Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-234-3368 or by email. Stay safe!

HOMEGROWN Life: Flowers Aren't Just for Lookin' Pretty

| 5/14/2012 9:52:12 AM


 When your primary focus is growing food sometimes other plants get overlooked. I have to say I'm definitely guilty of this. In a race to use all of our available space to grow food we made the dumb decision to rip out our landscape that was filled with flowers. Soon after we moved the chickens and quickly realized that planting a new landscape - even an edible one - wasn't going to happen. The established landscape would have been able to hold up to the chickens but anything planted now would quickly get trampled and eaten.

 flower bed 

We had Ceanothus (Wild Lilac) which has beautiful cornflower blue flowers that bloomed the earliest in spring. The magenta Penstemon (Beard Tongue) bloomed almost all year round here. In summer the Hemerocallis (Daylily) and Lavandula (Lavender) bloomed together in complementing orange and purple flowers. The Salvia (Mexican Bush Sage) bloomed in late fall. In between all the plants grew a blanket of white clover.

The flowers weren't just there to be pretty. They provided a long blooming source of forage for our bees and the native pollinators. The hummingbirds and bumble bees would visit the Penstemon on a regular basis. The clover offered consistent forage for the bees and turkeys and it would have also been eaten by the chickens if we had left it. Everything together offered habitat for beneficial insects along with acting as a trap crop for pests. It served an important purpose in helping us avoid using pesticides on our edibles.

But there is also nothing wrong with pretty. My day job involves making landscapes pretty. Pretty can make a space somewhere people want to spend time. It can make a space relaxing. While edibles feed the body, pretty feeds the soul. We need pretty just as much as we need functional. And sometimes, like with our former landscape, pretty can be functional.

Rachel Dog Island Farm 

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me