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.