Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog Action Day... the good guys

Do you fancy joining in with the conversation today?


“Blog Action Day is an annual event every October 15th that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance.

So far 7,377 from 138 countries have registered for this year's event. To participate, all you need to do is write a single post on your blog about the issue of climate change on October 15th.”


The blogging platform is definitely now a massive one for spreading the word on a particular topic. Many blogs today will be from the journalism, business and ecological fields. However today is for all blogs to unite and a garden/wildife blog can definitely stand just as tall as the business ones! Just a quiet word to the BAD team... please include some in your featured lists :-D

Visitors to my blog will expect to read chat about plants, birds and wildlife so today is no exception. Today I’d like to chat about the trees and shrubs that you find on moving into an established garden.

Perhaps you’ve never had a garden and don’t know how to look after plants and are daunted by the size of a plant. Perhaps you’ve seen a garden design make-over article in a magazine or televsion programme where they appear to clear out many plants. Perhaps your plants are in the way for something else. I’d like to suggest you don’t reach for the tools to remove them too quickly.

There is a wealth of garden blogs out there where bloggers would only be too happy to help answer questions on the plants you may have inheritated. Libraries are also a great source of reference. Plant care is a tricky one with low maintainance gardens being on on many people’s lists now especially when they just move into a new house.


My message today is quite a simple one and one where you may make a few friends on the way too! If you have trees/shrubs that you feel have got too big for an area of your garden I’d like to suggest (if possible) you might move them to a better location or perhaps even swap them with another plant in your garden.

You could also consider swapping or giving them away to a friend or neighbour. I’ve done this on many, many ocassions. Yes, they could go into a compost heap but the birds and wildlife (including insects) in your garden would miss them as a source of shelter and food.

The pine tree above has just recently been moved in my garden along with a few large shrubs to different locations in my garden as I am clearing a space for a new wildife pond. I have been lifting, dividing and potting up my plants to replant them in this area next Spring. Many plants can be moved at this time of year or in Spring. I’d suggest you refer to books, bloggers or the internet to find out when is the best time to move your plants.

A word of warning here…. Pine trees are quite shallow rooted but the weight of this tree trunk made it very difficult to move and it nearly had me beaten! I ‘man-handled’ it on to a ground sheet and with a huge effort dragged it across the gravel path and lawn. Standing it up was a tad on the dangerous side for one person… I’d definitely recommend you get someone to help if you move shrubs and trees as their weight can be easily underestimated!

Okay, so back to a message for climate change… trees are one of the good guys! The Forestry Commission here in the UK say:

“Forests can help us address climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They do this by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), using the carbon (C) to produce sugars for tree growth and releasing the oxygen (O2) back into the air. As trees grow, they store carbon in their leaves, twigs and trunk, and in the soil around them.”

That’s enough science for here. I’ll let other blogs go into this in much more detail. The Forestry Commission continue…

“The forests and woodlands in Britain have a role to play too. They can be managed as a sustainable source of wood – an alternative and less polluting energy source to fossil fuels, and a low-energy construction material.

There are six key actions that should be taken now to protect what we have, and to make sure we can adapt to the new threats and opportunities that climate change will bring while still maintaining and expanding a sustainable forest and woodland resource.

• Protect what we already have
• Reduce deforestation
• Restore the world’s forest cover
• Use wood for energy
• Replace other materials with wood
• Plan to adapt to our changing climate

If we get this right, the world’s forests will contribute significantly to climate change mitigation. They will also benefit national economies and the well-being of current and future generations.”

On a personal note… I do love trees and they were the first subject I began drawing as a teenager. I adore their shape and form and do admire the ancient ones particularly... often pondering over their history.

In our changing climate trees in our parks and gardens provide us with shade from the sun and break the strength of gusting winds. This autumnal time of the year would be completely without soul without the spectacle of colour from the leaves turning on deciduous trees.

Planting new trees to replace old and damaged ones in our gardens is an excellent way gardeners can help. Perhaps giving one as a new home gift would be great too. Just a thought though… read the label first to see if it would suit the size of the garden. I can’t imagine a world without trees and without trees where would our world be in the fight against climate change.

I’ll end this posting with a key message from the Forestry Commission:

“There are two ways to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We can reduce the amount we produce or we can develop ways to capture and store it. Trees have the unique ability to do both.”

Yep... trees are one of the good guys! From the giant global companies to the modest gardener we should all take care of them.

8 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Funny you should mention moving larger plants to new places. I have done this many times. When a plant gets too large for my garden I often move it to the empty lot next to our house that the city owns and won't take care of. We are slowly filling it with trees and shrubs. I have moved many a plant too large for one person to move by using a two-wheeled trolley or as you did with a sheet. Doesn't it make you feel like Wonder Woman doing this?? tee hee...

Liz said...

