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Structure Low and High for Lighting Swings

air date: April 21, 2018

How can you create structural drama while screening or defining garden spaces? Tim Kiphart from wholesale grower Far South Nursery combines succulents, clumping bamboo, and flowering perennials for dimension in lighting swings. On tour, Briana Miriani and Mark Biechler applied geometry in front to boost dimension on their small lot in east Austin. In back, they designed for pet friendly, including a catio for rescued feral cats. Daphne explains why a live oak is suffering while its companion is just fine. A viewer shares tips for growing annual morning glory seeds for pollinator flower power all summer. Jeff Pavlat from the Austin & Cactus Succulent Society shows how to tidy up agaves with leaf damage.

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Episode Segments

On Tour

Catio, Garden for Dogs, Small Space Garden Personality: Briana Miriani & Mark Biechler

On a small lot, Briana Miriani and Mark Biechler applied geometry in front to boost dimension. With raised beds, rescued objects and surround-vision along a chain link fence, they created gentle privacy with low-care plants. Since they’re animal rescue advocates, in back they designed for two energetic dogs. To give rescued feral cats access to the outdoors without being outside, they designed a comfy catio to match their clean-line aesthetic.

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Interview

Structural Plants for Dimension with Tim Kiphart

How can you create structural drama while screening or defining garden spaces? Tim Kiphart from wholesale grower Far South Nursery combines succulents, clumping bamboo, and flowering perennials for dimension in lighting swings.

Watch more CTG Interview videos on YouTube →

Question of the Week

Why is one live oak tree suffering while companion tree is fine?

John Thomas has two mature live oaks in the front yard: one has a full canopy of leaves while the other is almost bare. John says that this happened over the last several years and wants to know what might be causing the leaf drop.

Trees lose their leaves due to stress, normally related to heat, cold, or drought, or due to infestation by a disease or insect pest. If a tree is stressed, it will drop more of its leaves, drop them earlier in the season, and will remain bare longer than surrounding healthy trees.

These trees don’t seem to have disease or insect damage and John’s keeping them deeply watered.

SO, there must be an issue with the roots and water uptake in the stressed tree. This is most likely due to soil compaction. You can check for soil compaction by taking a screwdriver or other similar metal object and trying to insert it into the soil around the tree. If the soil is compacted, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to push down into it.

When soil is compacted, there isn’t enough pore space for oxygen and water, making it virtually the same as growing in rock. Unless the situation is remedied, the tree will continue to decline.

Although many people aerate the soil in their lawns each year, by pulling out small plugs of turf and soil, it’s much more difficult to aerate the soil around mature trees, with their large, extensive root systems. We recommend contacting several certified arborists and consider hiring someone to assist. A qualified arborist could aerate the soil around the tree safely, using special tools and techniques.

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Plant of the Week

Morning glory

Morning glory

Morning glory’s a warm weather annual that’s easy to start from seed. Its profuse, large flowers bloom until frost to charm a trellis or fence. Bees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist them! Lea Joy from Smithville shares her tips for growing from, including Clark's Heavenly Blue, Flying Saucer, Scarlett O' Hara, Grandpa Otts, and a red and blue variety of Picotee. First, she soaks the seeds overnight. Lea says she’s grown them without this step, but germination takes longer. Sometimes, she’ll start them in pots for even faster germination and to control their climate in spring’s weather swings. You want to wait until the soil warms in April to plant in the ground. Plant in full sun and keep the soil moist until seeds emerge. If transplanting, also keep the soil moist until they establish. Fertile, well-drained soil is great, but morning glories tolerate, and even thrive in, rocky, poor soil. Morning glory is a vigorous, fast-growing vine that must have a trellis, fence or other climbing support. Each flower lasts just one day, but new ones open the very next morning to attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Lea reports that she doesn’t water her morning glories, since rainfall is usually enough, but when times are dry, certainly, give morning glories a deep soaking. Lea collects seeds once the pods dry but others that fall to the ground may re-seed the next year. NOTE: seeds are poisonous so keep out of reach of children and pets if soaking seeds overnight or storing them.

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