Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Garden Tours and Plant Sales

It's springtime and that means it is time for garden tours and native plant sales. A lot of people don't know about these events so I try to share information about the local events each year.

Garden Tours
For anyone thinking about making changes to their home landscape, garden tours are a great way to get ideas to incorporate at home. You can also discover new plants that grow well in the area.

My garden is on the Plano Garden Club Garden Tour this year. The tour will be on April 25 AND 26. The theme is "Gardens to Inspire and Delight". I cannot guarantee any inspiring landscape ideas here, but I do have a delightful assortment of native plants that are unfamiliar to people that only shop for plants at the large home improvement stores.  
This is the cover of tour book. If you are interested in tickets, you can find more information on the Plano Garden Club website. Click the link for more details.

Here is the page from the tour book describing my garden. One of the garden club members provided nice drawings of each garden for the tour book. 

The April edition of Plano Profile includes an article about the tour along with photos. The photos were taken on July 31 last year. I tried to get the photographer to come back in October when all of the fall flowers would be in bloom. He could not. Fortunately, last summer was not overly hot or dry and plants looked reasonably good at the end of July. The portion of the article about my garden is below. Click the link to read the full article. 

The Plano Water Wise Landscape Tour is coming up on Saturday, May 16. This will be the second Water Wise Tour for Plano. My garden was on the first tour last year. Here is a link to a flashback. (That was when I was cornered by the Plano Garden Club for their tour. They were giving each other high fives when I agreed. I guess it is hard finding volunteer gardens.)

Plano has not announced landscapes for this year's water wise tour yet. This is a free tour and you can find more information here.

Dallas Water Utilities will hold their Water Wise Landscape Tour on Saturday, June 6. There are always interesting gardens on this tour, especially in the White Rock Lake area. They are still calling for entries to this tour, so maps are not available yet. The tour is free. Keep checking the Save Dallas Water website for more information.

Native Plant Sales
In order to have an interesting native plant garden, you need to have native plants. You can find a few in nurseries, but my favorite place to shop for them is at the native plant sales held by various chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas. 

You will often find unique plants that are not found anywhere else. Many of the plants available at the sales were grown in the member's own gardens so you know they will grow in our local soils and climate. 

A complete list of native plant sales in Texas can be found on the Native Plant Society of Texas website. Click the link for details. I summarized the local DFW sales below with links to more information and plant lists, when available.

If there is a plant you really want, it helps to be at the sale when they open because certain plants will sell out fast. The only problem is it is hard to be first in line at all of the sales when they are held and that is what happened (again) this year. 

April 18 in Flower Mound. Info  Plant List
April 18 and 19 in Dallas at the Texas Discovery Garden Info  Plant List
April 18 and 19 in McKinney Heard Museum Info  Plant List
May 2 in Arlington. Not much info available yet. The North Central Texas Chapter sale will be at Redenta's Nursery instead of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden this year. Keep checking the Chapter's website for more Info
May 2 in Dallas in Dallas at the Native Plant and Prairie Day. Info

That should be enough activities here to fill up at least a couple of weekends this spring. In closing, here is a photo I took yesterday of a Hill Country Penstemon that I bought at a native plant sale last year. I will be looking for more of these.


  1. Kudos to you for agreeing to be on (both!) tours over the past couple of years. People need to see native plants in proper use, in combinations, and understand the future is not (necessarily) all gravel and spikes.

    Great shot of the penstemon - mine bloom more towards the blue end of the spectrum, at least the ones the deer don't eat. Turns out at least one local white tail has tasties for the penstemon flowers but I've am established them in a few different places so Bambi doesn't get them all. The plants seem to tolerate the periodic trimming without much distress (though the plant-er sure gets riled).

    1. TexasDeb, I have another penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) that just started blooming. It looks similar to the hill country penstemon, but the flowers are more purple. I hope hill country reseeds half as well. I really like this plant.

  2. Replies
    1. Hardly. I am "natural and nurturing", according to Plano Profile.


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