Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grow Green--Landscaping with Native Plants

Mountain Laurel--January 2011

I am so excited about this post.  One of the things Pat and I look for when we go shopping for plants are plants that can take a ton of rain one month and still look pretty after 3 months of no rain.  That is a challenge, but not if you Grow Green.  The term Pat and I have used for years is Xeriscaping or Xerogardening.  Grow Green, Xeriscaping or Xerogardening refer to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation.  It also means reducing the impact on the environment by reducing the need for fertilizer and pesticides.  When this gardening technique is used, plants are so easy to care for.  Usually clearing of dead material or pruning once per year is all that is needed to keep the landscape looking marvelous.

Yesterday, Pat and I traveled to Austin, Travis County, to listen to the county horticulturist talk about making gardening practical for this area.  One thing she kept stressing is plant purchase.  Plants touted by gardeners on cable television may or may not grow well here without a lot of extra work and intervention in the way of fertilizer, soil amendment and water to keep the plant healthy and looking great.  While we were there, we picked up the best resource ever to help us continue on our quest for Growing Green.  Native and Adapted Landscape Plants:  an earthwise guide for Central Texas is a complete resource for the types of trees, shrubs and plants to buy and plant in order to keep the garden an enjoyable place to be.  Click on the title to browse the various plants that work for Central Texas.

As I thumbed through the booklet last night, I was so excited and encouraged by the number of plants we have already in our garden.  Here is our list so far.  As we add more, I'll update this post.

Grow Green Plants in our Garden as of January 2011
  • Cedar Elm
  • Texas Red Oak
  • Possumhaw Holly
  • Desert Willow
  • Yaupon Holly
  • Mountain Laurel--so much prettier than a Wisteria and it's evergreen!!  [Note:  there are Texas varieties of Wisteria that are pretty and hearty, too!]
  • Burford Holly
  • Knockout Roses
  • Rosemary
  • Texas Sage
  • Bulbine--actually we've had these...but our bunnies like to eat them.  But I'm determined to try again.
  • Turks Cap
  • Chile Pequin
  • Blackfood pretty and delicate--but hearty!
  • Fall Aster
  • Gaura
  • Lamb's Ear
  • Indigo Spires' Salvia
  • Texas Lantana
  • Bicolor Iris (in a container)
  • Mexican Marigold Mint
  • Rock Rose
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Cedar Sage
  • Pink Skullcap
  • Society Garlic
  • Russian Sage---needs to be replaced, though---sometimes it's necessary!
  • Red Yucca
  • Prickly Pear---but we have the spineless variety and it works very well here.
  • Softleaf Yucca---we had these, but lost them to a freeze---will replace.
  • Paleleaf Yucca
  • Aztec Grass
  • Monkey Grass
  • Asian Jasmine
  • Purple Heart
  • Oregano
  • Santolina
  • Sedum
  • Burmuda grass
Check out the Native and Adapted Landscape Plant resource and let me know which plants you have that work well for you!

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