Central Texas Gardening
     by Jenny Rasmussen, 2001
View my Garden Habitat Journal

What we can do for the world and a better yard
The two greatest threats to native species around the world are 1) habitat loss, and 2) invasive non-native species.  Even though we often feel helpless to make a difference in the world, we can all make a huge difference simply by what we do in our yards.

Gray Hairstreak butterfly at Blackfoot DaisySimplify, beautify your yard and life: To increase wildlife habitat in your yard, you can reduce your lawn area each year and replace it with native plants.  The initial investment of time and money to reduce lawn area will be more than offset by no longer having to mow or water your yard.  Native plants can attract between 10 and 50 times as many wildlife species as most non-native plants.  Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, or join the Native Plant Society to learn more about our huge variety of native plants in Central Texas.  The Wildflower Center has plant sales in the Spring and Fall.  Dates of the sales can be found on their web site, www.wildflower.org, in addition to complete information and a photo of each native plant.  The information for each plant includes wildlife benefits (berries for birds, nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds, larval food plants for butterflies) and also lists the light requirements and deer resistance of each plant.  Natives do not require supplemental water after helping them get started during the first year. Blackfoot Daisy is one example of the many perennial native plants you can enjoy in your central Texas garden, with flowers nearly all year that will attract tiny butterflies such as hairstreaks, blues, and sulphurs.  You can help to "grow" butterflies by planting their larval food plants in your garden.

Help to reduce habitat loss in your community: Vegetation adjacent to waterways provides valuable wildlife habitat.  What may look like a brushy, weedy area may actually be prime habitat for wildlife, especially if it is near water. Red Saddlebags dragonfly perched on dead vegetationDragonflies (click here for my dragonfly photographs) love to perch on dead vegetation, and birds are better able to hide from predators and find insects in tall vegetation.  Vegetation along channels and lakes also improves water quality and acts as a buffer zone for the water body.  Unfortunately, cities often receive calls from residents asking them to mow down this critical waterside habitat.  Cities will tell you that requests for more mowing often come from residents who fear snakes near waterways.  Snakes are not going to be eliminated by mowing the waterside vegetation, but mowing may eliminate habitat of prey species such as birds, frogs, lizards, and other creatures along our waterways, which in turn may reduce the snake population that feeds on those creatures.  Eliminating wildlife habitat is probably not the intention of people who call cities with concerns about snakes, so you can help by educating your neighbors about habitat value of vegetation near waterways.  Creatures that live around this vegetation are well-hidden and often very small, so people may not realize how many hundreds of creatures live there.  If you want to help preserve wildlife, please contact your City and other responsible entities and let them know of your concerns.

Little Sulphur butterfly perched beneath salvia greggii leaves for the nightBugs keep our yards healthy:  At first it may be hard for some people to change their paradigm regarding bugs in the garden.  Not all insects are blessed with physical beauty, and some are surrounded by myths and bad press, especially from the pesticide industry.  There are nearly 800 species of butterflies, 5000 species of native bees, and 11,000 species of moths in the United States, and you can attract hundreds of these and other insects to your yard.  Insects are the primary food source for all wildlife, including frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and even other insects, such as dragonflies.  Many species of birds do not eat seeds from feeders, but can be attracted to your yard by providing a small water source like a birdbath or pond.  They’ll also enjoy feasting on insects in your yard, especially if they are nesting in your yard and feeding their young.

Keep alive the wildlife you have:  Few people are aware that chemicals from home lawns are one of the primary reasons for water quality impairment of downstream rivers and lakes, and of course your backyard pond.  Even synthetic fertilizers cause harm, since they result in excessive vegetation in streams and lakes, where dissolved oxygen then drops in the night-time hours, causing the death of aquatic organisms and fish. sandhill cranes dancingIt is important to minimize use of pesticides and herbicides, as these chemicals will harm the wildlife you are trying to attract.  Pesticides are estimated to kill far more than 50 million birds per year.  Wildlife passing through a chemically treated yard not only absorb chemicals directly, but they ingest the chemicals by eating poisoned plants and insects, and then may retreat to a secluded area to die.  Granular pesticides are particularly dangerous to birds, who mistakenly ingest the granules thinking they are food or small rocks that aid in digestion.  Even 3-5 granules of diazinon will kill a bird.  Pesticides and herbicides also mix with rainwater or are carried with particles down to streams and lakes, where countless aquatic organisms are killed.  One U.S. study found that even if only 4% of homes used diazinon at the recommended rate of application, the level of the chemical found in the stream collecting the rainwater from the neighborhood exceeded the concentration known to be lethal to aquatic organisms.  Sale of diazinon for home lawn use will be prohibited by the EPA after Dec 31, 2003.  You can help to save wildlife now by not using outdoor pesticides, and buying organic food will make you feel good by knowing pesticides weren't used to make your food, saving the lives of many creatures.

