our perspective fixed on what truly matters. Gratitude is a powerful reminder of all we have — and of the eternal love God gives us.
In these times of uncertainty and contentiousness, let’s begin each day with appreciation for what we have. Be thankful for our families and friends, be thankful for the change of seasons, be thankful for the cooling rain, be thankful for our beautiful gardens, be thankful for this – OUR GARDEN WE CALL GEORGIA.
Let us pray:
Lord, help us to focus today on what really matters. We are so grateful for another day. Please help us to keep that spirit of gratitude as we face the ebbs and flows of life; help us to see the good in the bad and the happy in the sad. Renew our spirit as we strive to preserve, protect, and nurture this garden of Georgia where we attempt to inspire others to conserve and to grow beauty. In your name we pray, Amen.
So, which tent do you live in? Contentment or Discontentment?
About Author & Guest Blogger, Lee Dunn
“Lee C. Dunn has researched and spoken about Southern history, garden and landscape history, and genealogy for more than twenty years. She has been deeply involved in promoting the preservation and awareness of Southern gardens and landscapes for fifteen years though The Garden Club of Georgia and the Southern Garden History Society. Dunn lives in Atlanta, Georgia.” Bio from Mercer University Press
Gardens and Historic Plants of the Colonial Era
The colonial era of gardens in America is defined as the period between 1607, the founding and first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown, and 1840. Although this doesn’t conform to the historical context of our nation, gardens changed little in America until the Victorian era.
Colonial garden styles vary depending upon wealth and geography. Rural poor and middle-class colonial gardens were smaller, less formal and concentrated more on the necessities of life with little ornamentation or distinct design. A fine example of a rural garden in the south would be the Tullie Smith House Garden at the Atlanta History Center.
Colonial gardens also fall into two distinct categories; kitchen gardens with vegetables and herbs, and pleasure gardens. Features typical of a pleasure garden might include formality with geometric designs, featuring avenues and walkways surrounding parterres, with fenced enclosures overall.
Wealthy landowners particularly in the South, created large expansive landscapes containing cash crops such as tobacco, cotton or rice. Most developed along major waterways to facilitate the movement of crops to market. These wealthy landowners built formal parterre gardens facing the waterside of the estate and they combined these formal constructs with more naturalistic designs made popular by Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716-1783) which were coming into vogue in Europe in the 1700’s. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington used the formal and the naturalistic styles in their gardens that can be seen at Monticello and Mount Vernon respectively.
Ornamental plants commonly used during the colonial garden period
This is a brief list of easily found plant material commonly used in colonial gardens.
Acer pensylvanicum–striped maple
Acer rubrum–red maple
Aesculus pavia–red buckeye
Cercis canadensis–eastern redbud
Chionanthus virginicus–white fringe tree
Cornus florida–flowering dogwood
Cornus mas–cornelian cherry dogwood
Crataegus phaenopyrum–Washington hawthorn
Franklinia alatamaha–franklin tree
Gymnocladus dioicus–Kentucky coffee tree
Halesia carolina–Carolina silverbell
Ilex opaca–American holly
Juniperus virginiana–eastern red cedar
Liriodendron tulipifera–tulip poplar
Magnolia grandiflora–southern magnolia
Nyssa sylvatica–black tupelo
Stewartia malacodendron–silky stewartia
Crocus vernus–Dutch crocus
Iris pallida–sweet iris
Monarda didyma–bee balm
Narcissus pseudo-narcissus–common daffodil
Primula vulgaris–common primrose
Rudbeckia hirta–black-eyed Susan
Buxus sempervirens–common boxwood
Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’-edging boxwood
Calycanthus floridus–Carolina allspice
Fothergilla gardenii–dwarf fothergilla
Hibiscus syriacus–rose of Sharon
Hydrangea arborescens–smooth hydrangea
Itea virginica–Virginia sweetspire
Kalmia latifolia–mountain laurel
Vines & Groundcovers
Hypericum calycinum–St. Johnswort
Lonicera sempervirens–trumpet honeysuckle
Parthenocissus quinquefolia–Virginia creeper
Vinca minor–common periwinkle
Wisteria frutescens–American wisteria
Centaurea cyanus–bachelor’s button
Dianthus caryophyllus–annual carnation
Digitalis purpurea–foxglove (biennial)
Tagetes erecta–African marigold
Tagetes patula–French marigold
Bibliographic Sources and Links for Colonial Era Gardens and Plants
Gardens and Historic Plants of the Antebellum South, James R. Cothran
For Every House A Garden: A Guide for Reproducing Period Gardens, R. and J. Favretti
Restoring American Gardens, An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants 1640-1940, Denise Wiles Adams
The Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg, M. Kent Brinkley and Gordon Chappell
Washington’s Gardens at Mount Vernon, Landscape of the Inner Man, Mac Griswold
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, The Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Plants of Colonial Days, Raymond L. Taylor
The Southern Garden History Society, http://southerngardenhistory.org/resources/plant-lists/
Sources for the Purchase of Historic Plants
The Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, https://www.monticello.org/house-gardens/center-for-historic-plants/
Oldest Seed house in America, www.landrethseeds.com
Antique Rose Emporieum, https://antiqueroseemporium.com
For Antique bulbs, www.OldHouseGardens.com
Blog Featured Image
The featured image is an aerial view of Middleton Place, South Carolina, https://www.middletonplace.org/explore/gardens/
Gardening: An Ounce of Prevention
Most people consider gardening a low-risk endeavor. However, a little research shows that it can be downright dangerous. Physical ailments from a day’s work in the yard can range from simple sore muscles and sunburn to serious injury or illness. Two simple tips could save you a trip to the emergency room.
