the show

Drought Defiant Plants

encore date: December 11, 2015

original air date: October 31, 2015

garden sara breuerAuthor and horticulturist Mary Irish understands drought after years in Arizona. Get her picks for tough-as-nail trees, big and small, along with companion perennials. On tour, Sara Breuer updated her garden for style and water conservation. Daphne presents top summer drought performers from our viewers in Summer Faves, Part 2. Trisha tackles pesky seedlings and saplings with Lawn Jaws and Puller Bear.


Episode Segments

On Tour

New Gardener Makeover

Sara Breuer had lots on her hands in her new garden—mainly sticky lifeless soil, along with an outdated design with lots of lawn. A weekend at a time, she charmed up style and soil for abundant organic vegetables, native plants for wildlife, chickens and expansive outdoor living. In front, she swapped lawn for a front door patio and raised vegetable beds, built by husband Tim Mateer.  In back, she covered dead grass with an extensive deck for outdoor living. Son Henry championed for chickens and as a Boy Scout certified them as a Backyard Habitat.


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Question of the Week

What’s your favorite summer plant?

Recently, we asked viewers to send us their summer favorite plants. They were so many that we’ve split it up. Here’s Part 1 of Summer Faves.

Helen Sørensen O’Dowd Quinn, from Navasota, loves native Texas star hibiscus, which is normally red, and Marianne Yelvington Hutto loves the same plant, but she lucked into a white one!

Heidi Schaub likes Salvia greggii, one of my favorites.

Jeff Ferris adds Texas sage, also commonly known as cenizo, to his list.

Another show stopper is Lisa LaPaso’s choice of Fireman’s Cap coral bean.

Duranta is tops with Laura Sammons, and esperanza rates high with Sharon Nixon Nettle. Duranta and esperanza (Tecoma stans) make a lovely combination!

And Jenny Stocker’s pick, is native rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetela) which would make a lovely smaller shrub near those two.

Vines also made the list, including passion vine from Kirti Kode, Jana Kaura and Vicki Blachman, who also likes cestrum.

Annual warm-weather moonflower is Karen Curry’s pick, good even in a container, placed near an entryway, of course, to sniff and view at night. It’s pollinated by night moths.

Kathy Kloba values her Butterfly Blue Clerodendrum, and Martha Merriell Chang loves her passalong purple-leaved canna.

Kirk Walden likes groundcover ice plant.

And in the vegetable garden, Randy Jewart and Joe Summy go for okra, David Brooks for Sungold tomato, and Katie Pudhorodsky for black eyed peas.

In part shade, firecracker fern is tops for Stephanie Collins and Martha Cray. Donna and Mike Fowler also favor that one, along with pride of Barbados, rock rose and red yucca.

Another great suggestion for part shade/to sun is Turk’s cap, from April Thomas Rose and Sharon Black-Greene.

Viewer picture also goes to Helen Sørensen O’Dowd Quinn from Navasota for her fall-blooming bulb, Lycoris aurea. Most of us are familiar with the red Lycoris radiata, which Helen grows as well.  L. aurea is the most reliable of the zinger yellows for us.


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Plant of the Week

Summer Favorites

Summer Favorites

This summer, we asked our experts (YOU!) to tell us their summer favorite plants. Pride of Barbados won hands-down with votes from Shirley Fox, Linda Goodale, Robin Mayfield, Matt Boring, Tracy Simons and Stephanie Skarren. Plumbago was another winner with votes from Linda Goodale, Ovaltene Jones, Velia Sanchez-Ruiz and Robin Mayfield. Mexican honeysuckle received a ringing endorsement from Bob Beyer and Pamela King Malone. And Pamela also likes purple hyacinth bean for late summer color. Morgan Goldberg and Lori Garven Horton went for lantana, as do the butterflies. Lori especially likes a mix of white and purple flowering varieties. Lisa Louden Rhoden picked Texas bluebells, Chet Gresham went for Maximilian sunflower, and Yael Abraham is keen on tropical butterfly milkweed. Sherry Cordry likes succulents, including squid agave, which works well in part shade. Also in part shade, go for Ceci Burklow’s pick: native American beautyberry. And trees were not left out: Cindy McClimans likes retama and Eva Van Dyke went for another native, Texas Torchwood. Our Viewer Picture comes with a super great story! Gail Standley’s husband Mike built a beautiful pond for her this year as a wedding gift.  Shortly after they added the water, they noticed they had frog eggs, then tadpoles, and now lots of healthy frogs, along with lovely water lilies!