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January 7, 2011
Create a sanctuary for peace in your home

A short video featuring Diann Peart, our friend and client, in her garden.

November 20th, 2010
Life's a Garden Awarded the Budding Contractor of the Year!

We are honored for this recognition and look forward to 2011! Thank you so much ALCA!

May 3, 2010
Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — For 15 years, Eddie Anderson, a farmer, has been a strict adherent of no-till agriculture, an environmentally friendly technique that all but eliminates plowing to curb erosion and the harmful runoff of fertilizers and pesticides. But not this year. Continue reading.

April 20, 2010
Every day Phoenix residents let a valuable and increasingly expensive resource flow right down the drain. Water.

In March, Phoenix residents faced a 7.2 percent rate increase for water and sewer services, raising the monthly bill for the average single-family home to $56.68.
Greg Peterson of Phoenix suggests people do their part to help the environment, while reducing their water bills, by reusing "graywater" to irrigate their landscape.
Continue reading.

March 5th, 2010
Life's a Garden was recognized at the Maricopa County Home Show.

The American Horticultural Society Enviromental Award for "Best demonstration of skillful design that incorporates enviromental stewardship in the garden". We are very honored to receive this award!

January 14, 2010
Gro Rite - Manure Vs. Fertilizer- Which Should be Used in Your Organic Vegetable Garden?

Vegetable gardeners with experience know that what you put in the soil is one of the deciding factors when it comes to the amount and quality of fruits and vegetables your plants produce. Without the right plant food, nothing else you do is going to matter, and your crops are doomed to fail. The soil must be rich or the garden will be poor. Continue reading.

January 12, 2010
Biofuels Watch - Solar energy in 2009

There is no question that the cause of solar energy has been advanced during 2009 thanks to a number of significant advances, both in the advancement of available technologies and the increasing practicality of their everyday applications. We have seen technologies such as photovoltaic cells (the black squares that comprise a solar panel) fall in price and become more efficient as a result of improved design specifications that allow them to collect concentrated sunlight on a smaller and smaller area, thereby allowing much more efficient energy transference and usage. Continue reading.

January 07, 2010
Garden Rant - Designing the Politically Correct Garden

I have recently completed the design of a park for a long strip of abandoned earth on the Lower East Side of New York City. How that came to be is another story. This post is more a question of why it turned out the way it did. Continue reading.

January 06, 2010
CNN - Can farming save Detroit?

John Hantz is a wealthy money manager who lives in an older enclave of Detroit where all the houses are grand and not all of them are falling apart... Then one day about a year and a half ago, Hantz had a revelation. "We need scarcity," he thought to himself as he drove past block after unoccupied block. "We can't create opportunities, but we can create scarcity." And that, he says one afternoon in his living room between puffs on an expensive cigar, "is how I got onto this idea of the farm." Continue reading.

BlogCreateNew - 5 Vegetable Garden Ideas
Everyone knows there are many benefits from having your own garden. Feeling a sense of pride as you watch the fruits (or vegetables, as the case may be) of your labor begin to flourish is just one of them. And your garden doesn’t ever have to be boring or the same year after year. Discover five vegetable garden ideas that will give you something creative to try for your next planting. Continue reading.

January 05, 2010
Greenopolis - What has 10 Wheels, Flies and Saves the Planet?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Trash Truck!
When you think of ‘green” you usually don’t think of a garbage truck. The colors associated with these behemoths that prowl our neighborhoods waking us up early in the morning are, let’s say, more in the brown to whatever color putrid is range. But new generation trucks can pick up the trash without trashing the planet. Continue reading.

December 30, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Rethinking runoff as usable water supply

Thickets of native trees shade the street in front of Brad Lancaster's downtown home, a patch of urban greenery that owes its survival to the strategic management of concrete.
Lancaster and his neighbors worked with the city to cut gaps in the curb to allow storm water to fill earthen basins carved out around the trees. No drinking water is used to support the landscaping, a lush array of mesquite, paloverde, cholla and prickly pear cactus and desert shrubs. Continue reading.