I have to agree with Amy, but for the sakes of the world in terms of plants and wildlife I think we all need to do as much as we can.

A world without trees or wildlife would be a very sad place indeed, and I hope for future generations we manage to keep the species from extinction.

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

I may post on Blog Action Day too, although I don't have anything else to add onto the end of the post like you did.

You're right, planting trees is one of the easiest ways of storing carbon dioxide... and they are such great features for gardens too. Interesting to hear that you are moving your Pine Tree. Good luck with the wildlife pond too- looking forward to seeing an update on that.

Well done for spreading the word on Blog Action Day, you certainly reminded me! Have a great Friday and weekend.

Town Mouse said...

Yeah! It's so fun to see how different garden blogs have different takes on this topic -- which really means there's a lot we can do. Glad you're participating

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - I'm so sorry it's been so long - I've been laid up with horrible food poisoning this last week and have so much to catch up with but just had to pop over to say hello...I seem to have missed a few postings since my last visit... all looking good!

Interesting on what you were saying about swapping plants - I'm actually going to a plant swap next weekend - everyone brings along things they've got too much of or things that they don't want and have always ended up with a pile of new things without spending a penny! We organise it twice yearly - the weekends the clocks change - also a great way to meet other gardeners and make new friends.

I must tell you.. am very excited about the new hedgehog nest I've discovered under a pile of geraniums in the rockery - I think the resident was out snacking in the woodland when I took Lucy out this evening for her 11 o clock stroll! It's magical going out at that time over here - I never worry about the dark whereas I know I would have done in the UK - amazing what I've seen out at night including owls and the odd fox too - after watching Autumn watch on Friday (love this) I think we have Doormice too judging from the perfect holes in the sides of the hazelnuts - we have a lot of Hazel here! Anyway enough rabbiting for this time of night... take care and have a good week Miranda x

VP said...

Oops missed it - even though I wrote about it in my Events Diary for October. So glad you're on the case Shirl.

However, I did say a little bit on the 16th when I wrote about visiting Westonbirt. Forestry Commission scientists there fear that climate change might affect the national collection of Acers :(

Re said...

What a great Blog Action Day post, we took part too.

shirl said...

Hi again everyone, apologies for the lateness in my replies :-)

Lisa – Ah… that is a brilliant relocation for your larger plants! I love that idea. Ah… a trolley is also a great idea and I have used mine many times too. Unfortunately in this case the plant was being moved over a thick gravel path so the trolley wouldn’t have helped. LOL… wonder woman or mad woman… there is the question. With fused lower discs in my back and many, many sessions of acupuncture a number of years ago perhaps this was not one of my wisest moments!!!

Amy “I am not sure if we have any effect on global warming but I think we still need to be energy efficient and help the environment” sorry, I’ve removed your link to a business page. I value your comment though so have included it. I agree on your point about being energy efficient but do believe collectively we can help this global problem.

Liz – Yep… although our individual part in this global problem may seem so minuscule I believe collectively we can help. Having a 16 yr old daughter who is quite passionate about this especially regarding weather changes puts another spin on it too. When I asked her what she
would say in this posting her reply was instant… stop using our cars!! We can’t really indo the damage we’ve done but the time is definitely running out for us to slow the speed at which we are doing it. Like most things education and information is the key. Yep… ultimately it’s up to us as individuals to decide what if anything we do helps. I hope we make the right decisions. A world without trees, I agree, would be a very sad place. We have so much technology at our fingertips that in its making probably added to the trouble we are in now. Fingers crossed that between this technology, our scientists, support from the leaders of the world and us the population we can turn things around in time. Sorry, rant over… hope you are well :-D

Joe – Ah… you’ve hit on a brilliant point there. Easy is perhaps the key. Simple steps for individuals to follow perhaps collectively we will make a real difference. Let’s face it population wise the world has a lot of people. Globally businesses and manufacturers is another matter. However, there is always the story of David and Goliath. We certainly have to try. Looking after our plants and planting trees is a great staring point :-D

Renate – Yes, I agree completely. Thanks :-D

Miranda – Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell… hope you are feeling better now. It’s great to see you whenever you have time :-D I love the idea of your plant swop weekend… that’s brilliant! Hope you have a great day. Great to hear your hedgehog story too. Sounds like you’ve wonderful wildlife evening strolls there in Brittany. Thank-you, we did have a good weekend… wishing you a good one too :-D

VP – Easy done… I did the same last year. Ah… of course you’ve a point there… trees themselves are suffering with climate change. We’ve a few Acers here but how sad to think a national collection could be threatened. I guess there are many already on the case with lists of trees/plants now recommended for growing in the UK. Sad to think that our gardens and landscapes as we know them are likely to change :-(

Re – Thank-you, I’ve just popped by your posting too. A great contribution… good link too :-D