Thursday, February 18, 2016

Water Conservation Symposium

Hello! I am still alive. I have not been around the blog much lately because I have been busy with work and other things. Maybe things will settle down soon and I will have the time to post some more information and photos about native plants in my garden.

I received an email earlier this week from Emily Neiman at Native American Seed. We corresponded a couple of times in the past. This week she wrote to say that her dad and brother (Bill and Weston) were presenting a Water Conservation Symposium in Flower Mound. Emily said she was looking for "some model native landscape examples" from north Texas and wanted to know if they could include photos from my blog. Of course I agreed, but it was not until just now that I realized that she may have been referring to photos of other native landscapes that I posted on the blog and not necessarily my own landscape. 

It looks like an interesting event and worth attending if you can. It is this Saturday, February 20 at the Flower Mound Public Library on Broadmoor Lane. See the flyer below for more information.

Before opening Native American Seed in Junction, Bill Neiman had a native plant nursery, Neiman Environments, in Flower Mound. I grew up in nearby in Highland Village and I remember going there with my mom to shop for plants. I don't think we ever came home with any native plants. That was a few years before I was familiar with landscaping with native plants and native plants rarely look good in nursery pot, so we stuck to the traditional landscape plants. I do remember asking Bill Neiman a question about a plant and receiving much more information in return than I expected (or, as a young kid, wanted). I don't remember the plant or the question, but I do remember the passion for plants in his response. 

For a preview of the interesting information about native plants that you will hear at the symposium, below is an interview with Bill Neiman on Central Texas Gardener from 2013. After all these years, he has not lost his passion.

In closing, here are a few photos of the native plants and grasses in my garden. I need to time my photo taking a little better to take full advantage of the sunrise and sunset on the grasses and I better do it soon. I will cut all of the plants back to the ground in the next week or two.


  1. Wish I could go, I'm just next door in Lewisville, but we have plans already. Have you seen the fairly new Wayne Ferguson plaza in Old Town Lewisville? We've walked to it a few times with the kids, it's really well designed and they seem to have used almost all native plants (or at least adapted, you know more about which is which than I do). There are tons of lovely ornamental grasses, muhly and some other bigger one, coreopsis, yarrow, coneflower, etc. They haven't even trimmed things down to the ground yet, it's got kind of a wild look to it, and the design with the walkways and water features and rocks is really nice. I'm very impressed and encouraged to see a big landscape installment that looks so water thrifty and nature friendly.
    Thanks for your blog, I've lurked for years and check it almost every day! Haha ��

    1. Hi Laurin. I had not heard about the Wayne Ferguson Plaza in Old Town Lewisville. I will have to stop by sometime. I am thinking about going to the symposium, so I may stop by afterwards. So much has changed in the Lewisville area since we moved to HV in the early 70s. Sorry there has not been much new content on the blog lately. Thanks for leaving a comment. I also saw your comment on Digging the other day.

    2. Thanks Michael! Yes Lewisville has changed a ton, I was born here in '83 and remember when a lot of it was still woods and meadows. Behind our suburban backyard we used to see road runners, foxes, rabbits, could catch 10 toads at a time in our backyard, even used to have fireflies. I miss all that.
      Oh I totally understand about lack of blog posts, that was supposed to be a smiley not question marks haha. I keep wanting to start a gardening blog but can't commit the time. You and Pam are like celebrities to me, I even got to email back and forth with Linda from KLRU and she asked to see pics of MY garden, I was starstruck all day! Going to Austin for a garden tour would be like going to Hollywood!
      I hope to see your garden in person someday, Plano isn't very far! Have fun on Saturday if you go.

    3. Laurin, I drove down Main St. for the first time in several years to get to the symposium. So much has changed. Every now and then I would see a recognizable landmark. You missed some good information. The unexpected part was when Bill Neiman was showing pictures of local landscapes using native plants and he asked if any one was familiar with Plano Prairie Garden. I claimed responsibility and then he asked me to come in front of the room and take over the presentation. There were a couple of pictures of my front yard and one of my backyard that I described. I was caught off guard and had trouble remembering some of my plant names.
      I would be interested in seeing pictures of your garden too. Do you have any posted anywhere? You missed two chances to see my garden over the last couple of years when it was on tours. There are no plans for tours this year, but you never know.

    4. Haha how exciting!! That would be a little crazy to suddenly have to speak in front of everyone. I bet it was great. Sorry I missed it all.

      I finally made my first blog post just now! Not much there yet, but it's a start. Posted a few pics. Not sure how all this works... This is Laurin btw but I think I'm replying now as my blog name.

    5. I have never had one person post three comments in one week under three different names (as far as I know). Congrats on your first post plus two more! Have fun with the blog. If you need a blog idea, you might do a post on the Wayne Ferguson Plaza. I was going to go over there Saturday to take some pictures for a post, but I ended up going to see my parents instead.

  2. How cool that you used to shop at Bill's nursery. His story of noting the resilience of native plants after a hot summer really struck a chord with me back when my first attempts at landscaping in San Antonio failed. Should be a good series especially to include commercial landscapes with the incentive of saving money. Prairie Commons looks like an interesting project to check on when I'm back in that area. Old Town Lewisville mentioned by Laurin above is going on the list too.

    1. Shirley, I was searching for some information about Prairie Commons and found an article with a young Bill standing by a sign in front of the nursery. The picture took me back because I remember that sign and the nurseries that later occupied that spot. There is a grocery store there now, according to the article. I probably would not recognize the area if I drove by now. I am planning on checking out the Plaza in Old Town. Another site in Lewisville that I would like to check sometime is the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area It is a nature preserve on the south side of Lake Lewisville with prairie, forest, and aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Wow - what an experience to be called up front in a symposium to take over. I'd be lucky to remember my own name under those circumstances...

    I can't recall anybody using native plants routinely in Austin landscapes while I was growing up. People had lawns of course, and lined walks, drives and foundation edges with all sorts of imported standards, several of which are now considered invasive (Mimosas and Nandinas, I'm looking at you!). I still recall a nursery owner in Austin replying to a potential customer that if it was native plants they were after, she'd loan them a trowel while they went to the ditch out front where they could dig all the weeds they wanted. It was said with a smile, but the rebuke was clear. My how times have changed for the better!


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