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.
Fall blooming daylily Central Texas Gardener
Spidery red Lycoris radiata sticks to the rules. Its most radiant years happen when we get late August rains—this year due to Harvey.
Lycoris radiata Central Texas Gardener
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.
Lycoris radiata in lawn Central Texas Gardener
One still survives in the neighborhood, and I admit, I loved getting a whiff of those spidery flowers.
invasive Chinese mimosa tree Central Texas Gardener
A better option these days is native fragrant mimosa (M.borealis) a 3-6’ option, if you don’t mind the thorns!
native Texas fragrant mimosa
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!
April Rose certified arborist Central Texas Gardener
With many trees damaged in recent storms, including Harvey, April strongly recommends hiring a certified arborist to handle the damage.
tree limb on power line Central Texas Gardener
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.

As former director of TreeFolks and board member of the International Society of Arboriculture, April continues teaching others and learning more about trees, here at Peckerwood Garden.

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.
April Rose blog rosewoodarbor Central Texas Gardener
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.
fungal leaf spot on Texas ash tree Central Texas Gardener
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.
American beautyberry purple berries native Texas plant Central Texas Gardener
Growing 3-6’ tall, this shrub answers our plea for color in filtered shade under large trees.
American beautyberry native understory shrub Central Texas Gardener
Its spring flowers draw many pollinators. But its leaves are quite tasty to deer! Find out more about Daphne’s Plant of the Week.
American beautyberry flowers Central Texas Gardener
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.
Trisha Shirey Casie Luong spring rolls Central Texas Gardener
Fresh harvests in season join supermarket finds for family roll-your-own dinners.
making spring rolls garden harvests Central Texas Gardener
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!
Marigolds and Turk's cap flowers for spring rolls Central Texas Gardener
On tour in Lytton Springs, southeast of Austin, Alicia and Joe Thornton turn castoffs into fantastic finds and new creations.
Artisansbydesign garden art Central Texas Gardener
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.”
cute shed from recycles Central Texas Gardener
In the barn that Joe built, he crafts custom-designed furniture from thrift stores and curbside discards.
cute barn to rebuild salvaged furniture Lytton Springs Central Texas Gardener
Their 10 acres, framed by cedar elms and oaks, even came with their own golden pond.
dogs in pond Central Texas Gardener
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.
rescued geese in new artistic home Central Texas Gardener
From an old prison:
geese in pen funny guard door Central Texas Gardener
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.
chicken coop Central Texas Gardener
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.
darling greenhouse from recycles Central Texas Gardener
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.
construction conduits into garden art Alicia Thornton Central Texas Gardener
At big bulk pickup, they couldn’t pass up old shutters. Painted and mounted on stands, they screen a work area.
old shutters turned into garden screen Alicia Thornton Central Texas Gardener
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.
cypress arbor to chicken coop Central Texas Gardener
And I flipped out to see these last-century trendy glass balls mounted as fan-shaped garden art!
glass fruit balls garden art Central Texas Gardener
It’s quite a heady experience to visit, so check in with Alicia for a tour yourself!
head sculptures garden art Alicia Thornton Central Texas Gardener

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