This time of year, it’s good to think about the gifts Mother Nature gives us.
The gift of sun heats our bodies and our homes. It warms the soil, swimming pools and ponds. The sun triggers and promotes plant growth.
Rain nourishes our plants, replenishes our water supply and cleanses the scene. Even snow adds to the water table and well, looks pretty.
We’re grateful for flowers, which support the bees, birds, beetles and dozens of other insects, while making nature beautiful. Flowers fill our lives with fragrance.
The insects help make more plants or serve as food to sustain others in the eco system. Insects, birds and the winds pollinate food plants, those that yield tomatoes, apples, nuts and more.
Wind clears the air and cools our homes and bodies. Wind brings sound and movement in the garden as it rustles the leaves of trees, sways ornamental grasses and whistles through pines.
Trees shade us, our pavement, landscapes and homes. Trees, even dead ones, shelter and feed birds, insects, squirrels, raccoons and other mammals. Trees keep us toasty warm on cold winter nights.
How can we show our appreciation for these gifts?
Give Mother Nature the respect she is due. She’s a powerful master, from storms to earthquakes to drought.
When you have a problem in the landscape, give it time to cure itself. If that’s not possible, start with the least toxic cure, such as a strong spray from the hose.
Know what you have before you treat it. No need to dump a fungicide on an insect problem. It’s a waste of time and money and will not cure the problem.
Be smart about if, how and when you water plants, including the lawn. Sometimes a little tough love strengthens plants, making them better able to fend off insects, disease and other challenges of nature.
Allow a little bit of the landscape to retain a bit of nature, where leaves are allowed to mound and twigs gather.