I love gardening. It helps soothe and relax me, while also making me feel more connected to the earth. Unfortunately to most people, gardening includes synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that seep into the soil, polluting the environment. 

Instead, fertilize the soil with organic compost made from fallen leaves, vegetable scraps and decaying plants. Another tip is to use plants that are naturally adapted to your climate. These plants will be naturally healthier and will require a lot less attention.

And although your natural reaction is to squish, bat or shoo bugs, they're actually an important part of gardening. And after all we do have one product that helps discourage those nasty mosquitos from biting you. Try Primavera's Los Mosquitos Blend, and add a few drops to a base massage oil. Some bugs truly are pests (especially if they're gorging on your plants instead of politely nibbling on them), but others like spiders and lady bugs, as well as birds, frogs and lizards, help naturally control bad pests by eating them. Keep these little guys happy by keeping a water supply nearby to help them thrive. If you still have a pest problem, try sticky traps, which will help get rid of pests without harming other living things.

If you want to include your lawn in your organic landscaping project, you can try clover, buffalo grass or blue gramagrass, which are all low maintenance. Or, as an alternative try using my favorite, creeping thyme. The result is more like a meadow than a lawn. After high school I helped an older woman tend her beautiful, expansive gardens. She had creeping thyme instead of a traditional lawn and it was just beautiful. Plus it was delicious to step on. Creeping thyme is perfect for smaller, more intimate lawns. It's easy to grow, easy to maintain, requires no mowing and very little watering. A creeping thyme lawn is suitable for moderate foot traffic, but if you have a pack of wild kids playing ball on the yard every day, you'll probably want to go with something sturdier.

Happy gardening.