Gardening in the Age of Climate Change, February 9, 2019 Lecture

 

The ecological wasteland that is the American turf lawn, the hundreds of insect and bird species on the brink of extinction, the foreign army of invasives taking over our land, and the perverse popularity of garden cultivars threatening bio-diversity were just a few of the horrors with which Kim Eierman got the attention of her audience for Gardening in the Age of Climate Change at Desmond Fish Library on Saturday, February 9.

 

The lecture, hosted by Philipstown Garden Club and Putnam Highlands Audubon Society, drew a standing-room-only crowd from among Hudson Valley residents, gardeners and bird and nature lovers determined to see how they might make a difference through their choices in managing their own landscapes.

 

Just when the odds seemed insurmountable, the clock gone too far to be turned back, Eierman, environmental horticulturalist and founder of Ecobeneficial.com, offered practical solutions on strategies to tip the scales in favor of sustainability and ecological common sense.  

 

Lose turf, lose pesticides, cherish leaves, plant trees, limit use of exotics, replace impervious surfaces with permeable ones, focus on healthy soil, emulate natural landscapes, plant native trees and use native plants, which co-evolved with native insects and birds, have developed inter-relationships with them and are essential to help them thrive.  

 

Create a continual succession of bloom of groups of native plants so that insects and their avian predators will have something to feed on in the erratic weather cycles brought on by climate change. 

For each of the solutions, Eierman’s talk dispensed with information on online resources to learn more about the problem and find help with the solution, as well as names of natives to plant in place of the exotic invasive. See ecobeneficial.com.

At the lecture’s end, her audience’s relationship with the villains she had named had perhaps irrevocably changed – Forsythia, Buddleia, double-flowered plants, and of course, turf.