Last December I wrote about the Wildflowering L.A. project that we are participating in. We dug up our front yard after we killed all the grass and weeds with mulch for eight months, then we planted native seeds that were donated by the Theodore Payne Foundation as part of an art installation by the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) and artist Fritz Haeg.
The project started out happy with lots and lots of physical work, and around the end of January all the work on the front yard became so frustrating that I almost gave up. We had weeds as large as bushes grow almost overnight and I had invasive flowers and grass from Europe, Australia, and even Africa. We haven’t had a drop of rain in forever and I was checking my weather app daily to see when the next rain might be coming.
Tending to a bunch of wildflowers seemed so easy when I started out, but two months later it started to get a bit overwhelming as it was like having a pet that needed daily attention.
This was hard to do, as Sydney was now taking up a lot of my time and I had a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetables to tend to. I wanted to spend more time on our edibles and less time on some flowers that may or may not come out the way it was planned.
But, I signed a contract. I promised not just the artist that I will do what it takes to see this project come to completion, but I also made a promise to myself, my two-year old, who also put in a lot of work into the front yard, and also to my husband, who rolled up his sleeves in November to help out and who has been encouraging me throughout the ups and downs of the past two months. So, I had to continue to tend to the plants and I had to weed every other day, so that the weeds wouldn’t choke away the native wildflowers.
And I’m so glad that I stuck it out. My yard began to thrive! Flowers of various colors started to pop up and grow taller and taller. Now when I wake up in the morning and step out the front door, it is like stepping into heaven. The scent of the flowers wake up my senses.
The days start out beautiful, even if I don’t get much sleep. The bees are buzzing from sun up until sun down, and butterflies are dipping their feet into our flowers before they move on to their next destination. We find beautiful caterpillars, wasps, bumble bees, and all kind of bugs enjoy our yard. I’ve never seen anything like this in an urban environment. We even have a couple stray cats that find shelter within the height of the flowers during the night. And to top it all off, artist Fritz Haeg came by our site and rated it Excellent. Woohoo! All the hard work paid off!
I hope you will plan a trip to some of the sites in April. The flowers are blooming everywhere across LA County. Visit the Wildflowering LA map to find some of the sites that are worth going to in your area. Also, the spring show for this project, produced by LAND is on Saturday, April 26th & Sunday, April 27 from 12 noon-6pm at THE SHED, 1355 Lincoln Ave, Pasadena. The show will include various activities, projections of site photos, presentations of posters of the 22 native wildflower species, and a large-scale map of LA County taped out on the floor where the 50 sites will be marked. Flower cuttings placed on site locations will provide a simultaneous mini site tour and zen garden-feel.
I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
I’m writing several columns of actors/actresses who have a second career. If you have a Plan B, a second career, please email me and I will feature you in my upcoming articles. Please put in the subject line: “Actor/Actress with a Plan B”. Tell me your name, what you do, how long you have been doing it, and please include a photo of you (at your Plan B job) and a link to your acting and Plan B website.
Enci is a Mother, Actress, Artist and Activist.
Contact Enci with article suggestions or find her on Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites to connect. When contacting her, please introduce yourself and tell her you read her column in the Networker.