Scientific American - Are Engines the Future of Solar Power?
Nearly 200 years after their invention, and decades after first being proposed as a method of harnessing solar energy, 60 sun-powered Stirling engines are about to begin generating electricity outside Phoenix, Ariz., for the first time. Such engines, which harness heat to expand a gas and drive pistons, are not used widely today other than in pacemakers and long-distance robotic spacecraft. Continue reading.

December 28, 2009
Mother Earth News - Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!

In 2007, I began to get lots of questions about growing food to help save money. Then, while working on my new book, Edible Landscaping, I had an aha! moment. As I was assembling statistics to show the wastefulness of the American obsession with turf, I wondered what the productivity of just a small part of American lawns would be if they were planted with edibles instead of grass. Continue reading.
See Rosalind Creasy's own website with pictures of her 100 square foot edible garden.

Arizona Daily Sun - Year in Review, Energy: Major wind and solar projects still in development
This year saw the construction of the state's first large-scale wind farm, with wind turbines in excess of 400 feet installed southeast of Winslow between Heber and Holbrook, to power Salt River Project.
The project was launched due to the efforts of a rancher who took wind measurements on his land, using equipment and help from Northern Arizona University. Continue reading.

December 27, 2009
The Arizona Daily Star - Why your plants are so confused

Gardeners have had a tough year: a dry winter; relatively cool, late spring and early summer; a hot and sputtering monsoon; a near freeze in October; and a warm November. "I know plants were completely confused," says Michael A. Crimmins, a climate specialist with the Arizona Cooperative Extension. Continue reading.

December 26, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Harmful insects worry citrus growers

Insects that are notorious for spreading a dreaded citrus disease have been found in Yuma County, threatening the livelihoods of citrus growers and increasing the chance that Valley homeowners' fruit trees could die. Continue reading.

December 24, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Energy-saving systems will allow Horses Help to cut costs

A water cistern put in by Life's a Garden, and a large-scale composting system you would think
weren't exactly the most orthodox of Christmas presents.
But the non-profit group Horses Help is getting what it asked for this holiday season - a sustainable gift package.
The organization, which provides equine therapy for those with special needs, has been implementing a number of green aspects to its facility in north Phoenix. Continue reading.

Tap It - EWG Names Best and Worst Cities for Tap Water
After the New York Times expose on toxic waters earlier this year and frequent reports of traces of other stuff being found in drinking water, you might wonder what's really in your tap water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released their analysis of over 20 million records from municipal water supplies and found 315 different types of pollutants in tap water, many of which aren't regulated. Continue reading.

December 23, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Easy steps to start composting

If your New Year's resolution is to save the planet, you can start in your own backyard by composting.
Composting in the Valley is unusual because, as master gardener Pamela Perry says, "Things in the desert petrify, they don't putrefy."
That means it takes a bit more care to cultivate the rich,
black compost you get at the bottom of a waste bin in your backyard. Continue reading.

December 22, 2009
Pysorg - Kew botanists discover more than 250 new plant species in 250th anniversary year

Giant rainforest trees, rare and beautiful orchids, spectacular palms, minute fungi, wild coffees and an ancient aquatic plant are among more than 250 new plant and fungi species discovered and described by botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in this, the botanical organisation's 250th anniversary year. The new species come from a wide-range of fascinating locations including Brazil, Cameroon, East Africa, Madagascar, Borneo and New Guinea. Nearly a third are believed to be in danger of extinction. Continue reading.

December 16, 2009
The Times-Picayune - Help fight hunger two ways with the gift of a backyard vegetable garden

You’ve heard of the gift that keeps on giving? This one keeps on growing, too.
“The Giving Garden” is a raised-bed vegetable garden that a local nonprofit completely installs in a backyard for $275. Here’s the kicker: The gift recipient gets fresh food and herbs, and the money paid for the garden installation helps feed others. Continue reading.

December 14, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Insects protect Tonopah farmer's crop

A war is waging in Tonopah, but it doesn't bother Rob Lazzarotto. He pays for it.
"Bug warfare is expensive," said Lazzarotto, a self-described natural farmer who uses millions of insects
to protect crops on his 5-acre farm. Continue reading.
Tonopah Rob is also featured on our Farmers' Market page!

