En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
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

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

Planting a meadow garden in Pennsylvania
November 16, 2014 - I live in Saxonburg PA near Pittsburgh PA. I want to put a meadow garden in my back yard. We are building a home so there is no established yard yet just trees and weeds. Where do I start . What...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers to complement Mexican hat in Texas
October 22, 2015 - We have 10 acres in Driftwood that has Mexican Hat pretty much everywhere that is not shaded. We are looking to add additional wildflowers to them in order to have color earlier and later in the seas...
view the full question and answer

Should the herbicide Ornamec 170 be used on unwanted grasses?
March 15, 2012 - I have a lovely wildflower garden in a field behind my house; unfortunately, the wildflowers are being smothered by grasses. I understand that Ornamec 170 can be used to control grasses in wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers and plants for meadow in North Carolina
March 02, 2004 - I live in Rock Hill, SC, just south of Charlotte, NC. I would like to have recommendations for planting native flowers and plants in a small meadow in my backyard. Do you have any suggestions or kno...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center