Healing Plants + Clever Ideas with Recycled Stuff

Isn’t it wonderful when plants we love do so much good? Hummingbirds rave about firecracker fern (Russelia equisetiformis), but so do Gulf Fritillary butterflies. It’s become one of my water thrifty favorites for part sun/shade.
Gulf Fritillary butterfly on firecracker fern Central Texas Gardener
Native Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra) handles the sun to shade swing, too. This one flowers and fruits spring and fall (and hospitable summers) to cover a broad wildlife spectrum.
native Barbado cherry flowers and fruit Central Texas Gardener
native Barbados cherry fruits Central Texas Gardener
I’m thrilled to watch birds dive for my native chile pequins, seeding them harmoniously in garden gaps where sun spotlights shade.
Chile pequin Central Texas Gardener
Check out how to grow it and make a knock-your-socks off salsa recipe!
JJ Weber's Simple Sonoran salsa recipe with chile tepins
Growing your own citrus is fun and healthy, too. But what’s going on with Amy Acosta-Welch’s lime tree?
damaged lime tree leaves Central Texas Gardener
Daphne reports that it could be wind or sun damage and in some spots, caterpillar feeding. And voila! Just hours before we recorded Daphne’s segment, Santiago Lopez emailed pictures of his Giant Swallowtail caterpillar feeding on one of his citrus plants!
Giant Swallowtail caterpillar Central Texas Gardener final
Unless they totally strip a young plant, be thankful that they’ve chosen your garden to raise the next generation of pollinating butterflies. Daphne explains more.

How do plants promote good health or even soothe those annoying allergies? Herbalist Ginger Webb from the Sacred Journey School of Herbalism explores surprising benefits from common plants and even so-called weeds.
Tom Spencer, Ginger Webb Central Texas Gardener
Find out how to turn early ragweed leaves into tinctures that act as an antihistamine in fall. Infuse those green pecans with vodka to assist digestion. In summer, cut a few peach tree leaves to make a soothing tea. Watch now!

Check out Ginger’s site to learn about common plants, watch her wonderful Medicinal Minutes, and sign up for her instructive classes!
Sacred Journey School of Herbalism
On her Medicinal Minutes, Ginger explains how the dried bean pods of native honey or Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) make a nutritious protein and carbohydrate-rich food.
Honey mesquite bean pods Central Texas Gardener
Daphne makes native honey mesquite her Plant of the Week for its dappled shade and drought tenacity.
native honey mesquite tree Central Texas Gardener
Yes, it’s got thorns, and those bean pods are a mess to clean up if you don’t want to use them, but its spring flowers feed pollinators. Find out more.
lacy leaves native honey mesquite trees Central Texas Gardener
When I tasted microgreens a few years ago, it was instant love. Growing your own is also inexpensive instant gratification and a fun indoor project for kids. Trisha’s got the tips for mini-harvests of tasty nutrition with bok choy, radish, arugula, sunflowers, peas, and lots more.
microgreens Central Texas Gardener
I first met Hays County Master Gardener Rasmey Mau Raymond when she was a manager at Garden-Ville-San Marcos. I’ve never forgotten her passion for horticulture, so I was thrilled to meet up with her again!
Rasmey Mau Raymond food and flower garden Central Texas Gardener
So, we headed to San Marcos to visit her garden. In 2004, she and husband Matthew bought 25 weedy acres, built their house, and started a family.
no lawn front yard pollinator plants wildlife habitat Central Texas Gardener
They worked hard to turn black gumbo clay into healthy, water-saving gardens.
No lawn food and pollinator garden Rasmey Mau Raymond Central Texas Gardener
Near the house, she wanted a cottage garden with lots of flowers and herbs every season for them and wildlife.
garden art pollinator plants cottage garden Central Texas Gardener
Now an expert at plant propagation, Rasmey populated the garden with trees for bird habitat, understory plants, and heritage roses. She’ll try any plant she finds, and even grows a very happy eucalyptus tree!
drought tough cottage garden food and flowers Central Texas Gardener
Cambodian-born Rasmey also wanted healthy food for her family, including Asian tastes and countless fruit trees. Her daughters go to great heights for a tasty snack!
vegetable garden for children Central Texas Gardener
Rasmey and Matthew walk the recycling talk. To grow food in raised beds, Matthew turned leftover Trex composite decking into formal rectangles.
recycled Trex raised vegetable beds Central Texas Gardener
Cattle panel supports vining food plants and Mexican flame vine for bees and butterflies.
Trex raised beds, recycled pots vegetable garden Central Texas Gardener
Rasmey spares the landfill of plastic pots and discarded stock tanks.
recycled pots and stock tank vegetable beds Central Texas Gardener
Old washer and dryer tubs and pond liners, whatever she picks up for free, get a second life.
recycled washer tubs, pond liners vegetable gardens Rasmey Mau Raymond Central Texas Gardener
An old bottled water dispenser houses lemongrass.
recycled bottled water dispenser grows lemon grass Central Texas Gardener
All her plants don’t tax water resources, since she and Matthew installed several rainwater cisterns and large recycled tubs to catch every drop.
backyard rainwater collection patio firepit Central Texas Gardener
Since Rasmey combines herbs with plants for wildlife, every snip for the kitchen comes with a pause to watch bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
herbs wildlife plants children playground Central Texas Gardener
Their daughters can already name every plant, even in arboretum visits. And, these smart girls directed this shot!
backyard fun Central Texas Gardener
Well, just watch now for the whole story!

Thanks for dropping by! See you next week when Paul Johnson, Texas A&M Forest Service, keeps our trees in top key condition. Linda