Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And I Worry

Sometimes I talk too much,
I think too much,
And I worry.

But when I listen,
I hear the cries of the mockingbird,
Leary of human hands
Close to her nest.

I hear beeping earthmovers
Backing up,
Burying the coyote tracks.

I hear rabbits
Scurrying into brush,
The last remaining green life along the creek.

The limestone bank
Is scraped and
The creek filled
So the retirement community won’t sink.

When I listen to the sounds of dying Nature, I think
What can I do?
Who can I tell?
And I worry.

...christy tinsley-ilfrey, sept 2006

Finally, New Pics This Week

You've heard this before, yes. Tomorrow we will be taking new photos and uploading them by the end of the week. Until then, enjoy the same-old, same-old.

Be Hap E

A lot of good things have been happening lately. We met more than 100 avid nature-lovers at the Wildscaping Workshop on September 16th (refer back a few posts for more info.) Several new designs have come our way -- some residential, some commercial, some educational sites. A fabulous company we have known for a while is taking over our installations so that we may focus on design, consultation and speaking engagements. (More info about them coming soon.) All in all, this transitional period is going well.

More changes will be announced in the coming months, probably around the first of the year. Sometimes, even when changes are good, new situations can create stress. Recently my shoulder and back have been reminding me of this fact. So I've been getting more sleep, eating better and moving my body a bit more. I won't claim to have resumed my exercise regimen. Actually, I doubt I could run very far right now. But I'm trying, like most of us do. I walk Folsom farther and more frequently than I did during spring. One day I even squeezed in a few abdominal crunches.

This morning I was awake early-early, so I did the grocery shopping before the sun came up. The current edition of Runner's World includes "the perfect shopping list" and in this regard I need that type of hand-holding. Who knew almonds, salmon and lowfat yogurt contained so many beneficial vitamins and minerals AND taste delicious. Who knew I was still eating like runner, without running???

Feeling like I had completed a 5K, I drove home smiling, my healthy food purchases by my side. I felt good about the way my day had begun...and there it was. Like an omen, a message from my secret invisible guardian was written on the license plate of the mini-van driving along in front of me. A soccer mom's vanity plate greeted me: "BE HAP E." Thanks, I think I will.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chickory and Minty Paws

This morning we started our day in the garden. Illuminated by early morning light, the plants were verdant and turgid -- guess that measly one-inch-of-rain actually did more good than we thought! We sipped our special Cafe du Monde coffee and picked at the potted mint plant that suffered and struggled all summer. Poor thing, rebounding is kind-of hard because Folsom has chosen it as his garden perch. On the other hand, his paws always smell minty fresh!

Cooler temperatures arrived so suddenly, I can't believe just a few weeks ago we were melting. I know, the seasons never seem to change gradually here, even in 'normal' years. Our seasons are either nine months of hot, dry and breezy, or three months of cold, damp and breezy. It is unusual for the seasons to arrive gracefully -- our weather here is brutal, sometimes. This morning, though, I felt as if I were enjoying a genuine early-fall or early-spring morning; it was marvelous. And it reminded me to take a bit of time each day to be grateful for simple pleasures. Pleasures like rich chickory and minty paws...and rain.

Speaking of rain...although recent rainfall helped, lake levels are still low. Watering restrictions in most communities will continue until further notice; check your city/town's website for the most accurate and current information. City of Plano (www.plano.gov/water) plans to continue watering restrictions through winter, and through summer of 2007 if drought conditions persist.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Website Updates

Beginning today we are making changes to our website. For the next few days you might find links that lead to nowhere or missing images, etc. No worries, we're just shaking things up around here. If you can't find info you're looking for, feel free to send a request to me directly at christy@nativedave.com. I'll gladly zap you a document that lists all our services and fees. Soon all this will be clearly posted to our website. Hurrah for technology!

UPDATE to the "updates"
9/19/2006 at 2:53pm:
The site is working but we have not uploaded the portfolio...yet. It's a little more complex than changing colors and content, so we need a few more days to complete this task. Please check back soon for new, yes finally NEW, photos. We're very excited about the changes to our site and services, and hope you will bear with us as we adjust to the new 'systems.'