purple martin bringing home insect for babyHumans often feel the desire to help plants that are being attacked by insects, but relationships between plants, insects, and other wildlife have been established over millions of years.  Humans often do more harm than good, although our intentions may be good.  Simply waiting a few weeks and giving time for beneficial insects and birds to find their food source is often all that is needed.  Caterpillars and other insects that feed on leaves will make plants look less than perfect in our eyes, but allowing nature to exist with minimal human intervention can lead to wonderful things, such as the butterflies and moths that caterpillars will become.  Birds will also come to your yard to gather caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects to feed their young babies.  If you have a plant that cannot survive without pesticides, it is probably in the wrong location and you can just let it die and replace it with an appropriate native plant better suited to the conditions of that location.

Invasive plants damage wildlife and native plants:  Even though many non-native plants can also provide food and shelter for wildlife, some of these plants may be spread into natural areas, outcompeting native species.  For example, the chinaberry tree can now be found throughout central Texas.  Some of the other “worst-offenders” in our area include nandina, red-tipped photinia, chinese tallow, and wax leaf ligustrum.  Water hyacinth, giant duckweed, and salvinia are some of the water plants that you are prohibited to possess in the state of Texas for just these reasons.

purple martin gathering leaves from Texas red bud

Most importantly, enjoy your habitat:  You might start out by simply walking more slowly from the car into the house when you arrive home each day.  Spend a few minutes each day to let your eyes follow an insect flying quickly past.  When it lands you may find it is a tiny butterfly or interesting native bee.  Following a butterfly until dusk can reveal the location it chooses to stop at for the night.  Children will find endless hours of entertainment once introduced to the exciting and diverse species that will come to your habitat.  Make it your goal each year to expand an existing bed or add one new bed of native plants.  Within a few short years, your yard will be transformed into a habitat for wildlife, and your mowing and watering chores will cease to exist.  You can also have your habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation or the Texas Wildscapes program.

Another recent article I wrote: Local Organic Farming and Living “Reconnecting with the Earth”
Or you can also read my garden habitat journal

Larval food plants for Butterflies in Central Texas
Larval food plants are extremely important and often forgotten in the garden, but the caterpillar must come before the butterfly (or moth)!  Most of these plants also produce nectar for many species of adult butterflies and moths.
Note:  More information about most of the listed plants below can be found at the Wildflower Center.  Many of these plants may be purchased at their Spring or Fall plant sales.  To get to the Wildflower Center, follow these directions.  It is worth a visit any time of year.  Occasionally one of the plants listed below may have already made it into circulation at many regular nurseries, such as Butterfly Weed and Flame Acanthus.
Central Texas Butterflies
(under construction)
All photos Copyright 2001/2002 Jenny Rasmussen
Larval Host plants 
(Source:  USGS or Wildflower Center unless noted)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly at Texas lantana
female (dark form):
female black swallowtail butterfly
Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana)
Mexican Plum has white flowers in early spring that attract many butterfly species, in addition to being a larval food plant for the Tiger Swallowtail.
Note this is also an excellent small tree to attract birds for the fruit.  (It is an excellent alternative to the non-native Bradford pear which is commonly planted in our area)

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) - larger tree also great for birds!

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
black swallowtail butterfly

Rutaceae family:
Dutchman’s breeches (Thamnosma texana)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
monarch butterfly
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Antelope-horns (Asclepias asperula)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Most milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators.
These milkweeds will almost always get aphids.  Please do NOT use any insecticides, which will kill the beneficial insects like ladybugs that come to eat the aphids, and the butterfly larva you are trying to attract.  If it really bothers you, spray a strong stream of water from your garden hose on the plant, which will knock many of the aphids off the plants.
Queen (Danaus gilippus)
queen butterfly
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Antelope-horns (Asclepias asperula)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
American Snout
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Frittilary butterflies will come lay their eggs on various passionvine species including:
Corona de Cristo (Passiflora foetida)
Bracted passionflower (Passiflora affinis)

Don't worry when the caterpillars eat most of the leaves of these native passionvines.  A natural garden is one that is being used and is full of life.  If you use pesticides, these larva will never live to transform into beautiful butterflies.

Variegated Fritillary
variegated fritillary butterfly
Corona de Cristo (Passiflora foetida)
Bracted passionflower (Passiflora affinis)
Julia (Dryas julia) Various passionvine species including:
Yellow Passionflower (passiflora lutea)
Zebra (Heliconius charithonius)
Zebra butterfly
Various passionvine species including:
Yellow Passionflower (passiflora lutea)
Bracted passionflower (Passiflora affinis)
Mexican Fritillary (Euptoieta hegesia) Passion-vines (Passiflora), native morning glories (Convolvulaceae)
Theona Checkerspot (Thessalia theona) Purple sage, cenizo, barometer bush (Leucophyllum frutescens)
Bordered Patch (Chlosyne lacinia) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Straggler Daisy source book: Texas Wildscapes
ZexmeniaWedelia texana (Zexmenia hispida) has yellow flowers May-Nov
White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae) Wild petunia (Ruellia nudiflora)
Texas frogfruit Phyla nodiflora (P. incisa)
Texan Crescent (Phyciodes texana)
Flame acanthus Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (A. wrightii)
Crimson Patch (Chlosyne janais) Flame acanthus Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (A. wrightii)
Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon)
Phaon Crescent
Texas frogfruit Phyla nodiflora (P. incisa)
Little Yellow feeding at Prairie Fleabane

Click here for more pictures of the little yellow,
including pictures of it hanging for the night.
Cassias, possilby including:
Lindheimer's senna, Puppy-dog ears
Two-leaved senna

Texas Bluebonnet

Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole) feeding at Blackfoot Daisy
Palafoxia (Palafoxia callosa) 
Dusky-blue Groundstreak (Calycopis isobeon)
Dusky Blue Groundstreak
Dead leaves and fruits, and detritus, especially under trees in the Anacardiaceae family: native examples in this region include smoke tree and desert sumac.
Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) Black cherry (Prunus serotina) identified as larval food by UT Austin TMMSH
Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici) at Texas Redbud
Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora
Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana
Redbud (Cercis
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) at Blackfoot Daisy
gray hairstreak
Wide variety, including legumes, mallows, etc.

Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana)
Winecup(Callirhoe involucrata) 
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Reakirt's Blue perched on lace cactus


Ceraunus Blue (female) on a larval host plant
Ceraunus Blue
Scarlet Pea Indigofera miniata

(caterpillar 1 day old)
Click here for more pictures
Rawson's Metalmark (Calephelis rawsoni) White mistflower, Shrubby boneset Ageratina havanensis (Eupatorium havanense)
Gregg's mistflower Conoclinium greggii (Eupatorium greggii) 
Question Mark
cedar elm
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Nettle family
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Common Buckeye feeding at native Texas Lantana
Larval foods include:

Wild petunia (Ruellia nudiflora)
Drummond's wild petunia (Ruellia drummondiana)
Texas frogfruit Phyla nodiflora (P. incisa) 3-5inches high, evergreen groundcover in warm years, tiny white flowers May-Oct
Snapdragon vine Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Maurandya antirrhiniflora)
Most vines are too large for a small trellis or a hanging basket, but this one will stay smaller.  (violet-purple flowers Mar-Sept)

Tawny Emperor
Swarthy Skipper (Nastra lherminier) little bluestem
Funereal Duskywing legumes
Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiacus) various grasses such as sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
Green Skipper (Hesperia viridis) various grasses such as buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides)
Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan) various grasses including big bluestem
Sickle-winged Skipper (Achlyodes tamenund) Trees in the citrus family (Rutaceae)
Juvenal's Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) oaks
Horace's Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) oaks
Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana) Various mallows including globemallows (Sphaeralcea), Sidas (Sida), and Abutilon
Common Streaky-Skipper (Celotes nessus) Several mallows including globemallows (Sphaeralcea) 
Common Checkered-Skipper Mallow family
Velvet-leaf mallow Allowissadula holosericea (Wissadula holosericea) 
Indian mallow, Pelotazo (Abutilon incanum)
For a listing of butterflies in your area, visit the USGS Butterflies of North America and click on your state and county.
Sphinx Moths Larval Host plants 
(Sources:  USGS Moths of Texas )
Snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)
hummingbird moth
Honeysuckle family:
example Coral-berry
White-lined sphinx (Hyles lineata) 
hummingbird moth
Great variety of host plants, including elm, grape, and many others.

Nectar Plants for Adult Butterflies (natives for Central Texas)
Blue mistflower  1'-3' perennial groundcover or border plant with lavender blue flowers
Gregg's mistflower 1'-2' blooms March-Nov
Prairie goldenrod yellow blooms in Sept-Oct, good near autumn sage and gayfeather
Bitterweed evergreen perennial that blooms in winter Sept-June (lots of butterflies need nectar then too!)
Texas greeneyes yellow flowers Apr-Nov, good near native grasses
Blackfoot Daisy (one of my all-time favorite plants)
Damianita short evergreen shrub with small yellow flowers Apr-Sept
Cherry Sage, Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)
Big red sage (Salvia penstemonoides)
Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana) needs full to partial shade
Lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata) evergreen ground cover for shade in sand or loam
Pitcher sage Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (Salvia pitcheri) blue flowers Sept-Nov
Blue sage (Salvia texana)
Snake herb (Dyschoriste linearis) blooms April-Oct, perennial groundcover w/ purple flowers
Skeleton-plant (Lygodesmia texana) 1'-2' high, purple flowers April-Aug
Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron modestus) 1' high, white flowers April-Oct
Prairie Phlox (Phlox pilosa) 6"-18" high, blooms Mar-May
Texas Lantana Lantana urticoides (L. horrida)
Mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea)
Golden groundsel groundcover for shade, beautiful yellow flowers in early spring
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Slender rosinweed
Bush sunflower
Cowpen daisy
Woolly ironweed
Texas frogfruit Phyla nodiflora (P. incisa) 3-5inches high (groundcover evergreen in warm years), tiny white blooms May-Oct
Texas gold columbine (Aquilegia sp.) shade plant, evergreen 1'-3' high, flowers Feb-May
Small trees:
Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana)
Texas Redbud
...Most flowering plants and trees are utilized by a variety of adult butterflies, so they are not all listed on this site.  Please consider using native plants, which will attract large numbers of native butterflies and other species to your garden, bringing it to life!  For native plant lists detailing which will provide food for adult butterflies in Central Texas, visit the complete Wildflower Center plant listing with pictures.

Some plants and shrubs/trees for Birds in Central Texas
Fragrant Sumac (berries for birds)
Evergreen Sumac (berries for birds)
Agarita (evergreen shrub/cover plant, with berries for birds)
Chile pequin (mockingbirds love these little native peppers, use them in your cooking too instead of jalapeños)
Elderberry (fruits for birds, you can also use it to make jelly or wine)
Black-eyed Susan (seeds for birds)
Slender rosinweed (seeds for birds)
Bush sunflower (seeds for birds)
Dewberry (berries for birds and jelly for yourself)
Barbados Cherry (berries for birds, semi-evergreen shrub for shade)
Wax Myrtle (evergreen border or screening plant with berries for birds)
American Beautyberry (mockingbirds love these berries, beautiful understory shrub)

Vines for birds:
Mustang Grape
Virginia Creeper (berries for birds)

Small trees for birds:
Texas Persimmon (fruits for birds)
Mexican Plum (fruits for birds)
Yaupon Holly (berries and nesting sites for birds due to nice dense branching)
Possumhaw Holly (loses leaves in winter while berries cover tree)
Flame-leaf Sumac (berries for birds)
Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum

Large trees for birds:
Cedar elm (nesting sites)
Black Cherry (fruits loved by birds)
Note:  all of the plants listed for butterflies also help birds, because many birds rely on a strict diet of insects, or a mixed diet that includes insects.

Nectar Plants for Hummingbirds:
Cherry Sage, Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii)
Mountain sage (Salvia regla) plant in part shade
Big red sage (Salvia penstemonoides)
Flame Acanthus
Scarlet Penstemon
Red Yucca
Turk's Cap
Red Buckeye
Rose Mallow
Texas Lantana
Mealy blue sage
Coral Honeysuckle (vine)
Trumpet Creeper (vine)
Cross Vine
... and many others

