EARTHeim in 2019

2019 was a busy year for EARTHeim! Here are some things EARTHeim was a part of this past year.

OLLI ‘Gardening for the Living Landscape’

Since 2015, I’ve taught a 6 week gardening course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute which is a senior’s community education program through the University of Kentucky. I plan to continue it in 2020! Learn about OLLI at UK.

Native Bees Presentation Woodford Co Extension Office

I believe bees are very misunderstood, so I like teaching people about native bee species and how they live in our gardens!

LFUCG Plant By Numbers: Mailbox

This is the second series of the Plant By Numbers program. I created the planting designs for the city to use for this program. This year we did plans for mailbox gardens and street side easements. 2018 was the stream side series. Learn more about the program

Lexington Community Radio

The LexGoGreen radio hour broadcasts Mondays at 11am on 93.9FM. It focuses on various environmental issues here in Lexington. I made 2 appearances, one to talk about my GreenCheck certification and my involvement with the Environmental Citizen’s Academy. Learn about the radio show.

2019 Environmental Citizen’s Academy

A year long program, my class graduated in May. I finished my project, the Tree Care Video Guide. There were some great projects and a lot of work put into them. Read the blog post

Native Plant Sale

EARTHeim had its 3rd annual native plant sale. I have plans to have it again in 2020! Stay in the Know.

GreenCheck Lexington Certification

EARTHeim became a Silver member of this environmentally focused certification program. Read the blog post.

Paint By Nature Art Exhibit

Inspired by the Plant By Number’s program, this art exhibit was displayed at Central Library’s art gallery downtown. As a non juried exhibit, I contributed a piece this year. Learn about Paint By Nature.

TreeWeek Event hosted by Seedleaf

In its second year, Tree Week has already become a fun week long event put on by a variety of local organizations in October. At a kick off event, hosted by Seedleaf at its urban farm, I spoke about some great fall native plants you should include in your garden. Learn about TreeWeek. Learn about Seedleaf.

49th Environmental Awards

It’s amazing that this type of event has been going on for 49 years! This event recognizes people, and their projects, who have contributed to environmental efforts in Lexington. Read the blog post.

Book Review: Terrain

Terrain Book Review

“Terrain: Ideas and Inspiration for Decorating the Home and Garden”. Edited by Greg Lehmkuhl and the gardeners of TERRAIN

Terrain is a beautiful book. Aptly named, it’s named after a garden nursery located in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Terrain nursery took root in 2008, but its location is at a historical nursery once called Styer’s, which traces its roots back to 1875. By the photos in the book, the historic nursery has some unique old buildings which makes a great backdrop to the types of home and garden decorations Terrain creates.

The book is a collection of garden and home decor, made by Terrain, that you can recreate at home. Natural, rustic, botanical, cottage, simple, elegant- these are a few words I could use to describe the styles throughout the book.

The book is full of photos, but also has directions and advice on how to create or replicate the decorative projects. To me these types of projects are not geared toward the average decorator. If you have a keen passion for decorating with natural materials, definitely check this book out. But many of these projects would probably interest someone who has a strong hobby in gardening and decorating combined, or advanced floral arranging.

The decor ideas are based on season, type of material, and type of decoration such as a container planting, wreaths, and arrangements. While you could likely open any Martha Stewart book and find ideas on any of these, Terrain goes beyond the typical and has some unique spins of these common types of home/garden decor.

All of the decorations build upon a base of using fresh, dried, or live plant material. Even some of the artificial elements, like string lights or terrariums, you can tell, are deliberately chosen to fit in with the natural, botanical look.

There is a generous section on holiday decor specifically. The materials here of course are natural elements of evergreen cuttings and live Christmas trees. My favorite idea is to save the dried flower heads of alliums and spray paint gold. They look like starbursts you can use to decorate a Christmas tree!

I could probably look through this book 100 times and see something new each time or think of an idea I could do at home with materials easily accessible to me. Honestly, even with the descriptions of some of the decor, I wouldn’t know how to begin making some of this stuff. I could probably figure out something similar if I put my mind to it. You have to think, these projects were created by professionals who make these decorations as their career and have a lot of resources available from the nursery trade. However when looking through this book, like the title and preface suggests, we have to remember this is a book of ideas to inspire some creativity.

