Texas Native Plants

Building a garden from native plants makes good water sense.  Look to your grandmother’s gardens!  This grouping of ‘native’ Texas plants comes from my grandmother’s garden, the kind of plants that were watered on a hot day with a hose by hand and survived Texas summers.  Another great source for Texas plants that survive drought are cemeteries.

Pink Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Articulata or Pink Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Articulata or Pink Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Articulata or Pink Wood Sorrel

Oxalis Articulata or Pink Wood Sorrel.  You can see the wandering Jew just budding up in the upper right hand corner of the image.

Let me tell you all about this little garden friend.  There are tiny little bulblets that propel this lovely hardy perennial.  Once I planted them amongst my stepping stones down to my fairy rock garden in the corner of my yard.  By July they were tall enough to blow in the wind.  I would just take my riding mower, mow them down and enjoy their return.

I am not sure this is a tried and true approach but it worked for me and was so much fun to watch them come back and not over take the stepping stones.  There was no special care required and they always returned strong and happy!

These are simple, simple to divide and really prefer a bit of shade.  Just dig up a big clump, break it up and plant in the spring.

 Texas Rock Rose

The Texas Rock Rose Perennial

The Texas Rock Rose Perennial

 You cannot get to be a good friend with a plant unless it returns each year!  That’s exactly what this little rock rose does.  It is super hardy and roots so easily.  Just break off a soft woody stem in early spring, keep ground moist and you will have a new rock rose.

Texas Rock Rose with Salvia Gregii on a hot dry corner garden.

Texas Rock Rose with Salvia Gregii on a hot dry corner garden.

More on Texas Perennials here …

 Winecup Primrose

Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

 These look so delicate but they are so strong.  My experience is that they prefer afternoon shade but that’s true for most plants that live in Texas!  Easy, hardy and they return.
  Primrose for landscaping with native Texas plants. Blooms early April / late March.

 Sweet Violets

 These violets kept popping up near my air conditioner, they loved the moist condensation.  I would dig them up and move them at the patio’s edge (which was in the shade).  Each year they came back bigger and stronger.  Because I fed the birds for years, they brought me lovely seeds.  I am sure they brought the violets!
Read more on Loropetalum here …
- Dallas Landscaping and Gardening Lee Ann Torrans Sweet Violet Texas Perennial in White and also Purple Sweet Violet
Sweet Violet Dallas Landscaping Lee Ann Torrans Garden Gates and Doors
Sweet Violet Rock Garden

Yuccas

Dallas Gardens

Yucca Container Gardening

Yuccas have been a staple in Texas gardens for a long, long time.  Maybe because they just survive no matter what!  And they reproduce with new little baby yuccas.  Unless those planters are open at the bottom, and they may be, I do not understand how those healthy hardy yuccas have enough root space.
Yucca-Container-Gardening (2 of 1)
Read more about Yuccas and native landscaping for xeriscape here …

 Perennial Petunia

 The purple plant in the middle of the image, behind the thyme is a perennial petunia.  They spread, the root easily and they survive!  Yes, yes, yes to perennial petunias.
Rudbekia and Vitex

Perennial Garden

Rudbekia and Vitex

Perennial Garden

Rudbekia and Vitex

Perennial Texas Garden

Perennial Purple Petunia with artemeisa.

Perennial Purple Petunia with artemeisa. Looks just like spider wort only tall!

American Holly

American Holly. As a child the American Holly reminded me of Washington and Jefferson and the Revolutionary War. In my mind they would have had an American Holly! Silly ideas children have.

American Holly. As a child the American Holly reminded me of Washington and Jefferson and the Revolutionary War. In my mind they would have had an American Holly! Silly ideas children have.

Dallas Landscaping: Palms with Yuccas.

Palms with Yuccas.  Texans have been finding Yucca’s and palms, digging them up and sharing them as long as there have been Texans.  Sharing plants was a Sunday after church thing and every one did it.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate bushes were wildly popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  They were easy to grow and the fruit was fun for kids to eat, plus they always showed up in bowl on the dining room table with nandina leaves!  To me, that is a beautiful combination.  (Not to mention nandina berries at Christmas.)  Pomegranates bloom with wonderful small orange fruits that grow larger all summer.

