Scotch Moss isn’t actually moss – it’s an evergreen perennial shrub that grows low to the ground. It’s also perfect for a desktop pet plant!
Have you ever come across a plant in the wild that you couldn’t identify? An app called iNaturalist may be the easiest way to put a name to a leaf. Join me in a walkthrough of making an observation as I try to identify a strange plant on the coast.
A look back at what’s happened in January, both in the wider environment and in my own garden. Most notably – the LA smog is back, my garden has new LED grow lights, and South Coast Botanic Garden’s GLOW event is over.
Only time will tell what the final effects of the COVID shutdowns are on the environment. During the height of the lockdown, air quality improved almost immediately. NO2 and CO2 (from fossil fuels) both decreased. This effect was noticed most heavily in major cities, though arguably the whole world benefitted. Fine particulate matter, PM2.5, similarly dropped.
Plants are natural air purifiers. We put out a heck of a lot of carbon, and all plants will help reduce that to some degree. The only issue is that carbon isn’t the only thing we’re putting into the atmosphere. Our atmosphere indoors, where we’re spending so much time, is incredibly important. We put out a few other notable bad chemicals in the course of daily living – ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. Check here for some plants that can clean your air!
Looking back at the whole year – the lockdowns have had some changes. More plants at home, and definitely going outdoors more often to get some fresh air!
The Ginkgo is currently most threatened not by disease or the environment, but by logging. Our homes are our own environments. We get a say at what survives, and can even help plants thrive that otherwise might be disappearing.
Cholla cacti have wood skeletons. After they die and the water evaporates, after the skin falls off and the desert critters move in – they leave behind some wood. I never connected the plants as alive to how they were when dead.
After a few store-bought daffodil planters died at home, the dirt lay neglected in a bag on the balcony. Somehow, the daffodils have come back. I’m so excited.
The Beavertail Prickly-Pear Cactus (Opuntia basilaris) is a mainstay in Joshua Tree and much of the rest of the Mojave. Learn about it here!