If you have a lot of plant material accessible to you (evergreens, spaces to grow flowers to dry, room to store all kinds of potted containers and decorative tidbits) you may have more advantage. It’s always my thought too, to make these types of temporary decorations on a frugal budget by being resourceful with materials. Maybe you can use some things already around your home to create a seasonal centerpiece. Even if you don’t have plans to make any of the decorations, it is a still a pretty book to look through.

This post originally appeared on http://www.EARTHeim.comThere may be links to products in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through these links. This is at no cost to you and you don’t need to do anything. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Garden Design by Heidi Howcroft & Marianne Majerus

Garden Design: A Book of Ideas Book Review

Garden Design by Heidi Howcroft & Marianne Majerus, is a substantial book that qualifies as a coffee table book. The cover caught my eye with its colors and a close up shot of Joe Pye, one of my favorite native plants!

There are six chapters in the book, and each one breaks down garden design into various elements such as: pavers, structure, walls, garden furniture, etc,. There are also a lot of case studies throughout the book, featuring specific gardens that exemplify a certain look or style. It is available hardback or paperback. However, it is a thick book and to me is easier to look through when you can lay the book open as a hardback.

Published in 2015 by Firefly Books Ltd., this book’s photos still feel up to date with current styles. The book is basically full of images, with captions explaining the design element shown in the photo. You could call the book a garden ‘lookbook’.

There is a variety of garden styles depicted throughout- modern, zen, cottage, traditional, and way out there. The photos are high quality and good representations for the information being presented. As I looked through the book, I began to notice there are certain styles and looks that I tend to really like. That means, I should try and replicate some these in my own garden.

Some of the pages will have six images of a garden element, such as a pathway. In this case, each photo shows a different style or pathway material through the garden. On these types of pages, I thought it was fun to pick out which ones I liked best to least.

Many of the gardens in this book obviously had a large budget. Some of the gardens are large spaces probably covering acres of land and requiring a full time staff. However, anyone on any budget with some imagination can begin to feel some inspiration. The purpose of the photos are to set an example of the basic design idea. From there, it’s the imagination that can take that idea and apply it to the design of your own garden.

This post originally appeared on http://www.EARTHeim.comThere may be links to products in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through these links. This is at no cost to you and you don’t need to do anything. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Creating Sanctuary by Jessi Bloom

Creating Sanctuary by Jessie Bloom Book Review

I really like this book, Creating Sanctuary: Sacred Garden Spaces, Plant Based Medicine, and Daily Practices to Achieve Happiness and Well-Being by Jessie Bloom. Not only do I think the format and its colorful cover is really nice, but the contents is fun to read as well. The book is broken down into many categories which makes it easy to read.

The book is by Jessie Bloom, who is an ecological landscape designer (like me!) in the Seattle Washington area. She is the owner of NW Bloom Ecological Services. She is an author of another book, Free Range Chicken Gardens, and is coauthor of Practical Permaculture.

If you’re into making your garden something special, herbs, spirituality, or well-being, you’ll probably enjoy this book too. The first third of the book focuses on how to create a garden sanctuary space. The last two thirds, is about how to use plants for your health and home.

I read the whole book in just a few nights, but there’s information that can be referenced back to, such as recipes and plant descriptions. There are a good amount of pretty pictures that enhance the understanding the book.

There are three sections: Creating Scared Space, Botanical Alchemy, and Nurturing Self.

The first section, my favorite part, is about turning your garden into a sanctuary. Isn’t this what a garden is for? There are some inspirational photos and guiding words to get you thinking about what you want most out of your garden. There are many landscaping ideas you can use to get started on your backyard landscaping.

First, she has you make some lists.

  • What are the needs in your garden? What is 100% necessary
  • What are your wants? Things that would be nice to have
  • What are your desires? No plans to have these things, but if they happened one day, it’d be the bees knees.

For my garden, I have 3 needs. I want my garden space to feel safe- to not worry about the electric company cutting down my trees, the utility companies wanting to dig up my yard and install lines, barriers to prevent intruders, keeping out animal predators from the chickens or eating my vegetable garden. Lastly, making sure everything is as wind proof as possible since the wind seems to get more muscular every single year, and having the garden easy to move around in so I don’t get hurt. Some of this I can only do so much.

