Tag Archives: Texas Plants

FREE Resources for Gardening and Selecting Easy-to-Grow Plants for DFW and North Texas ~ Post #6

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Note about this post: We are taking a little blog-cation over the coming days and are republishing some of our top posts from the past (in no particular order). We look forward to being back with you in a few days! :)

True confession: I love to dig in the dirt.
I melt with envy when I see “good dirt,” since my backyard is filled with
clay-like gooey soil mixed in with a healthy ~ errr, unhealthy ~ amount of limestone rock.  It takes a whole lot of work, compost, etc to make the plants in our suburban Fort Worth garden happy, but in the end, it is incredibly satisfying to plant something in the garden and see it blissfully take off!

Let me not lead you astray, though, as I do not have a “green thumb!”  Yes (another confession), I am a plant killer. Please don’t call the plant police!

The Strong Shall Survive
(a.k.a. This plant will not be voted off the island!)
Texas Summers are brutal, so after several years of taking the lives of lots of wonderful (but helpless in my hands) plants, I have developed a motto for my gardening tactics and plant choices: “The Strong Shall Survive!”   Let’s face it.  I don’t handle horticultural disappointment well and definitely don’t have the intestinal fortitude to be a farmer.

That said, my list of favorite plants that survive the abuse known as “me” largely includes North Texas-friendly perennials and a few hardy herbs and vegetables.  I especially love the ones that have been shared with me by friends and family and have a known history like the Texas Gold Columbine that came from my mother’s garden last week, the rosemary that was a Christmas gift from a friend, the antique violets from my Grandmother’s garden, and the 3 Red Knock-Out Roses that a friend dropped off as left-overs from a project (love leftovers like these!).  Each one brings a happy memory and smile to my face!

Plant This, Not That.
After much trial and error over the years, I have discovered several great resources that have helped my plant success rate go up (and conversely, caused my “kill” rate to go down!).  Following is a list of some of my favorite “go to” sites for selecting plants for this area, along with a few books you can get cheap at Amazon.com or on loan from the library:

:: Free Internet Resources for Texas and DFW area gardening

  • Ask Mr. Smarty Plants: Love this site! Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and expert volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is written in language that even a novice gardener like me can understand.  Send in your challenging plant problems and questions or just peruse the extensive database of Q&A from others.  They do answer all questions and most responses are accompanied by gorgeous photos of the plants discussed.
  • Calloway’s My Texas Garden: This local site provides a terrific list of quick-read resources for Texas gardeners.  You’ll find everything from tips on how to discover your garden personality to choosing plants that attract hummingbirds. If you sign up for their “Garden Club” (FREE!), you’ll also get notifications of free store seminars plus links to some terrific coupons and store specials.  Last month I received a 50% Off Coupon for anything in the store & now I’m a proud owner of a terrific new weeding tool (dear dandelions, you will not win!).
  • Texas A&M’s List of Texas Star Plants: I have tried several of these plants and each one gets “The Strong Shall Survive” seal of approval!
  • The Grumpy Gardener Blog: I have been following southern horticulturist Steve Bender (Southern Living Magazine) and his tongue-in-cheek campaign against “Crepe Murder” for years.  If you have sawed off your crepe myrtles and turned them into stumps, he just might pay you a surprise visit and have a word or two :).  He now has a blog that is full of great Southern gardening tips (and as a bonus, he will make you laugh).
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database & North-Central Texas list of Recommended Plants: The amount of information on each plant in this database is amazing.
  • Native Plants of Texas: This is a really handy search engine for finding Fort Worth & Dallas friendly plants with specific needs (i.e. drought or shade tolerant).  You can narrow your search by type of plant (Evergreen trees, vines, groundcovers, etc) and even color.  Most searches produce a variety of corresponding plant pictures.
  • Texas A&M Horticulture’s Spring Planting Calendar for Vegetables (DFW Metroplex is Zone 8, Region III). Great guide for when to plant those veggies in our area.

