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Gardens & Greens – A roundup of what’s tickled my fancy this week

January 17, 2013

This is the first of hopefully many posts that will aim to share stories, interesting blogs and news from the garden and environmental world that I’ve picked up over the week.

I really enjoy the Social 7 roundup tips and stories from Spiderworking.com about social media and Any Given Food blog writes a Sunday Brunch Roundup which links up many food related stories shared during week. Given that I’m connected to social media for pretty much all my waking time and read or skim through a mountain of information, I thought I’d share with you some of the stories that catch my eye in the garden and environmental world.

Sedums & Bees

No one’s Monitoring Bees

There’s been a lot of talk recently about bee conservation with the fear that if the decline isn’t halted in time the results could be catastrophic.  An interesting post from Andrew Walsh of the New York Times Green Blog “Counting the Vanishing Bees“, picks up on a study commissioned by the United Nations to find out more. The following quote was an eye opener:

 “No one really monitors bees,” said Sam Droege, a biologist at the United States Geological Survey and a co-author with Dr. LeBuhn. “Talk all you want about declines, but it’s based on nothing, really — no census, no survey.”

If you’d like to read more, or find out how you can monitor bees in your own area (though as yet I’m unaware of anyone collating information in Ireland), take a look at the full New York Times story. The last quote from Dr LeBuhn is poignant.

New Report Finds that Pesticides Widely Used Should Not Be Used

Staying with the bees, the Daily Telegraph have reported that the European Food Safety Authority assessed the risk to honeybees from various pesticides. The report said that:

“Neonicotinoid pesticides, that are widely used in the UK (and Ireland) on oilseed rape should not be used on ‘crops attractive to honey bees”.

This is quite a turn around and could prove to be extremely costly for farmers if certain pesticides are banned (though not as costly as if there are no bees). You can read more about that story on the Telegraph website.

Wanting Stuff Makes Us Happier Than Having It

A light reading post that’s created an interesting discussion at home comes from Treehugger. Most environmentalists and gardeners that I know do their best not to be too materialistic – it’s just not in our nature, and indeed with the economy as it is, many of us can’t afford to be anyway. apparently a new study has shown that “wanting stuff makes us happier than having stuff”. Mr G will be delighted to hear that my Pinterest addiction might not be so bad after all. What do you think? Would you agree?

sweet pea meadow

Gardening in Smellovision

One of my favourite blog reads this week was from The Constant Gardener where Sally questions Smellovision. A topic that isn’t usually covered in gardening magazines or books. Do you take a flower’s bouquet into consideration when you’re planning your planting schemes?

2013 will see edible gardens being created in public spaces throughout the UK

I was hoping to get over to the UK again this year and having read this story I’m even more excited about my trip. In streets across the country herbs and vegetables will be seen growing everywhere as the RHS launch their Edible Britain in Bloom theme. Over 2,000 community garden groups will be helping to create edible gardens in public spaces between 7th and 14th April allowing locals to harvest herbs and vegetables for years to come. Take  a look at the RHS Website for more information.

QR Codes in the Gardening World

QR Code for www.greensideup.ie/gifts

Lastly, because I really am trying to shorten my blog posts, in case you missed it this week I wrote about how the gardening industry is beginning to use QR codes, including my own business.

You can view the full post here.