Seeds of Change
When we moved into our new home this year, my husband and I decided that the front lawn, that was mostly covered with dried grass and lots of weed, will have to go and must eventually be replaced with something sustainable. We didn’t know what that something was going to be, but nevertheless we started prepping the lawn by laying down cardboard and putting lots of mulch over it to kill the existing lawn without chemicals, while at the same time fostering the growth of beneficial insects.
We inquired at the city about what front yard covers were acceptable and aside from dirt and nothing over 4 feet high, we had free range on what we could do.
In October I received an email from our TimeBank garden group about a project by the Los Angeles Nomadic Division titled #WildfloweringLA and I immediately signed up to participate.
We took out all the mulch and dug up the front yard to remove all the remaining weeds. We created a bioswale effect throughout the entire yard, so that water can be captured and it won’t run off into the street during rain and when we water the yard. We participated in the workshop that all participants had to attend and we picked up the seeds, which were donated by the Theodore Payne Foundation, and sowed the yard on November 15th. By spring 2014 our yard will be filled with White Yarrow, Winecup Clarkia, Elegant Clarkia, California Poppy, Bird’s Eye Gilia, Tidy Tips, Collared Annual Lupine, and the California State Grass since 2004, the Purple Needlegrass.
Being accepted to participate in this project and getting the seeds was a gift for us in many ways. My husband and I discussed the idea of keeping bees in a year or two, and these native plants will give us a head start in providing food for the bees. We also wanted something sustainable in the front yard, and this project was an inspiration and solved our dilemma. Our front yard will be a haven for butterflies, bees and hummingbird, it will also make the neighborhood more beautiful, and having native plants will preserve our water, and hopefully we will produce our own honey in a year or two. (Check out the Instagram photos of this project at statigr.am/tag/wildfloweringla, follow the twitter hashtag #WildfloweringLA, and be sure to visit the participating sites in LA County in the Spring of 2014, when all the flowers will be blooming.)
As the season of giving approaches and you wonder what gift you might give to your agent, manager, or casting director, giving seeds might be an inspiration for you, and I’m sure will make you stand out from the masses.
Here are just a few ideas for gardening gifts:
Make a political statement with state flowers
Be remembered with Forget-me-nots
Give native flower seeds
Gift a bucket for a garden lover
Give a gardening magazine subscription
Gift a Membership to the American Horticultural Society, support the Theodore Payne Foundation, or a similar organization in your area
Make your own seed bombs, pills, balloons, or paper
Find some personalized garden gloves or personalize them yourself
Order a 2014 gardening calendar for your state or region
You can get some free seeds from GardenWeb, FreePlant.net, WinterSown.org, the Great American Seed Swap Facebook group, or find a local garden group or local seed exchange group.
If you are looking for unique, uncommon seeds from all over the US, check out this LA Times article. Additional sites for seeds are the Theodore Payne Foundation, Seeds of Change, Rare Seeds, Kitchen Garden Seeds, Seed Savers, and Seeds Now.
Comment below if this idea inspired you and also if you have any unique gifting ideas that you’d like to share with others.
I wish you all a safe, happy, and memorable holiday season and a wonderful new year filled with butterflies, laughter, and lots of job opportunities!
Enci is a Mother, Actress, Artist and Activist.
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