Like most people, I also want to feel privacy. I don’t want to be standing on my back patio in my bathrobe while a utility worker pops his head over my fence to A) See if he can see anyone in the house and B) Figure out a way to jump my fence (without any permission).

Real story.

My last need is more shade. The electric company cut the back half of my tree off this past summer. They told me I can’t have anything over 13′ in my yard or they’ll cut it down. So I’m seriously lacking shade and my chickens had a hard time with the summer heat after that. I’ve pondered many options but haven’t come up too many solutions. Safety, privacy, and shade are my 3 needs and my focus for next season.

The rest of this section goes on to teach you about different things to add into your garden sanctuary like: gathering spaces, art, sources of light, and entrances, just to name a few. Lastly, there are tips on how to implement all your ideas into a physical garden reality.

So far at this point, the book helped me to organize my thoughts and feel more inspiration to take action.

The second section of the book, Botanical Alchemy, is a list and description of plants that are good for garden sanctuaries. Some of them woody plants, but many of them herbs, she gives descriptions about the plants and what they can be used for. As an herbalist myself, I even learned some new facts about plants I commonly grow. The section continues with information about how to use various plants for certain ailments and how to prepare them for use. There are recipes for different types of concoctions including teas, sprays, and oils.

The last section of the book, Nurturing Self, looks at how to use your garden and plants for ritual and healing. There are more herbal recipes. However Bloom also writes about various types of rituals you can do in the garden such as making an altar, being in tune with nature, exercise, journaling, or ceremonies for important life events. Maybe you can include a pet memorial or a fun space to dedicate to pollinators.

Throughout the book there are some pages dedicated to featuring gardens that have successfully created garden sanctuaries. Many of them are near Seattle Washington, where Bloom is located.

My favorite photo in the book of a relaxation space in Bali. Certainly a desire, but makes me have ideas about my current gazebo!

There is an accompanying workbook to Creating Sanctuary, which is ‘Everyday Sanctuary: A Workbook for Designing a Sacred Garden Space‘. If my local library gets the workbook at some point, I will write a review!

This post originally appeared on http://www.EARTHeim.comThere may be links to products in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through these links. This is at no cost to you and you don’t need to do anything. All opinions are my own.

Books By Jessie Bloom

Tree Care Video Guide 2019 Citizen’s Environmental Academy

This past May, I was a part of the Lexington’s 2019 Citizen’s Environmental Academy. The 2019 was the second class to graduate from this program that is offered by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Division of Environmental Services.

The program is a year long venture. The first half of the program involves meeting once a month to learn about different aspects of environmental efforts in Lexington. We made several trips to different locations such as the Water Treatment Plant, the LEED certified Lexington Citizen’s Center, McConnell’s Springs, and the Regional Recycling Facility.

The second half of the program involved creating and executing an environmentally focused project. The projects had to follow certain guidelines and deadlines, but the program leaders were open to ideas. We then had to present our project ideas to our class, which in turn received a vote. This vote determined if the project could continue.

2019’s completed projects included

UpCycle Bluegrass where efforts were made to teach people how to take common household items and repurpose them into something new instead of throwing them away.

Go See Trees, which was a project dedicated to creating a tree map of historic or significant trees in Lexington. With the debut of the map in May, anyone in Lexington could become involved with a month long interactive contest to see if you could visit all the trees on the map. There was another challenge this past October.

Preston Cave Springs Restoration, aimed to eradicate invasive species such as honeysuckle and winter creeper in a part of this Lexington public park and plant native plants in order to restore beauty and the ecology along this natural spring.

Cane Run Greenway Installation, took efforts to improve a riparian buffer, where the Cane Run stream daylights . Native plants and many trees were planted in this space in order to increase the ecological value of this area and improve stormwater quality. The project implemented one of the Plant By Numbers gardens. Check out the Plant By Numbers program, which EARTHeim created the designs for!

Lastly, the Tree Care Video Guide, is a series of 5 videos created to educate the public on how to take care of their trees. This includes ‘The Value of Trees‘, ‘Right Tree Right Space, ‘Pruning‘, ‘Mulching‘, and ‘Proper Planting‘. This was my project, in which I was the only team member of the academy! The videos were filmed by a student videographer the city was able to provide. Unfortunately, the Right Tree Right Space video has not been posted and I’m unsure why.

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