Pomegranate Tree Dallas Landscape Design

Pomegranate Tree / Bush Dallas Landscape Design

Santolina, Dusty Miller, Thyme, Boxwoods

Santolina, Dusty Miller, Thyme, Boxwoods, Townhouse Crape Myrtle and Pomegranate bush / tree.

Pomagranate Bush in TexAs

Pomegranate bush in Texas allowed to grow into a beautiful tree.

Cedars

Cedar Elm native to Texas. If it will grow in a cemetery without water, it will grow anywhere!

Cedar Elm native to Texas. If it will grow in a cemetery without water, it will grow anywhere!

In my grandmother’s time cedars survived hot summers but they survived poorly with dead spots if they were not watered to get them through the hard drought times.  Now it is easier to water you cedars but they have fallen out of favor.  The weeping cedars are getting some attention.  One summer I went to NYU and was amazed by the beauty of the cedars.  After that, I was absolutely sold old cedars.  And my grandmother always had them.
When I was young I overheard a conversation between two ranchers, one from east Texas and one from closer to Dallas.  The one from Hunt County said, yeah, if you see cedars on the land you know it’s bad land.  I never had anything but cedar grazing land for my cattle.  I always envied those east Texas ranchers.  What that meant is that you had to have a lot more land per head if you had ‘cedar land.’  When I drive through the countryside I always think, that’s cedar land, fewer head per acre.
Cedars in Texas

Cedars in Texas

Cedars in Dallas

Cedars in Dallas

http://leeanntorrans.com/perfect-perennial-shade-garden/

Ceder, Persian Shield

Dallas Gardens

Weeping Cedars

Dallas Landscaping Cedars Lee Ann Torrans

The old fashioned cedars most people have pulled up are still amazing and gorgeous to me.

Cedars in Texas

Cedars in Texas

Fig Tree

Deodar Cedar

 Pampas Grass

Snapdragons Mid-May in Texas before Pampas Grass

Pampas Grass with snapdragons

 You had to have a big yard to have Pampas grass!  And my grandmother did.  She brought the plumes inside and put them in a vase in a room wallpapered in green pampas grass.  Ahh, choooo.  Oh, but she loved it!

Crape Myrtles

I wish I knew where she got them but there were about 25 crape myrtles that lined the back of my grandmother’s yard.  In one area was a grove of huge cedars that touched on the crapes.  On hot days I would crawl under them.  My little cedar cave was close to a faucet she dutifully wrapped in old towels and taped every winter to keep from freezing.  It leaked a bit all summer keeping the cedars and the ground below them moist and rich.

In the hot of the summer when windows were open I would hear the lady across the alley cry most afternoons.  I knew the story and I knew the world could be a dangerous place.  Her daughter traveled to TCU on the train but never arrived.  My grandmother would whisper, “white slavers.”  And that could be.  She was never heard from again.

As I sat at the edge of the cedar cave, the crapes would weep with the lady crying from her second story window across my grandmother’s alley.  I believe crapes weep the tears of all mothers who lost their child.  I think of that lady in the heat of the summer when the crapes weep on me.

Garlic

Garlic

Garlic was planted near every faucet in the yard.

Fig Trees an Essential Plant

 At the end of summer we always had preserved figs!  They were so good.  Everyone had a fig tree because how else would you make fig preserves?

Peach Trees

Peach blossoms always meant spring and peaches always meant summer.  Peach pie, peach cobble, peach ice cream.  All from my grandmother’s yard.
 Image to come …

Nandina

Nandina are easy to divide and spread and that’s exactly what folks did.  In the fall they would dig up some of the branches, pull them apart and replant them to grow in the spring.  They survived the hottest and driest of times.
Spring Nandina Berries

Nandina

Nandina

Nandina

Nandina

Nandina

Nandina in median with no water. A bit sparse but hanging in there beautifully.