:: Recommended Books for Texas and DFW Area Gardening

  • The Southern Living Garden Book:  This is the first book I pull from the shelf when I have a garden question. It’s a great encyclopedia of plants and other gardening info for Southern Gardeners.  In fact, a few years ago, I learned how to prune my roses with the easy-to-follow illustrations and guide.
  • All New Square Foot Gardening, Grow More in Less Space: Provides a  fun approach and easy-to-follow guide for a simple 4 foot x 4 foot  vegetable garden, along with lots of money-saving tips for frugal gardening.  It’s an easy way to grow a vegetable garden in spite of our terrible North Texas soil (great for small suburban gardens, too).
  • Howard Garrett’s Texas Organic Gardening:  Howard Garett, our local garden expert, is my go-to person for organic gardening info. His book provides solutions specific to Texas gardens like the best (and worst) plants for our area, organic ways to improve your soil and deal with pests, and other great organic gardening tidbits.
  • Texas Home Landscaping: If you are trying to save on landscape plans and want some do-it-yourself guidance and ideas for making your home landscape more attractive and functional, this is a great resource.  This book gets my “Strong Shall Survive” seal of approval, as all plants recommended should thrive in our area & are Texas friendly. There are abundant illustrations and plant photos throughout (love that it shows you what plants will look like from initial planting to full-grown plants!).  Each plan will tell you exactly how much land space you need as well as the recommended plant list.

I know I’m just scratching the surface of the many local garden resources that exist, so please share some of your favorites in the comments section!  Tell me about what you are planting (and your favorite plant survival tips too)!

Enjoy and Share! :)



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Want to Expand Your Garden? Join Local Fort Worth Gardeners For More Plant Trading Fun.

                        

In response to yesterday’s post on free resources for local
gardeners
, one of our readers shared a favorite resource for finding DFW
friendly plants: the 
Ft. Worth plant swap which takes place this Saturday

It will be a perfect morning to gather with fellow gardeners and trade plants.
Fragrant sprigs of mint, irises, rose cuttings and bulbs…everyone brings their
favorite and takes home something new! Here is the scoop from our terrific
reader, Lin:

Bring plants to trade, but if you have no plants, try garden art,
potting soil, pots, or plant hangers ~ anything that a gardener might
like. We have gardeners that will accept baked goods as trade, or
perhaps gift certificates from McDonald’s, Sonic or Wal-mart.
While we arrange pre-trades…almost every gardener brings extras
to the party.

Details, details
What:  Learn more about the Fort Worth Gardenweb plant trade event here.
If you want to participate in trades beforehand, you can take part
in the Gardenweb forum chat by clicking here and here.
When: Saturday, April 10 ~ 9:00am
Where:  At the pavilion in front of the Fort Worth Zoo.
Directions: From I-30 at the western edge of downtown Ft Worth, go
SOUTH on University not quite a mile; turn left into the zoo area, & follow the
path through several curves. When you see the ball fields on your right, slow
down. Turn right into the parking area, hop out, & do a happy dance!
Directions are verbatim from Lin ~ I love any directions that end with
“hop out & do a happy dance!” :)
Cost:  The event is free, but take a moment to read the trade tips before attending.

Thanks Lin for this great tip!

  

Enjoy & Share! :)    

     

 

   

Yankee Candle Coupons: $10 OFF OR
Buy 2 Candles Get 1 FREE
   

Get FREE Movie Tickets to Toy Story 3 PLUS Save
$40 With Purchase of Toy Story Bundle On Blu-ray
    

FREE Monthly Jazz Series in Fort Worth    

 

   

Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?    

Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE!     

Did you find these savings tips helpful? Please let us know in the
comments section or forward this site to others!    

Bookmark and Share   

 

FREE Resources for Gardening and Selecting Easy-to-Grow Plants for DFW and North Texas

True confession: I love to dig in the dirt.
I melt with envy when I see “good dirt,” since my backyard is filled with
clay-like gooey soil mixed in with a healthy ~ errr, unhealthy ~ amount of limestone rock.  It takes a whole lot of work, compost, etc to make the plants in our suburban Fort Worth garden happy, but in the end, it is incredibly satisfying to plant something in the garden and see it blissfully take off!

