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For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it. Yves Cousteau

Nature is our mother. Latin proverb

Last night we had our first Horticultural meeting for 2019. The speaker was Elizabeth Schleicher and she is a member of a Rose Society. Last year she attended the World Federation of Rose Societies conference in Copenhagen the capital city of Denmark. She showed us a slide show of what she saw and learned in Copenhagen. She was a very entertaining speaker and told us she is looking forward to attending the next WFRS world conference in Australia in 2021.

Roses are one of my favorite flowers she has about ninety in her garden, I used to have about fifty in mine. Winter kill has cut back my numbers I’ll have to see where I am in the spring.

Joining a Horticultural society is meeting a likeminded group of people beautifying their corner of the world. We have plant sales; adopt public gardens, garden tours, speakers who enhance our knowledge, and flower and photo shows. Many of our speakers travel the world and bring back what they’ve seen in talks and slideshows.

We have speakers whose passion is composting with worms, all aspects of gardening and beautifying the world. Guerrilla gardening which is gardening on land you do not have a legal right to cultivate. This was done in a big way in New York City in the 1970s. Large sections of New York City were abandoned by landlords and city officials. This movement started on a vacant lot at the northeast corner of Bowery and East Houston where in the winter of 1973 two homeless men froze to death in a cardboard box. An artist Liz Christy had already been tossing “seed grenades” into vacant lots, these are water balloons packed with seeds, compost and water which scattered their contents as they burst.

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. Standing Bear

Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things. Lao Tzu

Liz Christy saw a young boy playing in the garbage that littered the lot. He was about to climb into an abandoned refrigerator. When Liz Christy took the child to his mother and reprimanded her for letting him play in a dangerous place the mother said “she had a house full of kids to watch. If Liz Christy was so worried about the refrigerator why didn’t she get rid of it?”

Liz Christy organized a group of friends and started beautifying the lot. After the story exploded in the Daily News the city leased the lot to them for a dollar a year. The group dubbed themselves the Green Guerrillas. More than 800 gardens revitalized neighborhoods, reclaimed decay on vacant lots and created city gardens. Neighborhoods were tipped from crime to community action.

Studies show gardens and green space help lower crime rates. When we live without green space and gardens we lose more than we think we do. We think we are maximizing our cities by building on every lot. By getting taxes from every square foot we are able to provide more services. Hostility increases where there is less green space, cooperation increases where there is more.

When we get back in touch with the earth through planting, a tree, flowers, and vegetables we ground ourselves.  According to Richard Louv if we want to be better, more creative, healthy humans we need to get out in nature. When we tap into the restorative powers of nature we can boost mental acuity, creativity, promote health and wellness. When we build smarter, sustainable green communities and economies we ultimately strengthen our human bonds.

He believes the future will belong to the nature-smart – those individuals, families, business, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. He believes the more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.

We can create beautiful green livable cities where we encourage walking and a connection to nature. Horticultural societies, green guerillas, city planners, volunteers and everyone who lives in a city needs to do their part. We are creating the future; can we make it a future we love? Can we by loving nature, love ourselves? Can we by loving ourselves, love nature?

If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity.If there’s no relationship with nature then you become a killer;then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man eitherfor gain, for “sport,” for food, or for knowledge.Then nature is frightened of you, withdrawing its beauty.You may take long walks in the woods or camp in lovely places but you are a killer and so lose their friendship.You probably are not related to anything to your wife or your husband. Jiddu Krishnamurti

Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored. Terence Mckenna

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age by [Louv, Richard]
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