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The beautiful and highly talented Colleen Dieter, owner of Red Wheelbarrow, an Austin-based landscape and garden consultancy.

The beautiful and talented Colleen Dieter, owner of Red Wheelbarrow, an Austin, Texas-based landscape and garden consultancy.

Colleen Dieter IS A FORCE.

What strikes me is her ability to field any question about native Texas gardening/landscape with an immediate and educated answer — out of what’s in her head. Question after question.

She’s really got this encyclopedic knowledge, folks. Unbelievable!

I first met Colleen about a year ago. She was an incredible host of my good friend B’s baby shower. She had selected these wonderful native Blackfoot Daisies for table decorations — and the best part — we got to take them home. (btw…mine is still thriving!!)

Native Blackfoot Daisy

Native Blackfoot Daisy, a gift from Colleen

I had to know this woman!!

So, fast forward to last week. I asked her to please come over because I seriously needed her help with the front/back yards.

(There’s just too much going on with a kitchen remodel and shed build — and I’m not THAT CRAZY!!)

PRIMARY QUESTIONS I asked COLLEEN:

– What is the fertilization schedule during FALL/WINTER?

– What brand should I use? (I have an assortment of succulents, shrubs and newly planted trees.)

– My peach tree has never fruited but it appears so healthy … Is it the correct variety to have planted here in Austin?

– Is this the right variety for this particular spot along the backyard pathway?

– That front bed full of clay, how should I amend for that particular plot?

Colleen is a big fan of the Lady Bug brand COMPOST BLEND for soil amendment. (At Natural Gardener, you can BAG-IT-YOURSELF for less than $4 per 10 gallons).

Colleen is a big fan of the Lady Bug brand COMPOST BLEND for soil amendment. (Go out to the Natural Gardener, you can BAG-IT-YOURSELF for less than $4 per 10 gallons).

Y’all — I pummeled Colleen with questions for two hours — and could have kept going. Colleen maintained her professional demeanor and provided SMART answers to every question.

(What I loved most — every thought of hers comes from a place of loving the earth in the most organic way.)

And then we decided she would craft a plan — a kind of to-do list for each month, tailored for our particular soil, our individual plots, taking weather patterns/seasons into consideration.

Awwww….the HEAVENS PARTED. I’VE BEEN SAVED!! Can I get an AMEN??

Colleen is so wonderful with her time. Her speaking engagements on a wide variety of gardening topics can be found here on her website.