by Barrett Sundberg
Planting native plants in our Windsor Park yards helps the climate by sequestering more carbon than typical lawn grasses, while also reducing water use and the carbon emissions associated with pumping extra water around. What can we plant in late winter and early spring?
Not being a gardener previously, here are suggestions from the almighty internet. Feel free to add better ones to this article’s web version on the Windsor Park website!
Texas Sage – this shrub provides “massive amounts of purple flowers”, grows 4 to 5 feet tall, can be planted in early spring, and lives as far south as the Rio Grande Valley (nativelanddesign.com). I’m guessing that means it will survive the next 40 years of climate change quite nicely!
Mexican Oregano – For aromatic foliage; attracts butterflies and hummingbirds (same site). Plant as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
Mexican plum – Ornamental tree with beautiful fall leaves, edible fruit; develops attractive bark when older. Native from Oklahoma to Mexico; increasingly popular; can be planted in spring (https://www.dirtdoctor.com ).
Many of our Yards of the Month feature native plants. Find ideas from past months’ articles . Also, the City of Austin’s Native and Adapted Plants Guide has detailed info on hundreds of excellent options at http://www.hcuwcd.org/plantguide.pdf.