New Episode: Climate-Resilient Habitats
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
1w ago
“A climate resilient habitat is about providing local wildlife with the right mix of native plants that will prevent the effects of climate change becoming worse, but also will cope at this moment with the effects of climate change,” Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón tells us this week. Rebeca, Climate-Resilient Habitats Program Director at the National Wildlife Federation, joins John Hart to explain how we can help wildlife adapt to the new normal, right in our own yards. April 14 is National Gardening Day, though we plant many of our perennials and our trees in fall to get roots established before he ..read more
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New Episode: Start a Native Plant Garden!
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
2w ago
Spring renews friendships in my garden when native golden groundsel greets the up and at ‘em bees, skippers, and butterflies, including this lovely Bordered Patch. It can be tough to find native plants (I got my groundsel at the Wildflower Center), so I was thrilled when wildlife advocate and Texas Master Naturalist Drake White opened The Nectar Bar last year–the first all-natives plant nursery in San Antonio. And now we’re delighted that Drake launches CTG’s new spring programs with John Hart! She tells us what prompted her venture into native plants and how that led to actually opening a ..read more
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Look What’s Coming Up!
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
3w ago
It’s sure an eyeful out there right now, everything parading their new spring duds! In my backyard, here’s a drought-defiant duo: purple bearded iris going for color wheel fun against native golden groundsel. This section of my backyard’s island bed gets morning sun and a flick of late afternoon intensity. And here at Austin PBS, we’re counting down to CTG’s new spring programs starting April 6! (Check your local listings or watch online at PBS.org and the PBS app.) Coming up April 6: Create a Native Plant Garden, featuring Drake White of The Nectar Bar, San Antonio’s first all-native plant ..read more
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Creating Moods in a Regular Backyard
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
3w ago
Imagination, creative reuse, and spirited fun turned an empty backyard into a sensory voyage in Jeffrey Harris and Kevin George’s San Antonio garden. Circular paths amble from vibrant poolside color to tranquil conversation nooks. “Before I started, I didn’t really know anything. So, it’s been an adventure,” he told us on our visit in May 2023. When they inherited the house from Kevin’s mom in 2009, the first thing they did was turn the bare patio slab into a welcoming (and shady!) outdoor living room. Since they love to entertain, gradually they created engaging destinations. They added t ..read more
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One Bed at A Time!
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
1M ago
Nancy Hall knew her priorities on moving day in 1985. “The first thing I wanted to do was to get out in the yard and start digging in the dirt. I love the feel of dirt in my hand,” she told us on our early November visit. Although a late October dive into the 40s nipped a few plants, most still bloomed robustly. Nancy admits to a lot of mistakes since she started with a blank lawn and chain link fence, but along the way, she figured out how to match plants with Texas weather and her Blackland Prairie clay soil. One of her first projects was to build a walkway along the house and to the shed ..read more
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Artistic Collaboration Goes with the Flow
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
2M ago
When downhill rainwater runoff plagued a family’s home in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, they plunged into a whimsical, colorful, underwater-themed response. Local artists united to reframe a beige, boxy house into a gregarious octopus and elegant mermaid perched above a tumbling stream framed by native plants. “One of the sayings here in Bouldin Creek that I don’t hear a lot anymore was you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a local artist,” owner Joey Trevino told us on our visit in April and May 2023. “And that’s becoming less and less true all the time as people are being driven ou ..read more
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Winter Pruning: Autumn Sage & Mealy Blue Sage
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
2M ago
Autumn sage (Salvia greggii) announces that spring is here when bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds descend upon its miniature flowers to drink up. For some reason, this native woody perennial (also considered a sub shrub) is called “autumn sage,” though it can bloom as early as February. After a summer break, it resumes in fall, just in time for migrating hummingbirds and butterflies. Early February’s a great time to clip and shape for looks—same height and lush form—and for long term health. So, we headed to the Wildflower Center where horticulturist Leslie Uppinghouse showed where to cut ..read more
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Winter Pruning: Companions & Progression
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
2M ago
I’m a fan of winter’s richly-toned hues, their quiet palette sandwiched between fall’s leaf-peeping excitement and spring’s sensations. At the same time, I know that post-freeze pruning is on our minds, so Ed Fuentes, Joe Rocha and I headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for “why and how” with horticulturist Leslie Uppinghouse. In the front section of the Hill Country Meadow, she’s already cut back browned stalks on perennials like coneflower, winecup, and this prairie goldenrod to show off new growth. Cleaning up also brings in more light for bluebonnet rosettes and upcoming par ..read more
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Garden Makeover Grows New Friends and Career
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
2M ago
Jennie Ostertag broke a few shovels turning her blank yard into an enchanting hangout for family, friends, and wildlife. But as she struck rock, sheet mulched grass, and reimagined salvaged materials on a budget, she met a community of equally-challenged gardeners happy to share plants and advice. We dropped by in November 2023 to learn how she transformed a stark fence and Bermuda grass yard. It all started in 2012 when she returned to Texas with husband Chris. With a demanding career and eventual motherhood, she snagged random moments to rid the grass for vibrant curving beds buzzing with ..read more
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Hill Country Habitat Romance
Central Texas Gardener Blog
by Linda
3M ago
“In the dead of winter, when a lot of the plants have died back, I can see the stones,” James Truchard told us on our visit in April 2023. “So, the stones are always there and they’re always beautiful. It makes winter a better time of year than it would be otherwise because the stones don’t mind the cold.” They certainly charmed us as we tramped up and down winding paths, scrambling to keep up with enthusiastic James as he pointed out layer upon layer of native plants, some emerging against waning spring early birds and others in full swing. He truly loves the land, and since 1995 when he ..read more
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