23 May 2007

Emotional compost

Thich Nhat Hanh describes turning emotional garbage into compost, and using it as we tend to our spiritual gardens. In his book, Taming the Tiger Within we should not try to throw away or discard our anger, but rather sooth it, transform it into a positive emotion. Much as we take grass clippings, leaves, and banana peels and put them in the compost pile, instead of the land fill.

In the compost pile we take garbage, tend to it, transform it, and use it to feed a beautiful garden. In the land fill, we take garbage, put it out of sight out of mind, but it never goes away. It becomes a problem to be dealt with later on down the road. Organic matter which would become nutrients in a compost pile, when buried deep within a landfill, never decompose. They just take up space. Similarly, we can take our anger and darker emotions, and transform them into something beautiful. Or, we can ignore them and allow them to fester. We can feed and indulge them. Either way they never go away. They persist to become something worse. They persist to make us miserable.

We could take the analogy even further, with a karmic perspective. The planet will eventually recycle all the waste and toxins we release into the environment. Over the course of millions of years, plate tectonics, erosion, and cataclysmic events will recycle and reconstitute everything, bringing it all back full circle. Similarly, even the most mismanaged miserable lives, the most abusive and violent people, the most sinful and self-destructive souls will get the chance to come back and do this over and over an over again, even if for thousands of years, until they get it right.

With anger and hate we have the same choices we have with garbage and trash. On one hand, we can transform waste, recycle it, transform it into something beautiful. On the other, we can bury them, ignore them, or indulge them until they grow and accumulate to create more misery.

Eventually, maybe millions of years, both the polluted earth, and the polluted soul will be cleansed and purified. The question is, then: What do you want right now? Right now do you want a toxic, polluted planet? Right now, do you want violent and war-torn societies? Right now, do you want a life of suffering? Or, would you rather something different, NOW. You will get it eventually. But do you want it NOW?

A.J., Proudland Landscape, LLC © 2007

14 May 2007

Compost Experiment--Spring Flowers 2007

We’ve been amassing a compost pile over the past few seasonal flower change-outs. We install a fair amount of annual flowers each Spring and Fall--using a LOT of compost. As a result, our compost pile has neither seemed adequate for the job, nor quite ripe enough at the right time. However, this year the stars lined up just right, the worms moved with sufficient efficiency, and Mother Nature delivered on time, in sufficient quantity for the Spring flower change-out. We managed to install all our current commitments using our own composted material.

Time will reveal whether our blend of ingredients proves better, worse, or as middling as its commercially available brethren. It’s seemed, in my anecdotal experience, that the commercially available compost has been something less than super rich in recent years. Maybe, we’ve hit upon the solution.

We’re still using our other proprietary blend of ingredients--fertilizers, microbes, moisture enhancers, mulches, soils, and of course, flowers.

Updates on the benefits to begonias, et. al. will follow.

A.J., Proudland Landscape, LLC © 2007

09 May 2007

Centipede Grass Green Up--Spring 2007

Some of you in Georgia, particularly the Atlanta area, may have experienced, or still be experiencing problems with centipede grass lawns greening up this season

Clint Waltz with the University of Georgia has this to say:

"This is common for centipedegrass during the spring transition – from dormancy
to active growth. As the root system develops, centipedegrass color will
fluctuate with soil and air temperatures. With the recent cooler temperatures
this is not abnormal. Neither nitrogen fertilization, nor iron applications,
will appreciably encourage green-up or growth. Waiting on conducive
environmental conditions is the best practice. In most cases this problem will
solve itself by the end of May."

Centipede is a somewhat persnickety grass. Once it begins to decline, in my experience, it does not recover. In Mr. Waltz's words, "(centipede) Lawns that have been mismanaged for several years may experience turfgrass loss, typically evident by gray stolons with no green buds. If this is the case, re-establishment may be necessary."

Fertilization will not speed the green up process. Centipede wants between 1 and 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet over the growing season. This should be broken out into several applications over the growing season. Additionally, mowing heights should be between 1.5 and 2 inches. If lawns have been maintained higher than this, mowing heights should be gradually reduced to this desired heights.

Many gardeners, particularly many old-school types, prefer centipede grass because of its relatively low-maintenance requirements, versus its more aesthetic cousins. However, as with all gardens and landscapes, low-maintenance does not mean no-maintenance. The only no-maintenance garden is no garden.

A.J., Proudland Landscape, LLC © 2007

08 May 2007

Georgia Watering Restrictions, as of 18 April 2007

As of 18 April 2007, The Georgia EPD has enacted Drought Level 2 Watering Restrictions. Individual counties and cities may impose additional restrictions; as these become available, the information on our website will be updated

  • Outdoor watering is limited to an odd/even system.

  • Watering allowed between midnight and 10 a.m.

  • Odd-numbered addresses may water only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

  • Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses may water only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • Additional restrictions may be imposed by local authorities.

  • Certain exemptions apply for professionally installed, newly planted landscapes.

Additional resources and information are available at:

A.J., Proudland Landscape, LLC