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.

1 comment:

LindaCTG said...

You all are just wonderful! What a beautiful job. Carver and the city will treasure this forever. And I'm with you: why use that horrible weed barrier under the soil? Crazy. I'm so proud of you all.