My Dad, the Master Gardener

John, Bethany and I went to visit my parents today. A few years ago, my dad went through the horticulture program at Texas A&M for his Master Gardener certification. Since then, my parent's yard has transformed. And, it is continually changing as Dad discovers new plants and flowers to add to the collection. There is a healthy contingent of roses, but over the past year, Dad has become more interested in growing native plants. They use less water and tend to thrive more than the imports.

For my birthday, Dad took me to an Earthkind rose class. The idea is that before the days of Home Depot and Lowe's gardening centers which ship plants nationwide, neighbors simply got clippings from each other of plants that thrived resulting in plants that didn't need a lot of fertilizer, pruning, etc. The other core tenant is to invest in caring for your soil. In the Earthkind trials, all that was done is that shale was mixed into the soil before planting. After that, no fertilizer, no water and no pruning. Those plants that did well received the Earthkind designation.

The funny thing is that the man who has kept the best yard on the block for 40 years, is now digging up the lawn to replace it with native plants.

I meant to get a photo of the early stages of the renovation of the front lawn, but instead snapped this fabulous one of John and Beth standing in front of it before we went in. Maybe next time.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall