Flowery blurbs, volume 10.

While I make short work of that milk chocolate bunny I accidentally bought the other day, feel free to take a gander at this week’s Flowery Blurbs:

Use plant dyes for Easter.

I found this timely holiday post at Simple Bites, and was inspired to create the multi-hued eggs pictured below (using tumeric, blueberries, and paprika).  You don’t need those dye kits from the store – just raid your spice rack and your freezer! 

Seriously old wood plates go digital.

Romeyn Beck Hough’s book The American Woods (written between 1888 and 1910) has been freshly digitized and made available for everyone’s viewing pleasure at the History of Forestry website.  It’s a fascinating look at over 350 different types of North American trees, with detailed text and cross-sections of each.  The book is all the more important because some of these species no longer exist. 

When earthworms go bad.  (And no, I’m not talking about the denizens of my new vermicomposter).

A recent article suggests that while earthworms are amazingly useful in the garden, they do not work to promote healthy forests.  The amount of leaf litter that earthworms can consume seems to be at the root of the problem…pun intended.  Read all about it here.

Get a buggy education.

Olds College continues their 2012 Hort Week Speaker Series with a fantastic talk by their resident insect guru, Dr. Ken Fry.  Check out his full lecture about creating Environmentally Friendly Yards here.

Sweet edible flowers. 

I plan to plant a whole bunch of calendula this spring, to use in my fledgling attempts at dyeing fabric using plants from my own garden…it just so happens calendula flowers are edible as well, so I will be sure to try them out in my microgreen mixes in addition to throwing them in the dyepot.  If you want to try something REALLY creative with edible flowers, check out this blog post from Sprinkle Bakes, where gorgeous viola blossoms take centre stage in lollipop candy.  I dare you not to drool over the photos.

Floral notes: February 2012.

While I scarf down the last of the Valentine’s Day cupcakes ♥, please feel free to peruse this week’s Flowery Blurbs:

Worms are cool.  Way cooler than you ever imagined.

You already knew that worm castings made fantastic compost.  That’s the reason why I recently set up a vermicomposter.  But it seems that Cornell University researchers have found out another amazing thing about worm poop:  it may actually hinder a certain pathogen from causing damping off, the bane of young seedlings.  Read about their findings here.

Let’s talk carbon and pulp.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development have recently released a report, Carbon Footprint Analysis for Wood and Agricultural Residue Sources of Pulp, and while it may make for dry reading for some tastes, it’s actually an interesting comparision of the environmental impact, viability, and sustainability of wood vs. crop residues such as wheat straw for use as pulp.  You can examine the document here.

These water plants are over-the-hill.  Really, REALLY over-the-hill.

A scientist from Australia has determined that there is a long stretch of seagrass growing in the Mediterranean that is the oldest living organism on the planet.  And when I say “old,” I’m not kidding.  Find out how many candles are required for a proper Posidonia oceania birthday celebration here.

Artist creates impermanent “land art.” 

A German artist named Walter Mason makes insanely beautiful “sculptures” out of leaves and other organic (mostly plant) materials, in outdoor settings.  The art is photographed and then left to revert to nature (or as “natural” as it’s going to get after it has been twisted and arranged into pretty patterns and shapes).   Enjoy his “autumn” art and his “spring and summer” art.