How Does Your Garden Grow?
“Dot.calm” by Jane Silverman
Arriving through the Ocean Reef gate, you will find on the left seven cherry blossom trees from the entrance to the fountains. At least I think they are cherry blossom trees, and for argument’s sake (and for the sake of this story) let’s all agree that they are cherry blossom trees. Every day when I pass these beautiful, pink-blossomed trees, I am reminded of a time when I lived in the mountains in New York State. Spring had sprung and our hilltop neighborhood was turning from grays to greens; the trees were alive again with song and our cherished cherry blossom tree was in full bloom. One sunny May morning I awoke to find the tree glittering in the sunlight. The night’s sudden freeze had encased the tree and dipped each of its blossoms in a crystal-clear veneer of ice. Miraculously, the pink blossoms were as pink as they could be and each frozen flower spangled and sparkled. I think about this bejeweled tree and nature’s magic every Spring.
Turn Over a New Leaf:
The #1 gardening app in the country is the Garden Answers plant identification app www.gardenanswers.com. I downloaded it to find out once and for all if those darn trees were actually cherry blossoms. The app virtually identifies over 20,000 plants (as well as pests and diseases found on a plant) with its cutting-edge plant identification technology. Take a photo of the plant and Garden Answers will match it with detailed descriptions.
Pretty as a Picture:
Google Lens lens.google.com is my go-to for photo searches. It lets you “search what you see” by uploading or taking a photo and searching the world wide web with an image instead of text. I use this for trees and flowers, but also to investigate the marks on fine china and antiques, a lamp or a chair I might see in a hotel or restaurant, a rare coin, a breed of dog, and so much more. For Chrome users, just click on the word “Image” in the upper right corner or download the Google app and tap on the small square next to the microphone to the right of the search bar.
Wood You Believe?
I planted over 50 trees writing this story. It’s true. I downloaded Ecosia to my Google Chrome browser. This search engine donates 80% of its profits from ad revenue to support tree planting programs around the world. It works just like Google and turns your web searches into trees that are planted in environmentally at-risk regions around the world every 1.7 seconds. So far, they have planted nearly 125 million trees with a goal of 1 billion. Try it at www.ecosia.org.
To the Moon!
Fifty years ago this year, Apollo 14 brought hundreds of Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Douglas Fir, Sweetgum, and Redwood seeds to outer space to investigate the effects on germination (there was none). Upon their return, the seeds were gifted around the world and planted throughout the United States including at the White House, Washington Square in Philadelphia, national parks, and at universities and NASA Centers. Visit https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/moon_tree.html to find a Moon Tree near you.
April Showers Bring May Flowers:
This is the perfect time to start planning your summer garden with your landscaper. But first, download the iScape app www.iscapeit.com which uses augmented reality (AR) to help design your outdoor living space (think yards, patios, and more). Choose from thousands of shrubs, turfs, trees, mulches, water features, fire pits, fountains, deckings, etc., that you can place and move in the app. Test it out with a photo of your outdoor space or aim your device at your actual yard or patio to create a real-time AR image. Be sure and watch the tutorial.