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Small Space Flowers, Food and Art

encore date: April 7, 2016

original air date: April 9, 2016

Mike Lung from Mike Lung Wholesale Nursery styles up with evergreen texture to screen or accent in sun and shade. In a standard backyard, Lisa LaPaso and Cavin Weber pack in lots of food, fragrance and art. Daphne explains why lichen is natural on trees and not a problem. Her Plant of the Week is native Rusty blackhaw viburnum that attracts wildlife with spring flowers and fall berries. If you’re cramped for space, John shows how to grow good organic food in containers, even on a balcony.

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Episode Segments

On Tour

Lisa LaPaso and Cavin Weber's food, Fragrance and Art Garden.

In a standard Avery Ranch backyard, Lisa LaPaso and Cavin Weber pack in a cornucopia of delicious scents, food, and colors. Although rich in diversity, it’s miserly on water.  Fruit trees shade a garden filled with raspberries, blackberries, grapes and vegetables.  A pond and perennial fragrant flowers and herbs attract countless pollinators and birds, including hummingbirds.  Designed for outdoor living, Lisa splashes color into every cozy bench and nook, inspired by her mother, Carol Maize. Her father, Jim LaPaso added colorful kinetic sculptures.

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Question of the Week

Is lichen a problem on trees?

Thanks to Stacy Wilson for this great question about lichen on her trees. Her oaks and mesquite trees are dropping limbs, covered with a bluish green growth.  Will this spread to her new trees?

Lichen poses no danger to other surrounding trees. These are entirely common in natural areas.  Lichens do often grow on the bark of living trees, but they are not feeding on the tree.

They are only growing on the dead bark, not the live tissue. They are not detrimental in and of themselves, but they do indicate a lack of sunlight on the side where they are growing (which is why they are common in natural areas, where trees and shrubs grow so close together that they exclude light from the understory).

They are also slightly more common on stressed trees, as most trees across our area are at the moment, after years of extended drought.

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Plant of the Week

Rusty Blackhaw

Rusty Blackhaw

Viburnum Viburnum Rufidulum

Rusty blackhaw viburnum is a lovely little native that can be found growing all over the state, from east to central Texas, mostly along streams and the edges of woodland area. In its native habitat, you might find a specimen growing up to 30 feet tall, but normally it’s much smaller in the landscape, 10 to 20 feet tall and equally as wide, or a little wider. Also in its native habitat, it’s quite often a shrubby, understory tree, but in a landscape setting, will look quite striking as a stand-along specimen, planted in full sun to part shade. The dark green leaves are lustrous and shiny, surrounded by clusters of bright white flowers in spring. Those flowers produce beautiful blue fruit in the fall, and about the same time, the leaves begin to turn a stunning pinkish mauve to dark purple. Rusty blackhaw can grow in almost any soil type, as long as it’s well-drained. Hardy to zone 5, this deciduous small tree requires very little water once established, and makes a striking addition to any garden. Our viewer photo this week comes from Michelle Mitchell via Facebook. Michelle wanted to share a tip that she learned from her dad, Bob Laughlin, who’s been growing tomatoes for as long as she can remember. In order to get a head start, Bob plants his tomato seedlings in one gallon nursery pots that he then sinks into large containers outdoors. If a major freeze comes his way, he can literally pull the pots and store them in his shed until the freezing weather passes. What a great idea! I’m definitely going to steal that one. Thanks Michelle, and Bob!

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