Useful wild plants, design tips, gazania troubles, bordered patch butterflies

This is an absolute first for me. Columbine in mid-July!

Columbine in July

Now, it’s normal for Zexmenia hispida to bloom in July. It would probably bloom a little more if I got out there and did some gentle shearing, especially since it’s flopping all over. But not now, it’s busy.

Bordered patch butterfly on zexmenia hispida

Another first: clouds of Bordered Patch butterflies relentless in their pursuit of happiness. Since zexmenia is also their larval food, I may get some free pruning!

Bordered Patch butterfly wings closed on zexmenia hispida

Long ago, I vowed that every plant in my garden would be useful in some way, like this passion vine feeding a future Gulf fritillary butterfly.

Gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion vine austin texas

Scooter Cheatham and Lynn Marshall at Useful Wild Plants helped teach me to see every plant in a new perspective. This week on CTG, Tom meets with them for a few revelations and connections between what’s on your table and what’s growing outside.

Useful Wild Plants Scooter Cheatham Lynn Marshall

Their invaluable encyclopedias, The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico are up to Volume 3.  Volume 4 is on the way!

Their extensive research over many years connects every plant to its origin, its multiple purposes, cultivation, history, and even poetry! Also, check out their Weedfeed workshop and field trips, where you learn to identify food in what seems to be the most unlikely places, like these delicious wild tomatoes.

Useful Wild Plants Scooter Cheatham Lynn Marshall

On tour, see how designer Annie Gillespie connects to the land with her garden renovation in deer country.

Botanical Concerns Annie Gillespie garden

Annie got her native roots working at the first location of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a few years back. With her skill in architecture, drainage issues and plants, she finds solutions for problems, most recently at home. Plus, she gives us a few of her professional tips on how to lay out our design and plants.

Got rot? This week, Daphne explains what’s going on with drought-lovers that got a little too much water love. Gazania is one of the victims, coincidentally in my garden.

Gazania rot from too much water

I’m getting so many tree questions that this week, arborist Guy LeBlanc is our special Backyard Basics guest. He answers two of the top questions: how to deal with oak root sprouts and ball moss.

oak root sprouts Guy LeBlanc Arbor Vitae Tree Care

Harvey will be watching online, even though he didn’t get an Ibunpad for his birthday. He’d eat it. Until next week, Linda