Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Discovering Treasure

Saturday more than 50 folks turned out for our program "Going Native...Texas Style" at Petal Pusher's Garden Emporium in Cedar Hill. Petal Pusher's was previously known as Kings Creek and the baby of native plant-pioneer and landscape architect, Rosa Finsley. Truly, it is a destination location. Peaceful and brimming with colorful natives, Petal Pusher's is a place you want to hang out and enjoy with friends; it's more than just a place to shop. All the staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and their enthusiasm for native plants is contagious. Their long-time regular customers, too, welcomed us into their gardening family. One of the highlights of the day, for us, was meeting Rosa Finsley. What a treat. If you have never been there, we recommend you schedule a visit to Petal Pusher's soon. (Psst, they have Giant Coneflower in stock!)

During our presentation we spoke about a lot of plants native to our area, including Elbowbush, Coralberry and Eve's Necklace. Recently the yellow phosphorescent blooms of Elbowbush brightened up shady and sunny natural areas. This is a lovely, early spring blooming shrub that is native, low-maintenance, low-water consuming, and grossly underused. (See closeup of bloom above.)

Sunday we returned to Cedar Hill to hike Cedar Hill State Park. Elbowbush were everywhere. I observed more specimens during our hike than I have throughout my entire life. Gorgeous. We also found one of our favorite native bulbs growing in meadows (full sun to part-sun) and understory (part-shade to shade): Crow Poison! Despite its unfortunate name, this little white bloomer would be a great addition to a residential landscape, whether in a suburban, commercial or acreage setting. Plant and go! Pics to follow...

The terrain of Cedar Hill is much different from the north side of Dallas. Hard limestone outcroppings resemble stone found in Georgetown and Austin more than the sedimentary limestone found in Collin County. Our local limestone tends to flake, which is lovely, but not recommended as a weight-bearing foundation. Rather than mostly flat prairies, Cedar Hill is defined by rolling hills, previously known as the Cedar Mountains. Cedars as well as other native trees and shrubs, such as Mexican Buckeye, Mexican Plum, Redbud and Yaupon Holly pepper the mountain-like hills. Breathtaking scenery -- the nursery and park are located approximately 2 miles apart and only 10 miles southwest of downtown Dallas. Unquestionably, the area is one of Dallas' treasures.

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