September 14, 2017
Trash to Treasure, Tree Health, Tasty Spring Rolls
Sometimes plants are easily fooled. Cloudy, cool days and rain prompted spring-blooming daylilies to greet the first of September.
Spidery red Lycoris radiata sticks to the rules. Its most radiant years happen when we get late August rains—this year due to Harvey.
Some in my yard mark where I circled them around a Chinese mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) long ago. Now on many invasive plant lists, it was probably planted in the 50s by the original owners. We had it cut down years ago, but seeds continue to pop up, as do the spider lilies.
One still survives in the neighborhood, and I admit, I loved getting a whiff of those spidery flowers.
A better option these days is native fragrant mimosa (M.borealis) a 3-6’ option, if you don’t mind the thorns!
Recent environmental conditions have really slammed our trees. This week, consulting arborist April Rose takes us from the ground up for made-in-the-shade tips to nurture your trees. Watch now!
With many trees damaged in recent storms, including Harvey, April strongly recommends hiring a certified arborist to handle the damage.
For one thing, you want to avoid butchering. Also important: certified arborists are insured to protect you and them. Here’s a guide to finding a certified arborist from the International Society of Arboriculture.
Check out April’s website for info, blogs, and workshops like Exploring the Urban Forest, where participants will become Project Learning Tree (PLT) certified educators and Receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide with 96 TEKS correlated activities.
Fungal disease peppered trees this year, including Shannon Viscardi’s native Texas ash (Fraxinus texensis). Dr. Kevin Ong, Extension plant pathologist and director of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, confirmed fungal leaf spot.
Daphne reminds us that we should never spray fungicides when temps are over 85° to avoid burning leaves. This ash tree should be fine. Get her complete answer.
For eye-popping purple, in spring we’ve got mountain laurel. In late summer and fall, native American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) grabs the glee. Who can resist those glossy, brilliant berries against autumn’s orange and gold? Certainly the birds cannot.
Growing 3-6’ tall, this shrub answers our plea for color in filtered shade under large trees.
Its spring flowers draw many pollinators. But its leaves are quite tasty to deer! Find out more about Daphne’s Plant of the Week.
Now, let’s head to the kitchen for refreshing, adaptable spring rolls. Casie Luong joins Trisha Shirey to craft the perfect party food with tips from her Vietnamese-born parents and Trisha’s fresh harvests.
Fresh harvests in season join supermarket finds for family roll-your-own dinners.
In summer, color up with organically-grown marigold, rose, begonia and Turk’s cap flowers. In winter and late spring, add dianthus, borage, pansies and violas. Get their recipe!
On tour in Lytton Springs, southeast of Austin, Alicia and Joe Thornton turn castoffs into fantastic finds and new creations.
In 1996, when they left Houston, they turned their careers and hobbies into a new adventure as ArtisansbyDesigntx, where their motto is “Saving the Planet One Board at a Time.”
In the barn that Joe built, he crafts custom-designed furniture from thrift stores and curbside discards.
Their 10 acres, framed by cedar elms and oaks, even came with their own golden pond.
Along with restoring the land, they’ve opened their hearts to give countless discarded animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and geese a new chance.
From an old prison:
To house the birds, she built a funky chicken coop with salvaged materials. She snagged and painted exhaust fans as an homage to her Russian heritage.
Alicia upcycled old wood to build the former greenhouse, now storage for customer inventory. She and Joe give throwaway apartment art lots of love in its final decorative job.
When she found scrap ends of conduits leftover during construction of SH 130, the crews gladly loaded them into her truck. She painted the black plastic to look like rusty metal and planted them.
At big bulk pickup, they couldn’t pass up old shutters. Painted and mounted on stands, they screen a work area.
One of their super treasures was a cypress hammock base someone had dumped. With bright paint and a little work, they turned it into the ideal garden header.
And I flipped out to see these last-century trendy glass balls mounted as fan-shaped garden art!
It’s quite a heady experience to visit, so check in with Alicia for a tour yourself!
Watch the whole shebang now.
And thanks for stopping by! See you next week for a preview of the San Antonio Garden Conservancy tour. Linda