The Blackfoot daisies near the curb in my front yard garden are  practically shouting, “Hey, look at me! I’m blooming!”

And apparently I’m not the only one who is appreciating their outbursts. A woman (not someone I know) walking by my house earlier this week  got the message loud and clear.

“Wow!,” she said, as she paused in front of the daisies, “I love this!” And then, as she glanced over the entire yard, she added, “I love all of your garden!”

I smiled, and of course gave her a big “Thank You!” And then, much more quietly to myself, I said, “And thank you, spring.”

Yes, spring is indeed busting out all over town, but there’s nothing quite like watching this annual transformation happen in your very own garden. And given the record breaking hard freezes of winter  2010-11 and the extreme heat and drought of summer 2011,  I am amazed (and dare I say?) thrilled that my little piece of Central Austin is beginning to feel like my personal paradise again.

Which brings me to another transformation, or restructuring, that is taking place in my world. Instead of  working to support my garden habit, I’ve decided to try letting my garden habit be the force behind the work that I choose to support  my life. So in addition to free-lance writing and speaking engagements about food gardening, I am now offering my services as a garden coach and garden designer (with an emphasis on edible landscapes); and as an organic gardening teacher, with hands-on Gardening 101 classes soon to be scheduled in my backyard. In addition, I am also organizing occasional private garden supper gatherings featuring performances by buzz-worthy local singer-songwriters, as well as local food (mostly from my garden and entirely prepared by me).

More details on the new garden projects are coming soon, but for now, here are a few images I promised to post for folks who attended the recent edible garden design talk I gave at It’s About Thyme:

Here’s the front yard garden next to the curb in a picture I took a couple of days ago. Flatleaf parsley, Blackfoot daisies, Swiss chard, French thyme, Red Giant mustard, and a volunteer poppy (from passalong seeds from CTG’s Linda L. who got her first seeds as passalongs from Joan H.) that should start blooming by this weekend. The poppies are a deep shade of pink, so deep that in certain lights they look almost red. Check this post from my previous blog at for earlier versions of  my edible landscape and to see pics of the first year that Joan’s poppies bloomed in my front yard garden.

Here’s a backyard garden scene that includes a variety of leaf lettuces, spinach, larkspur (which has reseeded itself with wild abandon all over my entire garden), and fennel bulb:

Here’s one of my favorite drama queen greens: Red Giant mustard. This easy to grow mustard green adds  a bold and beautiful splash of purple to the winter and spring garden and an eye-opening wasabi like bite when used raw in a slaw or sandwich. Or try  the raw leaves as a wrap for sauteed pork or tofu.

And here’s a good reason to let at least some of your open pollinated greens set seed before you send them off to the compost pile.  These little romaine style lettuces (which popped up from seed thrown off by last spring’s bed of Parris Cos) have proven tough enough to bounce back from the occasional crunch of the mailman’s boot and tasty enough to star in many of my favorite dinner salads.

A final note: As my garden bursts into spring I am reminded that nothing, not the hard droughty times or the lush green times,  is set in stone.  For that matter, not even stone is set in stone. But on this day, in this moment, my garden is vibrant and hopeful. And I am too.

Happy spring and happy gardening! And come back soon because I have more pictures to post of my everchanging edible landscape.