This week's topic is Fashion. It seems appropriate for 3 reasons…

First would be the big “wedding across the pond” – and to see all the outfits – especially the hats(!) that will be strutting about, and how can one talk fashion this week and not wonder about the secret Wedding dress! Maybe they will surprise me and there will be a “green” element in the wedding and the fashion? According to AirDye (a favorite read of mine) … “you might think that green fashion would be a well-established idea by now. But you’d be wrong. There simply is no clear definition of eco-fashion. To some it means only hand-made, organically grown cotton, and vegetable dyes. To others, who we think are a bit more practical about the need for a scalable sustainable fashion industry, clothing made with recycled plastic bottles and high-tech dyes certainly qualify as sustainable fashion.”

Second …Well, The Botanicals are all excited for their very own Fashion Designer has moved to Botaniumus  – as a matter fact, she came to town TODAY!   Meet Birdelli – she will be modeling as well as designing for the gang of the Botanical Beauties and Beasties. Each day this week, she will be the spokeswoman, and featured Creature. Hello Birdelli!  Today Birdelli is featuring DNYK shoes, bag, belt and bracelet.

Birdelli - Fashion Designer and Model. (Bird of Paradise, Cactus, Bougainvillea)
Birdelli - Fashion Designer and Model. (Bird of Paradise, Cactus, Bougainvillea)

Third … even though the actual date for Spring was 3/20/2011 (Vernal Equinox) and Summer is a while off at 6/21/11 (Summer Solstice )– the reality has been slow coming up here in these parts.  Just about now, is when Spring and Summer clothes/fun is really entering into the real day-to-day. I must say – it is warm welcome from most of us. It was a long cold winter!

Earth Day!

Welcome to Earth Day 2011!

Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to watch a TV for three hours – it’s equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline.

“Every day, the saying goes, is Earth Day. But its popularly celebrated on April 22. Why?

Kathleen Rogers, president of Washington, D.C.-based Earth Day Network, which was founded by the original organizers of Earth Day,.. said April 22, 1970, was chosen for the first Earth Day in part because it fell on a Wednesday, the best part of the week to encourage a large turnout for the environmental rallies held across the country.

“It worked out perfectly, because everybody was at work and they all left,” she said.

In fact, more than 20 million people across the U.S. are estimated to have participated in that first Earth Day.

Earth Day is now celebrated every year by more than a billion people in 180 nations around the world, according to Rogers.

… Earth Day’s history is rooted in 1960s activism. The environment was in visible ruins and people were mad, according to Rogers….

Earth Day Evolves

Amy Cassara is a senior associate at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., who analyzes global environmental trends.

She noted that, since Earth Day started, environmentalism has moved from a fringe issue to a mainstream concern. “As many as 80 percent of Americans describe themselves as environmentalists,” Cassara said.

Environmental issues today, however, are less immediate than dirty air, toxic water, and a hole in the ozone layer, she added.

For example, the impacts of global climate change are largely abstract and difficult to explain “without coming off as a doomsday prognosticator,” Cassara said.

“As we become more industrialized and our supply chains become less transparent, it can be more difficult to understand the environmental consequences of our actions,” she noted.

Earth Day Network is pushing the Earth Day movement from single-day actions—such as park cleanups and tree-planting parties—to long-term commitments.

“Planting a tree, morally and poetically, requires taking care of it for a really long time, not just sticking it in the ground,” Earth Day Network’s Rogers said….

What to Do on Earth Day?

For those whose inner environmentalist speaks loudest on April 22, Earth Day Network’s Rogers encourages them to make a public commitment to take an environmental action.

“We are headed for a billion commitments to do something green,” Rogers said. “And that doesn’t mean think about it—it means do something.”

Commitment ideas promoted by the Earth Day Network include pledging to educate friends and family on global warming or buy green products such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

The commitments are part of a yearlong initiative called the Green Generation, which leads up to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.”

Excerpts from  John Roach  National Geographic News  Published April 6, 2010. To read the whole article click here.

This blog, these postings, these creatures, this effort from my heart and soul – this is my  “commitment to educate friends and family on global warming or buy green products such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).” I hope you find yours as well.

Gardening for beginners and the magic of gardening.

If your neighbor’s garden has you green with envy, it’s time to dig in and play dirty by planting your own garden. Celebrate the Earth, after all Earth Day is tomorrow!

“If spring has sprung and you’ve just decided to plant a garden, start with the small ready-to-go plants at the store and look forward to the joy of starting your own seeds for next season.

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is where to plant your garden. Choose a spot with sun and shade, and away from tree roots and large bushes. Once the area is defined and the soil is fertilized and loose, you can draw lines to mark off where each item will be planted. Use the stick and string method to help you keep straight lines and an organized well-kept garden. Root vegetables grow nicely in rows; other veggies, fruits and herbs can be contained in square spaces.” mother nature network – check her out- tons of great stuff!  The above is from
www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/gardening-for-beginners

We here at The Botanical Beauties and Beasties garden are focusing on Herbs this year. We love containers for what we have is a deck, a bit of soil area, and some windows. No big yard here to grown on/in/from.

Today myself, and the Beauties, decided we would talk about the magic of gardening. Besides the little elfin like Beautie who has shown up each day this week, there is much more magic in gardens to be discovered. Being in the Boston region, I have decided to use a quote form John Quincy Adams. “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

I doubt he wrote this about gardens but it does epitomize the magic! When you garden, you get to use all parts of your body, brain and soul. That alone is like magic.  The body part: Obviously  it can be hard work and you may indeed you may have tried and soar muscles from the prep and the planting. The brain part: What fun to sit and dream in the winter what your garden will be, the cliché of looking at garden catalogues and seed packages! The brain makes up the plan, the brain makes up the dream of all the good things to come from your garden no matter how big or small it may be.  The soul:  Beauty of a flower, the satisfactions of your crops, the sheer simple joy of a single bloom – that’s soul food!   Need I point pout that a garden takes enormous patience and perseverance? I think not!  The piece you may be missing out on is: A garden, all the planning, the work, the caring and watching over, all that indeed can take over your mind and not only can the gardens difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish, but some of life’s other ones may too due to your new focus and creation.  Now, that’s Soul food X10!

Elf peeking out from the Herb of Rosemary

Whimsy Wednesday – so less words today.

New beginnings

New beginnings isn’t that what growing is all about?

Earth Day countdown – 3 days to go. Since the numbers are getting smaller can you do 3 bigger things today to help yourself and Earth? How about – If you buy food today – buy at least 5 organic items. … or take 5 mins to think about your house cleaning. Can you “clean up your own act” and use 5 less chemicals when you clean?
Better yet: Replace 5 toxic cleaning supplies for 5 natural ones. You will save money, save your skin and health, and help save Earth too.

Earth Week and our theme of “Growing” continues

I was thinking what would be good Earth Week postings – and it came to me that it ought to be about being good to oneself and to the earth. As I thought I was somewhat astonished how much those two overlapped.  Eat Organic (when possible) and that is certainly kinder to the earth. Grown without pesticides– better for earth and all it’s inhabitants. Spring Clean chemical free – much better for the cleaner her/himself – and again, easier on the mother earth. You get the idea and point I am sure….  Those are kind of the middle things, the big things are more like Oil and Gas, the little things are more like turn off the lights when you are done. It ALL adds up to matter.  So why not just be good to both. Do what you can this week, and every week, to be kind to yourself and you may indeed be taking care of the Earth as well.

Well, in the thoughts of being good to myself … I could not resist: sunny days and  warmer temps means spring flowers and gardens to me.  As many gardeners will attest to – I just had to have some PANSIES so I could start looking at flowers! I planted them up in containers, although I must admit not in that cool idea of a wine crate from last week.  I reused planter boxes that I have, and will have for decades, for they are plastic. I would not buy them again, but since I have them – it is more wasteful not to use them, verses needlessly purchasing new ones and using more resources of any type. Funny thing – when I was all done – there was a little elf like/Jolie like Beautie standing on the Pots edge!  (Image  below)  I guess that means Jolie is our spokeswoman of the week.  In case you don’t remember- Jolie  lives in the meadow, and  is passionate about exploring and promoting herbals and their uses for medicinal means and for beauty. She runs a shop in Meadowville to serve both purposes. (Columbine (Aquilegia) http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/individual-stories/

Don’t forget- the SEED CONTEST is still going! Guess the type, date it sprouts out of the peat pot, and day it is ready to go into the grown and you could win FREE GREETING CARDS from the Botanical Beauties and Beasties.  http://botanicalbeautiesbeasties.com/product-samples/   (BTW YES – The seeds were planted this weekend!) 

Pansies and Elf
Pansies and a little magic

 

As promised, a great idea for Container Gardening for the Home Cook.

Start your seed/Herb Garden NOW – tips and tricks.

