Midsummer Pruning, Becoming Mindful

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've been out in the garden this morning. It's already to the point of summer where perennials are dying back and blooms have faded. I love tidying up the garden. I filled 3 five gallon buckets last year deadheading my three Spanish lavender bushes. That took many hours to do. This year, I don't know where I'll find the time, but they sure look nice once the brown blooms have been cut off one at a time, leaving only the evergreen part of the plant. This will often lead to a second blooming in late summer, although not as full as the first bloom of the year. The picture above is of English lavender. Those are so much easier to prune, as the blossoms grow high above the evergreen foliage, so cutting those back only takes a few minutes. The large patch of Monarda (bee balm) has also faded, so I've removed all the blooms, but will leave the foliage up for another few weeks so the root system will be strong for next year's growth. The first leaves have begun to fall already, and I've been mixing those in with the fruit and vegetable scraps that have been quickly filling up our compost bin. These leaves add carbon to the compost, which is essential for breaking down the nitrogen-containing scraps from the garden and kitchen. It's amazing, but I've been able to reduce the amount of garbage we put curbside each week by about a quarter. This is a good feeling. I know I can do even better, so I'm in the process of researching how to recycle other materials that end up in our trash. Enviromom is promoting the "One Can a Month Challenge!", and I'd like to get to that point, although I won't fully get there until both of our kids are out of disposable diapers. However, if I can narrow the garbage down by doing everything else besides the cloth diapers, I'd like to get to that point now. Next small step on my list to reduce trash: cloth napkins and homemade cloth wet wipes. These changes feel great, knowing what a difference they make!

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