President's Message, October 2010
Gardening…with Vision & Purpose
As we go to “press” with our 5th Down the Garden Path E-Newsletter, the City of Austin is conducting a community survey to ask citizens to help plan the city’s future. The overarching theme of this plan is sustainability. One of the “vision statements” – Austin is Natural and Sustainable – confirms that “Austin is a green city” that respects the need “to protect and preserve environmentally sensitive land…and the limitations of our natural resources” (Imagine Austin Newsletter, Fall 2010, www.ImagineAustin.net).
Well, folks, AAGC figured that out last year when we decided to “spread more green by going paperless.” As always, this issue is filled with articles of interest to local gardeners…
- Bob Beyer’s feature articles have a distinctly tropical theme this month. Before you protest…”tropicals aren’t natives!” read Tropical Plants and Central Texas, where you learn that some exotic plants “can be surprisingly adaptive to even our Austin environment.” And, after reading Bromeliads Add A Colorful Tropical Look, you will definitely want to add these colorful beauties to your own garden palette.
- If exotic plants are one of your passions, then mark your calendar for the Heart O’ Texas New Growers Seminar, October 30th, at Zilker Botanical Garden. This year marks the 10th annual seminar, so come learn about orchids and head home with a free one!
- So, if Texas Natives are the only plants allowed in your garden, then check out the City of Austin’s Grow Green website (www.cityofaustin.org/greengarden) for activities celebrating Texas Native Plant Week in Austin, October 18 – 24. And, while you’re keeping Austin wild, don’t forget to drop by the Chrysalis Gift Shop at Zilker Botanical Garden to purchase wildflower seeds and gardening gloves.
- A new link to The Great Outdoors online newsletter includes an article by Meredith Jiles, “It’s time to plant wildflowers!!” – step-by-step instructions for creating a blooming wildflower show in your own spring gardens.
- Pay a visit to the Zilker website photo gallery, “What’s Blooming at Zilker Botanical Garden”, to see the latest gallery of tropical plants that are still blooming as we go to press. Thanks to Liz McVeety and her hard-working PARD staff for planting these showy beauties in the botanical garden! (Photos courtesy of Bob Beyer)
- Finally, don’t forget that our E-Newsletter includes links to Central Texas Gardener's (CTG) website and blog, the City of Austin's Grow Green website and the e-newsletter Austin Notes, upcoming events at Zilker Botanical Garden, and much, much more.
Now, I have a confession. As Austin’s fall weather has officially arrived, I will be planting some non-natives to brighten up my garden. Pansies, violas, snapdragons, and cyclamens will fill my garden beds and pots, as my native perennials and antique roses head for a long, winter nap. Whatever you plant, garden with vision and purpose and, most of all, enjoy getting your hands in the dirt!
President, Austin Area Garden Council
Zilker Botanical Garden