Sustainability Topics

Organic Lawn: One Year Later

Organic lawn in August 2011. photo credit: L. StiebitzRecently Nicole Selby, our gardener leading the organic lawn effort, interviewed with local garden reporter Virginia Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nicole discussed upon our philosophy, efforts, and challenges to date.

How is it working? The 2011 growing season has been extreme from hot and dry to wet and soaked. At the moment, though, the conventional and organic lawns all look the same – green.

Learn more about the organic lawn in these past posts.

Listening to the Organic Lawn

Announcing the Organic Lawn Brochure and Blossoming Research Effort

Remediating Compaction on our Organic Lawn

Organic Lawn Consultation with …

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Playing in the Dirt: a Twist

Preparing the clay for the earthen wall. photo credit: R. RobertAll gardeners like to play in the dirt. Well, the latest art installation on the grounds of the Scott Arboretum takes playing in the dirt to a whole new level. This project entails building walls out of dirt. Starting this week and continuing until October 7th, students, volunteers, and community members will help artist Massey Burke, 2000 alumni of Swarthmore College, construct an earthen wall.

Massey Burke has been teaching and practicing natural building techniques for seven years. She has built homes to park benches from clay soil, straw, and sand. “Most Americans have never lived in anything truly hand-built,” …

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Wildlife and Conservation: Ground covers

Pollinator Garden at Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College. photo credit: R. RobertSue Stark wrote about creating a certified wildlife habitat in her backyard. Until very recently Sue was a Gardener and Volunteer Coordinator at the Scott Arboretum. While she was packing to move with her family to Connecticut, we asked her to take a break and comment on the plants in the Scott Associates Plant Sale that have particular interest for wildlife and conservation.

Sue noted, in addition to wildlife benefits, she was interested in plants that establish strongly—that could fill bed spaces, replace lawn, and in particular be an alternative to ivy. In many cases, she gave examples of how …

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