Weekly Express-News Article
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS
Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Saturday, October 13, 2007
“Gardens to Visit”
Autumn is the best time to plant shrubs, trees, and
perennials, major components of the landscape.
One of the best ways to select which shrubs, trees, and perennials to
plant is to see them in action in your neighborhood, at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, at the Schultze House at
Hemisfair Park, and at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.
Chances are if you have been thinking about planting a new
landscape or of improving your current landscape, you have been observing
the plants in your neighborhood. This
fall make a list of the plants which have the shape, texture, and
color you like. If you cannot
identify them without help, call one of the radio garden shows on
Saturday or Sunday mornings, and describe what it looks like.
One of us should be able to identify it for you. You can also visit plantanswers.com and describe
the plant in an e-mail. Another
good option is to bring a description to your favorite nursery; they
can usually identify the plants for you.
For more ideas for your landscape, visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The Garden has 33 acres of labeled plants for
you to consider. There are
two sections that are especially helpful to homeowners looking for
ideas for their landscape. The
Water Saver landscape features plants that are attractive and perform
well in San Antonio without using much water.
To carry the water saving ideas ever further, the Water Saver Lane organizes low water use
plants into model landscapes. There are examples of
a manicured landscape, Spanish Courtyard, Wildscape (Wildlife Attraction),
Hill Country, and Cottage Garden landscapes. Not only can you see which plants you like,
you can see how to arrange them together to best effect.
blooming shrubs and perennial flowers are what you want to learn about,
in addition to the Botanical Garden, visit the Schultze House at Hemisfair Park. The Bexar County Master Gardeners have created
a masterpiece of a cottage garden centered on the historical Schultze
House. There are blooms 12
months of the year and excellent signage tells you what you are viewing. The Botanical Garden is very easy to find and
there is plenty of parking. The
Schultze House requires a little more effort.
Park on the street near the Federal Courthouse or enter the
Institute of Texan Cultures parking lot and tell the
attendant you are going to visit the Schultze House. Like the Botanical Garden the Schulze House
has a wonderful Gift Shop to purchase garden related books and gifts. Call the Schultze House at (210) 229-916l for
Native plants are well adapted because they evolve
in our climate. If you want
to get some ideas on native plants for your landscape, one of the
best places is the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center located at 10750 Pleasanton Rd., just south of South Loop 410. The large garden planted around the picturesque
Leeper House is all native plants.
You can visit the Center any day, but today, (October 13) might
be the best time this autumn. It
is the Fall Wildlife Festival at the Center.
There are wildlife related youth activities, garden tours,
landscape lectures plus plant sales.
Every visitor will receive a free three inch xeriscape plant
from SAWS. Admission is free.
For more information call (210) 628-1639.
I will be available all day along with many other local horticultural
experts to answer your gardening and landscape questions.