December 10, 2009
The Dallas Morning News - Avoid synthetic sulfates to keep plants, soil healthy

A Question&Answer with Howard Garrett, gardener of Dallas News. His answers are very helpful and ingenious. Garden tips can be found everywhere! Continue to the Q&A.

December 04, 2009
TED ideas worth spreading - Anupam Mishra: The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting

With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India's Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today -- and are often superior to modern water megaprojects.
Continue to view video.
Life's a Garden is a sponsor of TED!

November 30, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Valley chicken owners to show off coops

The Valley has shown off its blooming roses, thriving backyard pond habitats and well-maintained vintage homes. Now, the humble chicken coop is in the spotlight. Tour de Coops, the first self-guided tour of urban poultry setups in the Valley, is scheduled for Saturday, offering visits to coops in 13 locations in Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Continue reading.

Greenopolis - Phoenix Rising: Mayor Gordon on Green Renewal in the Desert
Mayor Gordon at the GreenBuild Conference discusses how Phoenix is a leading city in the green movement. Continue to view video.

Greenopolis - Can Congress make Progress? An Interview with Congressman Harry Mitchell, (D)-AZ
Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell speaking on how to lead by example in the green movement. Continue to view video.

November 28, 2009
The Washington Post - The modern gardener's glossary

Landscaping jargon often leaves homeowners and part-time gardeners perplexed, and it's no wonder. In the garden, commonplace words can take on different meanings. For example, "exfoliate" is not a spa treatment, "pools" aren't always for swimming, "beds" are not a place to sleep, "percolate" doesn't refer to brewing coffee and "suckers" aren't lollipops. Continue reading.

November 25, 2009
McClatchy-Tribune News - Snapdragons are Simply Irresistible

No matter where you live in the country, there is a season when snapdragons will absolutely steal the show in your landscape. In zones 7 and warmer, many gardeners plant them in the fall as pansy partners. They are planted in late winter to early spring in colder areas where they give riotous colors almost all summer. Continue reading.

RedOrbit - Some Trees And Insects Made For Each Other
The interaction between plants and insects is another prime example. These range from pollination relationships where both species benefit to insect outbreaks that kill entire forests. Plants and insects are also amazingly diverse, with more than 300,000 described species of insects and at least 200,000 species of flowering plants. Many scientists, starting with Charles Darwin, have suggested that coevolution might be responsible for the enormous diversity of these two groups of organisms. However, why mutual adaptation would lead to species diversity is not clear. New research is shedding light on this century-old question. Continue reading.

Tucson Green Times - One Man’s Trash
I’m sitting in Jason Tankersley’s Mercedes in the middle of the Speedway Recycling and Landfill facility, talking about the sustainable economy. Outside the car’s seemingly soundproof windows, hardworking guys in hardhats silently sift through the “waste” created by Tucson’s construction and landscaping industries. There are mountains of cardboard; ruined cities of broken concrete; piles of shattered glass; mounds of broken drywall. Continue reading.

November 16, 2009
Inhabitat - Solar Powered Treehouse Classrooms Unveiled in the UK

Recently the Elleray Preparatory School in the UK unveiled an incredible set of tree-top classrooms. Situated in the Lake District National Park, the three green-built class pods stand on stilts connected by a center platform made from recycled materials. Built to have a low impact on the environment while accommodating the school’s expanding student body, the Treehouse School is sure to inspire all the children the walk through its doors. Continue reading.

November 09, 2009
High Country News - Return of the Pod Man

In the blistering haze of a sunny June morning, Mark Moody sat sweltering on his tractor, clearing a centuries-old stand of mesquite trees from his farm near Bouse, Ariz. Searching for a sustainable desert crop, he suddenly –– literally –– hit upon a brilliant idea. His tractor blades unearthed two intact sets of manos and metates, stones traditionally used by Native Americans to grind corn and mesquite pods. That "life-changing experience" five years ago sparked an epiphany: Moody would start cultivating mesquite trees for both food and lumber. Continue reading.

High Country News - The Mesquite Wrangler
Mark Moody hopes that his homegrown mesquite flour will become a staple of Southwestern cuisine. But building a mainstream market for the pods of a desert tree isn't an easy job. For the accompanying story, see "Return of the pod man." Continue to view video.

November 06, 2009
Arizona Department of Agriculture - Arizona Department of Agriculture Establishes Quarantine to Fight the Spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid

The Arizona Department of Agriculture established a quarantine in Yuma County today after finding three Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP). The quarantine affects where growers and packers can ship citrus grown in the area. The Department, working with USDA-APHIS, was able to secure an exemption for shipments to some significant export markets, but is still in negotiations with others. Continue reading.

October 14, 2009
PRWeb - Tucson, Arizona, To Receive U.S. Department of Energy Grant For Solar Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the City of Tucson, Ariz., was awarded $389,000 to support phase two of its solar initiative. One of 25 cities designated as a Solar America City by the DOE, Tucson currently has solar photovoltaic
panels at 14 locations, providing 1.1 megawatts of power.
"Solar energy is already an important growth industry for Tucson and will make significant contributions to meeting the region's energy needs in the coming years..." Continue reading.

September 29, 2009
abcNews - Mesquite Seed Pods Can Be Ground Into a Flour

Each summer, Dana Helfer of Tucson, Ariz., collects the long, yellowish string-bean-like pods produced by mesquite trees on her property and around her neighborhood. And each fall, she has the sweet-tasting pods ground into flour...
Mesquite has an earthy sweetness, often described as slightly fruity with a hint of caramel. Invariably, Helfer said, newcomers are stunned that they can use it for cooking, and lament that they've been sweeping up the pods and throwing them away. "Most people see the pods as trash," she said... Continue reading.

JULY 2009
Image HereJuly was named Smart Irrigation Month by the Irrigation Association to promote consumer awareness of efficient watering practices, technologically advanced products and water conservation. It is an industry-wide opportunity to promote water-saving products, practices and services. Continue reading.

January 25, 2009
The Arizona Republic - Singh Farms helping ASU keep waste from landfill

It is still a long way from its zero-waste goal, but Arizona State University is reducing the size of its refuse piles and turning the Tempe campus greener in the process.
ASU is sending its landscaping waste to nearby Singh Farms, which composts the material and returns the nutrient-rich material to nurture the campus' landscaping and grow vegetables in organic gardens. Continue reading.

July 11, 2008
Green West Magazine - Sustainable Phoenix

Phoenix might not be the first city you think of when you think of green cities, but this week Phoenix made an important step towards greening — light rail came to downtown Phoenix. Considering that some have called Phoenix “Sprawl City USA” this is a wonderful development. There’s also a “Sprawl has no future in Phoenix” Meetup
you can sign up for and meet others in Phoenix interested in
sustainability. Continue reading.

August 23, 2007
Arizona Business Gazette - Life's a Garden turns desert into edible landscapes

Eric and Vanessa Mytko had no clear idea when Eric started a small landscaping company almost five years ago that it would so completely take over their lives.
"You know," Vanessa said, "grow to live; live to grow!"
The couple, both third-generation Phoenix residents, said they always had a keen awareness of desert conservation, but when Eric began working in landscaping after leaving a high-tech job, he quickly realized "conventional landscaping just felt wrong." Continue reading about Life's a Garden in the Gazette.

July 2007
Times Publications - The Green Extreme

Daniel Thompson doesn't see negativity. Call it a form of mood ring color-blindness brought on by decades of working outdoors as a forester, where nary a living thing shows attitude.
But when Thompson stands in the middle of his front yard, a veritable rainforest of towering sunflower stalks, giant turnips and leafy lettuce amidst the neat desert stone and trimmed Bermuda lawns of his upscale Gilbert cul-de-sac, all he sees from the sidewalk are the sunny smiles and the supportive thumbs-ups from passing neighbors. Continue reading.

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