Mystic Spires Salvia

By Tera Marshall, Bexar County Master Gardner I am passionate about feeding our pollinators and have developed, over the years, an extensive pollinator garden. There are so many great plants to feed our bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, but if I could only have one, it would be Mystic Spires Salvia. And Mystic Spires is a Texas Superstar, for good reason. …

Light and the Landscape

My family’s Christmas gathering this year was the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s, “Lightscape”. It was an exceptional combination of lights and music. There were lights on the ground, in the air, circling trees and plants. I even saw, “smoke on the water” (1972 rock song reference). As I wandered the gardens, seeing these beautiful lights, I remembered the Christmas lights …

White-veined Dutchman’s Pipevine

There are many kinds of Dutchman’s pipevine. There is a giant pipevine, small leaf pipevine, different blooms, various growth habits. It is a large group of curious plants. All the varieties are a food source for the black and pipevine swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. In fact, it is the only plant where the pipevine swallowtail butterfly will lay its eggs. I …

Mexican Mint Marigold… an Herb for Your Fall Garden

I grow many of my herbs in containers, close to the kitchen, where I will have easy access for harvesting. A new favorite in this garden is the Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida). But Mexican mint marigold is also a fabulous fall-blooming perennial for your landscape. Compact, bushy plants will get about 2 feet tall and wide. In late summer …

In Praise of the Asparagus Knife for Weeding

With the cooler temperatures and ample rain so far this summer, weeds have become an issue in my garden, and perhaps in yours. My push-pull hoe is good but has two drawbacks. One is a rather wide swath that endangers nearby plants you want to save. The other is that it cuts off the weed tops but leaves deeper roots …

Restoring a Vandalized Lawn

Around the time of the political elections at the beginning of May this year, the St. Augustine grass around a candidate’s sign in our front lawn began wilting. Within a week, that grass and a strip the along the entire width of the yard had died (photo, left), apparently the result of herbicide applied by vandals. Several dozen other yards …

Boost your Garden Yields with Rabbits

Are you looking for a new way to improve your organic garden yields? Are you a sustainable home stead enthusiast or have an interest in raising small livestock or pets? I’d like to introduce you to rabbits! Rabbits are a great way to give your garden a maximum organic boost with a minimal investment. Rabbits are easy to take care …

Queen of the Night

Let me introduce you to my Epiphyllum oxpetalum. You may know her as Queen of the Night, Night Blooming Cereus or Night Blooming Cactus. What do you think? Isn’t she a beauty? Doesn’t she radiate majestic splendor? Ok, maybe just a hint of potential attractiveness? What, she’s not speaking to you? You’re not feeling her royalness? Not even a little …