BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Early Days of Green

What a beautiful morning. With merely a dusting, we escaped the threats of a New England spring snowstorm. The few flakes that gathered on the grass and terraces can be easily swept away with a broom. Our flowers continue to wake in our backyards. We embrace the early signs of green in our landscape.

So when it comes to this wonderful color that dominates our spring garden, one must wonder about the simple, passive ways to encourage the true practice of living lightly, living green. Now that the snow has dissolved near the clothes line, hanging the sheets out to dry is already marked on the ‘sunny day’ agenda. When you incorporate the free use of solar energy, you won’t experience the fitted sheet dryer nightmares (i.e., hidden socks in the corner pockets.)

Speaking of lost socks and this timeless method of using the sun to dry and whiten our garments sweeps one back to the days of the Great Depression when nothing got tossed aside; everything was saved and served a purpose. Carol Gura writes about returning to another gone by the wayside tradition in her book, “Seasons of the Soul.” She remembers her grandmother’s washed, bleached and dried out rags that were used and reused for the household chores. She summarizes why she decided to return to this custom. “I lament the rolls of paper toweling – so many trees used and tossed into landfills. I am stunned that so many pay for rags, treated and touted with cleaners and toxic formulas to make the art of cleaning easier. Sensitive to the ecology and to voluntary simplicity, I want to promote the return of the humble rag. Rags that cost nothing. Rags that recycle discarded clothing. I am glad I had a grandmother who was so careful with the common rag.”

As we enter our gardens to enjoy the air and the initial signs of spring blossoms, think back on the earlier days of green. Remember the simplicity your grandmother or mother incorporated into their everyday living patterns. Take heed to the old New England proverb, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Time to clean out those drawers and return to the humble rag!

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Images of the spring snowstorm taken by Ann Bilowz

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)