24 February 2010

Wednesday Links:

Biofortified has an excellent review of a new book by Stewart Brand (of Whole Earth Catalog fame) in which he advocates a new, pragmatic, science-based, environmentalism -- they include this quote from the book: “Cities are green. Nuclear energy is Green. Genetic engineering is Green."

Following up on that, here is an article by the fore mentioned Stewart Brand on why cities, even slums (perhaps especially slums)  may be the greenest way to live.

For all the feminists who read my blog (Redhead, Anna): The Inelegant Gardener links to a news reel from the 60s about a "lady gardener" including this priceless comment about one of her tools, described as being  "as easy to operate as pushing a pram - another pursuit at which the ladies excel". Also follow her link to a side-splitting youtube video titled "Women: Know your Limits."

The Galloping Gardener (who surely produces the best garden porn on the internet) does a post on a garden at... a dump. Of course, she, being British, calls it a "rubbish" rather than "trash" or "garbage" which makes it sound ever so much more appealing.

On the Gardening Gone Wild blog, a post on TINY flower arrangements caught my eye. I tend to make arrangements with amounts of flowers measured in fist fulls, but these dramatically downsized arrangements are delightful -- they marvelously highlight the tiny gems in the garden that are too easy to over look.

By way of Studio G, comes this Lifehacker post on making solar-powered lights out of jars - I'm not personally nuts about the jars themselves, but the basic idea is really exciting to me: buy cheap solar lights, take them apart, and rework them into lights of your own creation! I've been wanting to incorporate more non-plant items in my garden this year -- maybe I'll start with this...

Another story on Dave Clark's studies on the genetics on flower fragrance -- in this one, he claims it is a breakthrough to developing genetically engineered fragrant flowers. I have my doubts: They have identified a DOZEN different genes that together create the petunia fragrance. Genetic engineering could easily stick in one or two of those into a new plant -- resulting in something which would be far from a complex or interesting scent. At best, the result would be something like cheap, artificially flavored processed food, but nothing like the complexity and depth of nature.

 My back 40 Feet posts about a terrific guerrilla garden -- it is really quite lovely. Seeing it is convincing me that I AM going to do some guerrilla gardening this year. There is a pitiful, weed-infested island in the middle of a traffic circle up the street that I AM going to do something with this year.

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