Homegrown solution - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Homegrown solution

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CARLSBAD (CBS 8) - The plants are greener on whatever side of the street Bill and Ellen Williams are working. Wherever these two late blooming activists go, they are always adding a little local color.

When they discovered that the grounds in front of the downtown Carlsbad post office were barren, Bill and Ellen started dishing the dirt.

"I was in line one day and it wasn't a long line and I thought maybe this is my time to ask the postmaster," Ellen said. "I said, 'Would you like plants?' 'Go ahead, do it.' That's it."

So using cuttings from their own backyard, the couple planted the plot.

"It won't be done really for two years, but two years from now, you're going to see some beautiful plants here," Bill said.

Now Bill at 79, and Ellen at 74, are no Johnny Appleseeds-come-lately.

"I took a master composter's class in Encinitas and took a master gardener's class in San Diego with UC," Bill said.

Bill and Ellen have spawned almost a dozen gardens, including one on their street, with cuttings from their yard.

"We want to give away a lot of cuttings for people who just maybe couldn't go buy a $6 plant," Ellen said.

"They are an inspiration. They are pretty wonderful people," a postal customer said.

"If you put out a little bit of energy, you're going to get a great reward, and other people are going to be rewarded also, and everybody is going to have a good time. So why not have fun?"Bill said.

It's a simple philosophy that holds for plants and people: beauty is meant to be shared, which is exactly why I wanted to share Bill and Ellen's story with you.

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