Friday Film:: Rain gardening – A series of rain gardens

This week’s Friday Film features a look at a series of rain gardens designed to capture water from a roof. This video is presented by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust as part of their ‘Step by Step Rain Gardens‘ series.  In this installed garden, the rain falls down the downspout, across into a raised, circular planter filled with plants tolerant of heavy water but also summer drought. If the storm is too much for the single garden, it overflows into a series of other gardens preventing water from reaching the storm drains.

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust website is full of useful information including this Rain Gardening Guide.

Be sure to view the other videos in their rain garden series as well; Step by Step Rain Gardens.

A series of rain gardens on…

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Friday Film:: Virgin Mothers

Today’s Friday Film is by John Dunstan whose excellent short films were featured in previous posts, Short Film:: Wild Jersey City and ‘The Secret Life of….my small urban backyard’ in a past Foragings.

He’s back with a new short film, one  in a series building from the bottom up on the food chain. This one is titled ‘Virgin Mothers‘ and features the role of aphids in our complex food web. The film explores parthenogenesis, the ability of aphids to reproduce without breeding. It also demonstrates the various roles of aphids at the bottom of the food chain including being farmed, used as hosts and of course as a buffet source for a variety of other insects. The film includes an interesting look at honeydew, the waste of the aphids and its impact on other wildlife….

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Friday Film:: Bringing biodiversity back into cities

This video discussion took place at the recent ICLEI Urban Nature Forum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil this month and discusses the value of urban biodiversity and how to bring that diversity back to the cities. It’s presented by the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Oliver Hillel discusses how nature used to be in the cities and how we simply have to stop impeding it and let it back in. However, many of our systems are so changed that they now need to be managed to restore nature by bringing in new infrastructure. He also discusses how cities are laboratories for innovation and the importance of education by bringing nature back into cities so people are aware of biological processes and how dependent we are on them.

From the website::

Cities, ecosytems and biodiversity
Bringing biodiversity back into cities
Keith Tidball in conversation with Oliver…

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Friday Film:: New Wild Garden

Today’s Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green roof on the shelter and a wild planting area for pollinators.

From the Vimeo description::

The centre piece of the Chelsea RHS Flower show silver gilt New Wild Garden designed by Nigel Dunnett. The…

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Friday Film:: “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities” An Interview

Today’s Friday Film features green wall designer, botanist and author Patrick Blanc, perhaps the best known designer of green walls. His book, The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City is getting a revised and updated edition which will be out in April. This video is part of the Greenroofs.com Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011, which includes a number of videos of keynote presentations, panel discussions and other speakers available on greenroofsTV. This video includes an interview with Patrick as well as a talk by him. In the interview he discusses how the vertical gardens, or green walls can play a role as habitat for wildlife. He also discusses projects which use native plants and the challenges of choosing appropriate plants for the varying conditions on a single building.

From the…

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Friday Film:: Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action

Today’s Friday Film features a fascinating and enlightening TED talk by Janine Benyus, natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, author, co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild and founder of the Biomimicry Institute. One reason nature is so important to us as humans is the lessons we take from it. Observing the workings of the flora and fauna in our own backyards and daily lives inspires many ideas which often benefit us and the environment.

The Biomimicry Guild defines biomimicry as “an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.” While the idea of biomimicry isn’t new, Velcro was created using this idea, this talk highlights recent innovations which have made technology much more efficient in addition to coming up with…

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