RECAP: Wildscaping for Wildlife Workshop

Saturday, September 16th, was a treat. Bobette Brashear, North Texas Master Naturalist, gave a wonderful presentation titled "What is a Wildscape?" We were up next, and I think our program about "Wildscape Design" was well-received. Next, Donna Simon, president-elect of Native Plant Society of Texas--Garland Chapter, spoke about "Using Native Plants". I really enjoyed her program, because it was an intimate look at ways homeowners can incorporate natives into their existing landscape. Well-done! Deb Bliss of City of Plano's Sustainability and Environmental Services discussed "Composting" -- so very interesting and informative. Deb is a terrific speaker, too. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the final program on "Ponds & Water Features" with Steve Moeller of Water Gardens.

The programs were superb, but I think we enjoyed most meeting the 100-or-so attendees. It's always fun to spend a Saturday with folks who are interested in nature-focused topics.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tree Maintenance Class with the TREE EXPERT Bill Seaman

Tree Maintenance Class
This class is an opportunity for you to learn how to maintain your beautiful trees during the current North Texas drought.

Who & What
Mr. William H. Seaman, Speaker
Certified Arborist through International Society of Arboriculture
Texas Certified Arborist #1153
Attended Masters Program in Landscape Architecture – UT Arlington
B.S. Ornamental Horticulture – Texas Tech University
Currently employed with Arborilogical Services Inc, The Tree Care Experts, Mr. Seaman will discuss how to recognize the signs of tree stress, dormancy, nutrition needs, water needs, fertilization, etc.

Saturday, September 16th, 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Wednesday, September 20th, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Plano Municipal Center
1520 Avenue “K”, Plano, Texas 75074
Municipal Center is located between 15th St. and 18th St. on Avenue K

Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors but we cordially ask that you limit invitees to Plano community members ONLY at this time.

We will seat on a first come, first served basis. This class is being offered twice so that we can accommodate as many people as possible. This is an excellent opportunity to learn proper care for your precious trees.

For more information on the current drought situation, please visit our web page at:

Vote For Us!

Green Business of the Year
From September 12 to October 5, Co-op America members around the country will submit their nominations for Green Business of the Year. Three weeks later, the top ten businesses with the most nominations will compete in an online run-off vote for this year's award." To cast your vote for us and other green businesses, please click on the link below. Thanks for your vote and for helping to grow the green economy!


Immediate Changes

Due to drought and watering restrictions, demand for our consultation, design and public speaking services has sprouted. More people are beginning to recognize the myriad benefits of landscaping with native plants, and we will be focusing our time educating homeowners, builders and developers, businesses, schools, civic groups and other landscape companies about native plants and sustainable landscaping. Our goal is to prepare you and your landscape contractor for a successful and rewarding landscaping experience. Therefore, we are suspending until further notice our installation and maintenance services. Following is a more complete explanation of our services effective immediately:
  • Consultation Only -- This is a one time, one-hour session. You will receive a list of recommended plants and materials, including common and botanical names, quantities and sizes, and product vendors. For smaller projects and time permitting, we will also create a "quick sketch", a hand-drawn design to illustrate our suggestions with regard to plant placement and bed layout. Fee is $150.
  • Consultation and Design -- Two-part service. During our first meeting (which usually lasts 20-30 minutes) we will assess your goals for the project area and take photographs. We must have a current, original (no copies, please) survey or plat plan of your property to start your design; we will return your survey during our second meeting. Meeting #2 usually lasts one hour. We will explain the elements of your design, present photos, etc. You will receive a 24x36" professional design (to scale), 11x17" laminated copy (not to scale) and a list of recommended plants and materials. Fees start at $500 and generally range $500-750, depending on the size and scope of your project. A deposit of 1/2 the design fee is due at the end of the first meeting, the balance at the end of the second.
  • Consultation, Design and Project Management -- In addition to the Consultation and Design above, we will visit your project site periodically throughout the installation process to assist you and your landscape contractor. Fee will be determined by the size and scope of your project.
  • Additional Information -- We are based in Plano and fees described above apply to projects in Collin County, southeastern Denton County and most of Dallas County, Texas. We will work with clients outside this service area, especially communities along the Gulf Coast interested in restoring native vegetation. Please contact us for pricing information.
  • Other changes will be announced soon!

Our fall office hours are:

M-F 8a-5p
We will meet one evening per week and one Saturday per month by appointment only.
No meetings on Sundays.


A little rain, somewhat cooler temperatures -- so much has happened while we were away. Today we're returning emails and phone calls, but please check back in a few days for news, updates and information about some neat nurseries we visited recently. New pics on the way, too!