Wild About Texas – December, 2008

Staff member with children at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Photo by the author.

A volunteer and staff member work together at the Wildflower Center.
Photo by the author.

New Year’s Resolutions
from Native Plant Gardeners

Happy New Year! And along with the New Year come good intentions. I spoke with two of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s long-time gardens volunteers, Kelly Cunny and Brigid Larson, and here is their Top Ten Resolutions list, which will surely keep them engaged this year.

Nurture a backyard wildlife habitat.

Provide water for feathered friends. Photo by Jim Ross, Heard Nature Photographer’s Club

Gather rainwater. Photo courtesy of Clean Air Gardening.

We resolve to

1. Keep our tools and gear clean and in working order (although adamantly NOT organized — we want to be realistic in our expectations)!

2. Share native plants from our gardens with neighbors we don’t know. We can’t think of a better icebreaker.

3. Earn Wildlife Habitat Certification from the National Wildlife Federation. (For information, go to: http://www.nwf.org/backyard/).

4. Everywhere we go, visit many, many public gardens such as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (Free admission in January! See www.wildflower.org for details.)

5. Volunteer at a public garden. We love gardening, of course, but a variety of organizations offer many different opportunities, from working in the gift store to leading tours or working with children. It’s all fun!

6. Cut flowers from the garden to bring to a friend.

7. Maintain a birdbath even in winter, mindful to always keep it full and clean.

8. Join a local garden club.

9. Be more environmentally sensitive gardeners by starting a compost pile, returning plastic pots to a receptive nursery, turning Christmas trees into mulch, installing rain barrels, and avoiding planting invasive species in our gardens.

10. Introduce a child to the wonders of nature.

For more information about Texas native plants, visit the Wildflower Center’s website at: www.wildflower.org.

About the author:  Andrea DeLong-Amaya is the Director of Horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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