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Butterfly Color Wheel, City Hall Lawn to Garden

What would our gardens be without wildlife? I’m on countdown for the aster explosion, since I know that bees, butterflies and other little pollinators are ready to nestle in close.
bee on fall aster Central Texas Gardener
A voracious insect that’s no fun is the bagworm. Thank you to Jennifer Edwards for her picture AND video, Daphne’s question this week.
bagworm Central Texas Gardener
It’s easy to miss them since they resemble leaves, thanks to the protective bags spun from leaves and twigs. Just after we taped Daphne’s segment, Lynda Holm sent this picture of bagworm damage on her juniper before she realized what was going on.
bagworm damage juniper Central Texas Gardener
Get Daphne’s answer about how to safely eradicate these pests—and watch Jennifer’s amazing video of a bagworm emerging from its silken bag.

Although larvae of Snowberry Clearwing moth go after honeysuckle and other plants, they’re mostly valued as daytime pollinating adults, resembling a bee crossed with a hummingbird. Viewer Picture goes to Scott Stoker for his quick eye behind the lens to capture this beauty on lantana.
Clearwing snowberry moth Central Texas Gardener
To attract helpful insects and birds, fall is the best time to plant perennials and trees. And in late October into November, we can sow our wildflower seeds for a hungry crowd in spring.
bee on Indian blanket wildflower Central Texas Gardener
Jeff Ferris from The Natural Gardener makes his CTG debut with tricks for planting wildflower seeds, including this tip: don’t water until the seeds germinate! Here’s why.
how plant wildflower seeds Central Texas Gardener
Mexican mint marigold will flaunt its flowers for pollinators soon, if not already in your garden.
mexican mint marigold Central Texas Gardener
If you’re a fan of tarragon in recipes, this is our version that withstands heat and humidity which French tarragon does not. Mexican mint marigold freezes back in winter, but returns in spring, so add it to your after-last-frost plant list. Find out why Daphne recommends this compact, waterwise herb.

Since we’re all making plant lists, let’s check out the butterfly plant color wheel with Max Munoz from the National Butterfly Center.
Tom Spencer and Max Munoz Central Texas Gardener
What colors do butterflies like most? Certainly, blue, like this Buckeye on blue mistflower (Conoclinium), a late summer through fall magnet for residents and migrating butterflies.
buckyeye butterfly eupatorium Central Texas Gardener
In late spring through fall, you might spy them on blue or white plumbago, like this Spicebush Swallowtail.
Spicebush Swallowtail on plumbago Central Texas Gardener
In fall, white mistflower (Ageratina wrightii) attracts a crowd. I suspect this Painted Lady had a slight run-in with birds that nipped its wings.
Painted Lady butterfly on white mistflower Central Texas Gardener
Stately, shade-loving frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a fall favorite, known for its intriguing ice sculpture when the stem freezes.
frostweed central texas gardener
Groundcover frogfruit covers a lot of ground with butterflies, skippers, bees, and various pollinators.
frogfruit groundcover Central Texas Gardener
Butterflies, bees and many others will favor your yellow and pink combo of Rudbeckia and horsemint (bee balm).
rudbeckia with horsemint bee balm Central Texas Gardener
Since I’m a big fan of orange flowers, I’m glad I’m not alone. Here’s a Sulphur on perennial shrub flame acanthus.
Sulphur butterfly on flame acanthus Central Texas Gardener
Julia on Mexican flame vine.
julia butterfly mexican flame vine central texas gardener
And of course, all milkweeds. Here’s a glorious combo: tropical milkweed against asters.
tropical milkweed with fall aster central texas gardener
See what’s flying by at the
National Butterfly Center’s gorgeous demonstration gardens in Mission, Texas all year long, in person and online. To experience the renowned fall butterfly migration down south, check out the talks, walks, and other adventures at the Texas Butterfly Festival, Oct. 31 – Nov. 3.
Gulf fritillary butterfly Turk's cap Central Texas Gardener
On tour, we visit Rollingwood City Hall, a venue for the neighborhood and pollinators since replacing lawn with gardens and paths that invite interaction all year.
Rollingwood City Hall no lawn garden Central Texas Gardener
Neighbors, including Robert Patterson, a member of the Rollingwood Park Commisson, championed the new look to remove lawn and conserve water.
Robert Patterson Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Designed by Lauren and Scott Ogden and Patrick Kirwin, they changed direction—not only with paths, but through philosophy.
steps to Rollingwood City Hall Garden Central Texas Gardener
The game-changing garden found its new roots thanks to neighborhood donations, including the Rollingwood Women’s Club.
Rollingwood City Hall garden from above Central Texas Gardener
As a waterwise demonstration garden for everyone strolling by, it captivates each season with changing annuals and perennial drama among structural evergreens.
bluebonnets path Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
blue and silver bordered path Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
luebonnets golden barrel cactus Central Texas Gardener
Along with drip irrigation to establish young plants, Patrick Kirwin installed two rain collection systems.
berms and granite for drought plants Central Texas Gardener
Since work began in fall 2013, plants are still young, but filling in rapidly. Patrick bermed things up and topped with 1/4” Fairlane pink granite to promote drainage for drought tough plants.
no lawn Rollingwood City Hall garden Central Texas Gardener
Winter-hardy, evergreen Aloe maculata blooms for months to attract hummingbirds and pollinators.
aloe maculata bluebonnets Central Texas Gardener
The Ogdens sprinkled in lots of naturalizing bulbs, like bearded iris–connecting newcomers to this style with beloved familiarity.
Iris and bluebonnets Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Little secrets capture attention, like desert bluebells (Phacelia campanularia).
desert bluebell Central Texas Gardener
Patrick created a dip in the center for a rain garden. Rather than a close-up, here’s the curb view in spring.
spring garden Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Fall spins a new tale with clumping grasses that don’t mind wet-to-dry locations.
fall grasses rain garden Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
How glorious can anything get when you combine Muhlenbergias ‘White Cloud’ and ‘Pink Flamingo’?
Pink Flamingo muhly and Muhlenbergia sericea ‘White Cloud’ Central Texas Gardener
Muhlenbergia sericea ‘White Cloud’ Central Texas Gardener
Throw in some Gulf muhly and you’re set for fireworks in fall!
Gulf muhly Central Texas Gardener
Street-side, Lauren’s a long-term champion of turning “hell strips” into heavenly ones. Again, fleeting spring annuals companion with evergreen structure, like blue sotol (Dasylirion berlandieri).
hellstrip garden in spring Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Curb garden Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
In fall, damianita and Mexican mint marigold claim the promenade.
curb garden fall Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Gregg dalea (Dalea greggii) travels along the ground to fill in.
gregg dalea Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
In the shady side under oak trees, sedges and boxwood frame Lauren’s conversation area, a spiral of limestone blocks that echo ammonite fossils.
limestone spiral seating under oak trees Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
limestone spiral seating from above Central Texas Gardener
A round table, as you will, without the table!
limestone spiral seating close Central Texas Gardener
Coonties join dioons and cycads for structural diversity.
coontie for shade Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
Lauren Ogden will be on hand to answer your questions on October 17 at the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour. Bose and Jr. Skiffle may not be there, but they give the new garden 4 star wags!
dogs in  bluebonnets Rollingwood City Hall Central Texas Gardener
SO, let’s just watch it now!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda