Submitted by Chrissy Cortez-Mathis

Gailon Hardin did a wonderful presentation on the importance of using natives in the landscape.

Some are old favorites & some were new to me. I am in total agreement that plants need to be beneficial to other critters.
That biodiversity is what is critical in maintaining a healthy environment as well as to conserve our most precious resource, water!
As always, I love that all of these plants serve as nectar & host plants for a variety of butterflies not to mention a great food source for birds.

Here's the list:
Chinquapin Oak
Cedar Elm
Bur Oak
Mexican Plum
Yaupon Holly
Flame Acanthus
American Beautyberry
Possumhaw Holly
Red Columbine
Salvia Greggii
Butterfly Weed
Blue Mist Flower
Mealy Blue Sage
Coral Honeysuckle
Passion Vine
Lindheimer Muhly
Red Yucca

Soil Chemistry Article

"News From the Underground"

An article on soil chemistry featured in Garden Design Magazine by Michele Owens

Contributed by Mike Schmitt

Click here for pdf.


The following information on shade gardening is provided to us by Master Gardener Judy Fender.

Judy can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1. In looking at the area you want to change what do you see?

Straight lines?  Over grown hedges? No grass because of too much shade?

2.  What interests you when you consider what to plant?

Perennials, native plants.  Remember many perennials die to the ground.  Mix evergreen shrubs in with flowering plants.

3.  Determine what type of exposure the area has. 

Shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon is not a shade garden.  Take note of how the seasons change in your landscape.

What may get sun in summer may be totally shady in winter.

4.  Try to reduce the size of the lawn.

Berms help to accentuate large lawns.  Enlarge garden perimeters to have less lawn to cut and water.


Limon talinum - Jewels of Opar or Flameflower

Limon talinum - Jewels of Opar or Flameflower

I found this plant at Lowes in Richardson last year and thought I'd give it a try.  Wow, what a nice plant.

Not only do you get that nice limegreen foliage but then you get these wispy stalks topped with red buds that turn into

delicate, tiny, bright pink flowers all through the summer.  It handles our hot, summer sun, too.  I planted mine in a pot

with stick verbena and foxtail fern.  When it got too leggy I cut it back and it came back up no questions asked.  And it

re-seeds on demands almost.  Mid summer I began seeing these little lime green leaves along the edges of the

garden and I had a bunch of new starts.  And if that isn't a bonus, the original plant is coming back in the pot I

planted it in last summer.  I gave the pot some protection over this past winter as I didn't want to loose my

foxtail fern but wouldn't you know- our sub-freezing temps didn't faze this beauty.  I saved some seed and

planted them today to see if they will sprout for me.  Maybe I'll have some for the babies for the plant sale.

Click here for picture and more info.


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