Gardeners across North Texas can only look at their landscape and sigh as the heat wave refuses to break and rain refuses to fall. Plants that thrive most summers are withering and dying under the stress of week after week of 100-degree-plus temperatures. Gardeners struggle to balance watering enough to keep their plants alive with responsible behavior during a drought–and the prospect of budget-busting water bills. What to do? “The first step is to not give up,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. “You do have options.”
Learn How to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants through Smart Shopping and Native-Friendly Gardening
Readers of this newsletter are savvy and environmentally aware—most know that invasive plants threaten the environment and native plants support a healthy ecosystem. But it’s not always easy. You might go to your local garden center looking for a native plant like lantana, take it home and plant it in your garden. You’ve done a good thing, right? Maybe. Maybe not. How do you know that the variety of lantana you purchased is native lantana?
A fascinating shrub is currently in bloom in the Garden, one that Senior Horticulturist Steve Huddleston suggests North Texas gardeners should consider for their landscape: buttonbush. “This plant will dazzle you with its form, foliage and flowers,” says Huddleston. “And it thrives in locations that many plants find challenging.”
One of the major goals of gardening in Texas is finding colorful, high-performing plants that add drama to our summer landscapes and hold up to Texas heat. “Fortunately, there are many to choose from, including both perennials and annuals and both native and adapted plants,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. “In fact, you might find you have more options that you realized.”
As FWBG | BRIT celebrates National Native Plant Month this April, we invite you to bring more Texas natives into your garden. “Gardening with native plants is an easy way to support local wildlife, cut water consumption and reduce your reliance on pesticides,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. “And I think you’ll find the results can be beautiful.”
Insects and gardeners: it’s a long relationship, and all too often, it’s needlessly antagonistic. Very few insects are actually the enemy. Successful gardeners should learn the difference between good insects and pests, as well as how to encourage the beneficial bugs and sustainably manage the harmful ones.
Many people give little thought to the soil under their feet. It’s just dirt, after all. But gardeners know that healthy soil is essential to healthy plants. If you’re looking to up your gardening game this year, invest in your soil.
This year, guests to the Botanic Garden will notice construction work underway as we embark on several major projects, thanks to the support of the City of Fort Worth and many generous donors. Read on for a rundown of what we have planned for 2022, plus tips on planning a new flower bed in your garden
Many people regard winter as a bleak and barren time in the garden. Deciduous trees have lost their leaves, perennials have died back and the garden has entered its period of rest. Such a setting, however, provides the perfect foil for the “gems of winter”—those shrubs that put forth their blossoms in January and February and enliven the winter landscape with beauty.
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.