Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's Official!

Our doors are closed, phones forwarded to voicemail and email autoresponders turned on. We will not be checking messages or emails until September 10th. However, we are very interested in working with you this fall, and beyond, to create your native plant garden. Although our installation schedule is full already, we have plenty of appointments for design and/or consultation services. In fact, we have begun scheduling meetings for the week of September 11-15th, and most days are booked-up. Thursday the 14th (all day) and Friday the 15th (early afternoon) we have many open timeslots.

We might not be returning your calls or emails for a couple of weeks, but go ahead and leave a detailed message, including preferred dates and times you would like to meet. We'll confirm everything upon our return!

September will be an exciting month full of change and (we hope) cooler temperatures, maybe a drop or two of rain. Don't let the drought distress you, though. We have been checking up on several of our projects within the past couple of weeks, and we're proud to report that all are bursting with color and texture. These clients strictly follow the watering guidelines, and at least one has said she only hand-waters every other week. Yes, week, not day. Her neighbors find the success of her garden almost too good to be true. They suspect she's 'cheating' on the restrictions and frequently she spies them lurking around her yard, hoping to catch her in the act! No soaker hoses laced throughout the beds, infrequent supplemental watering. Hers is just one of our many success stories...yours could be next!

But the durability of native plants despite this historic drought isn't magic or trickery -- it's nature. We took Folsom for a jog around Big Lake Park (Plano) last weekend. Sure, the turfgrasses are all but dead and the ground has cracked, as if the soil is gasping for air. Some cracks are so wide we have to steer Folsom from falling in. It's hot, it's dry, it's oppressive. Still, we saw Clasping Coneflower and Goldenrod blooming vibrantly along the creek. Purple Verbena, too. And many other native plants.

All gardens native or non-native require water to become established. Once established, native plants will continue to grow and develop naturally, even during times of drought. This fall we hope you will consider converting your landscape to one that requires less water, less maintenance, and will continue to feed and house birds and butterflies. We can help.

Looking forward to helping you restore your slice of the Blackland Prairie...Until then, stay cool and hydrated! /Christy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fall Schedule Announcements

A wise person (I'm looking at you, Dusty) once said that someday our Springs would meld into our Summers, Falls into Winters. Truer words were never spoken...but we never imagined it would happen this year. Summer had been set aside to work out some details for those changes I keep mentioning. However, never-ending Spring just finally came to a close so we'll have to postpone making announcements until late-September. That brings me to our Fall Schedule -- we're already setting appointments and this would be a perfect time to list our availability.

We will be available for new designs and consultations beginning Monday, September 18th.

Installations only -- no new clients.

November and December:
New designs and consultations; no installations.
Emergency Mulching Services available 1st through 15th.

Learn About Native Plants; Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 20th, 2pm at Rohde's Nursery in Garland we will be speaking to the Native Plant Society, Garland Chapter. Our topic is "Fall Planting" but we will also discuss water issues. Meet in the store where it's cool.

Saturday, September 16th, 9am to 2pm at Texas A&M Univ. Research Extension Center at Dallas (17360 Coit Road, Dallas 75252). Wildscaping for Wildlife Workshop sponsored by North Texas Master Naturalists. Our session on "Wildscape Design" will begin around 9:30am. For registration or more information, please call Natha Taylor at 214-503-6052, or Linda Hannigan at 214-350-5811.

Tuesday, October 17th, 4-6pm at State Fair of Texas in the Food and Fiber Pavillion. Sponsored by Texas Dept of Agriculture and Go Texan! Program. Our program will discuss "Native Plants for Texas".

More event details to follow soon!

Friday, August 11, 2006

City of Plano Offers Free Foundation Maintenance Classes

We're not affiliated in any way with this program, but are posting this announcement to inform our readers of free educational opportunities. Please contact the City of Plano should you have questions.

Foundation Maintenance Classes

This is an opportunity for you to learn how to maintain your home’s foundation during the current North Texas Drought.

Who & What
Mr. Leonard Fowler, Geologist & Consultant will be the present to discuss how to recognize and eliminate home foundation problems. Learn about disproportionate soil swelling, standing water, foundation watering, and much more.

Saturday, August 12th, 2006 – 9:00am to 12:00pm
Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Plano Municipal Center
1520 Avenue “K”, Plano, Texas 75086
Municipal Center is located between 15th Street and 18th Street on Avenue K

Feel free to invite your friends and neighbors but we cordially ask that you limit invitees to the Plano community members ONLY at this time.


We will seat on a first come, first served basis. This class is being offered twice so that we can accommodate as many people as possible. It is projected that the City of Plano and all other surrounding communities may have to endure Stage 3 watering restrictions until the summer of 2007 has passed. So take this opportunity to come and learn how to maintain your foundation and protect your investment.

For more information on what the city of Plano is doing to help combat the effects of our current drought situation, please visit our web page at: for more details and information.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Summer Schedule

Now through close of business Friday, August 18th, we are allowing most calls to go to voicemail. During this period we are focusing our attention on preparations for fall. Please leave a detailed message, or send a detailed email, and we will respond ASAP. Beginning 5pm on the 18th we will be closing our office until Monday, September 11th. Phone and email messages will not be returned until then.

Hope you're having a terrific summer. Stay cool and hydrated...more updates soon!

Kudos to Plano residents

It seems that Plano residents have something to be proud of...they are adhering to Stage 3 restrictions and currently there is no plan to move into Stage 4. Way to go! Keep reducing your water consumption; we're not out of the 'desert' yet.

Kiwanis Garland: Introduction to today's presentation

(Ad-libbed comments are not included.)

"Thank you for inviting David and me to speak to your organization. We have a lot of information and enthusiasm to share with you, and if you were to allow us free reign we could, and would, go on for hours. But in the interest of time, we will direct you to the handout for background information about who we are, what we do, and why we promote native plants. Therefore, we will jump right in discussing native plants, identifying them and demonstrating ways to use them.

We live on the Blackland Prairie, part of the Great Plains extending from Manitoba south to central Texas. Due to single crop farming, overgrazing, neglect and -- most recently -- development, less than 1% of the Blackland Prairie exists today. We should not resent our agricultural heritage, or the boom of the 1970s that lingers today. But there are ways to reverse the damage we humans have inflicted upon our once-fertile land, and develop in harmony with nature, not against her. We must restore the native vegetation if we are to preserve the Blackland Prairie. If we do not, we are likely the last generation to observe this natural ecoregion. Our mission is to promote native plants because we recognize their intrinsic values. Currently, the most important benefit to us in north central Texas relates to water issues -- conservation and preservation of water resources. Despite the drought and water restrictions imposed by many north Texas municipalities, our projects are thriving on once-per-week, or one-inch-of-water-per-week. Each of us living on the Blackland Prairie has been drawn to this ecoregion by business opportunities or that we are native Texans, and within each of us is the power to reclaim the glory, to take back our state and region's natural beauty, and preserve it for future generations. You have the ability to restore native vegetation to your own little slice of the Blackland Prairie, to micro-restore, if you will.

There are approximately 6,300 species native to Texas, several naturally found right here in the "gumbo."

Natives work well in suburban landscapes, as well as acreage, commercial properties and educational campuses. It's important to remember, however, that just because a plant is native doesn't mean it will work anywhere in your garden. The key to successful gardening is choreography, to create a long-term plan that will allow you to plant deliberately with the right plant in the right place."