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Category: Newsletter

Seedlings
Learn

Start the New Year with Plants Grown from Seed, Save Money

It’s true that in a few months you’ll be able to walk into a garden center or home improvement store and find row upon row of vegetables ready for you to transplant into your garden. But there’s a certain magic to growing plants from seed, not to mention opportunities to save money and grow exactly what you want.

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Ruella strepens (smooth ruellia)
Newsletter

What Is This Thing? Smooth Ruellia and Why Some Plants Preferred Closed Marriages

Botanists and horticulturists love a challenge. That’s why this year we’re introducing a new feature in the newsletter: What Is This Thing? This month, Martha L. of Fort Worth asks us to identify a plant with small flowers than never open. The answer tells a fascinating story about the reproductive strategies of plants–and why some prefer closed to open marriages.

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Learn

Take a Deep Breath to Manage Holiday Stress

We are deep into the holiday season, and could there be anything more wonderful—or more stressful? Most Decembers are accompanied by angst over gift shopping, budget balancing, house decorating, party going, cookie baking and family gathering. But 2021 has its own special flavor of stress. We’re here to tell you it’s all going to be okay. Just take a deep breath. We mean it. Take a deep breath. Simply by slowing down your breathing, you can reduce stress during the holidays and every day after.

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White and yellow daffodil close up
Garden

For Brilliant Spring Color, Plant Your Bulbs Now

December is bulb-planting month in the Garden. This year, nearly 150,000 bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, are being planted by grounds staff and volunteers. “It’s a lot of work to plant this many bulbs, but the results will be stunning in March and early April,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. Home gardeners should also get their bulbs in the ground this month for the best results come spring. Learn more about the best bulbs for north central Texas to get started.

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Cinnamon, cloves and star anise
Newsletter

Explore the Role of Plants in Holiday Celebrations with These Family Crafts and Activities

Plants are everywhere during the holidays. Many Christian and secular families trim Christmas trees and hang wreaths. Jewish families bring home arrangements of blue and white flowers—delphiniums and lilies are favorites. This season creates an opportunity for your family to explore the role of plants both in our holiday celebrations and in our everyday lives.

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White mistletoe berries against green leaves
Newsletter

Before Stealing a Kiss, Learn the Mythology and History of Mistletoe

Many plants play an important role in holiday celebrations, from evergreen trees to poinsettias, but mistletoe is unique in many ways. It is not only a major player in multiple Western mythologies but also a fascinating example of hemi-parasitism. Not sure what that means? Read on for the details.

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Newsletter

Recent Research Publications Reveal the Details of New Plant Species—and Help Uncover the Workings of the Natural World

Botany is not a science for those who demand a steady routine. One day researchers might find themselves hiking up mountainsides through dense tropical rain forest or hunting down rare plants in parched deserts. The next day, they will be in the lab, peering through an electron microscope or studying DNA results.
The result of these efforts is usually a scientific paper, published in a peer-reviewed journal. Papers might describe a new species of plant or suggest a new way of approaching a problem. Taken as a whole, they reveal the workings of life on this plant.

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Red Maple trees in the Japanese Garden
Learn

Unplug and Unwind by Practicing “Shinrin-Yoku,” aka Forest Bathing

Contemporary life is full of millions of stimuli fighting for your attention. We are bombarded with alerts, notifications, pop-ups and announcements. Contrast this type of frantic living with the peaceful experience of being within nature. Trees and flowers demand nothing of you. You are free to notice what you want, or simply to be. This experience has been given a name in Japan. It is called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates to “forest bathing,” using “bathing” to mean immersing yourself within something. The term was introduced in Japan in the 1980s to encourage people to disconnect from technology and spend time outdoors.

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Ginkgo biloba leaves in autumn
Garden

For Brilliant Fall Color, Look to the Living Fossil, Ginkgo

Every autumn, guests to the Japanese Garden frequently stop and marvel at a magnificent tree located just inside the east entrance. In the fall, the leaves turn bright lemon yellow. The color is so brilliant the leaves almost appear fluorescent, as if a bundle of yellow highlighters had taken root and sprouted. This is one of the Garden’s Ginkgo biloba trees, and it holds a remarkable story. “If you are looking for a tree to add to your landscape, consider the gingko. It is not only a reliable performer and beautiful tree but also a unique horticultural specimen,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston.

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Kokedama - Japanese moss ball planter
Newsletter

Create Traditional Japanese Kokedama to Explore the Concept of Wabi-Sabi

One of the key concepts in traditional Japanese culture is the idea of “wabi-sabi.” This is an impossible-to-translate term that means “finding the beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete in nature.” Girls and their families can explore the concept of wabi-sabi this autumn while creating a kokedama planter. The December 4 Girls’ Nature Workshop will explore the craft of shaping planters out of soil, moss and string. The results are beautifully imperfect and unique in every way.

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