Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012--Whatcha Doin' Today? In which I get a bit rowdy!

Dear friends,

With all the work we've been doing on the two houses, the fact that today is Earth Day almost slipped past me.  Lots of special events are going on around the Austin area.  I wondered, what will I do for Earth Day, to honor the earth?  Well, I'll tell ya what I'm doing---the same thing I do almost everyday!

On my To Do list today, which is admittedly way too much to get done in one day, I plan on planting the load of native plants I bought last week from the amazing Round Rock Garden Center and the rosemary and chocolate cherry tomato I bought locally at Moss True Value Hardware store here in Taylor.

This morning, while having my first cup of coffee, I got inspired by looking through one of my favorite garden books, Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy.  Rosalind has the most amazing front yard garden in which she mixes edible fruits, herbs, veggies, flowers, shrubs--you name it.  Over the years she's written a huge number of books on edible gardening.  Check out the list here.

One thing I like about the gardens that Rosalind designs is that she includes colorful accessories--pots, painted whiskey barrels, bright edgings, painted trellises and garden walls, etc.  One of the problems with my "So Easy it's Stupid" raised garden beds is that they are butt-ugly.  Made from cedar fence pickets, they turn grey very quickly in this Texas sun.

My "So Easy it's Stupid" Garden Beds made from cedar fence pickets
 In the past, I've painted cement blocks in a former garden using a very thin wash of leftover latex paint and really liked the way they looked.  The color held up surprisingly well in that blistering heat.

So I had a Big DUH! moment---this time I'll paint the cedar pickets.  So add that to my To Do list for Earth Day--brighten up the garden a bit with some leftover bits 'n bobs of paint.

Another thing on my very long To Do list is to start a new planting area along my front sidewalk. I wish it was a bit less straight, but I can compensate by building the edging beds in undulating curves, and making sure I plant things (like prostrate rosemary) that will grow over the edge, hiding it.

This a bit daunting since we seem to have moved into a bevy of Garden Critics.  Some are well-meaning, and some--well, NOT SO.  Sigh.  I suppose eventually they'll get used to my methods, and quit telling me how manicured and pristine the former residents kept the yard.  So, guess what?  I'm not them, they don't live here anymore, and the two words "manicured" and "pristine" are NOT in my garden vocabulary.  And as my Daddy would say, they can "just put that in their pipe and smoke it!"  :-)  The only persons my garden have to please are ME and ME and Husband.  And usually he's happy if there are some tomatoes somewhere.  Otherwise, he cares not so much.

One of the issues with this house and garden is that it's on a corner, on a very (too) busy street.  So everything I do is right out where everyone can see it.  Fences are coming (they're like number 52 on the To-Do list), but for now, I have very little privacy.   The plan is to design in both public views and fenced private areas.

Tired yet?  Gee, and I've only just started on my Earth Day To-Do list.  That's the good thing about doing Earth Day thingies everyday, there's always something to do, and progress is made--little by little.  

So, Happy Earth Day!  Dig it!  And, happy trails!

bobbi c.


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