the show

Palm Trees

encore date: April 30, 2015

original air date: May 2, 2015

Let’s give a high five for palms in sun and shade with Jeff Yarbrough from Leaf Landscape Supply.  On tour, Lynne Dobson’s shady garden on a slope frames serenity destinations with structural plants. Go for the bold in shade in deer country with Daphne’s Plant of the Week: Ligularia. Plus, she answers: why is spring 2015 so incredibly beautiful? John Dromgoole keeps garden color going with summer annuals to attract bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.


Episode Segments

On Tour

Shade garden of serenity

What can you do on an unwieldy slope of lawn and tons of shade? Lynne Dobson and husband Greg Wooldridge found the answer when they banished lawn for tranquil terraced garden retreats and joyous artful surprises along the way. As a photographer, Lynne captivates the eye on every level in several garden rooms—from above, below, and close-up intimate details. Greg adds the finishing touches, like colorful bowling balls to dress up utilitarian dry stream drainage.



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Question of the Week

Why was spring 2015 so glorious?

With the explosion of growth in gardens this spring, it seems like everyone wanted to know, why is this such a great year for… irises, roses, redbuds, wildflowers…you name it! Everyone’s plants are bigger, beefier, taller, and more beautiful than they’ve been in years.

And, as you might have guessed, the answer comes down to weather. Our plants have struggled for years with extreme heat and drought, and the occasional hard winter as well.

No, the drought isn’t over, but we did have a relatively brief period of glorious rainfall and mild temperatures, which gave our landscapes just the environment they needed to rebound and come roaring back to life.

When times are tough, plants hunker down and conserve resources, producing less growth; smaller and fewer flowers, or even none at all; and very few, if any, fruit. Our good, soaking rains of late summer and early fall last year, continued all the way through winter, exactly when our wildflowers sprout and grow in preparation for flowering and producing the next generation of seeds.

And with the lack of good conditions for the past several years, our wildflower seed bank quietly waited, and slowly built up, exploding onto the scene and taking full advantage of the situation when the climate improved.

In our gardens, there was a similar pattern. Plants that have struggled for years, conserving resources and hoping for the climate to improve, finally got exactly what they needed to put on a little extra growth, or a lot, actually, and produce flowers, too!

After a relatively mild, wet and cloudy winter, we had some early spring warmth and sunshine. Often, our early spring warm-ups are followed by late spring frosts or freezes, which kill off newly-formed growth and flower buds, but not this year. Spring arrived early, and stayed, giving us one of our best floral displays in years.

Among the many viewer pictures we received was this from Lance and Dawn Ware, ofthe gorgeous bluebonnets near park road 4 in Burnet. They celebrate their anniversary each April by taking a trip to see the bluebonnets. Dawn said that the hills and castle remind her of Germany, where she and Lance met and married while in the military.

Winter Ghaly sent usher gorgeous ‘Judy Garland’ rose andpurple and white bearded iris.

We loveMJ’s gorgeous redbud tree picture!

And, would it be spring in Texas without photos ofchildren amongst the bluebonnets?Check out these from Mitzi Van Sant.


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Plant of the Week



Ligularia, sometimes called Leopard Plant, is valued for its bold evergreen foliar impact in shady gardens. Large, dark green, heart-shaped leaves are tinged with purple, including the undersides, veins and margins, giving this plant a truly striking appearance. Ligularia is an evergreen, clumping perennial, getting about two feet wide and three feet tall. It does best in shady, wet conditions, so it’s perfect if you have heavy clay soils and a dark, boggy area that stays too wet for most other plants. Even though it likes moist soil, it grows quite well in water thrifty gardens, as long as it’s in shade with deep soil. A member of the aster family, tall flower spikes (to 24”) emerge from the leafy center, topped with yellow daisy-like flowers. Deer resistant.