Garden on a roof

Hi-rise help for bees

Even if you live in a skyscraper, if you’ve got a balcony (or a flat roof), you can help save bees and other pollinators. The Home Garden Seed Association recently reported that flowers don’t have to be growing in ground-level beds to attract bees and butterflies. If you plant them, they will find you–just about…

Forest Reverence

champagnewhisky “A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great or beautiful cathedral.” Theodore Roosevelt Tree Cathedral, a living installation by Giuliano Mauri in Bergamo, Italy. The foundation was laid in 2001, and following Mauri’s death in 2009, the Cattedrale Vegetale has been completed as a monument to…

The beautiful side of light pollution

In Southern Ontario, long, frigid February nights may seem particularly abysmal but at this time last year, a couple of photographers in our region captured the dark sky filled with vertical streaks of coloured light. Though Science and Weather Reporter Nicole Mortillaro romantically referred to the pillars as “one of winter’s gifts, an almost apologetic gesture for the…

Ash in fireplace

Ashes to ashes to tomatoes

Composting is a great way to recycle nutrients back into the soil but for a breathtakingly efficient rotation from plant to soil and back to plants again, use wood ash. Since the ash is what’s left of burned plant material, it naturally contains many of the essential nutrients that were first provided by the soil. Burning wood loses nitrogen…

Global Soil Partnership infographic

Happy Soil Day, every day

Time flies when you’re having fun. That might explain why December 5th whooshed past me without my realizing that day was the first official United Nations World Soil Day. Not that I would’ve been able to do much about it had I known. I mean, what does one do on a World Soil Day? Round up some…

Soil and rocks

Want the real dirt? Watch this.

Forget celebrity train wrecks or political scandals. Real dirt, the kind under everyone’s feet, can be riveting. Before your eyes start rolling into the back of your head or you make a quick flick over to Facebook, watch Symphony Of The Soil. OK, maybe it’s not the most tantalizing of titles but this documentary is…

Plants in urban ecology

What cliffs and sidewalk cracks share

Southern Ontario just got our first dump of snow and even though it’s only added up to a few centimetres (sorry, Buffalo), I’m already feeling nostalgic for green and growing things. So discovering a posting on David Suzuki’s website about eco-connections between urban and natural environments such as pavements and cliff faces, gutters and streams, was a…