Climate Action Team co-founder Pat Russell shared this dispatch from her home garden, and we’re looking forward to seeing photos soon! Have you tried something new in your yard or food garden? Want to share compost tips or rain barrel advice? We would love to hear about your efforts and even your failures since many of us are experimenting with new ways to save and savor the Earth. Send me an email at, and let’s tell your story! Alright, here’s the latest from Pat.

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You have heard that “April showers bring May flowers.” It is April, but I’m instead focusing on flowers, not showers. One reason is I want my plants to establish a good root system before our Georgia hot weather arrives. I have been a gardener for many years but only recently became aware of the importance of planting native plants after hearing Doug Tallamy’s lecture on his book Nature’s Best Hope. He proposes that we could slow the rate of extinction we are seeing in the insect and bird population by planting natives in our yards.

So I joined the Georgia Native Plant Society and attended a webinar on the best native plants to plant. I also paid a native plant expert, Kathryn Kolb, to tour my garden and provide advice. She is the founder of a nonprofit company called Eco-Addendum. She first identified the natives that I already had in the garden, which include: Native Flaming Azalea, Phlox Diverticulata, Paw Paw trees, Poplars, White Oak trees, Sensitive Ferns, Blueberries, Beautyberry, Joe Pye Weed, Trillium, and Philadelphia Fleabane (a weed I had been pulling up in early spring). 

Of course, she also pointed out what I need to eliminate: the endless invasive ivy, the invasive Lentos Roses, and even my Hostas!

So my April native flower-planting has consisted of: Red Buckeye, Fireworks Goldenrod, Georgia Astor, False Indigo, Soapwort, Bee Balm, Butterfly Weed, and Honeysuckle Vine (for the hummingbirds).

I’m excited to see if my April flowers will benefit from May showers!

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JOURNEY WITH US: The Climate Action Team extends a radical welcome to activists, contemplatives, readers, meditators, questioners, tree hugging hippies, scientists, policy wonks, radicals, pacifists, nature enthusiasts, and all who seek community as we navigate our changing times together. Learn all about the group here, and check out our lending library of over 100 titles and Carbon Offset Fund grant opportunity. Contact Nicole Haines to connect to the CAT and join us on Zoom for our next monthly meting on Monday, May 15 at this Zoom link.