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Events that Changed My Life

Let me tell you, I was pretty proud of this long ago!

Linda's first garden Austin Texas

And rightfully so. My first garden life-changing event was when we bought a house with a dusty yard owned by fire ants.  With more energy than knowledge or money, I embarked on a journey that hasn’t yet reached its destination. Who knows how I’d be spending my time now if not for those fire ants?

The more I learned, the more the garden changed.

taking out grass for path Austin Texas

As the garden changed, the more I learned/am learning.

spring garden austin texas

When I started, there weren’t tons of garden events/talks every weekend at local nurseries.  It was to Zilker Botanical Garden that I headed to learn about drought-tough adaptable and native plants like Mexican feather grass.

mexican feather grass austin texas

At the Austin Area Garden Council clubs’ meetings, shows and sales, I picked up one-on-one lessons in botany, plant cultivation and wildlife sustainability.

honeybee on passionvine

At Zilker Garden Festival (then Florarama) I got my first Salvia greggi—a native plant! What a prize! I raced home to dump a resident ligustrum and chop out grass for a new front yard garden.

Salvia greggi with silver germander austin texas

Always, I hauled home a trunk load of local garden art and surprises, like this crinum lily.

crinum lily austin texas

On March 29 & 30, join the fun for plants, garden talks, Kids Corner and live music at the 57th Zilker Garden Festival!

Another big event for me: Mayfield Park’s annual Trowel & Error Symposium.

mayfield park trowel & error with Renee Studebaker

I’ve always loved the historic Gutsch garden and house at Mayfield (we even thought about getting married there).

mayfield park pond austin texas

Over the years, I’ve attended every Trowel & Error to learn from passionate gardeners (speakers and guests) and pick up heirloom plants at the plant sale.

mayfield park trowel & error Meredith O'Reilly

On April 5 from 9:30 – 1 p.m., Mayfield’s got another super lineup! Landscape designer and horticulturist Amanda Moon goes for “Heat & Drought Tolerant Plants You May Not Have Heard Of.”

amanda moon It's About Thyme

Writers for Texas Gardener magazine include passionate and informative blogger Jay White:  “Fence Me In: Selecting Proper Support for Tomatoes.”

Jay White Masters of Horticulture

And equally passionate Master Gardener Patty Leander: “Go Vertical in the Garden with Climbing, Vining, and Twining Vegetables.”

Master Gardener Patty Leander photo by Bruce Leander

I’ll be there, too, as the Raffle Queen, with fabulous gifts from many generous donors!

The event that really turned my vision to native plants is when I attended the first Bluebonnet Blast at the original location of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

bluebonnets and nolina central texas

At the semi-annual plant sales, I’m always adding to my collection, like rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) and Calylophus berlandieri.

pavonia lasiopetala and calylophus berlandieri native plants

I’m so glad I took a chance two years ago on Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera), here with blackfoot daisy. I’ve started to divide the Poa for other shady spots in the garden. . .that includes non-natives, too, but all suited for drought and wildlife.

Texas bluegrass with blackfoot daisy austin texas

Some part-shade plants like golden groundsel (Packera obovata) aren’t yet available in nurseries. This one’s so popular that you really need to get there on Members Day!

native bee on golden groundsel austin texas

One big lesson I’ve learned is that “native” is not a catchall. Plants native to rock are never going to be satisfied in my Blackland Prairie soil. Others want conditions that I just don’t have. So, I’ll admire lovely Texas bluebells at the Wildflower Center!

Texas bluebell at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

On April 12 & 13; members day on April 11, admire away and grab your goodies, walks and talks, kid’s events, and more. Click that link to also get the plant list. I like to have it as a resource for my ground-breaking endeavors!

All these events support the organizations’ year-long endeavors to inspire and guide us.

Next week, we launch our spring season with all new shows, starting with Eric Pedley’s deer-proof succulents and a couple’s garden journey that started with a flood of ideas to control flooding.

Thanks for stopping by! Linda

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