Updated: Feb 2, 2019
Congratulations! If you have made it this far through the course you have made a lot of progress. Let's review.
Step 1: We started the course by taking stock of our current plant life with a photo journal
Step 2: Next, we dreamed of our dream plantscape
Step 3: Identifying our why came next, allowing us to specify the benefits of improving our plant life.
Steps 4 and 5: Finally, we’ve considered hindrances in our environment and in our mindsets.
At this point, if you’ve done all the exercises, I’d encourage you to examine where you started and where you are now? Do you feel more encouraged to enhance your plant life? I hope so! If you missed any of the exercises go back and catch-up: https://www.hortikiplants.com/blog/categories/live-your-best-plant-life-series
Let's wrap up with:
5 Ways to Take Action and Keep Your Momentum Going.
#1 State Extension Service
In the U.S. we have free access to information about gardening through our state extension service. Extension is a system developed in 1862 designed to extend the knowledge developed by researchers at public universities out to the public. Every state and several U.S. territories offer this free service. Each year hundreds of free, science based articles are published to help everyday people. Topics covered include health, nutrition, gardening, financial wellness, parenting and more.
I've even used their information to help me shop for towels!
It may sound strange, but when you think about it - towels made from natural fibers like cotton - are an agricultural product.. So it makes sense for the agricultural extension service to do research on this and they do! Many university's have textile studies departments within their college's of agriculture.
Still - you may think - just go into the store and see how the towel feels. Makes sense, except for the fact that many towel manufactures will treat their products with a softening chemical to make the towels feel soft in the store. After a few washes, this softening agent washes off and your towel can have an entirely different texture.
I wanted to buy a quality product and I didn't know if terms like 'Egyptian cotton' really made a difference or if it was simply marketing. Also what is a good thread count? I found the answers to all of these and more from an extension publication.
Find your state's office using this map: https://nifa.usda.gov/land-grant-colleges-and-universities-partner-website-directory
Or simply search your state's name and "agricultural extension service"
#2 In person classes
Get growing by going in person to a gardening class. Check your city or county's department of parks and recreation, and look for ''continuing education' classes at nearby colleges. Local nurseries will also often classes or know of where they are happening in your community. If you can't find any, reach out to your state extension office and ask for an agent to come and give a presentation to your group. This is another free service provided through the extension service. They will often have Certified Master Gardeners available to support your local efforts.
If you are here in the D.C. area, sign up for the Dug Network: http://dugnetwork.org/ listserve. They provide a bi-monthly email with links to gardening classes taking place in the D.C. and in nearby parts of Maryland and Virginia.
Gardening books are a great way to save time. While a google search can go endlessly on, book have an end. They have been well researched and edited by a team of professionals. That's hundreds of hours of research done for you.
#4 Seeds Swaps/Plant Exchanges
Particularly in the spring, keep an ear open for seed and plant swaps. Botanic gardens, farmer's markets, and flee markets will often host a swap that is open to the public. Take extra seeds or cutting and trade for something you don't have. If you can't find one locally plan one yourself. Invite friends to bring unused seeds from the year before or divide and bring divisions of plants they have. (Also have great food and drink and enjoy!)
#5 Get professional help
Professional, local landscaping companies are starting to do a lot more with edible landscaping. If you live in an urban area without much lawn, you can often find interior plantscaping firms (the companies that design and maintain plants in hotels and malls) that make house calls. Interior designer can also help design indoor and outdoor spaces that bring your plant dreams to life. Here and D.C. check our Love and Carrots: http://www.loveandcarrots.com/. (I am not an affiliate of theirs, I just love their work! :) )
I hope these five ideas will spark your creativity. Have other ideas to share? Let me know in a comment below or on social @hortikplants.. Also, for tips on what to plant now, don't forget to check out the Effortless Container Gardening Series - your monthly guide to greening your home and your life. Thanks so much for taking this course. Start living your best life, and your best plant life today.
Plant Love for Life
Victoria LeBeaux, PhD
Founder, Hortiki Plants