Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grow Green Landscape Design Templates

The new templates are a guide for Austin area homeowners to help them choose a style and plant palette that requires less water and fewer chemicals. Not only are there scaled drawings of nine plant beds, but seven of the nine have demonstration gardens at popular spots around town including Zilker Botanical Garden, Howson Library, and City Hall. The sites provide Austinites a chance to see which plant combinations and styles best fit their needs and tastes. While some of the designs might look ambitious, it is easy to plant small areas as time and funding allow.

The templates cover a wide variety of styles including a classic, contemporary, or wildlife habitat design. One features deer-resistant plants while another helps solve drainage problems. If you have a sunny location or want a low maintenance shade design, there is a choice for you. Although these have no demonstration garden, one offers pool-friendly plants and another provides a child-friendly sensory garden where children can touch, smell or taste the plants in their garden.

Coupled with a new fact sheet on Irrigation and the existing Landscape Design and Installation fact sheet, Grow Green offers homeowners a do-it-yourself method for beautifying their landscapes. There is also a fact sheet on How to Hire a Professional if they would like an earth-friendly yard, but do not have the time or inclination to do the work themselves.

The templates can be found at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/growgreen/designs.htm along with driving and biking maps to the demonstration gardens. Brochures are also available at each garden location or by calling 974-2550. For general questions about earth-wise gardening, www.growgreen.org can help.

The Grow Green program is a partnership between the City of Austin and Texas AgriLife Extension Service. All materials are designed by the City using technical expertise of Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The City manages the program within the city limits with Extension handling the rest of Travis County. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) offers components of the program west of Austin.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 East Austin Garden Fair- Saturday March 20th

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Funds dwindling in your entertainment budget? Come to the 4th Annual Passion for Plants - An East Austin Garden Fair.

When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Govalle Park, 5200 Bolm Rd. (just east of Airport Rd.)
Cost: FREE!!

This year's focus will be on Earth-Kind gardening: research-proven techniques to provide maximum garden and landscape enjoyment while preserving and protecting the environment. The objective of AgriLife Extension's Earth-Kind is to combine the best of organic and traditional gardening and landscaping principles to create a horticultural system based on real world effectiveness and environmental responsibility.

* Landscape Water conservation
* Reduction of fertilizer and pesticide use
* Landscaping for energy conservation
* Reduction of landscape wastes entering landfills

Individuals using Earth-Kind landscaping principles and practices can create beautiful, easy-care landscapes, while conserving and protecting natural resources and the environment.

Here's a video highlighting the 2009 East Austin Garden Fair:

The boy and I will be at the fair for a bit, most likely early before his nap. Pop on by and meet the little monster!