In The Garden: Bravo Texas Sage!

A Texas sage that has burst into full bloom in July is a welcome sight, but not just because it’s so beautiful. Texas sage is my favorite weather indicator plant. These tough Texas natives are adapted to come into bloom just before rainfall comes their way. That’s why these blooms are always cause for celebration during the depths of summer. What triggers the emergence of flowers? Higher than normal humidity levels signal the plants it’s time to flower and proliferate. They may also bloom after a bit of rain.

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In The Garden: What Makes a Lawn?

I just happen to be strolling Central Park, NYC this morning. The first thing I notice is that it’s July and my clothes aren’t sticking to my body— it’s heaven. The next thing I notice are the beautiful green lawns that are sprinkled through the park accentuating different features; huge stands of American elms, garden beds, baseball fields and so on. But upon close inspection, I see that all of these lawns, with the exception of the baseball field, are not monoculture lawns. Rather, they are a mixture of different grasses and other native plants; or what most people would call “weeds”. My first thought? Hooray! I applaud the park’s management for not trying to create over-manicured and treated monoculture “lawns” within the park, but rather allow nature to do its thing. Guess what: It’s just as pretty.

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In The Garden: 5 Summer Watering Tips

So it has gotten a little toasty over the last week or so. Not that we don’t expect intense heat in July, it’s just that we got spoiled with a really mild spring and June! You may have noticed your garden plants drying out very quickly in the 100 degree temps. With water restrictions in place, it’s important to apply water to our landscapes with conservation in mind. So I thought I’d offer up a few tips to help you keep your landscape through the heat.

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In the Garden: It’s Tomato Time, Again.

If you grew tomatoes this spring, then you’ve probably been up to your ears in fruit up until recently. As of today, you’re probably still left with some green fruits on the vine that just won’t ripen. Well it’s time to yank those plants out and start all over again.

Here in Dallas we’re lucky enough to have two tomato growing seasons; summer harvest and fall harvest. Most of your harvesting from spring plants will happen through the month of June. By July, temperatures are typically too hot for remaining fruit to ripen. Your best bet is to harvest the green fruits and make some green tomato pickles, then pitch the plants into the compost pile.

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Fresh Cuts for July: DIRT Design Studio

DIRT Design Studio isn’t your typical florist. Sure, they’ve got flowers (lots of them), but the arrangements that husband-and-wife duo Chris and Sonya Eudaley are turning out are unique—think moss-covered turtles adorned with succulents, dried floral designs in repurposed wood boxes, and fresh arrangements you won’t see in every shop. July is one of their favorite times for flowers, so it’s only appropriate that they’re our experts for this month.

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In The Garden: Zinnias—An Oldie but A Goodie

With all the plotting that can go into crafting a beautiful garden, sometimes it’s refreshing just to go back to the basics. This spring I decided to get back to my newbie gardening roots and buys some packs of zinna seeds; something I haven’t done in many, many years. When one first begins experimenting with plants and gardening, growing everything you can from seed is often an early obsession. Some garden plants, like zinnas, are so easy to grow that they can make you feel like an overnight gardening success (even though there are many plants that will come later to put you right back in your place).

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In The Garden: Want Backyard Chickens?

I’m a big proponent of urban farming and have done my share of going to bat for the backyard chicken movement in Dallas. I love my chickens; the eggs and fertilizer they provide me are superior and they are master composters. Keeping chickens in the city can be a fruitful and rewarding experience—it is an important component of a productive backyard garden and a healthy local food system.

Yet, I feel compelled to offer a few words of caution for those considering the practice. Keeping livestock should never be taken on without thoughtful consideration about how you will properly care for these animals, or how you’ll dispatch them when the time comes. Yes, I said dispatch.

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Giveaway: Miles of Light Prints

We first discovered local Etsy shop Miles of Light when West Elm started carrying local artisans in their Mockingbird Station shop. We loved the prints so much, we featured one in our May/June issue. (Page 52—we’ll wait while you go check it out.) We later found out that Miles of Light owner Romina Bacci is a really […]

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