Let me not lead you astray, though, as I do not have a “green thumb!”  Yes (another confession), I am a plant killer. Please don’t call the plant police!

The Strong Shall Survive
(a.k.a. This plant will not be voted off the island!)
Texas Summers are brutal, so after several years of taking the lives of lots of wonderful (but helpless in my hands) plants, I have developed a motto for my gardening tactics and plant choices: “The Strong Shall Survive!”   Let’s face it.  I don’t handle horticultural disappointment well and definitely don’t have the intestinal fortitude to be a farmer.

That said, my list of favorite plants that survive the abuse known as “me” largely includes North Texas-friendly perennials and a few hardy herbs and vegetables.  I especially love the ones that have been shared with me by friends and family and have a known history like the Texas Gold Columbine that came from my mother’s garden last week, the rosemary that was a Christmas gift from a friend, the antique violets from my Grandmother’s garden, and the 3 Red Knock-Out Roses that a friend dropped off as left-overs from a project (love leftovers like these!).  Each one brings a happy memory and smile to my face!

Plant This, Not That.
After much trial and error over the years, I have discovered several great resources that have helped my plant success rate go up (and conversely, caused my “kill” rate to go down!).  Following is a list of some of my favorite “go to” sites for selecting plants for this area, along with a few books you can get cheap at Amazon.com or on loan from the library:

:: Free Internet Resources for Texas and DFW area gardening

  • Ask Mr. Smarty Plants: Love this site! Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and expert volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is written in language that even a novice gardener like me can understand.  Send in your challenging plant problems and questions or just peruse the extensive database of Q&A from others.  They do answer all questions and most responses are accompanied by gorgeous photos of the plants discussed.
  • Calloway’s My Texas Garden: This local site provides a terrific list of quick-read resources for Texas gardeners.  You’ll find everything from tips on how to discover your garden personality to choosing plants that attract hummingbirds. If you sign up for their “Garden Club” (FREE!), you’ll also get notifications of free store seminars plus links to some terrific coupons and store specials.  Last month I received a 50% Off Coupon for anything in the store & now I’m a proud owner of a terrific new weeding tool (dear dandelions, you will not win!).
  • Texas A&M’s List of Texas Star Plants: I have tried several of these plants and each one gets “The Strong Shall Survive” seal of approval!
  • The Grumpy Gardener Blog: I have been following southern horticulturist Steve Bender (Southern Living Magazine) and his tongue-in-cheek campaign against “Crepe Murder” for years.  If you have sawed off your crepe myrtles and turned them into stumps, he just might pay you a surprise visit and have a word or two :).  He now has a blog that is full of great Southern gardening tips (and as a bonus, he will make you laugh).
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database & North-Central Texas list of Recommended Plants: The amount of information on each plant in this database is amazing.
  • Native Plants of Texas: This is a really handy search engine for finding Fort Worth & Dallas friendly plants with specific needs (i.e. drought or shade tolerant).  You can narrow your search by type of plant (Evergreen trees, vines, groundcovers, etc) and even color.  Most searches produce a variety of corresponding plant pictures.
  • Texas A&M Horticulture’s Spring Planting Calendar for Vegetables (DFW Metroplex is Zone 8, Region III). Great guide for when to plant those veggies in our area.