Folks in North Fulton love to get outside and plant beautiful displays of annuals and perennials in pots and beds during May. Vegetable gardening has spurred the growth and popularity of individual and community gardens. However, very few of these frantic agriculturalists have given a single thought to the possibility of contracting tetanus also known as “lockjaw.” Most people know enough to check in with the doctor if they step on a nail, but the tetanus bacteria can be found in all planting mediums: soil, compost, manure, and potting mixes. Anyone with a scratch or puncture wound is vulnerable. Everyday yardwork injuries–cuts and scrapes–account for almost 40% of the cases of tetanus in the U.S. The best way to avoid tetanus and all its entailments is to check with your doctor. If you have not had a preventative shot within the last 10 years, don’t delay; make an appointment to get vaccinated TODAY.
In the rush to transform the yard and clear beds to plant, gardeners sometimes fail to recognize taxicodendron radicans or poison ivy. For identification purposes, the garden adage “Leaflets three; let it be” applies to poison oak as well as to poison ivy. Doctors treat countless cases of dermatitis caused by poisonous plants each year. Mild irritation and itching can be treated with a baking soda paste, an oatmeal bath, or over-the-counter products. Remember, the fluid released from blisters does not spread the rash, only coming in contact with urushiol or sap from the plant causes the condition. In order to avoid the aftereffects of a brush with poison plants, wear gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, closed shoes, and long pants to do spring gardening; AND wash yourself, your clothing, and even your dog after rummaging around in an untamed territory of the yard.
Keep your gardening experience happy and healthy this season. Project yourself against tetanus, and always wear gloves and dress sensibly to protect your skin from insect bites, sun burn, and plant-based poisons. When it comes to gardening and many other areas of life, it’s true: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Daffodil/ Narcissus General Information
Daffodils are especially long lived and they multiply. Daffodil /Narcissus is the most widespread genus.
Gardeners have plenty of colors, shapes and sizes to choose from. Yellow trumpets are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to daffodils. There are white daffodils with pink cups, yellow daffodils with orange cups, miniature daffodils, double daffodils, split corona daffodils and many more. You can’t go wrong with these cheerful flowers.
Quotation from Homer sometime between 12th and 8th century B.C OMG
“The Narcissus wondrously glittering, a noble sight for all, whether immortal gods or mortal men; from whose root a hundred heads spring forth, and at the fragrant odor therof all the broad heaven above and all the earth laughed, and the salt wave of the sea.” Homer: Hymn to Demeter
Centuries before Homer, flowers of this species were used by the Egyptians in funeral wreaths and have been found in tombs well-preserved after 3000 years. According to legend, this flower, originally white, was turned yellow by the touch of Pluto when he captured Persephone sleeping with a wreath of them on her hair. According to Pliny the plant was named Narcissus because of the scent: Narce=narcotic. The myth of Narcissus came later. Early on, the yellow species was called “Affodyl” and “Daffadowndyllyes.”
The first daffodil show was held in Birmingham, England in 1893. Since then, the daffodil has become one of the world’s most popular flowers. It is the national flower of Wales and the birth flower for those born in the month of March. The Georgia Daffodil Society holds its annual show at the Chattahoochee Nature each March.
Dig a hole at least 6” deep. Place two bulbs pointy side up in the bottom of the hole. Add a tablespoon of bone meal for good measure. Replace the dirt and then water.
*If you are confused about the right planting depth for flower bulbs, trust the bulbs. Researchers have discovered that some flower bulbs, like daffodils, adjust themselves to the right planting depth. “Contractile roots” are responsible for bulbs’ movement. Daffs are even phototropic. They “right” themselves and grow towards the sun even if you plant them upside down or sideways.
In the spring, enjoy the blooms and let the foliage fade and disappear naturally. Do not cut the tops or fold them. The tops feed the bulb so it can bloom the next spring.
They will multiply, so divide as needed and share w/friends.
Inspirational Statue at Gibbs Gardens.
Welcome to the RGC blog. Our blog is a way for us to educate, inspire, inform, and even brag a little. We hope our posts are helpful and enjoyable. We will use this space to spotlight current environmental issues, give seasonal gardening tips, and spotlight our gardens and activities. This is one more way to share the joys of gardening with our members and friends.