Monday, March 22, 2010

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Sustainable Design Workshop this Saturday, March 27th

Sustainable Design Workshop
Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. until noon
Upper Trinity Regional Water District office
900 N. Kealy Street, Lewisville, Texas

It is a free workshop, but registration is required. Contact City of Lewisville at 972-219-3504 or email by Friday, March 19 at 5 p.m.

Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Edible Garden

I'm not a very experienced vegetable gardener. Some herbs (like rosemary) I am very familiar with, because it is one of the adaptable species we use in our landscape designs. A lot of herbs, however, are annuals and are somewhat foreign to me. I mean, I know the plants. I know I can grow the plants, I just have not. This year I'm determined to become a successful edible garden-gardener, though.

My wonderful husband (yes, THE Native Dave) built a raised bed for my veggies. I decided I wanted to grow the produce we consume most, like cucumbers, red bell peppers and various berries. But would they grow here on the Texas Coast? Humid, hot and high winds seem to be ingredients in a recipe for gardening disaster. Really, no matter where you live, climatic conditions must be considered before planting your garden. Consult with science-based research for your area by contacting your local extension agency: Information is free to any Texas resident. Another valuable resource of information -- especially if you are new to an area -- is your local nursery or garden center. In the Dallas area, Shades of Green Nursery in Frisco ( employs knowledgeable and helpful staff, and their plants are of good quality. (They also carry many native Texas plants!) Petal Pusher's Garden Emporium ( in Cedar Hill also offers friendly, experienced advice and gorgeous plants. (And plentiful native Texas plants, as well!)

In Central Texas, John Dromgoole's The Natural Gardener ( and Garden-Ville in San Marcos ( are two of my favorite places to shop for veggies, herbs, native plants and all-things-organic. Green Gate Nursery in Seguin is another great place, period. (In recent years they have begun to carry more native Texas plants.)

In Corpus Christi, for veggies and herbs, and plain ol' good service, the place to shop is Turner's Gardenland ( Gill Nursery ( is also top-notch, and they stock a lot of coastal native plants, too.  In addition to information, the extension agencies and most of the nurseries I've mentioned host educational classes open to the public. I was sad to miss a recent program at Turner's about berrying bushes...

Books are also great sources of information, though they are usually too broad in scope and may not always serve your specific area. Focusing on local resources is best. For general advice about gardening with vegetables and herbs, however, Howard Garrett's books are great.

Both personally and professionally, my mission is to conserve, preserve, restore and celebrate natural resources. The most effective way for any individual to make significant, positive and measurable changes in her community is by way of landscaping and gardening using sustainable techniques. Using native plants in your landscape reduces watering and maintenance tasks, allows your landscape to flourish without routine chemical applications, serves as food and shelter for native wildlife, and nurtures your area's sense of identity. Some vegetables, herbs, fruits and nut-bearing plants function similar to natives (we include them with "adaptables") and may be incorporated into your native landscape. (See Others, however, may be better suited to pots, planter or other containers (we treat them as annuals.) In my edible garden are plants that may be used responsibly in landscape beds, but I'm growing most things in pots, regardless. If I find they do well in my area (and under my care ;-) I will invite them to a more permanent spot in the landscape.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Phoenix

Business is getting back to normal around here. After Sage was born in '08, we scaled back a bit. Then we relocated family and business to the Texas Coast. David lost his father that year, as well, and almost simultaneously the economy plunged...and kept plunging deeper. We scaled back again...

Looking back, the past two years have been a bittersweet blessing. The joy of becoming parents for the first time has been the most joyous experience of our life. Nothing compares to this feeling -- if you are a parent, you understand. Losing a parent, especially too soon, is tragic but hearts are mending. Although our business suffered at the hands of the global economy, we were grateful for the extra time we could spend with our little girl. We are fortunate that BOTH of us were able to be there for every moment of the first two years of her life. Bliss.

She is older and interested in butterflies and plants, fish and beach activities, and books on all of these topics and more. Our little girl is the perfect blend of David and me...on so many levels! :)The economy is picking up steam, we have a new website with new products and services. And now we are ramping up for a 'normal' spring.

Our first presentation of the year will be on Saturday, March 27th, in Lewisville. This 3-hour workshop is free but you must register to attend. Click on "The Movement" tab on our new website ( and select "Events." Contact information is listed there.

Other upcoming events include BIG BLOOM at the South Texas Botanical Gardens ( in Corpus Christi on April 10th and Green Living Family Festival at the Heard Museum ( in McKinney on April 24th. We will also be speaking to the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest ( in Garland on April 6th and Aransas/San Patricio County Master Gardeners in Rockport on April 20th. More events and presentations to come...