Beauty in Gardens:Boston Common and Boston Public Garden

This week is all about Beauty.

Yum will be the spokeswoman of the week. She feels with all that has gone in the world in the past few weeks we all need a break and breath of fresh air- hence the theme of Beauty this week!

Yums Story/Job: Yum is a magic fairy. She flies over the land and sea and keeps all in love and peace. She has extraordinary sight, so she sees all, knows all, and helps all.
 (Mixed floral)

The focus of today will be natural beauty – enhanced by humans for our joy of beauty – served up by Public Gardens! Since Yums home turf before she moved to Botaniumus was New England – and the Boston area in particular she want to chat about Boston famous Commons and gardens.

Boston Common was America’s first park, the Boston Public Garden its first public botanical garden.  The commons have seen the likes of George Washington & John Adams in 1768. In WWI victory gardens sprouted up in an WWII  The Commons gave it’s all in giving up most of its iron fencing for scrape metal. It was in the Commons that Charles Lindbergh promoted commercial aviation!

Peaking out
Yum and Charles Lindbergh (Photo from top-10-list.org)

In the 19th Century Bostonians added trees, fountains and statuary. The Common became the park-like greenspace we know today. The park includes ballfields, a totlot and the Frog Pond, which provides skating in winter and a spray pool for children in the summer…. The Public Garden was created in 1837, Boston Common in 1634. What a difference two centuries made. From its inception, the Public Garden was decorative and flowery, the Common pastoral and practical. The Common’s walkways were for crosstown travel, the Public Garden’s paths for meandering. The Common was America’s first park, the Public Garden its first public botanical garden.

This style of park, featuring the gardener’s art, was ushered in by Victorians who had new techniques readily available to collect, hybridize and propagate plants. They had access to showy annuals. Greenhouse-grown plants could assure that displays would be seen at their peak. With such abilities, they bedded-out the Garden in intricate floral patterns of blazing color and planted exotic imported trees. These features are clear in the design by George Meacham, who won the public design competition for the Garden. The prize was $100. … We (Boston Gov) maintain the Victorian traditions for the most part, and we feature the Garden as one of Boston’s great attractions…The plants used in bedding-out the Public Garden are grown in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s greenhouses. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated there for future plantings in the Garden –

All information is from http://www.cityofboston.gov/Parks/emerald/public_garden.asp

Fun Facts Friday – and the last day of Power Source Week.

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

How much of our electricity is generated from renewable sources?
How much of our electricity is generated from renewable sources? http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/renewable_energy.cfm

* Did you know that just one wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes? Or that biomass is actually stored solar energy?

* It almost always takes less energy to make a product from recycled materials than it does to make it from new materials. Using recycled aluminum scrap to make new aluminum cans, for example, uses 95% less energy than making aluminum cans from bauxite ore, the raw material used to make aluminum.

* Gains in Home Energy Efficiency Offset by More Electronics and Appliances

Total residential energy consumption rose approximately 13% over the past quarter century. This was lower than both the rate of population growth (+24%) and new housing starts (+36%) due to energy efficiency improvements in heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, and major appliances. Efficiency gains were offset by increases in the number of homes with clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Additionally, a growing number of U.S. households now have multiple televisions, computers, and refrigerators.

The percentage of homes with central air-conditioning has more than doubled since 1980, with nearly 60% of homes having a central system. All areas of the United States show a significant increase in air-conditioning equipment and use in recent years. Cooling now accounts for 8% of total residential energy consumption in the United States, double its 1980 share.

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  • 500–900 AD: The first windmills were developed in Persia for pumping water and grinding grain.
  • in 2007 : Wind power provided 5 percent of the renewable energy used in the United States.

1860 :Auguste Mouchout (FR), a mathematics instructor, was able to convert solar radiation directly into mechanical power.
2001: Home Depot began selling residential solar power systems in three stores in San Diego, California.

1898:Marie Curie (FR), 2x Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry & Physics, discovered the radioactive elements radium and polonium.
2007: Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 was the first U.S. nuclear reactor to come online in the 21st century. Shut down in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decided in 2002 to restart the unit. It had the capacity to supply electricity to about 650,000 homes.

