Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Still About the Plants

This morning we have received abundant gifts of great news. One of our clients in Plano has decided to enter their front yard project for consideration for City of Dallas' Water Wise Tour. They emailed us this morning the description of their project, from design through installation to maintenance. Written in their own words, it is apparent that they truly understand the concepts we proposed for them and agree with our mission. If you have ever experienced that feeling, that moment when somebody speaks your language, you know what I must have felt reading that email. My eyes welled up with tears of joy and gratitude.

Recently we have received a lot of positive media attention. There's the incredibly complimentary piece written by Amy Sandling Crawford for Plano Profile in this month's issue. Dallas Morning News "Neighbors" section, covering Cedar Hill and its environs, commented on our presentation at Petal Pusher's Garden Emporium. A classic pic of David and me laughing was included. (If you know us, you know we laugh a lot, often at ourselves!) D Home Magazine mentioned us on their blog and will publish something about us in their May issue (I think that's the one, anyway.) Those of you who have met us know I'm not reporting on these things to brag, I'm just sharing good news with you, our readers, our clients, our friends. I guess what I'm feeling today, as I write this, is total elation. Not only do our clients get it -- our mission and our message -- the general public is beginning to take notice, too. Although in the beginning it was difficult to turn away a request to plant Privet, Crape Myrtle and 'color' (annual plantings), especially when we really needed to buy groceries (more about my Bok Choy diet later), we knew eventually we would have plenty of clients to sustain us. We knew that once we compromised our integrity we could never get it back. So I lost 10 pounds that first winter, and my stomach hurt from worrying about how we would make ends meet. So what. I can honestly say, it has all been worth it and to all of you who have been with us since the beginning, who have encouraged us to keep spreading the word, we will always and forever appreciate you.

I know, I'm getting a little emotional and sappy. You have no idea, LOL. Earlier when we received some really grand news I sank into my chair and began to cry. Many of you know what it's like to believe in yourself and your life's mission, even when larger forces of Profit or Ignorance or Downright Meanness try to shake you off your path. But when suddenly you find growing numbers of supporters are encouraging you forward, "to fight the good fight", because they believe in you and your mission, well, you smile through tears of joy and gratitude. And that's where I am today.

This morning we learned we are receiving an award from the Florida Native Plant Society for a project we designed in Santa Rosa Beach (Walton County), Florida. Florida allocates billions of dollars per year for restoration purposes, and many communities in coastal areas have mandated landscaping with native plants. This has increased their property values, but has also curbed water consumption and encouraged responsible resource management. (See 'New Urbanism' developments, e.g. Seaside, Florida.) Our project has taken 1st place in the Landscape Awards as an "exemplary project"; we have been invited to attend the FNPS conference in Gainesville Earth Day weekend to receive our award. WOW, what a distinct honor it will be to accept this recognition.

So, at the end of the day, it's not about publicity or profit or accolades. As it has always been, it's about the native plants and the myriad benefits they afford our landscapes, neighborhoods and lifestyles.

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