Video: Perennials You Can Count On!

Georgeann Moss: Good afternoon everyone. My name is Georgeann Moss and I'm the Executive Administrator of Sustainability Outreach and Initiatives for Dallas College. On behalf of myself and the sustainability team and our wonderful sponsor, Earth X, we welcome you today to “Perennials You Can Count On!” with Bonnie Arnold Reese. So I just want to tell you just a little bit about Dallas College's commitment to sustainability. We use the United Nation's 17 sustainable development goals as our teaching and learning tool and we define sustainability as an approach to problem solving that addresses the sustainability and those three pillars are [inaudible], the economy, and the environment. Solutions must always address all three of those if they're going to be sustainable.

Our work in the community is divided into three main areas. The first is education, like today, we focus on educating our students, our employees, and our community members about sustainability. The second area is operations and that is making sure that our college continually addresses and improves our operations, so that we can support the 17 sustainable development goals. And then finally, outreach. We love to create partnerships in the community, like our partnership with our wonderful partner Earth X, so that we can work with other organizations that are also working to support the 17 sustainable development goals.

For those of you who have never participated in one of these, there are two ways that you can communicate with us today. One of them is the chat and if you just want to make comments about what's going on in the workshop, please put those in the chat. But if you have a specific question that you would like answered, go ahead and put it in the Q & A section, and then that way it'll allow us to either respond in writing to your question or if it's a question that the whole audience needs to hear the answer to, we'll go ahead and ask Bonnie to address that for you. At the end of the webinar, there's going to be an evaluation that pops up on your screen and so we ask that you fill out that evaluation form for us so that we can continually improve these webinars as we move forward in future.

This webinar is being recorded right now and it will be on our website in about two weeks after it has been transcripted and to make sure that it's ADA compliant and accessible for everyone. And to get to our past webinars go to www.dcccd.edu/sustainability, go into events, and then at the bottom of that page, it says “explore past webinars”, and you can see all of the past webinars that we have done. Our speaker today, I'm really excited to introduce to you. Her name is Bonnie Arnold Reese. She is a locally renowned expert on native and drought tolerant plants of North Texas. She is also very highly esteemed for her design work. Bonnie is an award-winning North Texas landscape designer and consultant who has operated Beautiful Landscapes, the name of her company, since 1982. She is also a popular author and has written a book, Common Sense Landscaping. She is also a public speaker and she specializes in low maintenance, low water use, nature friendly landscaping. And so now I'm delighted to introduce to you my very dear friend, Bonnie Reese.

Bonnie Arnold Reese: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us during your lunch hour here. I'm just going to jump right in. I want to tell you that I can help you learn how to have landscapes that you don't have to water really ever that you know. That’s not most people’s goals. Most people’s is less. You will be willing to think about new ideas and learn how to really evaluate your soil and your situation. I can help you out and we're going to look at plants that I know will work for you in those situations. If they don't, I will tell you so. Okay. First, just to make sure that, you know, when you're researching plants or if you're going to a nursery and you look at a plant tag and you're looking for the plant zone, you want to make sure you are buying plants that are Harding in our area. You are in zone 8a. Sometimes it's just going to say, zone 8. So don’t be afraid of that much. Oops (speaker drops something). If you see something that's a higher number than that, it's not going to be a hardy plant for you. That's something that you would have to bring in for the winter, and over winter in your garage, or in the house.

Hey, I want you to teach you how to buy a live plant. You can go to any nursery anywhere and buy dead plants and then you come home and you plant them and you think you don't have a green thumb when the truth is, you bought a dead plant. So let's look at, on the left-hand side of the screen, you'll notice that, I'm sorry, I dropped my mouse, so I've got to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Oh, okay. I think I just have to go forward down here. Hang on. Of course, (speaker looks for mouse) it went under a piece of furniture, but it's nowhere to be seen. Sadly, I can't use my pointer, I don’t think [inaudible] But the slide, the plant on the left-hand side, you'll notice the root system is white. If you have really good eyes, you can look at the tips of those roots and you’ll see little fuzzy hairs that are actually called root hairs. Root hairs are the only plant, of the part of the root system that has the ability to take water and nutrients into the plant. So those are very important. And really if you're really dedicated at low water, you can buy a plant that only has a few live roots and get it going again. But if that is someone that's not going to feel super sorry for that plant. Now the plant over on your right side, you can see how brown it is. If you tugged on those roots, they would likely crumble in your hands or they would… you'll notice here in the center of the screen, you can see where part of the root has slipped away. The inside of the root is exposed on the outside part of the root has slipped away. There's nothing in the world that could cause that except for excessive watering, that’s what root rot is, rotten roots. Most plants that are over watered to a degree like that, you’re never going to get them back again. But nurseries are selling those plants. There's usually not a whole lot in every nursery, but it's just your luck you got it. Okay.

Every now and then I might mention dead heading and all that means is that you’re removing the seed head of the flower before it has a chance for the old flower dies and then develops into a seed head and you want to remove that before it has a chance to make the seed because sometimes you'll do that for cosmetic reasons. Sometimes you do it for seedling control. If you don't ever let the seed mature, then you don't have to worry about controlling those seedlings the following year. I will warn you about that kind of stuff as we go along. Now, if you're not really used to using perennial plants, most perennials do not totally disappear during the winter. Some do. And the ones that do are really good plants that you can interplant with spring bulbs. So like a [inaudible] will die way, way back in the winter time. You can have daffodils on the back side of that and maybe wild [inaudible] and it's on the front side of it. And maybe something short and purple and something short and yellow or white in the background. Now this is an example of one. This is a Texas Bluebell. As you can see, the top part of the plant has died back with the first hard freeze and the leaves are present with next year's plant at the base of the plant. Do that on the left side, on the right side, you see where I've trimmed it back? I usually leave a little bit of stubble there so if it gets covered up with leaves, it's easier for me to find it and uncover it in the spring. Learn to identify different seedlings. There's a lot of these plants that work without seed and if you're on a budget, it would be very helpful for you to get seedlings out of your own yard. A gallon size plant. Most of these plants, it's going to cost you at least $9 to $11 depending on where you shop. Little seedlings like this, this is a Blackfoot Daisy. You can go around in the spring and pop these out of the ground with a tablespoon and lead them to their next spot, water them in and, basically you’re done. You don't have to do much to them after that. For some reason, the ones that come from seedlings are much heartier plants than the ones that you buy at a nursery.

Let's go ahead and get started now. I gave you a little bit. This is Aster. We call it fall Aster. There are many fall asters because that's when most bloom. This is Aster, oblongifolia. It’s native to Texas. This would be about two feet tall and I allow at least four feet of space per plant so you'll get a circle template if you're working on your own sketch. Now I don't have time to go into all that. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone down that road. Okay. You'll look over to the right, you'll see there’s its winter foliage there at the base. So I'm going to cut off all of that dead stuff that's sticking out and leave that winter foliage. This is also a good time, if I want somewhere else, I probably will go in with a shovel and cut off some of that and leave it during the winter as well. We can plant year round here and if you have the plants, go for it, our ground doesn't freeze and they're going to be out there in the weather anyway. This plant can go in sun or bright shade.

The Purple Bleeding Heart is the purple foliage plant we're looking at in front. It does bloom, but we really do grow it for its foliage not it’s flower. This is kind of a spreading plant so it's something that you want to make sure you want before you put it there. And it's also something that if you are walking in your neighborhood and you see some of this out on the parkway like this, bend down and break off a piece, take it home and stick it in the ground, water it and it will grow. Very easy to get us started. It is… I would say generally if I was going to plant more than one, I would probably space these two and a half feet at least and let them grow together. Now, keep in mind, I like plant or plan for plants to be their mature size so I don't like to waste money by crowding things together at first because I don't know what their size is so make sure you learn the sizes of plants. Maybe do internet searches and look for… The biggest number that you see is the one that we want to go by. This too will grow in sun to part shade. Ok.

Asclepius is Butterfly weed or milkweeds and milk weeds are very important plants for monarch migrations because this is the host plant that they lay their eggs on. So that means that your butterfly weed will probably get chewed up at some point and that's something in sustainability you have to keep in mind. Sometimes part of your yard is going to be eaten because you're providing food for butterfly larva and things like that. The one on the left-hand side is the Mexican butterfly weed, or sometimes it's called tropical butterfly weed. This one will be about three feet tall and maybe three feet wide and it has a really long blooming season. These, these both need at least a half day, sun to full sun. Now, the tropical one sometimes what I think we're on the real border of what makes them die back or survive the winter and we don't want them to survive the winter. There’s some concern about some diseases in the butterflies if things don’t die back. So go ahead and cut them off and after the first freeze just like you would any of your other perennials or many of your other perennials. The one on the right is our native one to this area. I think it's really gorgeous and there are many other milk weeds that are good for monarch butterflies that were difficult to find. I have not had luck with that yet. They're not real easy to transplant as a general rule so make sure you put it where you want it.

Now, this type of plant has a tendency to get aphids and there are certain plants that you'll have in your landscape that will be attractive to aphids. And you can see on the left, it's a small insect that attaches to the underside of the leaf, and it can be really damaging to the plant if you don't get them under control. There’s two ways to control this naturally. One is to take a really hard stream of water and support your leaf and blow it as hard as you can and basically you're just knocking aphids off on. That doesn't sound like you're accomplishing much, but you are because it knocks them… it separates them from their mouth parts, so they're gonna die without a mouth. Organic gardening. Is still pretty rough so it’s not for the weak hearted. Pay attention, see if you have some ladybugs and I would recommend going online and learning all the different life phases of lady bugs so that you know how to recognize them and that is… 95% of their diet is aphids and once they show up, they will [inaudible] the problem. So keep that in mind. You got two ways to do that.

Also another really beneficial insect are lacewings and you may notice, sometimes notice, the picture on the right there, those little tiny eggs on those little pieces of string almost it looks like. You'll find these hanging on your chain link fences or on this, this is actually on a plant, and if you see stuff like that, that's a good sign you've got lacewings and they too will eat a lot of insects, including aphids. You want to also just be aware of the different caterpillars that you might encounter and try to identify them. Some are going to be really great ones that you want, like these small tail larvae that you see on the left and then on the right, we see a gypsy phinx moth larvae, and that's not a great insect to have so that one I'm going to pick off and get rid of them whereas the other one and I'm going to… One year, I ended up going to the store and buying a whole bunch of parsley for my Swallowtail larvae because they were eating the out of house and home. But once you start getting into that, you'll do the same thing.

Alright. Here's Texas bluebells. Say, warm season blooming, native perennial. This was the one that I showed you at the beginning where they had leaves at the base during the winter so this one you're going to cut off to the base or right above where those leaves are and that's basically all you'll do to this. Sometimes I will dead head mine just for cosmetic reasons because we can see those are pretty large flowers and when they all start dying off, it's not so attractive. These really do need some sun and they really do need low water. I have seen these blooming out in cow pastures in the end of July in the north Texas area so you can see how extremely drought tolerant they are.

Now, one of the non-native plants I’m showing you, but it's such a tough little plant, it's called Candy tuft and it is a spring blooming, evergreen perennial. Overall, the height is about four to five inches, foliage height, and then the flowers will be maybe six inches. It blooms early in the spring and will bloom for about six or eight weeks. Very bright white flowers, even on a low moonlight at night, you can see these flowers out in the yard and if the moon is on them they’re really bright. I allow four feet of space for one of these and they can go in sun or part shade. The one on the upper screen, it really is in solid shade almost so maybe that could go from sun to shade. I forgot to tell you on the slide before, the bluebells, those are going to be about 24 inches tall by 30 inches wide.

Okay, this is Blackfoot Daisy, the small white daisy is what we're looking at here. This is native to my area, where I live, and it's just a superstar plant. It's a semi evergreen plant and all you really need to do to this is wait til the end of winter. There’s some dieback and you can go out with some hedge clippers and lightly trim off what’s died back. But mostly you can just leave it alone and the new growth would overcome what has died back and not see it anymore. It’s about 12 inches tall in the center, and it mounts down to about four inches on the edges. I planted one of these last year. I live on very rocky, shallow soil. I did water it last year and that's my rule is, I’ll water stuff the first year and then if it doesn't make it, it wasn't meant to be here. So that's how I treated this this year. You know, we've had some really hot days toward the end of summer. Never a drop of water. This is already almost four feet wide in a one year period so it’s a real performer. I've seen it bloom 12 months out of the year, but typically it blooms eight to nine months out of the year. You can't get much better than that. However, it needs to be in full sun. It just cannot be in a place where there's a lot of leaf fall because it's hard to get leaves out of it and you will end up breaking them off... all of that plant grows from one stem.

Here's another little superstar also native to my area. It is the Four-nerve daisy. The foliage is evergreen. The foliage is maybe four inches tall. With the flowers, it’s eight to ten inches tall. This sometimes I'll dead head, as you can see, it's blooming all at once so that means all at once, those are gonna be dead flowers. But if I don't have time, I don't, it's just a cosmetic reason to do it. But this too should bloom eight to nine months out of the year, sometimes, I've seen it blooming in January. They’re very tough little native plants. These are the kind of plants that you can treat the way I treat them.

This is a really large plant and really this almost like this I guess should be a shrub but we do sell it with perennial plants. This is an Esperanza. The one on the left is the one that you're probably most familiar with, that yellow flower and I would say it’s going to be about six feet tall, about five to six feet wide. And then the same thing on the one on the right is called Bells of Fire Esperanza. The dark coral color. And I think it's probably going to be about the same size, I’ve only ever grown it in a pot. But I can’t say that for sure but you can see in a pot it’s four to five feet tall. So, these will bloom in a half a day sun to full sun, and maybe the yellow might even do that in three hours of sun.

This is another great plant to have in your yard for monarch butterflies or butterflies in general. But you know, we’re on the migration path for monarch butterflies. That’s why it seems like I'm harping about that but this is called Frostweed and this is a very nectar rich plant, blooming right at the time that the migration is happening and basically they'll stop on this plant all the way down into Mexico. I live in Boston county, south of Dallas, and you'll see acres of this out here. It's so cool, you would not believe the amount of butterflies that are out here. So in a garden setting, this will probably get to be about five feet tall, or maybe a little bit more. It will bloom pretty well in shade, and I thought it was a shade requiring plan, but I see it growing in pastures out here so I think it could take quite a bit of sun. I did… The first year, I did have to water this some. This year it looked pretty sad. I didn't water it, but it did go through a sad period and you can see it on the leaves. Well, actually you can't see that because this is the plant that I was looking at initially. But this one does pretty much die back to the ground and I cut it off and when I have plants that die back that harshly, I don't want to lose track of where they are so when I cut them back, I'll leave maybe eight to ten inches of stubble so there's a little marker there that keeps me from trampling them as they're trying to come up in the spring.

This is a plant, if you want butterflies, this would be a great plant for you to figure out where you might put it and the reason I say this is it’s an extremely aggressive plant. I have only willingly used it in a couple of landscape designs and that was there is where I could surround it's planting with concrete, so if you have a sidewalk that's adjacent to your building, like the side of your house or something and that's made a little landlocked bed thing, that would be a good place for something like this because it's going to overwhelm almost anything that it’s planted with. If you want to mix it though makes sure you mix it with things that's going to be taller than it is. It will be about 24 to 30 inches tall. It's a very light lavender flower but does not photograph all that well but I've never seen the butterflies that come to this plant anywhere else. You'll see butterflies that are a half an inch long to just all these different butterflies you’ve never seen before so if that's your thing, you’ll need to find a spot for this and it's really easy to cut back, it's kinda sticky leaves that will kind of stick to your blue jeans and stuff so I would minimize how much I use them.

Ok. There’s a few things to tell you about this Lantana. Lantana does die back pretty harshly and if it does, and if we have a mild winter, I would still say cut it back harshly. It’s one of those perennials that is just going to get wider and wider and wider if you let it go. So there's all different sizes. This one on the left is called Confetti. There's another one called Dallas red, it’s a real dark red, orange and those are both going to be shrub types, maybe four feet tall by six feet wide, something like that and then the one on the right is a Trailing Lantana that comes in many different colors and they're usually about two feet tall and four to six feet wide. You don't need a whole bunch of them when they get four to six feet wide. It’s real important to draw up a scale. We'll talk later about my book and how you can get that and it explains how to draw up a design to scale.

Okay. Salvia greggii is a great plant… [inaudible]. It's a mostly evergreen, flowery, woody perennial. Comes in many different colors, which you can see with the red on the left, coral, yellow on the bottom right, and white on the upper right, and also different lavender and purples. Really great plant. Hummingbirds really love it and the thing about this plant is that it really does thrive on a little bit of pruning now and then so in my designs I'll tell customers that this should be lightly pruned in mid-July or so and again, about the end of January. When you're doing that, not only are you shaping it a little bit, but every time you prune a plant, you release hormones that tell the plant to grow so that's what keeps these nice and bushy and thick in the center. You can, in fact, you can see the one on the left, it's a little bushier than this one on the bottom right. The one on the bottom right, they're not doing that pruning and it's starting to get kind of opening and sprawling. (Speaker looks away to check phone) Had to check to see if that was you calling me, Georgeann (laughter). Okay. These can go in, let's say two to three hours of sun to full sun.

This is a Indigo Spires salvia. I really love this plant. Now this one, I have to confess, it would appreciate a little supplemental water during the summer so if you have a spot where it’s a bed is receiving that this would really thrive there. Now when I say a little supplemental water, I'm talking about two to three times in the summer, not every two to three days, anything like that. The indigo spires, it’s a four foot chain link fence and you can see the foliage part gets to be about four feet tall and then there's about 18 inch purple flower spikes, blue spikes. A great cut flower and hummingbirds are always going to like salvias, just about any kind or color they’re going to go to. This is a salvia though that does die pretty much to the ground. You will have some winter leaves at the base that after that first hard freeze will [inaudible]. Okay.

This one's called Mexican Bush Sage, with kind of a raspberry colored flower. I have not had tremendous luck with this, but it's so pretty, but I think I have to show it to you. But I suspect maybe it would appreciate some supplemental water and I would think that it's going to be about probably three feet tall, three to four feet tall with the flower and probably four feet wideso it’s less than four feet.

Speaker Unknown: Bonnie, what is the cactus like plant behind it?

Bonnie Reese: That looks like a Spanish Dagger to me but I’m not a… It’s a Yucca, but I'm not sure which Yucca it is… But that’s a lot what it looks like and Spanish dagger is one of those yuccas that would come tree form and it'll be a multi trunk tree. And that's my guess. Best I can do on that.

Okay, here's a Salvia that will actually grow in the shade. It’s the little red flower that you see there and it's called Cedar sage and look at how unusual the leaf is. Almost looks like a geranium type leaf so if you have a really shady spot but you’re wanting some color, you can have color in the shade. Just have to know what plants to use. That's a good one and that's going to be it's… it’s almost a ground cover type plant, so maybe space it 32 inches. And I'm, I'm not entirely sure, but I think it's mostly evergreen. You’ll like that.

Alright, here's one of the other superstars. Uh oh. Can’t really, well… This is shrubby skullcap and this is a mostly evergreen perennial, sometimes, though they’re not evergreen and I don't know what makes them evergreen and what doesn't. I suspect its water though. Because this bed here, it's never been watered and maybe the people who'd had them died back or watered them, I guess. So this will, this is an entirely in shade, this particular planting. So you can see that's pretty good color in shade. This plant with maturity, if you don't ever control its size at all, will get over five feet wide and in this bed, this was a test bed that I used to have in Dallas and I think that's one plant that was done that far wide and it was probably six feet by eight feet. There might have been two there, but I think it was one and it was almost like a blooming ground cover in the shade for me, and I just loved it that way so if you have a really shady spot that you could let go into ground cover and you wanted some flower, I really believe this is a good one to look at. Very drought tolerant but it will also, when it's out in full sun, you almost can't see the leaves because of the flowers so it will bloom much heavier in the sun. Allow a minimum of four to five feet space per plant because it will get to be about eight inches tall by four to five feet wide. It takes a while for it to get there, then you can keep it smaller if you want to. It would be really beautiful hanging over a retaining wall or a flower pot or something like that, too.

Shrimp plants are excellent plants that can be a little bit hard to find but you can find them. The one on the… let’s look at the one in the center and on the right first. It's called Red Shrimp plant. It's most common and it's totally hearty here. It's a semi evergreen. I usually do cut mine back by spring time. It just seems like it comes back pretty when it's been cut back. Now the one on the left is a variety that a friend gave me the, I didn't know what it was, and finally, after growing it in a pot for three years, I called the nursery she got it from to ask what it was and she said… she told me it was the fruit cocktail shrimp plant. She said but it's not hearty and I said, oh, but it is! I've been growing it in a pot for three years without taking it in and so wa-la, it's a perennial. And they’re both… the hummingbirds just loves shrimp plants, sun or shade for these plants... It doesn’t matter.

Then we have Turk’s cap, it is a really great perennial for us. It also will bloom just as well in sun or shade. The difference is it will be taller in the sun and shorter in the shade. So in the sun it will probably be three and a half feet, tall in the shade a little bit more like two to two and a half feet tall. In both cases, it will be seven feet wide, plus and if you have one that you have been growing for five years and it's still a tiny plant, you don’t know how to water, you know, you’re keeping your plant from developing a root system that will make it grow. This plant never got a drop of water. In fact, in this yard, this is my old house in Dallas, you can see that St Augustine grass there, actually where the grass is on the front side of this picture never got water and the yard side would get between zero and six irrigations per year. St. Augustine and you can see it's nice looking St. Augustine. But I’ll get off that and just mentioning that, of course, hummingbirds like these and they come in red or pink but I found hummingbirds, weren’t wild about the pink ones. I don’t know why.

And I think this will be our last one here. This is Zexmenia, native to Texas, I'm not sure where, but this is one to plant. In years that we had record breaking drought or record breaking days over 100 degrees without one drop of irrigation, this plant never stopped blooming and that's a good plant right there. We need more of it. This will be about, with the flowers, they will be about 30 inches tall, allow at least four feet of space for it. It does die all the way to the ground and all of this top growth, which really is supported by just maybe ten to 15 main stems down at the base of the plant. So after the first freeze, what I do with this plant, is I’ll go out with a long pair of [inaudible] and just get down into the center of the plant and cut those long things off and then you just lift the whole thing up and do whatever you're going to do with it. That's just one way to get it cut back. Otherwise, it's really a mess, just trust me on that. Ok. I think that's all we have time for, I think. So, what do you think, Georgeann? Are you there?

Andy: We had some questions come in. This is Angie. One of the questions was wondering about growing perennials in containers. If you could expand on that a little bit.

Bonnie: Yes. I will grow anything in a container to see if it will work and they most often do. So Blackfoot Daisy was excellent in a container. Shrubby skullcap would be great. I think a lot... I think most of them would be, maybe Lantana would be your most challenging one because not only are they kinda big and wild, they kinda have stickery in leaves that they might want to grab hold of you when you walk by. Maybe the Milkweeds wouldn't be a great one but I think most of what I showed you (speaker laughs), most of what I showed you, would work pretty well. Probably the smaller the better I'm…

Andy: And this question might be more for Georgeanne, but talking about the monarch butterflies and the migration patterns you mentioned with all the construction going on here in Dallas, their habitat is being destroyed by the minute. Maybe a future session could be about specifically creating a garden just for them or if there's anything you wanted to elaborate about butterfly gardens or, or supporting the migration to make their, make this easier for them?

Georgeann: I love that idea for a topic and we will definitely add that on our list and I am not a butterfly expert so if anybody else on our panel is, jump in please.

Bonnie: I think as long as you have flowering things during their migration, they’re going to be happy and especially have things like that frostweed and that mist flower, if you have a spot for that. I don't think that would work in a pot really. But, here, I see the monarchs going to everything and I'll have a lot of swallow tails. You know, when I lived in the city, I thought butterflies were city creatures, but they are country creatures. I've never seen so many butterflies and so it's really interesting to see the different plants. They all go to Salvias, they all go to squash flowers, they go to two tomato flowers so that's what I'm saying is almost anything that blooms is going to attract them and feed them and if you don't have a lot blooming... Well, no, I wonder if there's some type of a butterfly feeder like there would be for bees, during the heat of the summer when bees need a little bit of supplement, I’ll make sugar water, sponges type things for them so, I don't know if there's something like that that would be available. That’s something I’d check into.

Andy: Jasmine liked that idea.

Georgeann: You know, I would say, I'm just going to put this out here, because I always feel guilty, but one year I got all excited, and I said I'm going to create a plant flowers that are Butterfly and bee friendly and I did, and twice that year, I had to pay a lot of money to have bees extracted from my roofline and so, I guess I'm just wondering, is there a way we can be good to the bees but keep them out of our house.

Bonnie: That's a risk you're going to take. I have a friend that has the same problems, I would say the thing to do is to make sure that you closed up those access points. Someplace they were getting in, in a big hole to go in there to go in there. I wonder… Well, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. Let me go back to butterfly feeding. If you, or someone you know, who eats a lot of cantaloupe, watermelon, always save those rinds, scoop it out and then set them out there in the garden because they like to come to those rinds and it’s kinda disgusting… You’ll eventually have to go out there and deal with them but that will last for quite awhile and that would be a good way to feed them during migration, I think.

Georgeann: I don't know if we have anymore questions but I did see that you have a whole section on native grasses, which is one of my favorites and so, Andy, Lori, can you tell us if we have any other questions or can Bonnie do her section on native grasses?

Multiple speakers: No questions here. We do have a comment… Go ahead.

Unknown Speaker: We did have a comment that it's hard to find milkweed these days. Is there a source for that that's really good or is it a problem?

Bonnie: It's a problem for me too, you just have to… You might even have to order like the native one the [inaudible], get it online perhaps and try that, but I have not been able to find it for a long time but if you are going to find it, it's going to be at a nursery like [inaudible] or Blooming Gardens out in Eden, Texas, someplace that really does specialize in native plants. But always call around and ask because when I started out in this business, perennials were nonexistent. Chrysanthemums was about it. And I just started encouraging people, ask your nursery [inaudible] for these perennials because by asking, would create the demand, and they’ll started asking growers and growers would start getting it, we need to be growing these. I think the Mexican one, or the tropical one must be a lot easier to get growing but... um… and that's why they produce them so much more. But let's ask for those native ones. You also might... If you go to Austin, there’s a lot of nurseries down there, that really do specialize in native plants, you have to do the search if you’re going down that way. Sorry, that’sthe best I can do for you. What was that last comment. I didn’t… a concern about mosquitoes?

Georgeann: I didn't have anything about mosquitoes.

Bonnie: (Speaker laughs) Okay. Sorry. Alright, so should I go on to the grasses real quick or…?

Georgeann: Yes, please do.

Bonnie: Alright, this is… You think you have trouble finding milkweed... You're going to have trouble finding a lot of these too, but same type nurseries are where you’re going to find these or get them online or come to beautiful Bosky county and stop on the side of the road.

Alright. This is Little Bluestem, as you see on the picture on the left, very vertical upright type growing grass that’s why I love it so much and it’s a blue, gray-blue color until fall or winter, then you can see it turns a really pretty rusty brown color. That is just one of my very favorite grasses and this will range, it depends on[inaudible] and how much you water you give it, two to four feet and I would say this, all of these grasses, [inaudible] things that once you get them going, they should not be watered so because if they do, they might get overwhelmingly large and lop over and that’s not a great look and this one is the only shade loving grass that I’m aware of that's an ornamental grass… and it’s healthy little seed oats… this can be a little bit of a invasive type grass because, you see the seed heads over here and every one of those little things is a seed and it puts out a lot of it so what I used to do with mine was when about the time it starts looking pretty I would appreciate its prettiness for a couple of weeks and then I would put on my leather gloves and go out and just pull the seeds off and do whatever I was going to do with them just so I didn't have to deal with the seedlings so in essence, I'm dead heading them. Basically, these get about maybe 30 inches wide. I think they're really cool looking little plants. They look like they're little dwarf mandu or something. On the Little Bluestem, I would space it, if you’re putting it into your garden, space it rather erratically because you wouldn't see it in nature perfectly spaced, but it's going to get probably two feet wide so that'll give you an idea of, four feet apart, at least. Maybe six or eight even would be better.