:: Recommended Books for Texas and DFW Area Gardening

  • The Southern Living Garden Book:  This is the first book I pull from the shelf when I have a garden question. It’s a great encyclopedia of plants and other gardening info for Southern Gardeners.  In fact, a few years ago, I learned how to prune my roses with the easy-to-follow illustrations and guide.
  • All New Square Foot Gardening, Grow More in Less Space: Provides a  fun approach and easy-to-follow guide for a simple 4 foot x 4 foot  vegetable garden, along with lots of money-saving tips for frugal gardening.  It’s an easy way to grow a vegetable garden in spite of our terrible North Texas soil (great for small suburban gardens, too).
  • Howard Garrett’s Texas Organic Gardening:  Howard Garett, our local garden expert, is my go-to person for organic gardening info. His book provides solutions specific to Texas gardens like the best (and worst) plants for our area, organic ways to improve your soil and deal with pests, and other great organic gardening tidbits.
  • Texas Home Landscaping: If you are trying to save on landscape plans and want some do-it-yourself guidance and ideas for making your home landscape more attractive and functional, this is a great resource.  This book gets my “Strong Shall Survive” seal of approval, as all plants recommended should thrive in our area & are Texas friendly. There are abundant illustrations and plant photos throughout (love that it shows you what plants will look like from initial planting to full-grown plants!).  Each plan will tell you exactly how much land space you need as well as the recommended plant list.

I know I’m just scratching the surface of the many local garden resources that exist, so please share some of your favorites in the comments section!  Tell me about what you are planting (and your favorite plant survival tips too)!

Enjoy & Share! :)

Yankee Candle Coupons: $10 OFF OR
Buy 2 Candles Get 1 FREE

Get FREE Movie Tickets to Toy Story 3 PLUS Save
$40 With Purchase of Toy Story Bundle On Blu-ray

FREE Monthly Jazz Series in Fort Worth

Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?

Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE!

Did you find these savings tips helpful? Please let us know in the
comments section or forward this site to others!

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Love to Garden? Join the Fun at Calloway’s FREE Perennial Plant Swap This Saturday, April 3.

                                       

Want to add some new plants to your garden for almost FREE?
This Saturday, April 3, Calloway’s Nursery is hosting a perennial plant swap in Fort Worth and Plano.  This is a great way to expand your garden with shared plants, seedlings, and bulbs, as well as trade tips with other local gardeners. I love sharing my survivors plants with others and am really looking forward to this event!  

The spring Perennial Swap is the third event of this typed hosted by Calloway’s locations and is free to the public. Additionally, there will be free bottled water and hourly drawings between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. for garden gift cards. A Master Gardener or plant expert will be on site at each location to answer gardening questions and offer gardening advice, too! 

Calloway’s directions for how the swap works: 

Step 1: Post what you have and what you want at the links below.  If you have extra bulbs, roots or divided perennials list them to share. If you’re looking for something specific, post it at these links: 

     ::  Click here to chat with Fort Worth Perennial Swap Participants
     ::  Click here to chat with Plano Perennial Swap Participants 

Step 2: Browse the Perennial Swap blog and create your shopping list.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, post a note to inquire if someone has what you want. Invite your friends, neighbors and family members to join in the fun. The more gardeners who come the more plants to trade! 

Step 3: Come to the Perennial Swap and meet up to exchange and trade.  Agree to meet at the swap and exchange plants. Arrive at the swap, get a free bottle of water and start shopping.  Visit and trade plants. 

Step 4: Take your new plants home, plant them up, enjoy them and SAVE money!    

Details, Details
What:  To learn more about Calloway’s plant swap, click here or here.  Use the links below to chat with Spring Perennial Swap participants and post your plant “haves” and “wants.” 

     ::  Click here to chat with Fort Worth perennial swap participants
     ::  Click here to chat with Plano perennial swap participants 

When:  Saturday, April 3, 2010, 9 am – 11 am 
Where:  Perennial Swap events take place at the following 2 DFW locations. 

    :: Fort Worth, Calloway’s Nursery at 2651 S. Hulen St, 817-923-9979
    :: Plano, Calloway’s Nursery at 1000 Preston Rd, 972-964-3084 

  

Enjoy & Share! :) 

  

 

Get FREE Movie Tickets to Toy Story 3 PLUS Save
$40 With Purchase of Toy Story Bundle On Blu-ray
  

FREE Monthly Jazz Series in Fort Worth  

  

 

Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?  

Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE!   

Did you find these savings tips helpful? Please let us know in the
comments section or forward this site to others!  

Bookmark and Share