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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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california native plants are poppies for wildflowers and native plant ecosystem

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Bed and Bath

Every spring there is a new crop of home furnishings that are decorated with visions of nature: roses, tulips, ivy, country scenes, and more. I love these patterns and rich natural colors and am intrigued and enticed to add them to my home to bring the outdoors in...

BUT! It has finally sunk in that using images and replicas of nature in my home is NOT bringing nature into my living space. Only by bring in plants and pets and natural materials to replace manmade materials such as plastics and paints and even metals, do I get the full advantage that comes from feeding my heart and mind with natural images.

The touch of plastic cannot compare with the lush feel of wood. The natural aromas and textures and colors of a bouquet of tulips cannot be eclipsed by silk, no matter how elegant. The lesson to be learned from real natural materials is more than aesthetics. We learn about the fragile life cycle of a blossom. We absorb the natural grain and texture and aroma of natural woods. We luxuriate on a cotton spread in a way that is felt deeper than the softness of the latest microfibers.

We connect with our habitat and begin to understand that we are related to all life, all natural processes.

So this season...whether spring, summer, fall or winter, I hope you will spend a few of your hard earned bucks to move a bit of truly priceless nature into your living space. Invite in a pot of tulips or begonias. Select a single, authentic wooden end table instead of two plastic replicas.

The authenticity of life will reward you with appreciation, understanding and a new kind of family. Your roots in nature will flourish!

For more articles about URBAN NATURE

Urban Agriculture for Outdoor Adventure
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Kudzu Grows a Foot per Day
Meow How? Should I keep my cat indoors?
Habitat on Your Balcony and Garden Patio
Keeping ants in nature where they belong