B.C.:Hydropower was used by the Greeks to turn water wheels for grinding grains more than 2,000 years ago.
Today: Between 6% and 10% of U.S. electricity comes from hydropower, depending on water supply and annual rainfall. In total, the United States has about 80,000 megawatts of conventional capacity and 18,000 megawatts of pumped storage capacity.

all from Energy KIDS (http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/index.cfm)

Day 4 -Power Source Week: Solar Power

Rosie Promos Solar Power
Rosie Promotes Solar Power

 

Ahhh- the delicious sun!

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Using the power of the sun to heat your water is one of the simplest ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. Heating water usually accounts for 40 percent of an average family’s monthly energy costs. Converting to inexpensive solar thermal water heating is a great first step that will not only allow us to utilize a much more clean, affordable and sustainable source of energy, it will also create jobs and help our nation to become more energy independent.”  by Rhonda Winter  Whole article

Fun info about Solar Power, Electricity and Energy.

Da Vinci predicted a solar industrialization as far back as 1447.

A world record was set in 1990 when a solar powered aircraft flew 4060km across the USA, using no fuel.

Accounting for only 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans consume 26 percent of the world’s energy.

About 2 billion people in the world are currently without electricity.

About 30% of our total energy consumption is used to heat water.

Electric ovens consume the most amount of electricity, followed by microwaves and central air conditioning.  (info from Facts-about-Solar-energy.com)

Solar Energy Articles – list from Facts-about-Solar-energy.com

A Dream for a Future with Alternative Energy
by Robert S. Leonard

Peak Oil: The End of Cheap Oil
by Gordon Owen

Shedding Light on Cheaper Solar Energy
by Brenda Townsend Hall

Solar Powered Homes Are Becoming More Popular
by Dave Moore

The flow of energy
by Lance Winslow

The Simple Truth
by Wayne Lowe

The Truth About Crude Oil, Pricing and The Stock Market
by Craig Dahl

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main
Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm

Day 3-Whimsy Windy Wednesday and Wind Power

“Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact but any effects on the environment are generally among the least problematic of any power source.” Definition from wikipedia

Portsmouth Company Blows Away its Electricity Bill

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI staff — “PORTSMOUTH — With an electric bill fast approaching $100,000 a year, the U.S. Department of Energy predicting that fossil-fuel energy costs will increase 5.3 percent annually for the rest of time and federal stimulus money available for renewable-energy projects, Rick Hodges did the math. It added up to a 225-kilowatt Vestas wind turbine.

With the installation of the nearly 100-foot-high turbine expected before the end of the year, the president of the Hodges Badge Co. anticipates Rhode Island wind soon will produce nearly all of the 45,000-square-foot facility’s electricity.

Last year, the family-owned and operated business used 451,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Hodges said he expects the soon-to-be-installed wind turbine to produce 450,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.” … whole article  http://eco-ri.squarespace.com/green-business/

More in New England –

Mass Megawatts Wind Power, Inc. (OTCBB: MMMW) is a leader in the development of a revolutionary wind power technology, bringing a product to the renewable energy marketplace capable of producing electricity at a cost 30% lower than other wind power equipment. Designed on a paradigm that ‘lower height, lower wind speeds and lower costs equal higher profits’, this technology puts MAT electricity generation on a competitive footing with fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas.” http://www.massmegawatts.com/

and… from points further away …
As Japan’s nuclear crisis unfolds, Europe takes a fresh look at wind

“In the search for ways of changing how the French obtain their electricity, Mr Sarkozy has turned to a source of energy that is free and in plentiful supply: wind.

Soon after being elected president in 2007, he set himself the target of changing the balance of supply so that renewable energy would provide for 23 per cent of France’s needs by 2020, with 8 per cent coming from wind turbines on land and at sea.” The whole article

Help for Japan:
Donate to the Red Cross http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main

Donate to Doctors without Boarders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm