Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 03, 2005

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens
Title: Returning empty landscape to native plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in a subdivision that backs up to a 40 +/- piece of land that is called Texas Safari, I think. Between TS and my fence is a piece of ground about 50-60' wide and 100-150 yards long. Some of this area, about 10' wide holds water for short periods during regular rain and more when it rains very hard. Some is never covered with water. New growth is just now starting and I have no idea what native plants will return. Can you help me determine which type of plants will return this property to its highest and best use? Barring any problem with the drainage pipe that was placed under this area I see no reason that it will not remain in whatever state we can put it in. I think that the county will take no part in the maintenance or upkeep. Is there a program that you provide that will help me with this.

ANSWER:

The first question that needs to be answered is "Who is legally responsible for the land in question?" If it is not you, then you will need to get permission from the landowner to do any sort of landscaping on it. The next question is "What sort of vegetation would you like to see on it--trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers?"

The Native Plant Library on the Wildflower Center web page has several articles in PDF format to download that you might find useful for landscaping your plot. Here are a few of the titles you will find there: "Landscaping with Native Plants", "Wildflower Meadow Gardening", and "Large Scale Wildflower Planting". Another article on our web page that might prove useful is "Restoration: The basics on how to repair your land" by Steve Windhager, Director of Landscape Restoration at the Wildflower Center.

Once you have decided what sort of plants you want to grow there, you can search our Native Plants Database for suggestions for plants. For instance, if you select Combination Search from the options, and then select "Shrub" from Growth Form, "Wet" under Growing Conditions and "Texas" under Select State you will get a list of shrubs (most with pictures) with growing conditions, growth form, distribution, etc., that will grow in wet areas in Texas.

Although there are none currently scheduled, the Wildflower Center periodically offers classes on native landscaping and restoration. Watch our web site for announcements.

 

More Meadow Gardens Questions

Early, middle and late blooming flowers for pollinators in East Texas
July 05, 2010 - On our farm in northeast Texas we are participating in a Conservation Program through the NRCS. We have to plant 4 acres for pollinators--early blooming, middle blooming, and late blooming. I need t...
view the full question and answer

Prairie and wetland restoration in Nebraska
July 20, 2007 - We recently bought property south of Crawford,NE near the Pine Ridge area. It has been grazed by horses for years. We'd like to restore the native grasses and flowers. I have no idea where to begi...
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
view the full question and answer

Information about pre-1920s biodiversity near San Antonio
February 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am transforming my .3 acre urban yard three miles north of downtown San Antonio into a native wildscape. I am planting all native plants using your website, books, and nea...
view the full question and answer

Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
May 12, 2007 - We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.