Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Status of Website Updates

We uploaded the first round of updates, and the others have been put on hold temporarily. A lot has happened since the Dallas WaterWise Tour on June 2nd. I'll share what I can...

Our project that was on the WaterWise Tour might be getting more statewide exposure. Stay tuned about this--it will be a great honor for us if it all comes together. This project and another of ours will be featured on a private tour this Saturday. Walk-and-talks (especially the 'talk' part) are our specialty!

Since June 2nd we have also agreed to a number of speaking engagements, some are returning gigs, some are brand new venues. See a couple of posts below for more information; as details are available I will update that post. We will not book additional dates after January...read below to learn why...Our alma mater -- formerly Southwest Texas State University, currently Texas State University at San Marcos -- has invited us to speak about our business to current students. Few alumni have the opportunity to return to their alma mater and share their post-graduation experiences with soon-to-be graduates. Truly, this will be a special moment for us.

If you have not already, I hope you will read my bi-monthly piece at http://aswearemagazine.com. My column is titled Earth Mother. Recent articles have been about organic clothing, safe cosmetics, eating from your garden, and all are directly related to sustainability. Upcoming topics are landfills and community gardens.

Perhaps this a good spot to make another announcement. I've been hesitant to post it here, because it's more personal than professional. But, I suppose it's not any more personal than photos of us hiking with Folsom, eh? Here goes...Sometime in January we expect the arrival of our first 'NativeBabe.' We found out around the time of the Dallas WaterWise Tour, and suddenly all the website updates, new pics -- everything -- came to a screeching halt. All is well for both Earth Mother and NativeBabe. This is all new to us, so these first weeks we have been adjusting, shifting duties and cross-training and preparing well-in-advance for the little one. It has been a joyous adjustment. We look forward to the start of the new year for entirely different reasons now.

Our Office and Meeting Hours *new*

Beginning July 1st, our office hours are:
Monday - Wednesday: 8am - 5pm (limited availability for appts)
Thursday: 11am - 7pm (first appt at 11am, last at 6pm)
Friday: 8am - 5pm (first appt at 8:30am, last at 3:30pm)
Saturday: reserved for events and presentations
Sunday: closed

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, July 28th, 1:30pm at North Haven Gardens in Dallas. "The Best of Texas: Native Plants and Responsible Resource Management" Free!
  • Monday, July 16th, 7pm at Haggard Public Library in Plano. "Landscape Makeover: Easy Steps Toward Sustainability" Free!
  • Saturday, August 4th, 9am-1pm at Frisco Green Home/Safety Fair. Free!
  • Tuesday, August 14th, 7pm to Dallas Sierra Club. Title TBA. Free!
  • Saturday, October 20th, 9-11am at Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden. "Where the Wild Things Are: Inviting Nature Into Your Garden" www.dallasarboretum.org to register
  • Tuesday, November 27th, 10am at monthly meeting of Grapevine Garden Club. Title TBA.
  • Thursday and Friday, November 29th and 30th, time TBA at Texas State University at San Marcos. Details TBA soon.
  • Tuesday, January 8th, 11:30am at monthly meeting of McKinney Garden Club. Title TBA.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Recommended Reading

I was born with a black thumb. The only gardening I ever did growing up was pulling weeds one time when I was 15. My back and arms ached, I whined. And why would anyone do this to themselves, anyway? That summer I helped my grandmother in Kentucky harvest beans; it was a painless endeavor.

When David and I were first dating, he gave me an indoor yucca tree--I killed it. I had a cactus...and killed it. Get my point?

After a short while, however, I began to see plants and nature from David's perspective. My black thumb turned slightly brown-green at first. My slate of gardening info was clean, so as I began to learn about native plants and sustainable design, I had plenty of room to fit the info. I didn't have old habits to break.

All I have known is designing as nature intended. It's funny when we meet new clients who want their 'old' landscape plants identified--I'm very little help, really. The names are familiar to me: cleyera, ligustrum, carissa holly. But I couldn't identify them if my life depended on it. I only know natives and the few adaptables that we recommend. My thumb is verdant green now.

Recently I began reading Wasowski's Requiem for a Lawnmower, published in 1992. If you have not, I recommend reading this collection of essays about landscaping with not against nature. She writes about many of the same topics we do, but I have never read any of her books. We have most of them, and I've used her photos on occasion as references. I've never sat down and read anything she's written, though. Hate to admit that, but it's true. (By the way, David has read her work.)

Her work has not taught me new info, nor has it confirmed facts I already know. It has been a rather curious experience to read my own thoughts and ideas in someone else's work. Her work predates my knowledge of plants!

Another great read is Roy Bedichek's Adventures with a Texas Naturalist. His work predates most of our LIVES. Old school but still applicable after all these years.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I've not posted a follow-up to the blurb about Sierra Club's Green Home Tour. A few other things should be mentioned, as well. Here goes, take a deep breath:

Green Home Tour was held Saturday, May 26th. Started out slow, a little chilly. Around lunchtime numbers of attendees increased with the temperatures. My heart was warmed by the growing population of local residents interested in conserving, preserving and restoring natural resources. Encouraging.

Last Friday an article appeared in the Home/Garden section of Dallas Morning News promoting City of Dallas' WaterWise Tour. One of our Plano projects won an award and was featured on the tour. Pics and our names were included in the DMN article. The tour was held the following day, Saturday, June 2nd. More than 200 people toured our project that day. We were thrilled to meet so many enthusiastic, supportive people. It felt like a huge birthday party brimming with eager well-wishers. Toward the end of the day, when most of us were hot, thirsty and a bit worn down, a tour bus stopped in front of the house and 45+ garden tourists spilled out onto the lawn like seeds dispersed in the wind. Good seeds, not Nut Sedge seeds. ;-)

Anyway, our intrepid newfound friends were led by local native plant hero, Bonnie Reese. She complimented our work, then joined her group as they followed David into the backyard. David had only 20 minutes to identify and describe some of the elements of the project. And he masterfully gave a succinct overview of his approach to that design. Our audience emptied out of the gate and back onto the bus. As quickly as they had arrived, the tour bus was gone.

The homeowners generously shared bottled water and information with many tour-goers. They were certainly troupers--we are forever grateful for all the work they poured into this tour. We do these events all the time, and we were wiped out. I'll bet our clients and the volunteers slept quite well Saturday night.

Parts of the new website are up, sort of in test mode. A lot of other things are going on behind the scenes, but I hope to upload the complete new NativeDave.com by Friday or Saturday. Please check back often!