Gardening with Deer in Mind

deer at stillhouse

Expand your plant palette with certain native plants that are generally avoided by our abundant deer. Learn about plant characteristics that deer find less palatable, and tactics that will contribute to your gardening success.  Audience participation will be encouraged.

Our speaker will be Jane Tillman,  a Capital Area Master Naturalist  and Habitat Steward who gardens in spite of the deer in her Best of Texas Backyard Wildlife Habitat in NW Hills.

Jane is an active member of the Travis Audubon Society, a Capital Area Master Naturalist and a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Host. She is the president of the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Jane was recognized by the four-million-member National Wildlife Federation as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for her work training more than one hundred Habitat Stewards to create backyard wildlife habitat here in Austin. She was active in the effort to certify Austin as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat in 2009. Jane teaches beginning backyard birding classes, leads field trips and gives talks about Central Texas birds to garden clubs, neighborhood associations, libraries, and the University of Texas continuing education programs. She gardens for wildlife, and was fortunate to have a rare Green Violetear hummingbird visit her yard in 2008.

The September meeting 7-9 PM will take place in the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

The next NPSOT-Austin monthly meeting is the

             Chapter Potluck Tuesday, April 16th at Wild Basin.

Doors at 6:30, dinner at 7.

Please bring

1) a dish to share
2) photos or specimens of mystery plants for identification, and unusual or interesting plants for discussion.

There will be no formal program, but plenty of fellowship and a chance to catch our collective breath after the Plant Sale, April 12-14 at the Wildflower Center.


Our next chapter event will be the annual Holiday Potluck and Silent Auction, Tuesday, December 18th at Wild Basin. Please bring a dish and/or beverages to share.

In addition to the common meal, we’ll have a Silent Auction and Plant Show-and-Tell during dinner. Please donate items you no longer have use for and which might be of interest to NPSOT members to the Silent Auction — and bring cash or a checkbook so you can bid on others’ items!

You’re also invited to bring photos (on a flashstick or CD) of the most interesting or unusual plants you’ve seen this year and any plant questions you might want to pose to group.

The dinner line will open at 7pm sharp!


Two field trips (Saturdays March 31 and April 7) are coming up soon! Also, the second meeting of Flo’s plant taxonomy class  will be Saturday, April 21st.


You may think you’ve seen Texas native plants and wildflowers before, but you haven’t seen them like Steve has!

Steven Schwartzman, photographer, mathematician and fellow Austin NPSOTer, takes nature photography to an artistic level rarely seen in nature books.  You’ll be intrigued by the unusual perspectives, angles, colors and light.  Through amazing close-ups, Steve reveals details and features that you are likely to have overlooked.  Steve’s work has appeared in Texas Highways magazine and in Wildflower, the magazine of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Join us for Steve’s presentation “The World of Nature in Central Texas.” He’s even promised to include some photos of critters found on our natives (look left!).

Tuesday, March 15, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway.


Dr. Monica Swartz, Director of the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, entices us with her provocatively-entitled program, “Rare Native Plant Conservation at Home – A Radical Proposal.”

Dr. Swartz is an associate professor of biology at St. Edward’s University.  She has been actively engaged in community ecology and conservation biology policy for most of her professional life.

Tuesday, February 15, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway.

Wendy Gordon, biologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife, will discuss the effects of climate change on Texas in her presentation “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Texas.”

Tuesday, January 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway.

Possumhaw in snow -- by Steven Schwartzman

Ready to celebrate winter in central Texas?

Join us for our annual winter social — pot-luck and silent auction.

There’s no program…but plenty of food, chat, and cheer!

Just bring a dish of your choice, anything you’d like to donate for the auction, and your checkbook.

Proceeds from the auction go to deserving native plant causes.

Tuesday, December 14, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway.  Please note:  this is the second Tuesday of December, not third.

See you there!

Dr. Waitt pondering the invasive question while fishing

What impacts the U.S. economy to the tune of $135 billion each year and threatens almost half of all native species on the current federal endangered list?

Non-native invasive species!

While we’ve grown accustomed to talking about the merits of native plants and have championed their protection, we tend to overlook the sometimes less obvious but equally serious threat of encroachment from invited and uninvited “guests.”

Dr. Damon Waitt is the Senior Botanist at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. As the Center’s botanical authority, he is the director and author of the Native Plant Information Network. Damon has extensive experience with invasives. He serves on the Invasive Species Advisory Committee for the National Invasive Species Council, is founder and past president of the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council, and is chair of the National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils, just to name of few of his many titles and consultancies in this hot-topic area.

Come hear Damon present “Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus? – Invasive Species and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center” where he will discuss the multi-prong approach the Center is taking to address the control and eradication of invasive species.

Tuesday, November 16, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway

Hiking at Doeskin Ranch by Lisa Spangler
Hiking on October 3, 2010 at Doeskin Ranch by Lisa Spangler

Fall is here!  It’s a busy time, so we have no chapter meeting at Wild Basin this month.  There are two other BIG events that I’d like to remind everyone of though:

October 9-10, with Members Only Preview on October 8: Fall Plant Sale and Gardening Festival at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. There are cool plants to purchase plus many fun activities planned for kids and adults alike. The chapter will have a booth as usual.  David Heberling is still looking for volunteers.  You can give him a call at 922-3744.

October 7-10: State Symposium in Denton, TX. Save Texas One Landscape at a Time: Our Native Plants Light the Future. Whether you come for just a day or the whole weekend, this year’s symposium looks to be an exciting one!  Keynote speakers are J. David Bamberger, Jill Nokes, and Doug Tallamy. There are also great presentations, workshops, and field trips.

Happy fall,


Next Page »