Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Lifestyles

April 21, 2014

FROM A GARDENING PERSPECTIVE…

Tan is the new green

The evidence is everywhere that we have entered the fourth year in a drought cycle.  Palo Pinto Lake lingers at only 28% of capacity.  The Brazos River flows ankle deep, and Possum Kingdom Lake’s water edge wafts at a record low of 65%.  It might be time to change what we think of the color green… in our landscape that is.  

Let’s look west for our answer.  When one stands on the edge of the Trans-Pecos desert, the majestic yucca stands guard over the small prickly pear.  Agave is matched only in height by the century plant.  It is a beautiful mosaic of brown, fawn, tan, cream, taupe and a sprinkling of pink, yellow and green.  But beige dominates.   It is a perfect balance between the water available and the plant life that successfully thrives.  Plant survival in the desert is determined by the rain from Texas skies and when the rain falls, the desert lights up like a fireworks display, generating lots of “oohs” and “aahs”.  Then it disappears back into the arid land. Maybe it is time for Texans to rebalance our expectations of a beautiful home landscape.  Are we still expecting our lawns to look like Astroturf come July and August? 

Do we comprehend that it takes over 50,000 gallons of clean processed drinking water a year to maintain a lawn?  That equals two swimming pools worth of water!  According to the EPA, nearly 30-40% of our clean water is used for landscape irrigation…over 1/3 of our precious water goes to green!

Our alternative is to embrace the browns.  Buffalo grass is brown and fluffy in the summer.  Native grasses tan themselves in the hot Texas wind.  Even ornamental grasses show off beautiful beige plumes with little water. 

Finally, Texas Superstar plants, such as lantana burst with happy yellow heads in the hottest, driest days.   Need help embracing the brown?  Check out the Palo Pinto Master Gardeners’ work around the county at the Vietnam Memorial Gardens in Mineral Wells and at the Palo Pinto County Courthouse and historical museum.  These landscape projects prove that green can be minimized and complimented with beautiful browns.

If you have questions about conserving water and maximizing your landscape beauty, please call the Palo Pinto County Extension Office at 940-659-1228. Also check their website palopinto.agrilife.org  Click on the Master Gardeners Tab.

 

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • don newbury.jpg THE IDLE AMERICAN: Old, new, borrowed, blue ...

    Dissection of notes found in the pocket of an old suit isn’t easy. Maybe they were scrawled during the lull in a wedding ceremony, or to jog my memory of a joke for later use.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones.jpg NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the Navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0720 life birth Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson.jpg BIRTH: Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson

    Robert and Terrie Chriestenson are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE IDLE AMERICAN

    In 1949, when Stilwell, Oklahoma’s, “Strawberry Festival” was just one year old, crooners were applauded when they cut loose with “Dear Hearts and Gentle People.”

    July 13, 2014

  • NOW HEAR THIS

    During this past Fourth of July weekend, I did what I frequently do.

    July 13, 2014

  • Texas Master Gardeners logo.jpg Master gardeners seek a few good members

    Master gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn, willing to help others and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • BandNatNEMall6.jpg Warfield’s ghost story featured on the Internet

    The web publisher Every Day Fiction announced on its blog it will feature Gerald Warfield’s “beautiful ghost story” in its Father’s Day edition.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • FIRE WISE AND WATER SMART

    A nice damp, 30-foot-wide, low-growing landscape is the best way to stop a wildfire.

    June 7, 2014

  • Caring for those who have borne the battle

    With all the recent controversy surrounding the healthcare provided to our veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs, I can’t resist the opportunity to weigh in with a few thoughts of my own.

    June 7, 2014

  • Seibert, Sue 2010.jpg SEIBERT: Reflections on summertime ...

    Well, the time is here once again. We had a little winter this year, but summer is upon us. We’re having temperatures in the 90s, and very little rain appears to be in sight. I would not trade to live in any state other than Texas, you understand, but summer is surely not my favorite season of the year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug galleries

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read