MANIFESTO

MANIFESTO:       "Stop complaining and do something about it."

This business is here because I felt for many years that there was a vacuum in the market: where it was possible to make inexpensive, sustainable, clever, artistic, biodiverse, lush unirrigated landscapes in Western Colorado, but it wasn't done.  Not to mention garden maintenance that simply used good horticultural practices.  I whined about it like an idiot for years until I finally shut up and started Paintbrush Gardens, LLC.  The response has been heartening- the company has been sustaining itself with no subsidy for three years.

BASIC GOALS: To save water and money.  To truly attract wildlife and not just say it; wildlife for our health and our kid's imaginations.  To make landscapes which will not flinch lest municipal water is suddenly not used in landscaping.  To plant things that need not be trimmed. To make artistic, even chic statements with the medium of native plants.  To find out just how far a person can expand the line where aesthetic and low-care meet.  It's still an uncharted frontier, but enough's been trialled and proved that I was willing to stake my livelihood on it.

LONG-TERM: Planning for the next five, ten, and fifty years when making horticultural decisions today should be a rule, not an exception.  A little extra thought early on can save a family years of maintenance in future.  

Much as we could create high-maintenance designs to deviously ensure maintenance business for ourselves, it's a heck of a lot more fun to convert more landscapes into rain-powered low-maintenance designs, because maintaining these is satisfyingly quick and easy.  
And more time for coffee, anyway.


CUTTING-EDGE:  There are brilliant new solutions being invented all over by wonderful people the world over, and it is deeply satisfying to incorporate new approaches, new species, and new techniques into new designs.  Constant attendance of conferences, lectures, and clubs as well as access to the top dogs of horticulture is the secret source of these techniques.  I test them in my own garden to sort out: the useful from the hype.  What is wonderful is how often these new ideas are cheaper or easier than traditional methods.

What is crazy is how little they are used.  We are looking for excuses to use them!

PLANT-HEAVY:   The goal is to make their existence and possibility known by simply planting more lush landscapes which do not require irrigation, fertilization, with minimal maintenance.  No one will believe it until they've seen it.  Ten times.  So we must show them.  Ten times.  And they must be full of plants.  "Plant-heavy" also means that when a problem presents itself,  and the solution is an option between chemicals, irrigation, hardscapes, or plants: we'll choose plants.

Unless you don't want that, of course.



Is Paintbrush GREEN?  There is no proper definition of "green" other than the color, and that is being represented pretty well around here.  In terms of self-sustaining, organic, or whathaveyou, know this:  We do not support the use of pesticides in a maintenance regime. Ever.  We believe they should only be used in events of noxious weeds or one-time use as a prerequisite for a long-term weed-preventing design where all alternate methods will fail.  And that is pretty rare. 

What is more, we can enter conservation from the other side.  
-Conservation of water?  You've read that. Check.
-Conservation of plant species and biodiversity? Hey what? Check:
Plants whose numbers are low in nature, (i. e.  rare, threatened, endangered, or who provide support for other rare species, like rare bees and butterflies.) can be used in landscapes, and are often grown or available ornamentally anyway. Why not go heavy on the use of nursery-grown specimens of an endangered plant to beautify your home, and, as a crazy byproduct, benefit ex situ conservation?
Yes, you can help endangered species with your landscape design!
Snowball Cactus: Escobaria sneedii var. leii

Dryland designs have "sustainability" coming out of their seams- from mulches that are so local they were literally sourced from pruned trees in that very neighborhood, to plants whose seed-parents are literally within ten miles.  We get a real kick out of making them that way.

And all their water comes from the sky above, Amen. 


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{This one not Ghostwritten by "Peaches."}