Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Tag Archives: Grow Green

2014 Grow Green Homeowner’s Landscape Training ($10) – This Wednesday!

Registration’s open for the 2014 Grow Green Homeowner’s Landscape Training

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Celebrate Earth Day by joining the City of Austin Grow Green team for our spring homeowner’s landscape training.


6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Soil-Water Connection, William Glenn, Garden-ville
Learn how compost acts not only to grow healthier plants, prettier plants, but how it can reduce water usage and frequency. Moreover, how it helps the soil’s structure to allow for better infiltration of water into the subsoil layers and back into our aquifers
7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Break
7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. Outdoor Water Conservation Rebates, Christopher Charles, Austin Water
WaterWise Landscape refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. Major water savings can be made by converting your healthy turf grass to native plant beds and permeable hardscape. Residential properties may receive $25 for every 100 sq. ft. converted. Get details on program eligibility, the process and requirements, as well as information on some new landscape-related rebates.

8:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Questions
Registration: $10 per person, www.austintexas.gov/event/2014-grow-green-homeowner%E2%80%99s-landscape-training

Contact: Denise Delaney, (512) 974-2581, Denise.Delaney@austintexas.gov

My garden was certified!

It took me a while, but I applied, and my garden was certified as a National Wildlife Habitat. The certification was FREE through the City of Austin. You can see my certificate below. The process involves emailing Erin Cord, Wildlife Austin Park Ranger, who will send you a pre-paid application form. It is a one-page application in which you answer questions regarding the garden / patio / space that you want certified. Essentially, your answers will show that you are meeting the four expectations of a wildlife habitat:

  • food
  • water
  • cover
  • places to raise young

I certified my front garden. Here are some examples of the ways my garden meets the expectations.

  • Food: berries (chile piquin), nectar (butterfly weed, sage, lavender, firebush, Gregg’s mistflower, wildflowers)
  • Water: birdbath refilled every day in summer; 2-3 days in winter
  • Cover: Chile piquin bush, Big Muhly
  • Places to raise young: Big Muhly, Gulf Muhly, Butterfly weed

The wildlife I see in the garden include: bees, birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It’s a much better place than the former flat grassy area. I want to hang out there as much as possible.

If you want a tour or help in making a space at your house into a wildlife habitat, I’m available free to help you out. Just let me know!


Pictures of Certificate of Certified Wildlife Habitat

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