Never too early to Garden

  • Posted: 11:09 AM
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  • Author: John THOMPSON

My family has been in the garden business since 1881. Five generations accumulate much information of a hands-on nature. Our records and personal memories tell us that, what we call weather, is changing. Once three foot long icicles formed along the edges of our greenhouses. It has been at least thirty years since that happened. Today, the garlic mustard, our mid-Atlantic invasive species de jour is beginning to make its run of dominance in the woodland edges of my community, something I never saw when working and walking with my grandparents.

The Bradford pears are in bloom and so dominate the landscape, that some of our customers, whose landscape literacy is not complete, identify the tree incorrectly and come to the nursery asking for dogwoods, having completely substituted in their minds the correct species for the invasive species.

What has changed to create this wave of invasive species? A cursory reading of gardening literature and scientific reports shows a surface correlation with climate change, specifically an increase in CO2. The explosion of invasive species seems to be tied to the dramatic increase in CO2 which is the primary current villain for the increase in global average temperature.

Our traditional plant choices are changing, as plants once not hardy (could not survive the cold) in Washington DC now grow fine. Obnoxious plants such as poison ivy, a native, now are more toxic. This surge in activity in the garden means that we are spending more time and resources (energy) maintaining the status quo. This increase in energy used to halt change in turn contributes to the release of carbon into the atmosphere.

I look forward to commenting on future postings, and to instigating a few comments a long the way. Ipetrus

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