Dare To Be Wild: A Film For Garden Geeks And Eco-Freaks, And Anyone Else Who Has Fond Memories Of A Special Childhood Place

Just in time to help us escape the winter doldrums, writer-director Vivienne De Courcy’s gardener-centric, romantic adventure story, Dare To Be Wild, has been released on all on-demand platforms including iTunes Movies, Comcast Xfinity, Amazon Video, Sony PlayStation, and many more. 

The film traces the uplifting true story of Irish landscape designer Mary Reynolds’ “hero’s journey,” from ripped-off celebrity go-fer to youngest-ever Gold Medal winner in London’s fabled Chelsea Flower Show.

For garden geeks like me,
this is just the ticket for injecting some much-welcomed color and inspiration into an otherwise grey winter. And for eco-freaks like me, who hope to weave people back into the web of life, the film holds out the promise that there’s a way to touch the souls of those who have become disconnected from the natural world by “making wild nature fashionable.”

In her directorial debut, De Courcy focuses on the importance of humanity’s place in Nature. She hopes, she says, to make f…

Paul Tukey Awarded GWA Green Medal for Sustainable Gardening Leadership

Recently, I was privileged to present GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators’ Green Medal to Paul Tukey, whose life, vision, and work embodies the highest ideals in promoting earth-wise gardening. He paid a high price for his early entry into the “better living through chemistry” side of the lawn care profession, but ultimately became one of the anti-pesticide movement’s most ardent proponents. By documenting his up-close and personal experience with lawn chemicals, and the story of dermatologist Dr. June Irwin’s fight to have pesticides banned from her small town of Hudson, Ontario, Canada, Tukey shined a spotlight into the darker corners of the industry. He made some mistakes along the way, but he talks about them with unflinching honesty.

Today, Tukey is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Glenstone, a museum that melds art, architecture, and the environment in a 220-acre, organically-managed setting. The new Glenstone Environmental Center is planned to open in 2018, and will…

Be The Mosquito

One of my favorite quotes is the Dalai Lama’s, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” I don’t think the Dalai Lama meant that we have to be annoying. After all, the mosquito is just going about its normal everyday activities. But whether or not the mosquito is in the room makes all the difference to us.

Similarly, what each of us does on our little patch of the Earth, collectively makes all the difference to our planet’s health. We don’t necessarily need to make sudden wholesale changes in our lifestyles, be less comfortable in our own castles, or add more work to our already-busy schedules.

Facing complex choices
This came home to me recently at the supermarket. The market chain had recently introduced an organic house brand. I was eager to try it out and I needed six cans of beans. The organic house brand cost 30% more than the regular house brand. I briefly wondered why the organic lemons could sell for the same price as regular lemons,…

Musings on the Relativity of Time and The Arithmetic of Overpopulation

I celebrated my birthday recently. Beyond a certain age, birthdays become a double-edged sword. You’re glad you made it to the next one, but realize that there are far fewer years ahead of you than behind you. The list of absent friends grows ever longer. Colleagues grow grey; everyone else looks like they just graduated from middle school.

I used to console myself by calculating that I still had at least 25 more years to go, which made the end point seem very far off. But, now that would mean I’d live to an unrealistically old age, a concept supported by neither family history nor actuarial tables. I’m reminded of Einstein’s summary of his Theory of Relativity:
"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour."

I guess I’ve been having too much fun. But that can’t go on forever. My immortality would not be good for the planet. It’s not sustainable. At the same time that medical advances have been add…

Please Farm Responsibly. Because What Grows On The Farm Doesn’t Stay On The Farm

Recently, I was able to stream the GreenBiz’17 Conference in Phoenix without leaving the comfort of my office. I was surprised and delighted to hear the same refrain repeated again and again by heavy hitters from the multi-national companies whose sustainability officers comprised both presenters and audience:
“It’s too late to turn back now.”
Sustainability Tipping Point Reached
As one speaker pointed out early on, a direct consequence of doing business on a global scale is that corporations must abide by the international agreements on sustainable development if they want to do business in any of the signatory countries. That includes selling farm products, sourcing raw materials, as well as manufacturing; regardless of whether or not the U.S. government ever signs any of those conventions or treaties. This should be big news, but it’s yet to make big headlines.

In addition, so many American consumers and investors are demanding that corporations pay more attention to their impact on t…