I met Emily two summers ago on one of our weekly Crestview Garden Tours, set up by Ms. Paige Hill...story will follow. She introduced herself and after hearing my name, told me that she'd been following my blog. At that time, I had no idea anyone was paying attention, I didn't have a counter and only a few comments from friends. She asked for a card and well, that was that. A few months later she called to set up an appointment. She was my first client, an ideal client, really. She's a 'real' gardener, she loves it. She has a romantic idea of cottage gardens with fond memories of her grandmothers place and she's fearless. We banged out a plan in one morning and I left her house elated and terrified. What had I just done? I kept telling myself "let it go, let it go...it's her project now."
Lovable Kat, another great asset to Crestview.
It was several weeks before the phone rang again, a few clients here and there. I was in no hurry to have my business take off and was deeply involved in the Master Naturalist program and had taken on the job of Green Gardener at Zilker...a little bread and butter...plus I was enjoying the writing and working on my own yard. Sometime later that year I ran into Emily walking her dogs and I pulled over in my car and asked her how she was and how her garden was coming along. She was glowing and told me that she loved the plan and was following it to a "T." I could hardly believe it! We talked for a few minutes longer and I went around the block to drive by her place and check it out myself. Sitting in front of her little cottage, I was amazed. She really was doing the plan, and it looked fantastic! She was happy, so I was happy.
My family at the sign-in station for the Friends of Brentwood Park workday.
Working on the path.
Shortly after the workday, Emily organized a nature activity day at her house. Some of the photos of that day are above, we made several different kinds of bird ornaments with peanut butter, cornmeal, seed and nuts (suet for the birds.)
Mud path, before.
It was fun! And, I got to meet some other neighbors and left with a box of goodies for the birds in my yard.
As I sit here writing and glancing through the Green City Challenge that is the green neighbor booklet I'm wondering what it is in one person versus another that touches them and sparks the activity needed to promote real change? For me, I was a Girl scout, my mother was the troop leader and I attended Lutheran church several times a week, this is where I believe my civic mindedness comes from . My mom was the driving force behind getting us outside in nature, be it the Black Forrest or visiting National Parks...she was the one who pulled over to read the historical markers and understood that the journey was the goal and being outside was healthy, not a big gardener but someone who appreciated beautiful places.
Loving spouse attacking a mulch mound.
My girls are not involved in scouting, and the struggle to get the church across the street interested in caring about their property, and the neighborhood has left us all bewildered about modern Christian Stewardship...regardless my oldest daughter got involved on her own with Eco-Texas, removing invasive species from Brightleaf Preserve and her little sister will soon be the youngest person in Travis County to complete the Master Naturalist Program. They got the bug...most likely from me, but in the larger picture...where does it come from?