Garden Spark returns for its 7th season on August 24, 2023, kicking off a series of in-person talks by three of Austin’s best garden thinkers. … Read More The post Garden Spark kicks off Season 7 next month appeared first on Digging. July 05, 2023 Garden Spark returns for its 7th season on August 24th, kicking off a series of in-person talks by three of Austin’s best garden thinkers. If you love gardens, design, and learning, these talks are for you! This season we’ll learn how to “become the bison” and create a pocket prairie in our home landscape, why we should choose a hedge over a fence, and how to harness stone and waterwise plants to make an utterly unique, Texas-tough crevice garden. Talks are held at Barton Springs Nursery‘s outdoor classroom (or indoors if weather necessitates) on Thursday evenings. Exact times are announced when talks go on sale, about a month in advance. I hope you’ll mark your calendar for the following dates and make plans to join us. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and talks tend to sell out quickly, so don’t miss out. SUBSCRIBE to Garden Spark’s email list to be notified as soon as tickets go on sale. Simply click this link and ask to be added. John Hart Asher August 24 – John Hart Asher Pocket Prairies: Creating Biodiverse Landscapes While Saving the World Ecological restoration is no longer a nicety. It’s a necessity. We all love wildflowers in the wild, but shouldn’t we demand to see those same species surrounding our homes and throughout our cities? In this talk John Hart Asher shows how to design and install a “pocket prairie” with a diverse mix of native grasses and flowers. Pocket prairies reconnect us with nature, provide vital habitat for pollinators and other native species, and improve the landscape’s ability to heal our world. By installing your own pocket prairie, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you’re also restoring a part of yourself. Speaker Bio John Hart Asher has over 13 years of experience designing and building natural ecosystems in urban environments. At Blackland Collaborative, his ecological restoration firm, John Hart works with engineers, architects, landscape architects, and developers to integrate sustainable landscape designs, practices, and philosophies into projects. He also aims to improve the performance of green roofs in semi-arid, subtropical climates and has helped design and build numerous native-prairie green roofs all over the state of Texas, including for Austin’s Edgeland House, which was featured in Dwell and Texas Architect and won several awards. Current projects include restoration of a tallgrass prairie in an urban riparian corridor; green roof research and implementation; and water conservation, soil remediation, and green infrastructure. John Hart holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, which awarded him a President’s Outstanding Staff Award in April 2018. Since 2019 he’s also hosted the nationally syndicated PBS show Central Texas Gardener. You can bet he has a pocket prairie in his own yard. Follow John Hart on Instagram. Shaney Clemmons. Photo: Cambria Harkey December 7 – Shaney Clemmons Hedge Fun: How Hedges Beat Fences for Wildlife Habitat and a Healthier Ecosystem and Why You Need One Instead of spending your landscaping budget on a fence, learn why planting a hedge is the greener choice — in every sense. Biodiverse hedges provide shelter and food for urban wildlife, create and connect wildlife corridors, and reduce impervious cover, creating a healthier ecosystem and more comfortable climate while also mitigating stormwater runoff. Landscape architect Shaney Clemmons explains why her firm, Shademaker Studio, started the Hedge Pledge three years ago and how planting hedges has improved her clients’ gardens. Learn why climate-resilient plant design is important, how to increase plant diversity in an existing garden, and which plants are performing best in Austin’s extreme temperatures of recent years. Speaker Bio Shaney Clemmons is the principal and founder of Shademaker Studio, a small landscape architecture studio in East Austin. A licensed landscape architect with over 25 years of experience, Shaney takes on projects ranging from single-family residential gardens to hundreds of miles of scenic byways. Shaney spent her childhood spelunking the lava flow caves of southern Idaho and working the fields of the family farm, cutting and baling alfalfa on the Camas Prairie. These early experiences shaped how she spends her time as an adult, both professionally and personally, and have made her a passionate observer and advocate for the outdoors. Since moving to Austin in 2013, Shaney has become an advocate for improving soil health, reducing impervious cover and stormwater runoff, and increasing biodiversity within our urban gardens. Coleson Bruce January 18 – Coleson Bruce Crevice Gardens: Finding Natural Resilience in Central Texas Crevice gardening is cutting edge and popular in dry, cool-summer climates like Colorado’s. But here in Texas, traditional crevice gardening with alpine plants is a nonstarter thanks to our heat and humidity. Enter Coleson Bruce’s Texas-style crevice garden! Coleson created a Texas-tough crevice garden during the COVID lockdown, when he suddenly had time on his hands and a lawn of thirsty St. Augustine to kill. In place of traditional alpine granite, he used local Texas limestone to form the gardening crevices. Instead of alpine plants, he deployed dry-loving species found in Zones 7 and up. As soon as he got it planted, along came Snowpocalypse in 2021, followed by the hellish summer of 2022. Learn what became of it all, as Coleson shares his experience in designing, building, and maintaining a Texas crevice garden. Whether or not a crevice garden (or maybe a crevice container?) is in your future, discover innovative techniques and practical tips that may help you unlock the natural resilience of Central Texas gardens. Speaker Bio Coleson’s garden has been described by Kenton J. Seth, author of The Crevice Garden, as “one of the finest crevice gardens: I’d put it in top ten earth-wide, maybe even top five.” A lawyer by trade, Coleson’s background includes desert biology and sculpture, both of which played a role in his fascination with crevice gardening. What began as a small landscaping project during the COVID lockdown morphed into an 8-month, all-encompassing passion project, from which he emerged narrowly expert in crevice gardening — admittedly a relatively small field of competition. His garden has been featured in prominent gardening blogs, photographed by internationally known garden photographer Claire Takacs, and will be included in a forthcoming book by Pam Penick. Coleson lives in Austin with his wife and three young children. __________________________ How to Attend Subscribe to Garden Spark for first dibs on tickets! Simply click this link and ask to be added. Sponsor Thank-You Grateful thanks to Barton Springs Nursery for sponsoring Garden Spark, providing use of their beautiful venue, and their hospitality! I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox! All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. The post Garden Spark kicks off Season 7 next month appeared first on Digging.