“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
– Rachel Carson
Today is September 8th, which besides being Friday, also means that it is the first ever National Planting Day! What an exciting initiative! This nationwide event encourages the planting of native species to support our local ecosystems, reduce water consumption, improve soil stability, and provide food and shelter for indigenous wildlife.
To paraphrase what this day is all about:
The GetGrowing Initiative provides a national stage for the important role that beautification and greening plays in our communities. Beautiful public places go beyond aesthetic appeal to positively impact the lives of area residents, visitors, businesses and institutions (remember that statistic I mentioned in this blog?).
It involves millions of volunteers in its beautification and greening events, planting 170,000 trees annually, maintaining 8,500 gardens and 700 edible gardens. GetGrowing events and programs will plant millions of natives, perennials, bulbs, and ornamentals, creating beautiful public places across the U.S.
Specifically, the initiative centers on four areas of need:
- Creating community-supported vegetable/fruit gardens
- Restoring vacant lots in underserved neighborhoods
- Increasing the number of trees in public spaces
- Bringing natural beauty to “built environments
Did you know?
Did you know that houses within 1/4 mile of a park average 10% higher value? And the reclamation and greening of vacant lots has been shown to increase adjacent property values by 30%. Trees planted within 50 feet of a residence can raise property values by 9%? That’s just one of the many benefits of greener communities! My husband and I planted 3 new trees in our backyard this season, one which is turning a nice red color with the approach of cooler weather. What a nice added bonus!
The fall season is our favorite time to plant. Maybe not vegetable gardens, as the produce season is coming to a close. But landscaping plants and perennials thrive when planted in the fall because when cold weather comes, the plant is able to focus its energy on growing a stable root foundation rather than concentrating its efforts on flowering or producing fruit. The cooler nicer weather makes it more enjoyable to work outside and not dig away under the hot summer sun. Plus, most nurseries and home improvement stores put many of their greenery items on sale this time of year to clear out their greenhouses for the spring plants so good deals are easy to find!