Two Bur Oaks and a Crawdad

A group of swamp white oaks Healthy soil is important, but for whom?  In the Garden  The young bur oak would not be kept down. Yet again it revealed itself among the standing dead stalks of a large patch of purple bee balm, a good three feet tall and leafing out. In spring, a bur oak’s leaves look like sharp-edged, glossy cutouts. They are not green, but shade delicately among soft corals, tans and pinks. The green comes a bit later, like a slow-motion wave gently pervading each leathery leaf. The question, as it had been for several years, was what to do with this young newcomer to the garden.  About ten feet away and across the walk from house to garage stands a second bur oak that I’d started from an acorn some twelve years ago. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow its first sets of true leaves, become large enough to attract birds and then mature enough to bear acorns. This winter I limbed it up three feet from the ground, mainly to give the sedges and wild geraniums growing underneath a

It's Time for Your Lawn to Make Peace with the Earth!

That's the title of a short, informal presentation about the polyculture lawn I'll be giving on Sunday. I'll have samples of compost, a compost screen and clover seed with me. Too bad I can't bring along some birds, butterflies and bees! Details are posted on the "Talks" page tabbed above.

Comments

Unknown said…
So glad you're taking your message on the road. Have you received good feedback? How did you start your talk series?

Best of luck,

Thomas
Hi Thomas,

Thanks. The talk went really well.

I began by asking people what they think about when they think of a beautiful lawn. This sparked much good discussion and brought up childhood memories and associations. I then talked about the lawn in history (short), some different ways to think about beauty, and why the ecological lawn is better. Also ecological lawn care.

People seemed pretty enthused.

I started giving talks when I worked for the garden center. Garden clubs are always looking for speakers.

These days I try to do a few talks a year, often gratis. Usually someone I know invites me to speak. The groups are always small, but participants seem to respond well.

I'm thinking of applying to give a presentation at the next Chicago Wilderness Wild Things Conference in 2013, which would be a big step up.