Native Plant Society of Texas
Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the second Thursday of the month at Harberger Hill community Center, 701 Narrow Street in Weatherford.
Jim Darling, campus composter for the University of Texas at Arlington, will be the guest speaker at the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8.
Fall is the perfect time to learn the art (and science) of making compost. Darling collects organic kitchen waste, coffee grounds and leaves from the 420-acre campus to make compost that goes back into the UTA landscape and a community garden nearby.
The co-founder and president of the Texas Bluebird Society, Pauline Tom, will present a program on attracting bluebirds to your property at the Sept. 10 meeting in Weatherford of the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Cherry Park community building, 313 Davis St. in Weatherford.
Every bird needs a home, and not just any place will do. Some nest high, some low, some in tree branches, some on your front porch. Bluebirds build their nests in cavities such as in old trees or fence posts, but those are disappearing from urban landscapes. That’s where the Texas Bluebird Society has stepped in. Its focus is on building and disseminating nest boxes designed specifically for bluebirds (birdhouse aren’t all alike).
There are over 5,000 native plants in Texas and not all are easily available, even from native plant nurseries. So if you’ve been yearning for a certain plant you’ve seen blooming by the side of the road, you can get advice on how to “adopt” a specimen at the Aug. 13 meeting in Weatherford of the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
Water is always an important aspect of planning and keeping a landscape in North Central Texas – whether there are months with too much water or years with too little. Dotty Woodson, a well-known water specialist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will be the guest speaker for a program hosted by the Native Plant Society of Texas’ Cross Timbers chapter in Weatherford Thursday, July 9.
Woodson will focus on the use of native plants to save water, including the design of the landscape, the right selection of plants, soil preparation, irrigation and maintenance.
“A water-saving landscape is green and beautiful all summer, while reducing the average amount of irrigation water by two-thirds,” she said. And she can suggest plants that will bloom all summer as well.
Looking at plants, animals and the weather, Jim Varnum’s timing couldn’t be better. As the Texas drought washes away in a flood, the Texas Master Naturalist will bring his program on “How Extreme Weather Affects Flora and Fauna” to the June 11 meeting of the Cross Timbers chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
Varnum’s discussion will include heat waves, cold waves and tropical cyclones, using Bastrop County, the polar vortex and Hurricane Sandy as examples.
A guided tour of Weatherford’s botanical landmark Chandor Gardens will highlight the May 14 meeting of the Cross Timbers chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
Imagine driving the interstate highway between Texas and Canada without plenty of fueling stations along the way. That’s what is facing the monarch butterfly during its annual migration from Mexico to Canada and back again -- dwindling sources of food and rest stops in the natural environment. But many groups, including some in Parker County, are trying to reverse the decline by planting Monarch Waystations and butterfly gardens to help the insects feed and reproduce along their journey.
Deer, armadillos, coyotes and other local wildlife may be fascinating to watch in their native habitats, but when they are eating prized plants, digging up the lawn or stalking the family cat, it’s another story. That’s when residents might turn to urban biologist Adam Henry, who will present a program "Urban Wildlife - Problem Solving" at the February meeting in Weatherford of the Cross Timbers chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
Based in the Texas Wildlife Services’ Fort Worth District, Henry deals with bird and mammal species across 61 counties of North-Central Texas and the problems they may cause. On a given day he might be giving advice on controlling critters ranging from mice and moles to feral hogs and beaver.
Looking at a cactus, John Chmielewski doesn’t see prickly spines or thorns. He sees beauty. “I like them for their unique characteristics and stunning flowers, as well as their variety. ...I continue to be amazed by their ability to grow in such rugged, harsh conditions and yet reward you with huge, showy flowers.” A self-taught aficionado, he will share his knowledge and enthusiasm for these under-appreciated native plants at the Jan. 8 meeting of the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, held in Weatherford.
Got milkweed? It’s not just for butterflies
The monarch butterflies that migrate through Texas and the milkweed plant family are intimately connected. Learn more about that vital link, and other milkweed facts, from Master Naturalist Carol Clark at the Oct. 9 meeting of the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, in Weatherford.
Along with the monarchs, whose numbers are declining as their food source disappears, many more animals depend on the milkweeds, too. Clark will offer an overview of the historic use of milkweed plants, descriptions of the local species, and growing tips. A milkweed identification guide for nine local species and monarch butterfly handouts will be provided. Free native milkweed seeds will also be available.
Clark is president of the Collin County chapter of the Native Plant Society. She and her husband own and operate Clark Haven, a wildlife preserve and custom wildflower seed business in Cooke County.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at Cherry Park community building, 313 Davis St. A short business meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., followed by refreshments and the educational program. The public is always welcome.
The Cross Timbers Chapter promotes conservation, research and use of native plants in the rich biological region west of Fort Worth. Chapter meetings are held the second Thursday of the month. For information, go to www.npsot.org/wp/crosstimbers.