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Plants of CARE, enable eco prosperity

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From the rain forests of south-east Alaska to the deciduous forests of the Mid-Atlantic region, across the Nation, climatic shifts occur challenging all to enable eco sustainable urban suburban landscapes.

While historically, earth-friendly strategies are defined in terms of reduce, reuse and recycle, landscapes that reflect a perspective of CARE - conservation, accountability, recovery and eco-efficiency - take this definition a step further. For, eco-sustainable spaces are not simply a result of lifestyle choices but reflect how we feel about the environment.

Eco Prosperity, Landscape Gardens of CARE -

Through encouraging use of green scaping concepts: build and maintain healthy soil, install right plant for site requirements; and during seasonal appropriate cycles, be water wise, adopt earth-friendly pest and weed management, and implement natural lawn care, emphasis is placed on phased implementation of the ‘R’ philosophy: reduce, renew, reuse and recycle; specifically, advocating ‘put green’ back into the urban/suburban community by nurturing existing and/or replacement of ‘living green’. An additional strategy is to highlight ‘purchase’ - buy-local; but after witnessing a record-breaking urban/suburban pollution ride on the waters of storm Irene, present-day focus needs to shift on the ‘people factor’. Still, if eco-healthy urban suburban landscape gardens are to exist, we must become people who CARE – have a perspective of conservation, advocacy, recovery and eco-efficiency.

Plants of Care, plant recognition program –

So, whether an experienced landscape professional or novice homeowner, all are challenged to not simple identify plants that survive but thrive; and then, create landscapes from a sustainable point of view, seeking to reduce their carbon footprint as well as feed their families pesticide free produce. For, any style landscape should not simply reflect traditional design concepts but be a result of the right plant, installed in the right place at the right (optimal) planting season - creating a legacy of green, healthier urban/suburban communities.

As a hands-on landscape gardener who has participate in nation-wide regional plant testing, I’ve gained familiarity with programs such as the ‘Southern Living Plant Collection’, ‘Proven Winners’, ‘Plants that Work’ and many more. Still, plant material proven to enable landscape gardens of CARE could be recommended by any one of these programs, in my program – Plants of CARE, it is spotlighted for its ability to inspire people to CARE – have a perspective of conservation, advocacy, recovery and eco-efficiency. So, as recipient of the Turning America from Eco-weak to Eco-chic Award, I challenge all to ‘keep America beautiful’, become people who CARE: commit to conservation, accountability, recovery and eco-efficiency.

As a result, the following plants are recommended:

2012 - April, plants of care choice - Redbud tree/shrub, for details visit blog

2012 - July, plants of care choice - Plants of CARE, cucumber "Heirloom Armenian"

2012 - Oct., plants of care choice - pumpkin hijinks

2013 - Jan. plants of care choice - eastern cedar

2013 Apr. plants of care choice - American Beauties Native Plants

2013 July plants of care choice - crape myrtle

2013 Oct. plants of care - luffa

In relation to ensuring the eco prosperity of your community, have you recognized a 'plant of care"? If yes, post comment below and together let's enable eco prosperity, contribute to greening America's landscape.

Side-bar: Tips for Creating Landscape Gardens of CARE

Hitch hike onto seasonal cycles.
Conduct a site analysis.
Develop a master landscape plan.
Create bio-diverse landscapes (blend of native and non-native plants).
Be water wise.
Create layered tree/shrub shelter.
Enable ‘critter’ and ‘people’ habitats.
Create a garden of CARE, a space that reflects a naturalist ‘waste not and want not’ perspective



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