Spring Native Plant Gardening

Spring Native Plant Gardening
Sarah Flournoy, March 18, 2020

We rushed back home from a trip cut short last week to find our garden popping with blooms. Since then, we’ve been happily adjusting, trimming, photographing, and making plans for more yard updates as we revel in our creation. We sit on the back patio with binoculars, patiently waiting for the first spring migrants, and we also enjoy the usual jays, finches, and robins as they bathe and feed.

Most of the plants in our garden came from Houston Audubon’s Natives Nursery and associated plant sales. Our main goals for the front and back yard are diversity, experimentation, seasonality, and enjoyment. We have over 70 species of plants even though we live on a small lot (5000 sq. ft)! The trees are starting to leaf out and new plants are blooming every day, so we hope to provide an update and more pictures as the garden progresses.

If you have comments about your own gardening adventures this spring, please make them below or contact me. I am glad to have a community of nature lovers even if I’m not seeing folks in person as much as I’d like. Happy spring to all!

Pic 1: What’s Blooming Now
Left to right: Crossvine, Black-eyed Susan, Aster, Coral Honeysuckle, Blue-eyed Grass, Rosinweed, Corpus Christi Fleabane, Compact Prairie Clover, Lyre-leaf Sage

Pic 2: This aerial perspective shows a part of our small back yard. The water feature has water pooling and bubbling out of a large boulder. The birds love it! The birds also love the simple terracotta tray we have filled with about an inch of water (not pictured). The bed in the right corner has a Mexican Plum in addition to shadier plants such as Cherokee Sedge, Turk’s Cap, Heartleaf Skullcap, Virginia Creeper—and a hummingbird feeder! We just planted some Cardinal Flower in that bed, too, and hope it blooms. The main bed has a mix of prairie flowers and grasses that seem to be doing well even though this area does not get full sun. We are also experimenting with ground cover including Creeping Spotflower, Scarlet Pea, and Corpus Christi Fleabane. The Fleabane is putting on a gorgeous display right now.

Pic 3: This section of the front yard shows Black-eyed Susans that seem to bloom for most of the year, Blue-eyed Grass, Frogfruit, Coralberry, Cherokee Sedge, Fern, Sabal Minor, and Inland Sea Oats that provide a seasonal look in the metal bed. Trees not visible include Maple and Hornbeam. And we have a wetter spot where the Aquatic Milkweed is very happy–more on that later!

Sarah Flournoy is the former Bird-Friendly Communities Program Manager. She is now a member of the Board of Advisors. Her husband Don Verser is the true gardener of the family.

Visit birdfriendlyhouston.org for ways you can be bird-friendly! 
Houston Audubon\’s Natives Nursery is currently open for business on Fridays from 8 – 11 am (unless otherwise noted on our website).

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