Keep Denton Beautiful started the 2020 Yard of the Month season awarding the winning yard for the Yard of the Month program through a public vote on our Facebook page. In July, we transitioned back to our typical process - leaving door hangers to notify residents of their nomination and awarding one yard as their district's winner.
In these summertime yards, you'll find a wide variety of native species. These Texas natives can hold their own in the heat with minimal need for supplemental watering. Environmentally friendly and beautiful- seems like a win-win to us!
Just a few of the plants you'll find:
918 N. Elm St. - boxwood, hollies, lorpetulum, spirea, & Variegated Loripe
2528 Jamestown Ln. - Gulf Muhly grass, phlox, Mexican petunia,Texas rock rose, Gaura, & Yucca
1613 Amherst Dr. - salvia, lilies, coneflowers, creeping phlox, Turk's cap, and a Live Oak tree
715 Gober. St - blue agave, elephant ears, marigolds, sweet potato plants, cedar tree
1333 Cambridge Ln. - Echinacea, pink coneflowers, lamb's ear, Hosta, ferns, Redbud and Acer trees
414 Parkway St. - Impatiens, boxwood, hollies, Vinca major, Dwarf Nandina, oak & crepe myrtle trees
June Winning Yards
918 N. Elm St. - Leigh Hilton Estate Planning Attorneys
Although May can be a bit too hot for adding new plants to the garden, there is always maintenance to be done! We put together a few plants that can tolerate being planted in the summer heat, as well as some tips on tending to your existing plants.
Adapted to living in dry, desert-like conditions, succulents are easily-maintained choices for summer planting. Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves; all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Choose a few varieties of succulents and plant them in an area that receives plenty of sunlight. The differences in their shapes and colors make for interesting planter arrangements!
Summer is a great time to add herbs to your veggie garden. Mint, rosemary, and thyme are all classics that provide ground cover as well as excellent cooking assets. Dill is another herb option, and happens to be a favorite for butterflies! Black Swallowtail Butterflies use dill as a host plant, meaning that they lay their eggs in its leaves.
Blackberries are a summer favorite, but can be rather intrusive. For this reason, plant blackberries in an area of your garden that has plenty of space for the plant to spread. Typically, blackberries will bear fruit in late summer, from July to August. Newly planted blackberries will not likely produce much fruit this summer, but will provide bountiful berries in years to come!
In May, old blossoms should be pruned from spring flowering annuals. Snipping off the dead flowers is called dead-heading. This a great way to maintain your garden – preventing the plant from producing seed pods will encourage more blooming.
Watch for insect invasion and contact Denton Master Gardeners or Texas A&M Agrilife Extension if you can’t identify the insect. Hand-picking bugs off of plants and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water is the least expensive and most organic way to treat, but can be impractical. Do a bit of research to find other organic pest-control methods before resorting to toxic chemicals.
Careful maintenance of your plants now, plus a little organic fertilizer, will help them remain healthy during the summer and prepare them for a final fall show!
As spring gets into full swing, and temperatures continue to rise, you can begin to think about adding summer-friendly plants to your garden. Colorful summery flowers, fruits, and vegetables can be planted now in preparation for the warm months ahead.
Obedient Plant is a native Texan flower that is typically easy to plant and maintain. Its stalks are topped with clusters of pink, bell-shaped flowers that are excellent for attracting hummingbirds. These flowers will bloom in late summer to early fall, and should be planted in partial shade.
Texas Asters are native chrysanthemums that produce small, lavender blossoms. Their color and nectar will likely attract butterflies, bees, and birds! These flowers are loved for their color and beauty, but bloom only briefly in the late summer.
Winecups are another Texas native with a rich, reddish flower and a white center. Butterflies will be attracted to a garden featuring winecups, as they are an excellent form of nectar for them. Winecups typically bloom from spring to mid-summer.
Many fruits and vegetables can be planted in April, in preparation for fresh, seasonal summer cooking. Eggplant is one edible plant that needs warm temperatures – and plenty of space to grow! Eggplant thrives in the summertime, so be sure to plant them when the ground is warm. Its deep purple color is an attractive addition to a colorful garden, and it can be used for a variety of dishes and snacks. Different varieties of eggplant – including Thai and Japanese eggplant – can add variety and make a unique addition to both a garden, and to fresh home-cooked meals. Both of these eggplant varieties grow well in the Texas summer heat.
Sweet potatoes can also be planted around this time. Their attractive, dark, leafy vines, adding a beautiful, aesthetic element. This is another plant that loves the sun and the heat, making it a great option for Denton gardens.
Summer squash grows in abundance in North Texas, making it a versatile vegetable for cooking in the summer months. Squash seeds should be sewn into fertile soil, in an area where the plants will receive full sunlight. Beware of squash bugs, which can be prevalent in this area, and wreak havoc on these plants. Using organic pesticide methods – such as those outlined in the Integrated Pest Management approach – can help to control these bugs without harming other plants in the garden.
Perennials are an option for gardens this month, although fall is typically the better time to plant them. Nurseries are bursting with perennials this time of year, and there is never a shortage of beautiful and unique plants to catch the eye.
KDB’s long-time local nursery partner, Painted Flower Farm, will be hosting a large plant sale at the Denton Redbud Festival later this month, on Saturday, April 18. Be sure to stop by and stock up for your April gardening!
In conjunction with this year’s Redbud Festival, Home Depot will also be holding an off-site Texas SmartScape water conserving plant sale. If there’s a plant you can’t find at the Redbud Festival, you’re sure to find it here! This sale will be held at Home Depot’s Denton location on the day of Denton Redbud Festival – Saturday, April 18.
Planting vibrant flowers and vegetables this April will help to prepare your garden for an abundant summer! As always,happy planting from all of us at KDB!