To a weed, your raised and mulched flower bed looks like a vacant house in a buyer’s market: there’s plenty of room and not much competition. After all you took great care to remove all other vegetation when you planted your new flowers. The weeds are moving in quickly and enjoying the open floor plan. They don’t understand why you’re mad.
Sustainable landscaping is becoming increasingly popular. In contrast to flower beds devoted to evenly spaced rose bushes or high-yield, specialized crop producing farms, sustainable landscapes encompass entire ecosystems and focus on a diversity of species. A weed in a forest, an example of a sustainable ecosystem, does not look out of place and most likely plays an important role. However, a weed in your garden sticks out and is not wanted.
This spring at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, learn more about sustainable landscaping and practices you can employ in your own garden in “Sustainable Landscaping” taught by Glenn Olsen. Olsen is an avid habitat conservationist who is involved in creating and promoting sustainable landscapes. He has taught for numerous plant and wildlife focused organizations including Texas Master Naturalists, Houston Audubon and the Native Plant Society of Texas.
So instead of getting mad at that weed, learn how to make your garden appealing to the plants you do want and unattractive to those you don’t. Employing permaculture practices in your garden will also increase the quantity of beneficial pollinators, birds and other wildlife, pushing your landscape to be its own part of the larger ecosystem.
Bonus: Glenn is also teaching “Great Migrations of the World.” You can hear him discussing birding and the spring migrations in a recording from “Houston Matters” that aired today. Glenn’s segment begins at the 40:24 mark.