by Billy Goodnick
Billy with the 2007 March Edness winner
Ed asked me to write a garden column every couple of weeks. How cool is that? Those 15 minutes of fame just keep stalking me, but my delicate ego is learning to deal with it. Ed and me, we have a connection. I'm an incorrigible counter - and we're not just talking palm trees or jacarandas. It started with drum lessons, counting all the beats and bars. These days I count the number of times the floss is pushed between each space between my teeth (six on each side of the gap), or the number of slices of banana distributed into each of the family's morning fruit bowls.
But the real Ed connection came at the end of 2007 March Madness. My loverly spousal support unit (hereinafter abbreviated as S.S.U.), Lin, took first place, and I, humbly, crossed the finish line in second place. It was lots of teamwork, lots of hours, and a huge carbon footprint (sorry, Mr. Gore). I'm still reliving the thrill. I reminisce about the lavish award ceremony at the Mission Rose Garden (and the well kept secret three-day after-party at the Bacara - thanks Ed!). The trophies have a place of honor on our mantle. Since then, I've been contributing Local News bits that link to my Garden Wise Guy blog and sending the occasional photo to the Flower Gallery.
Still, I was more than flattered when Ed asked me to start this bi-weekly garden column. Loquacious as I am (no relation to the luscious fruit of the loquat tree) I was a bit nervous about taking on a new obligation. But hey, I'm already an x-shaped candle burning at all ends so let's add another spoke.
Donning my Jimmy Olsen cub-reporter hat, I'm off into the wild fringes of this horticultural paradise, seeking meaningful things to count, shedding light on horticultural happenings in the community, imparting gems of landscape design observations, and maybe even taking your garden questions (might even try answering them).
I thought I'd finish up this first installment by giving a bit of personal background. I've been teaching landscape design through our fabulous Continuing Education system, brought to you by Santa Barbara City College. They're updating their on-line presence and asked for a "brief" biography, limited to an absurdly compressed 750 characters (including spaces). Geez! It takes me that long to clear my throat. So, using my best editorial skills, the following shall be repurposed to complete my introduction to all the loyal Edhat readers.
Billy Goodnick discovered horticulture in his twenties, studying bonsai and collecting houseplants. Hearing the sage advice "take the thing you love most and make it your hobby," he shelved his career as a studio drummer and began his studies in horticulture.
Goodnick has been the Landscape Architect for the City of Santa Barbara since 1987. Interesting work, but there's room on the plate. He has been demystifying garden design for two decades teaching Adult Ed classes and lecturing.
He co-hosts Garden Wise Guys, the sustainable landscaping show on CityTV18, and he writes for Coastal Woman and Santa Barbara Homeowner magazines. Taking the sage advice of his youth, Goodnick drums for the local rock band, King Bee.
That's 720 characters (including spaces), if anyone's counting. (That last sentence was 63.)
This ought to get things rolling. Next up, with a tip of the hat to Ed: How many birdbaths will I encounter in a 12 block upper Eastside walk with Biff the Wonder Spaniel?
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Billy Goodnick is ... well, what he said above.
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