One of the highlights of the LHG year was a presentation by Dr. Bob Randall about climate change and how it will affect the plants that we grow.
Dr. Randall is one of the founders of Urban Harvest and served as its Executive Director for 21 years. He is also a premier lecturer on biology and climate and has taught at six different untiversities, most recently at Rice.
Embrace the bugs. Rethink weeds. Remember the pollinators, not just the honey bees. Encourage your neighbors to join you in going native in order to expand the habitat on your street. These were a few of the suggestions from Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Diana Foss, who spoke to a receptive audience of the Lake Houston Gardeners at their January meeting. Her presentations included many reasons for including natives in landscapes, but she admitted, “I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir.”
Foss talked to us about how to plan and plant wildscapes—a landscape haven, for bees, butterflies and other pollinators—in our very own yards. Habitats, she explained, can be found in small as well as large areas, in the front or the back yard. Their motto is “If you plant it, they will come”. She urged us to consider plants that provide food for wildlife during all seasons and during all stages of an animal’s life. For instance, butterflies need nectar from spring flowers, then they need a host plant to lay their eggs, and then the caterpillars need the leaves to feed their huge appetites so that they can pupate and then become that beautiful butterfly.
Click through the slide show to see natives that grow well in this region. This show was prepared by Gudrun Opperman, but has most of the information that was included in the presentation by Diana Foss at a recent Lake Houston Gardeners meeting.
Suzanne Chapman, the botanical collections curator at Mercer and long time Lake Houston Gardener member, presented a program on Natives and Exotics at the November meeting. Here are the slides from her presentation.