This is Giant Liriope, not a native grass, obviously. It's related to liriope, the ground cover, but it is a bunching grass, not a spreading grass, about three-by-three in size and it will go in sun or shade and it's evergreen. Grasses in general, you should cut back by the end of January because that's when we start getting some warming up days and it's going to start waking up, even this one I would cut back so that you don't have any leaves with bit tips the following year.

Mexican feather grass. This one can be very invasive. I have never grown it because of that. I don't have time to take control of [inaudible] ones and this will come up all around your landscape. But now that I've made it sound so attractive, it is the one that has so much air movement to it and will toss back and forward. It has, as you can see the one on the far left there, that little whiteish tip, that's the flower, that’s the seed bed. And they're about 2.5 feet tall by, I always would space them, about three to four feet wide. This is probably my favorite native grass, maybe even a Little Bluestem in it. Lindheimer’s Muhly grass, it is with the flowers, that's the white part that you see, it is probably six feet tall. The foliage part is about four feet tall. Blooms in the fall. These are out blooming right now. Really gorgeous. Allow seven to eight feet for one of these, and it's quite easy to cut back. Whereas a lot of these larger grasses are harder to cut back. This one’s Pink Muhly grass and you’ll see these are blooming right now, too. That’s what it’s called. This Pink Muhly. Space these probably five feet apart. It's just depends on how much you want them touching each other and there's also a dwarf Lindheimer’s muhly that’s this size with white flowers.

This is Northwind switchgrass. Switchgrasses can be a little bit rangy looking. I like this one because it's pretty vertical, pretty well-behaved. It's going to be about five feet tall and again the flowers are always happening in the fall with grasses. Alright, well we got through that just fine.

Georgeann: Thank you, Bonnie, that was fantastic. Lori or Andy, did we have any more questions come in?

Andy: I had one question come in. It says, I would like to know if purple bleeding heart hold water in the center.

I'm concerned about mosquito larva growing in the center on the stem?

Bonnie: Alright. I think that if you are a person who's watering frequently, that could be a concern. However, that could be a concern on any plant. We harbor mosquitoes in our landscapes by irrigation, and especially in ground cover areas and things like that. Your ground cover, if they’re established, pretty much don't need irrigation. Maybe just once a month, deeply, July, August, and September and then let them be dry the rest of the time so let your plants dry out some. I think that'll help you out there.

Georgeann: And I have a question about the Inland Sea oats. How long does it take them to get established? Because I've had some for about three years now and they're still kind of puny looking.

Bonnie: Are you watering?

Georgeann: Ummmm… My husband maybe. Yeah.

Bonnie: That might be your problem.

Georgeann: Okay. Alright. Thank you.

Bonnie: If they’re not… If someone tells me that a plant hasn't grown in three years, that's always the first thing. It's either there's not enough water or there's too much water. And if you’re watering, it’s going to be too much water.

Georgeann: That's always a frustration to me, especially with indoor potted plants, that the signs of overwater and underwater they often look the same.

Bonnie: Always check before you water. So… You know what? I forgot that I did not have an ending picture with my company information so can I give that out?

Georgeann: Yes, please do.

Bonnie: So to learn more about my company, I still work in the Dallas area even though I don't live there anymore. Beautifullandscapes.net and you can learn, you can see my services, and things on that website and also how to purchase a book there and it has my phone number, which is 972-224-1179. I appreciate ya’ll being with us today.

Georgeann: And thank you, Bonnie. We appreciate you being with us and we look forward to you being with us again next spring. I just want to remind everybody that an evaluation will pop up on your screen when you leave this webinar so please, please fill that out for us. We hope that you're going to join us next week. The topic next week is, “Grow Your Own Greens Inside Your Home: How To Get Started In Hydroponic Production For Beginners”. That'll be really interesting and of course, you'll want to register for the November 6th Sustainability Summit that is coming up this year. It's a day-long event, no charge, and we've got some fantastic speakers, and [inaudible] is the producer of this event this year and please share the website with your friends – www.dcccd.edu/sustainabilitysummit. So we hope to see you there. Thank you so much for joining us. And see you next week. Bye bye.