Mini Plant Care Book and Happy Birthday to the Bard

Karen Philips designed this mini photo album a few years back. She taught a workshop at a weekend retreat, leading us through the steps to make our own.   After making a sample in class, I purchased a few of her kits.  It’s been fun using her template to create a few designs of my own.

The album below is Karen’s design. I just added the flowers to bring in a bit of color

Today I put it to use as a small plant care log, then delivered it with my Earth Day project. This little album is the perfect size and color.

I photocopied the back of the plant care labels and included them in the book. After removing the pointy ends of the tags, I added those too.

Putting this together reminds me that I need to make more time for projects like this.  It was so relaxing.

fold out mini album

Fold Out Mini Album designed by Karen Philips

mini album open

These photos show the steps for opening the mini album

plant care instructions

Plant care instructions

Happy Birthday Shakespeare

Now one lives forever, however the brilliant collection of William Shakespeare is timeless. Today we celebrate The Bard’s 450th birthday. To ‘men of middle age.’

Here are a few of his garden quotes:

Yet mark’d I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2.1.169-72)

When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.
The Winter’s Tale (4.3.1-4)

Here’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.
The Winter’s Tale (4.4.122-7)

 

 

 

Good Earth, Good Day

Happy Earth Day!
Today, the Jane Goodall Institute  encourages supporters to

take action to improve the world for people, animals, and the environment we all share.

Founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. Our work builds on Dr. Goodall’s scientific work and her humanitarian vision. Specifically, we seek to:

  • Improve global understanding and treatment of great apes through research, public education and advocacy

  • Contribute to the preservation of great apes and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in local communities

  • Create a worldwide network of young people who have learned to care deeply for their human community, for all animals and for the environment, and who will take responsible action to care for them

Today, on this wondrous place we call earth, I’m working to improve my little corner of the world for people, animals, and the environment.

People

I bought these adorable tins at the garden center last weekend, then planted them today with some garden cheer.  They’re a surprise for a friend.  Her life is difficult on a daily basis, but she remains upbeat and positive.  I admire her strength and courage. I wish her life could be easier.  With love, these are for her.

potted flowers

Left to right: Lysimachia ‘Goldi, Osteospermum ‘Mum’, Behind, Marjoram, right, Zonal Geranium

planting tins

Planting tins closeup (I love the vintage vibe)

Animals

I’m always loving up the kitties in our home, and welcoming the strays.  Like many of you, I adore all animals, even the squirrels that dig up the yard and the snails that eat my basil.  That’s the easy part.  The hard part is working in the ‘trenches’ and dedicating your life to improving the lives of great apes.  Goodall continues to do so as she turns 80 this year.  I’m impressed.

Today I’ve donated to ‘jane’s wish 2014‘.  I hope she achieves her goal.

Environment

This one’s easy when you’re a gardener.  I’m planting sunflowers and pumpkins today (more details to follow).  As they grow, they attract birds, beneficial insects and bees, all critical to the health of our world.

Wishing you a joyous earth day, in whatever way you celebrate.

Earth Day Rainbow

As I write this post, I hear a duck flying toward the park and smaller birds singing in the trees. I walked with a friend and her dog this morning through beautiful Willow Glen, a neighborhood known for it’s established trees, beautiful gardens and eclectic homes.  Some days I pinch myself that I live in such a beautiful place.  You live here too.  It’s called Earth.

Origins of Earth Day

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.

As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. – Source: Earth Day Network

It’s hard to ignore climate change, the recent oil spills and the growing list of extinct animals and plants.  Our local news informed today that San Jose just passed the second-driest winter on record since the 1800s Gold Rush.

That said, knowledge brings power, and in an age of broad social media, the masses will no longer be silenced.  I strive to honor this place we call home, by using less, staying informed, educating others and raising my boys to be stewards of the earth.

Rainbow?

No rain means no rainbows, so I’ve created a garden rainbow instead.

Rainbow Flower Collage

Strawberries, California Poppies, Yellow Day Lilly, Cat Mint, Crocus, Lavender

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day

I found an interesting quiz on the site Act Earth Day.  It estimates your ecological footprint, based on a series of questions.  At the end of the quiz you can explore ways to improve your impact on our planet.

You can find the quiz here.

I thought I would score better than I did and I’m disappointed.  Clearly I have room for improvement!  On the plus side:

  • I’m a vegetarian (eating lower on the food chain)
  • I recycle, reuse and re-purpose
  • I plant a vegetable garden (small plot) each year
  • One of our two cars is a Prius
  • All of our appliances are Energy Star
  • We insulated our home and installed dual-pane windows throughout
  • Our heat is off during the day; set to 66 at night during the colder months.

The quiz suggested I travel locally (instead of flying) for my next vacation and consider using public transportation.  I should buy less packaged food and improve my local food consumption.

Please let me know if you take the quiz and if so, how you did. I pledge to do better this year.  I hope you have something wonderful planned to celebrate our beautiful planet.

Feathered Observer