Great Blue Skimmer
Keyhole Gardening: a Drought-Tolerant, Compost-Style, Sustainable Concept
The key hole garden concept is quite simple. A circular planting bed (with a “keyhole” to allow access to the center) is constructed with bricks, stone, gabion-style walls, or even aluminum siding. In the center of the keyhole is a circular compost bin in which kitchen scraps and household “gray water” are poured.
Layers of soil inside the circular walls slope slightly outward to encourage positive drainage away from the central compost bin. As kitchen and garden waste breaks down and gray water is added, a natural “compost tea” soaks into the surrounding soil providing nutrients to plants growing within the circular wall. More information and instructions at the link.
Head of a Bee, illustrated. Jan Swammerdam, The Book of Nature; Or, The History of Insects (1758).
Cambridge University Library (from a book formerly in the collection of Charles Darwin).
Vertical Garden Beautifully Colors Building in Paris
A novel way to bring more life and color into the “concrete jungles” of the world is to create a vertical garden. I vote that every city street have one to make up for the loss of foliage that big inner cities prevent. It literally causes the building and neighboring areas to come to life.
Patrick Blanc, a French botanist, artist and author, whose book, The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, is considered a classic work on the subject, agrees that when it comes to vertical gardens, the challenges are great and the avenues varied. “In nature,” Mr. Blanc said, “plants grow in many different ways, and when it comes to creating vertical gardens, many things are possible. Different people have different approaches.”
Blanc created the vertical garden (featured above) at the intersection of Montorgueil, Reaumur Sebastopol and the Great Boulevards in Paris. As part of a private initiative to make Paris more eco-friendly, he took seven weeks in March and April to plant the seeds, nurturing over 7,600 plants belonging to 237 individual species. The stunning garden covers 250-square meters on the building’s face and quite incredible. The wall will be officially inaugurated during Paris Design Week in September, 2013.
Vertical gardens can evoke anything from a tropical jungle to a Monet landscape. But because gardens were intended to be horizontal, not vertical, and because water, left to its own devices, flows down and not sideways, they are always challenging to maintain.
An antique French country house Bee Hive.
#savethebees graffiti, London
Give them some plants, and they will come. Honeybee on the liatris today! We’re trying really hard to get as many habitat value plants in as possible. This is our experiment year, trying to figure out the light patterns back there. Next year we’re going to dig out all the soil and replant based on what we learn this season.
And science supports this!(via currentsinbiology)