Saturday, July 7th was 4th Annual Through the Garden Gate Tour of Ewing and its environs, featuring noteworthy gardens in and around our community. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to show off our gardens!
The gardens were a smashing success, exemplifying everything that the Green Team is attempting to promote, from sustainable gardening practices such as “upcycling”, composting and naturalizing and showing pesticide and chemical free organic living spaces, to our certified wildlife and butterfly gardens, to the wonderful aesthetics. It was delightful to wander through the gardens. There was so much to learn , so much to admire; so much to emulate. These gardens do indeed make Ewing a much prettier and better place to live.
The experience had something to offer everyone. The gardeners got to view and learn from the efforts of their fellow gardeners during our pre-tour visits. And Tour guests were encouraged to learn from the examples of our exemplary gardeners. The following paragraphs on the inside cover of our tour booklet summarizes the message we hoped was conveyed during the event.
Message from the Ewing Green Team to the Garden Tour Visitors
Why do we garden? We garden to bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy the touch of a fresh summer breeze. We garden to savor the feeling of peace and serenity from a beautiful space that we ourselves have created. We garden to refresh our souls. We may garden not just for ourselves, but also to create a home and landscape in which we can take pride.
We also garden because it makes us feel close to nature; to all of the precious wildlife that share this planet with us. If you think that gardening is for the birds, we agree. Gardening is for the birds, and the butterflies, and the bees. We are facing a critical biodiversity crisis and we believe that gardening can be an important tool in combating it. That is why we are taking this opportunity to encourage all gardeners to become responsible stewards of the land.
Responsible stewardship includes working with nature to reduce pollution and enhance wildlife habitat. It requires thoughtful yard care, elimination of fertilizers and pesticides, reduction in lawn area and outdoor water usage; and establishment of native plants. Adoption of these sustainable landscaping practices will not only add beauty and value to your homes and neighborhoods, but enhance your own connectedness to nature and its enjoyment in your own backyards.
We believe that habitat loss and degradation is one of the greatest threats to the natural world. Suburban neighborhoods have exchanged healthy native habitats for vast stretches of manicured lawns which contribute little of ecological value. It incumbent upon us all to become more responsible stewards of the land if we are to avert an oncoming extinction crisis!
We urge all gardeners to garden as if our futures depend upon it. Programs such as the National Wildlife Federation’s Gardening for Wildlife or the North American Butterfly Association’s Butterfly Garden certification can help you to make a difference. Join us as we work to make our community more sustainable and a sanctuary for our vanishing wildlife!