Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New garden at the New Movement

Huzzah! The Garden Posse has installed a new garden at the New Movement Theater, home of improv comedy classes and shows, as well as the megaphone pictured above. And temporary home to the monkey pictured below.

As we mentioned in our last post, the plan for this garden was hatched by our new friend Jen, who is both an improv and guerrilla gardening enthusiast. This makes her a person who is funny and handy with a shovel. She'd spent some time planting at the door of the theater and had started making her way down the side of the small building. The Garden Posse joined in to speed up the process, with a whole bunch of perennials donated by Shoal Creek Nursery, and more hands.

One of the Garden Posse's favorite adages to needlepoint on pillows is "Many hands make light work." So we were psyched to see a whole bunch of new guerrilla gardeners cruise in on bikes to help out! Here we are, hard at work. 

We pulled out all the weeds that lined the side of the building, in order to amend the notoriously crappy soil that Jen had warned us about. Then we spaced out all of the plants - blackfoot daisy, lantana, firecracker, verbena, and more - and settled them in to their new homes. Here is Jen putting the finishing touches on the newly installed garden plus some improv people hanging out:

Yeah, so that's not the best photo, but trust us, it's going to be so pretty! As we were digging, we got lots of encouragement from neighbors driving by, who would stop at the stoplight and shout out their windows things like, "I appreciate what you're doing!" in perhaps more colorful language.

The other great thing about this garden (besides all the people who helped out, and its beautiful future) is that the people of the New Movement Theater are truly awesome (love fest time!). We are looking forward to the fall when we have some property stuff worked out and we can unleash the Posse powers on this beautiful, wide expanse of grass behind the building:

Can you say community garden? Also, can you say delicious smoked BBQ? The smokehouse!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Garden Posse teams up with improv comedy theater, hilarity ensues!

The Garden Posse is a lover of all kinds of laughter: Giggles, chortles, chuckles, hoots, belly laughs, and laughing until you think you can't laugh anymore but you keep laughing because there is no way to stop. So we're very, very happy to be working with The New Movement Theater, which puts on improv comedy classes and shows here in Austin! Jen, an ambassador from The New Movement, has been guerrilla gardening on her own in along the side of the building. She came to our dig at Chestnut last week, told us what she's envisioning for the space, and asked for our help. With Jen's enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of The New Movement's founders, we are totally psyched to start gardening here!

Next Tuesday, May 25, we'll be meeting at 8 PM (a half hour later than our usual time) in front of the New Movement Theater (1819 Rosewood). It's on the East Side, next to local landmark Nubian Queen Lola's.

We'll be planting landscaping plants along the side of the building, and scheming about what else we'd like to do in the building's spacious backyard and Lola's alley. It's getting close to the end of planting season (heating up much?) so we'll be thinking in the grand scheme for the fall.

Here's a photo of the space, which we checked out last night:

And here's a map to get there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chestnut Garden tomorrow, Skillshare in June!

One of our oldest and favorite guerrilla gardens is the Chestnut Garden. It's got a great location across from Chestnut Park, and it's in an abandoned lot with lots of room for expansion. We'll be replanting it for spring/ summer tomorrow night! We'll meet at 16th & Chestnut at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 11.

Bring any plants you need to get in the ground, and whatever tools ya got. Headlamps are always helpful!

If you've been outside in the last two weeks, you'll notice it's getting hot - that means the Chestnut Garden is one of the last gardens we'll be planting this season! Get in on this sweet guerrilla action before it is too late and we reverse hibernate for summer.

Oh and one more thing: Our friends at Skillshare Austin are hosting their annual Skillshare Workshop on June 5-6 at Space 12. That means a whole weekend filled with fun and practical workshops on everything from DIY art & craft to parenting to chicken tractors. The Garden Posse will be hosting a workshop on something either gardening or guerrilla related. Put it on your calendar!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Carver Museum Butterfly Garden: The Report

Not long after we filmed our segment for Central Texas Gardener, the producer, Linda, got in touch with us about a gardening project at the Carver Library and Museum. The organizer, Faye, was looking for some help with the landscaping outside the East Side cultural center. Apparently, the city funding (and the water) for the outside landscaping had dried up. Which is really a shame, because obviously a lot of planning and money went into building, and doing the initial landscaping, for these relatively new buildings. The rest of the story is that it's really hard to get the city to give permission to do anything to the landscaping, and so you can end up with a bunch of dried up clumps of grass and weeds that you can't do anything about.

So Faye and her team at Carver had finally gotten permission to touch the landscaping, but still - no funds, no city employees to help. That's where the Garden Posse came in. We became responsible for installing a butterfly garden in an area outside the museum which was currently hosting aforementioned dried up clumps of grass and weeds.

The Great Outdoors provided us with a very generous donation of about 20 plants which are sure to prove irresistible to butterflies. And Shoal Creek Nursery gave us broken bags of dirt and compost. We set to work pulling up weeds.

Well, at leas some of us did. We had a pretty good crew.

Hilary arrived on her bike, proving that the Garden Posse is truly an environmentally friendly posse.

Allen and Gene proved very effective weeders. It was a hot day and we were all rewarded with the most delicious pizza from East Side Pies - conveniently located across the street from Carver! (I want to live there now.)

After lunch, we did not take a nap.

We had to cut through the black landscaping cloth that the city put down. We don't like that stuff - not only does it make it inconvenient to plant new plants, but it can't be a good thing to coat the ground in plastic.

If you ever run into this situation, use a pick-ax. Also pictured above: Our amazing Cobra Head with which we are still very much in love.

Hopefully the plants are happy in their new home, and lots of butterflies will fall in love with them.

The hardest part? Watering. As mentioned before, the city had turned the water off to all the exterior spigots, apparently due to a neighbor's complaint. So we had to kind of rig up a system involving a series of buckets, an Igloo cooler, and a library cart. We just hope the water gets turned back on soon!

In these photos we're missing some of our early-leaving crew, but they were in our hearts. As we finished the job, Faye told us that we all "belong" to Carver now.

All in all, we felt really great about the garden and helping out Faye and everyone else at Carver! It wasn't the most guerrilla garden we've put in, but it was definitely one of the most rewarding to dig.