Texas Gardening 46 Stories

It's still fairly hot and muggy in my area of Texas (USDA hardiness...
It's still fairly hot and muggy in my area of Texas (USDA hardiness zones 7 and 8), but September is a pivotal month in the garden. It's the gateway month between summer and fall gardening, moving...
Great Design Plant: Helianthus Petiolaris
Sunflowers can help landscapes focused on attracting pollinating insects and other wildlife through the seasons. The diversity of insects they attract with their pollen and nectar is astounding, and many birds and other creatures feed on...
Great Design Plant: Asclepias Incarnata for a Butterfly Garden
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is one of my favorite milkweeds. It’s a well-behaved, clumping stunner that brings in far more monarch eggs than other gardenworthy species I’ve tried. With wintering monarch numbers in Mexico for 2015 at...
Great Design Plant: Tradescantia Ohiensis Adds Shades of Blue
Blue is a hard color to come by when designing or planting perennial gardens. Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis), an eastern U.S. native, helps solve this color deficit by providing clusters of blue flowers in early spring. Use this finely...
Great Design Plant: Amorpha Canescens
This Great Plains native is said to be responsible for that zipping noise homesteaders heard when they plowed up prairies. But trust me, you don’t want to get rid of lead plant (Amorpha canescens), as it deserves far more use in ornamental gardens....
Great Design Plant: Winter Jasmine Gladdens Snowy Gardens
Just when you can’t bear the thought of another gray day, winter jasmine comes to the rescue. Cascading bright green branches are covered with sunny yellow flowers from Thanksgiving to early spring, not missing a beat — even when it snows. Although...
Great Design Plant: Woodland Garden Beauty Polystichum Acrostichoides
The woodland forest can be a study in death and decay during winter as it sleeps deeply until spring. Its floor is strewn with a tapestry of ocher and brown that creates an auditory crunch during a brisk morning walk. Every so often along the path a Christmas...
Great Design Plant: Cyrtomium Falcatum ‘Rochfordianum’
By late fall much of the woodland garden has gone to sleep until spring. Many ferns show only brown, lifeless remnants of their former seasonal glory, making the few evergreen fern species even more valuable this time of year. Let’s consider Japanese...
Great Design Plant: Low-Maintenance Calliandra Eriophylla
Pink fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla) pairs the ability to thrive in the hot, dry deserts of the U.S. with delicate, puffy pink flowers. This medium-size shrub takes center stage in spring (and occasionally in fall), when...
Great Design Plant: Lobelia Siphilitica Keeps Its Cool
You’re probably quite familiar with red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), but there’s another version you might not know that’s easier to care for and tends to have a longer perennial lifespan. Great blue lobelia (Lobelia...
Great Design Plant: Serenoa Repens
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a resilient, drought-tolerant palm native to the coastal plain of the southeastern United States, from South Carolina to eastern Texas. Associated with pine flatwoods and scrub forests...
Great Design Plant: Solidago Rigida Brightens Fall Gardens
Gardeners want fall blooms. Insects want fall blooms. I want fall blooms. The goldenrod genus (Solidago spp) is one that will appeal to everyone, and unlike ragweed it won’t cause hay fever (the pollen is sticky and is not windborne)....
Great Design Plant: Lindera Benzoin Offers 3-Season Interest
The bold yellow flowers of forsythia, a shrub introduced from Asia, are a sure sign of spring in the temperate U.S. (zones 5 to 8), but that is a one-act show. Other than offering cover for some birds, forsythia has little...
Great Design Plant: Nourish Wildlife With American Beautyberry
The American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) is a large Southeast native shrub that not only looks its best in fall, but also offers habitat and food to native birds. Its bright purple berries bring unique seasonal color and provide...
Great Design Plant: Violet Silverleaf Thrives on Scant Water
The gray foliage of violet silverleaf provides a perfect color contrast to green shrubs seen throughout the Southwestern landscape. This drought-tolerant shrub is transformed with the appearance of violet flowers sporadically throughout the summer and...
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