The third week of October is Texas Native Plant Week. School children and their teachers, native plant organizations, and individual gardeners are encouraged to learn about and then plant natives in eagerly awaiting gardens. Aside from their beauty, native plants are a snap to grow with our capricious Texas weather patterns and difficult soils. Native plants also provide sustenance and protection for endemic and migrating wildlife; diversity in all forms improves when gardeners go native in their landscapes. Throughout the year and in every part of Texas, native plants are a key driver for conservation of our unique natural landscapes.
If you don’t live in Texas, celebrate the native plants of your region by growing natives in your garden and encouraging neighborhood and school groups to do the same.
Below are but a few of the native plants that I grow in my garden. Many are passalong plants, shared with me by keen and generous gardeners. Some are plants that I started from seeds, testing my gardener’s patience as I’m always excited to see how something fares as it grows and matures. A couple of these plants appeared–unplanned, but very welcomed–by serendipitous acts of birds or the wind. Many of these plants were purchased at Austin’s awesome locally owned nurseries. All of these plants grow with little effort and less water than what a typical lawn demands. Ease of endeavor notwithstanding, my garden is alive with pollinator and bird activity, which is how a garden should exist.
No matter where you live and even if some of your plants’ ancestors hail from far away places, make room in your plot of the Earth for native plants. You’ll help heal the world substantially, by conserving water and natural habitat, and by increasing local diversity of plants and wildlife.
Native plants are beautiful and belong where you live and garden.
Late spring, early summer: