Archive for April, 2010

Ruby-throated hummer - photo by Amyn Kassam (flickr)

“Hummingbirds of Texas and Their Preferred Habitat Components.” Going beyond the basic ‘red-flowers-attract hummers’ approach, Mark Klym of Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. and co-author of Hummingbrds of Texas will show us how to provide a home for hummers by making our gardens resemble the natural habitats these birds actually use. Come and explore the needs of the four most common hummingbird species in the Austin area, as well as a couple of rarities, in this program reinforcing the value of native plants.

Mark will have copies of his book for sale and signing after the presentation.

Also!  There will be a native plant sale starting at 6:30 pm.

click to listenThis Saturday, April 24, listen to member Elizabeth McGreevy — aka “The Cedar Lady” — talk about the whys and hows of wildlife gardening.  Later in the show, Julie Krosley with the LBJ Wildflower Center will talk about the upcoming Gardens on Tour.

You can listen on the radio at KDRP 99.9 FM or online at  You can also download later for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!

Everyone is invited to NPSOT’s Symposium 2010, October 7-10 at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX, titled “$ave Texas One Landscape at a Time: Our Native Plants Light the Future”.  This will be a “How-to-Do-It” symposium designed both to honor the 30th anniversary of our founding, and to cause our mission statement to spring to life. Click HERE for full details.  Symposium planners are actively working to get attendees who are not members from the general public.  Some things of note:

  • Call for papers: the steering committee is looking for papers directed at: gardeners, homeowners, growers, irrigation, nurseries and landscapers.  The deadline is May 1st.  Click here for more info.
  • If you are planning to attend, it is recommended to book your hotel early as there will be a TAMU-Arkansas football game held in the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington on Saturday, October 9. Area hotel rooms are expected to fill with ~90,000 fans from both schools.  See this link for hotel info.
  • Get your cameras ready — there’s a photography contest! Click here for a pdf with more details.

Hope to see you there!


Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana), one of the full-sun winners.   Photo by Joseph A. Marcus. WFC

Check out which of the many attractive native plants available on the market today are considered the easiest to grow!

We surveyed our Austin membership and presented the results–wildflowers (for sun, part-shade, and shade), shrubs, vines, grasses, and yuccas– in a colorful and informative power-point at our March 16, 2010 meeting.

Special attention was given to particularly showy blooms and seed heads, wildlife connections, and availability in the trade.  Enjoy!

Kirsti Harms and Jason Spangler at the booth on Friday, April 9th, 2010

The chapter has a booth at the Wildflower Center’s Spring Plant Sale and Gardening Festival — stop by to buy a cool plant that chapter members have grown, pick up some seedballs or just to say HI!  Hours are:

  • Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm

Check the WFC website for full information.

Hope to see you there!

Winecup - photo by Lisa Spangler

Date: Sunday, April 11th
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: At southwest corner of Brodie Lane and Slaughter Lane, Austin, TX

Come see what’s blooming and growing at Brodie Wild!

Join local plant experts Bob and Sirpa Harms in identifying the native plants at Brodie Wild. This is a 4 acre City of Austin water quality protection property with quite a diversity of plant life. Be prepared to walk through tall grass, trails are limited.

For more information on the property, check out the web site at   Get directions from Google Maps by clicking here.

Contact Kirsti Harms at 512-296-9160 or email for more information about the walk.

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata L.) by Lisa Spangler

We’ve updated our banner with Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata L.). This plant is blooming like crazy at the Wildflower Center right now (where this photo was taken), as well as gardens all across Austin! While more native to East Texas, this plant does mighty fine here. It blooms now through May.

A similar plant that is more native here is Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) It picks up blooming where Crossvine leaves off — June through September.

Both are hummingbird magnets!

Why not pick up one or both of them up at the Wildflower Center Plant Sale going on this weekend!  (April 10-11).