“Each spring, I fill an old wooden wine crate with a cluster of my favorite organic herbs. (Most high-end wine shops will give the cedar boxes away as they typically get tossed once the bottles are unpacked. Drilling a few holes on the bottom for proper drainage is easy, but keep in mind that the wood will only hold up for a few seasons.) I pinch off sprigs of thyme and rosemary for roasted veggies and use spearmint for iced tea. Purple sage adds some lovely color to the overall planting and gives me an excuse to brown butter with my eggs. Bottom line, I’m convinced that having a nice selection of fresh herbs at my finger tips has made me a little more adventurous in the kitchen. Each spring, I fill an old wooden wine crate with a cluster of my favorite organic herbs. (Most high-end wine shops will give the cedar boxes away as they typically get tossed once the bottles are unpacked. Drilling a few holes on the bottom for proper drainage is easy, but keep in mind that the wood will only hold up for a few seasons.) I pinch off sprigs of thyme and rosemary for roasted veggies and use spearmint for iced tea. Purple sage adds some lovely color to the overall planting and gives me an excuse to brown butter with my eggs. Bottom line, I’m convinced that having a nice selection of fresh herbs at my finger tips has made me a little more adventurous in the kitchen.”  Rest of Article, and find other great tips on Practically Green blog. These words from  Estelle Hayes. She lives in Silicon Valley where she blogs at www.underapinkmoon.com. She’s also published regularly on Huffington Post. Estelle’s Herb box below.

Here’s a link for ordering Organic seeds  http://eartheasy.com/blog/2011/01/vegetable-garden-seed-ordering-tips/ ” When the nights are long, and the days dark and cold, gardeners seek inspiration in their online and mail order seed catalogs. Looking at the colorful pictures of vegetables and flowers stimulates optimistic ideas for the spring garden. This is a fine time of year to connect with fellow gardeners to share seed recommendations. These friends may want to order seeds together, thereby saving on shipping and handling fees and perhaps splitting large packets of seed ” Originally published on Eartheasy.com

Estelle's herbs in a recycled box
Estelle's herbs in a recycled box

Spring into your Garden – Get Growing!

♥ Go Green & Get Growing ♥
We are announcing and sprouting off our Start your own Herb Garden Campaign with a CONTEST! Everyone can do this – either virtually or in “real-time.”  Tomorrow I (and Milly) will give you a great idea on how to get going with a physical Herb Garden indoors – no big space requirements here!  Kitchen cooks take note,  a great way to start organic is with your own herbs easy peasy!

For the contest… how much more exciting can it get than to watch the seed grow (ha ha ha) – but wait, there really is more….

WATCH the herb grown in its pot as a sign of springtime.
Milly is the official watcher for us.  First important event is for the seed to pop out of the soil. Next important time and event is when it is big enough and warm enough to go into the ground.  That will call for  a celebration, a party with home-grown organics! Now, here is the party part  for you the viewer. Watch for Blog postings about Milly and her Herb growing/watching/waiting …For every 5th viewer  comment on one of those new post, or the 5th DM from Twitter (@BotanicalB_B) with #MillyHerb,  you will get a package of your own Herb Seeds from the Botanical Beauties and Beasties. For the viewer who guesses WHAT KIND of Herb it is, and when it will be ready to go into the great outdoors – 2 free greeting cards from the Botanical Beauty and Beasties Collection.  Contest starts today and ends – well, now that would be too big a clue!  Stay tuned!

Botanical Beauties – Meet The Blossoms honoring Japan

In honor of Japan. Meet The Blossoms (Sakura and Tanka) – the newest creatures to join the Botanical Beauty and Beasties. Their core is from Cherry Blossoms, but they are created from blossoms of all kinds.

Given the state of disrepair and tragedy in Japan The Botanicals believed it would be nice to have a breath of beauty. Hence, this weeks theme of Beauty and why The Blossoms came to stay. Sakura and Tanka are all about beauty, strength, and unity with, and for, one another. They hope that the possibility of closing your eyes and resting is possible, even when mass chaos surrounds you, and that hopefully there is a bit of beauty in your minds eye at that time of respite.

cherry blossom is the flower of the cherry trees known as sakura (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Cherry blossoms are indigenous to many East Asian states including Japan, Korea, and China. Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms (sakura.) Cherry blossoms are celebrated for their beauty.

Why the name Tanka and what does it mean?  Tanka (短歌)  is a short poem and part of a larger Group called Waka, which literally means Japanese poem. The term waka originally encompassed a number of differing forms – Tanka being one of the five. Of the five only Tanka survived and so the term aka eventually came to refer only to tanka.

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

It is National Wildlife Week!

“Held annually since 1938, National Wildlife Week is NWF’s longest-running education program. National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is featuring 9 species of wildlife.” http://www.nwf.org/en/Wildlife/Activities/National-Wildlife-Week.aspx

Hold on and grip your chair—Botanical Beauties and Beasties has exciting news!  In honor of National Wildlife Week, The Key West Girls are coming to town! They will be arriving on Whimsy Wednesday so be sure to check in and meet them. Here’s a sneak peek. Ahhhyeah… Aww… So Pretty!  Thanks to NWF for declaring it National Wildlife Week. Yahoo!

It’s gonna be a fun week. Spring is trying to pop out, new Beauties (or maybe Beasties) come to visit- maybe stay, as always some eco knowledge and a few fun facts. The creatures are bursting with excitement.

Tweet the news – the Key West girls are on their way! @twitter.com/BotanicalB_B