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Don’t trash that poinsettia…compost it! “Some people may be tempted to try to make their poinsettias flower again next year, but that’s a difficult proposition,” says Casey Sclar, Plant Health Care Division Leader. “I urge them instead to consider composting on a small scale.”
Sclar says that the potting soil can be safely sprinkled on the lawn or in the flowerbed; this time of year there is not much danger of spreading any plant disease that way. The plant itself makes a good source for the compost heap.
“About 30 to 35 percent of waste is organic,” says Sclar. “We want to get that food waste and plant waste out of the waste stream.” Composting reduces the environmental impacts and also benefits gardeners, who can use composted materials as effective soil additives and fertilizer.
For composting links and more about Longwood’s sustainability efforts, visit http://www.longwoodgardens.org/SustainabilityatLongwood.html.
As part of Longwood Gardens’ ongoing commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, construction of a central recycling area was recently completed.
The facility was designed and built to be eco-friendly. The simple pole barn structure was cost-effective to build, and designed to be adaptable for future uses and energy needs. Permeable stone surfaces are employed to reduce stormwater runoff.
“There are several advantages to locating Longwood’s recycling practices in one place,” says Casey Sclar, Plant Health Care Division Leader. “Our staff recycles paper, cardboard, plastics, polystyrene, Christmas lights, and many other items, in addition to the bins our guests utilize. This allows us to manage all those efforts cohesively.” The central location allows for easy serviceability by the staff, yet is close enough to the garden so that it may easily be interpreted to guests.
Another plus is the ability to handle specialty plastics, including the plastic pots, bags, and greenhouse coverings that Longwood uses. “Most commercial waste management is ‘single-stream’ recycling,” says Sclar. “While this is convenient for homeowners, it also means that many plastic products are excluded. We are not constrained that way.” These plastics from Longwood are used to create new items such as deck lumber or can be recycled into new flowerpots and trays.
The recycling facility is another example of Longwood’s commitment to sustainable practices. Check out http://www.longwoodgardens.org/SustainabilityatLongwood.html for more information regarding our programs.
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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