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Wednesday - March 19, 2008

From: Longview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are particularly hardy and that are suitable for wildlife farming, please?

ANSWER:

Before we even begin recommending native plants for your area, we want to caution you about doing any landscaping or planting before construction begins. We don't know the size of your property or the size of the building to go on it, but we can guarantee you that trucks, workmen, supplies, waste, etc. will be all over everywhere, once construction begins. There are a lot of chemicals used in various aspects of contruction, concrete is often mixed on-site, and heavy equipment comes and goes. Plus, your site is going to need a certain amount of grading and leveling, both for the stability of the foundation and for drainage. The guy driving the front-end loader or the bulldozer may mean well, but plants are mostly just in their way. We realize that it would be lovely to build a house and move into it with the landscape already well underway; however, we just don't think it is practical. Please refer to this article on Plan It, Dig It, Build It! for cautions and advice on preparation for construction.

So, whether you do it now or do it later, here are some suggestions for flowering perennials, shrubs and trees for your area. We went to our "Recommended Species" section, selected East Texas, and then clicked on "Narrow Your Search" and specified State (Texas), Habit (herb or flowering plants), Duration (perennial), Sun (6 or more hours of sun a day) and Soil Moisture (dry). This gave us this list of 14 appropriate flowering perennials for your area. We used the same technique for shrubs and trees. You can vary this list to your own tastes and requirements by checking different sun exposures and soil moisture for each type of plant. When you follow the links below to webpages on each plant, you can learn how tall they will grow, how they propagate, colors and bloom times, etc.

Many of these plants serve as food or shelter sources for wildlife.

Flowering Plants (herbs)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Shrubs

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Trees

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Fraxinus americana (white ash)

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

 

 

 

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