Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seed bombs from a candy machine?

They're better for your teeth than candy, that's for sure. And better for beautifying the spaces around you. Lucy of the Waller Creek is for Lovers sent us word of this seed-bomb dispensing project called Greenaid, based in L.A.

Apparently, the idea is that people would buy these for their neighborhoods. From the website:

Whether you're a business owner, educator, or just a concerned citizen we'd like to work with you to get Greenaid in your community. You can purchase a machine (or two, or ten...) directly from us and we will develop a seed mix as well as a strategic neighborhood intervention plan in response to the unique ecologies of your area. You then simply place the machine at your local bar, business, school, park, or anywhere that you think it can have the most impact. We will then supply you with all the seedbombs you need to support the continued success of the initiative.
I'd love to see these spread around downtown Austin! As the creators say, it makes guerrilla gardening efforts a lot more accessible. Not that it's hard to come to one of the Garden Posse's events!

Speaking of, I have been very bad at updating the blog with our guerrilla activities. Bad, bad, guerrilla gardening blogger. Last night we visited the mural garden at South 1st and Annie, and discovered that our sign had been stolen, but the garden itself was doing very well! There's a beautiful spread of blackfoot daisy, sage, mint, and another plant I can't identify but is growing very vigorously. (We'd appreciate an ID!) We planted a few more perennials on the sidewalk strip, having given up on the other side of the mural as three consecutive plantings have refused to breathe life into the compacted soil. And since the basil did so well last year (as you can see in our Central Texas Gardener segment, it is the one plant the camera chooses to feature), we planted four different kinds of basil! A passerby with child asked us where the beautiful basil had gone. This summer, we hope to have a more active caretaker at this site - and more rain.

If you're in the area, stop by the garden and peek behind the flowers to pick some of our mint. It's perfect for a refreshing summertime mojito!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Plant a garden at the Carver Library with us on Saturday!

The Carver Library needs our help! They have asked the Garden Posse to install a butterfly and herb garden as part of the effort to recover their landscaping. This is our first officially sanctioned garden, but that doesn't make us any less guerrilla. It just means we can do whatever we want with city property!

So meet us at the Carver Library (1161 Angelina Street, off Rosewood on the East Side) at noon this Saturday, April 24. We'll be pulling out old plants, and designing and planting a brand new garden! Please bring whatever tools ya got (no flashlights necessary this time), and donations of herbs and butterfly-attracting plants and seeds are much appreciated. Friends are appreciated too. Snacks will be provided! 

Here's a map to the Carver Library: 

View Larger Map

And here's a resource for the plants that Texas butterflies love.

See you on Saturday!

Help scientists track climate change, in your own yard!

Do you have spiderwort, red columbine, or common lilac in your yard or neighborhood? They're on a list of the "Ten Most Wanted Plants" of Project Budburst, a citizen science initiative that helps scientists track climate change. 

Scientists have observed that the date that flowers bloom is changing across the country, perhaps due to warming temperatures associated with climate change. The data provided by gardeners will be used to test the connection and learn more about how a warming environment affects plants. It's important stuff. So all you have to do is join the website to report observations in your yard - and boom, you're a scientist! It's way easier than getting a Ph.D. And it's also probably a fun way to get kids involved with gardening and science - at the same time.

Project Budburst has been going on for the past three years. For more information about how you can help, visit the website and/or read today's press release on the Ten Most Wanted Plants. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cherrywood Book and Plant Swap!

We were so happy to participate in the spring Cherrywood Book and Plant Swap this year! Organizer Jack Darby started the swap over a decade ago (I think) after he saw a neighbor host a small book and plant swap in her yard. The swap was moved to Cherrywood Green, a pocket park in the center of the lovely Cherrywood neighborhood, and expanded into a community event where people from all over Austin are invited to bring their propagated plants, saved seeds, and books to trade freely. It's a beautiful idea, and it's fun! Everyone comes away happy.

Last fall, we invited ourselves to do a seed bomb demo, and introduced ourselves to the Cherrywood community. We were extremely lucky to find a nearby spot that was perfect for a guerrilla garden, and we dug the garden a few months later (as seen on TV). The garden has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood by all accounts, and it's expanding and thriving! More on that in an upcoming post. 

We collected a small crowd to help us roll seed bombs. You definitely get your hands dirty in this activity.

Helpful books at the swap. Wonder who purchased this book first, and needs it no longer? 

At the end of the demo, we had 3 trays full of seed bombs! We had some from previous demos to give away to our helpers, and we'll have more for wildflower planting next fall.

Thanks to Jack for inviting us. We met so many wonderful people, made great gardening connections, had a fantastic time, and now we're rich with plants!

For more photos, visit our flickr group!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Hour at Sao Paulo!

Tomorrow, have $2.50 margaritas and bottomless Brazilian chips (cross between tortilla and wonton) with us at Sao Paulo! We'll be meeting there around 5:30 pm on Tuesday to make merry and make plans for upcoming events. If you'd like to help formulate those plans, offer new ideas, or just see how a guerrilla gardening group does happy hour (do we try to plant the table? we might), please join us. San Paulo is north of the UT campus at 2809 San Jacinto Boulevard. (near the intersection of Dean Keeton & San Jacinto)

Photos of the Cherrywood Book and Plant Swap, and the gorgeous and successful Cherrywood Garden will be coming soon. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Get your plant, book, and seed bomb on this weekend!

It's been a beautiful week and I know many of us are spending time in our gardens, trying to put all our work in before the hot months of summer. Perhaps you're thinking of buying more plants? No need to buy! You need to swap!

Come to the Cherrywood Book and Plant Swap this Saturday, at Cherrywood & 34th (near our Cherrywood garden). It runs from 9 - noon. You and the neighbors can trade plants, cuttings, and seeds you've propogated, and books you don't want anymore! We will be doing a seed bomb workshop, back by popular demand. Other features include: Master Gardeners on hand to answer your questions, and a performance by the Maplewood Yukelele Choir. It's sure to be a worthwhile event in a wonderful neighborhood. Now, let's hope for sun.

For more information, visit the event website