Monthly Archives: November 2012

Electricity-generating Wetlands? Think of the possibilities!

Every once in a while a story tweaks the old imagination juices. The latest is the November 23, 2012 article seen in ScienceDaily, Electricity from the Marshes, about a fuel cell that extracts electricity from wetland soils.

Researchers have developed a way to harness the electrons released when bacteria break down the organic residue plants produce during photosynthesis. An electrode absorbs these electrons to generate electricity. Currently, the Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell can generate 0.4Watts per square meter (about 10.76 square feet) of wetland plants.

Just think about this for a moment.

Once developed, the researchers suggest a rooftop planting measuring 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) could generate enough electricity to supply a household consuming 2,800 kWh/year.

Read the article yourself and the information about this patented idea at the Plant-e website … it might be enough to tweak your imagination , as it did mine.

pond edgeWill we be creating backyard ponds – perhaps a pond for every house – to charge our electronic devices?

Will marshlands become the electricity generating regions for shoreline communities?

Will flat urban rooftops contain gardens not just to save energy through reduced heat absorption, but to create energy?

Granted, the technology is still in development. More will be learned from the first roof installation of an electricity-generating marsh at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

This research will be interesting to follow.

Plants as electricity producers … just think of the possibilities.

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It’s the little things …

Autumn is the time of year to wander through wooded and natural areas with sharp eyes focused on the little things.

Little things such as an intricate forest of moss surrounding a glacier-deposited rock.



The symmetry of seed pods standing tall in remembrance of the flowers that once were.



A lichen-draped boulder that anchors a planted bed during flower-showy summer months, but takes center stage during autumn.



Be thankful for these little things … the things we often take for granted.

Be thankful for the simple beauty that surrounds you, be it lichen, moss and seed pods, or a child’s soft cheek, or the hand-hold of a loved one.

Just be thankful.

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Connecticut Color in November–Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Evergreen shrubs provide most of the color in my Connecticut garden for this Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Holly’s red berries contrast beautifully with its dark green leaves.


Coast leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris), a Connecticut native, shows off its ruby red leaf color against backdrops of mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), another Connecticut native, and carex.


Pieris andromeda similarly plays red against green.


These workhorse shrubs will provide most of the color contrast in my gardens throughout winter. But in mid-November color also holds on elsewhere.

Spiraea Double Play Artist, a Proven Winners shrub I received as a trial plant in 2011, is not yet ready to stop attracting attention.


This compact shrub is expected to grow to about two and one-half feet tall and wide. It is fast becoming one of my favorites, showing red-tinged new growth that matures to dark green, and dark pink blossoms in spring. With deadheading, the shrub will rebloom through autumn, when the leaves again provide seasonal color.

Just out of the shot of the spiraea above is a shrub rose, and this is where I found the best surprise of the morning.


Through super storm Sandy, an early Nor’easter snowfall, and nighttime temperatures into the high 20’s, this little rose managed to push out one more bloom … as if she wanted to be the November 2012 star of the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post from joene’s garden.

She succeeded.

To see the stars blooming in gardens all over the world please visit May Dreams Gardens where Carol kindly hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of each month.

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