Zilker Botanical Garden
Austin Area Garden Center
2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin TX 78746 - 512-477-8672

ZBG News — President's Message Archives

President's Message, June 2010

There’s the perception that the ocean is just so big, so boundless, so inexhaustible
that we can put anything we want into it and it will just take it away…
That is the way it has been for most of history, but we’ve reached the limits of that idea.
 Our actions, wherever we are, matter to the future of the ocean.
 And the future of the ocean matters to us.
--Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, A Friend of the Sea,
by Laine Bergeson, Experience Life Magazine, June 2010

When we launched the online newsletter last fall, our commitment was for “AAGC to spread more green by going paperless.”  As I sit down to write this, it’s been over a month since the April 20th Gulf oil spill explosion—an environmental catastrophe that has wreaked both seen and unseen damage to the Gulf of Mexico for years to come.

For those of us who live in Austin and Central Texas, last summer’s severe drought and Stage 2 watering restrictions reminded us that water is a precious resource that we simply cannot take for granted.  Last year, we saved more than 2.5 billion gallons of water (www.WaterWiseAustin.org).  And, most of us live near one of Austin’s 66 creek watersheds that enter the Colorado River at Lake Austin or Town Lake, before flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.  So, it’s all connected!

Making good choices for better water quality is not an option—it’s an obligation.  Those of us who are informed gardeners already know that, but it doesn’t hurt to have a “nudge” as we face another hot summer. The City of Austin has recently published a series of garden booklets that encourage landscape design “to protect and conserve Austin’s water”. Each of the booklets features demonstration gardens and plant selections that illustrate earth-wise gardening principles:

  • Sun and Color Design (Zilker Botanical Garden - Green Garden)
  • Contemporary Design (City Hall)
  • Deer Resistant Design (One Texas Center)
  • Low Maintenance Shade (Zilker Botanical Garden – Green Garden)
  • Classic Design (Howson Library)*
  • Child Friendly Design (Create a sensory garden to encourage children to explore and enjoy the outdoors)
  • Drainage Solutions (One Texas Center)
  • Pool-Friendly Design (Create a tropical garden with Austin’s drought-tolerant plants)
  • Wildlife Habitat Design (Parks & Recreation Department Headquarters)

* Howson Library (2500 Exposition Blvd.) redesigned its landscape in 2004, dramatically reducing its water usage, from 37,000 gallons @ month to 13,400 gallons @ month.

These garden booklets, along with Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: an earthwise guide for Central Texas (another Grow Green publication), are available in the gift shop at Zilker Botanical Garden and at area nurseries and garden centers. Or, if you prefer, you can download the booklets by visiting the Grow Green website at www.growgreen.org and link to “Landscape Designs”.  For earthwise gardening and water conservation tips, and rainbarrel rebates visit www.growgreen.org and www.waterwiseaustin.org

As Dr. Nichols reminds us….”Our actions, wherever we are, matter to the future of the ocean.  And the future of the ocean matters to us.”  Enjoy your gardens this summer and do your part to make sure the planet has clean water.

--Donna Friedenreich
President, Austin Area Garden Council
Zilker Botanical Garden


Archives - President's Message  

August 2013

March 2013

August 2012

March 2012

October 2011
Surviving the Drought...

May 2011
Water-wise Gardening: Making Better Choices

March 2011
54th Annual Zilker Garden Festival

October 2010
Gardening…with Vision & Purpose

June 2010

March 2010
53rd Annual Zilker Garden Festival

Dec 2009

September 2009
Spreading Green for More than 50 years!


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