Top 10 list for Bird-Friendly Living
(American Bird Conservancy)
10) Plan your yard for diversity (make it your goal to reduce your lawn area by at least 50%)
(tall trees, understory trees, shrubs, nectar plants, native grasses).
9) Use Native Species (no pesticides or watering needed since they're adapted to the region).
8) Allow the "back 40" to become a little scruffy (e.g. piles of branches or overgrown native bushes and vines).
7) Hang milar strips or place feeders on large windows
(note: place feeders only if you don't spray pesticides)
6) Donate your old binoculars
5) Drink shade grown coffee
4) Reach out (tell neighbors about bird issues such as the toxicity of pesticides to birds)
3) Provide birds with food, water, and shelter
2) Please don't use pesticides (e.g. diazinon kills birds even when used as directed).
1) Please keep your cat indoors.
(read about how easily my outdoor cats became indoor cats)

Excerpt from "Keep the Wild Alive" campaign by the USGS:
"In recent years, scientists have noticed a disturbing trend among frog and toad populations. Throughout the world, amphibians are disappearing at an alarming rate. Because frogs have porous skin, they are especially sensitive to changes in their environment. They are among the first to suffer the consequences of human-caused threats, such as pollution, non-native species introduction, impacts from agricultural and development projects and increased ultraviolet radiation. As an indicator of greater ecosystem health, amphibian population decline raises many concerns about the long-term health of our environment.  You can help scientists learn more about trends in U.S. amphibian populations by participating in Frogwatch USA. Anyone can participate; all you need is an interest in frogs and toads. Volunteers learn about the life cycles and calls of local frogs, monitor frogs and toads in local wetland areas and submit frog data via the Frogwatch USA website. Keep the Wild Alive is proud to partner with USGS on this important amphibian monitoring program. To find out how you can get involved in Frogwatch, visit the USGS Frogwatch webpages"

This list should get you started with Frogwatch in Central Texas, and all you have to learn is the frog sounds, so don't worry about actually trying to find the frogs!
For a full list of Texas frogs and frog sounds, visit the UT Herps of Texas web site.

Frogs and Toads in Central Texas 
* denotes frogs and toads heard at Meadow Lake-so far!
Sounds (from UT Herps of Texas web site)
*Bullfrog(Rana catesbeiana) - more info one call      several calls
*Gulf Coast toad (Bufo valliceps) - more info one call      several calls
*Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) - more info Listen to call found at Toronto Zoo website
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) - more info one call      several calls
Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)  one call      several calls
Green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) - more info Call found at NatureSound.com
Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii woodhousii) - Rocky Mountain Toad one call      several calls
Red Spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus) one call      several calls
Texas Toad (Bufo speciosus) one call      several calls
Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii) one call      several calls
Strecker's Chorus frog (Pseudacris streckeri) one call      several calls
Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata feriarum) one call      several calls
Cliff Chirping Frog (Syrrhophus marnockii) one call      several calls
Eastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) one call
Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) one call      several calls
Couch's Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii) one call      several calls
Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Rana berlandieri) one call      several calls
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala) one call - this one is my favorite frog call
Green Toad (Bufo debilis debilis) - less common than others one call      several calls
Eastern Barking Frog (Hylactophryne augusti) - less common than others not available
Please also visit the Texas Amphibian Watch home page.

    I'm constantly working on this site to add more information about native plants and wildlife, but while you're waiting, visit the links below for more information about Texas gardening. Don't forget to bookmark this page if you want to come back later to learn more about gardening in Texas.
Texas Gardening Sites Especially useful to Texans.
Kid's Gardening Sites Once again, mostly Texas sites.
My favorite
Texas Gardening Books
...with links to Amazon.com to purchase on-line
Favorite Home Page sites A few of my favorite web pages by individual gardeners.

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Gardening !!!!

This Texas Gardening Web Ring site
owned by
Jenny Rasmussen
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A couple more pages by me:
Convert your yard into a Wildlife Habitat
Organic Gardening=Helping the Birds

Please read this important news update at the BirdCast website:
DIAZINON KILLS BIRDS even when used as directed.
Even just a few granules will kill a bird.
Please consider the extreme toxicity of Diazinon to birds
and other wildlife before using it around the home or on your lawn.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas Native Plants
by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Native Plant Society of Texas

National Wildflower Research Center
Come visit one of my favorite places here in Texas

Howard Garrett's Basic Organic Program

Gardens of Texas (Yahoo Club)
Gardening in the Lone Star State

Aggie Horticulture Site
w/ click-on image map to your nearest Extension horticulturist

Austin Organic Gardeners
includes Austin Area Vegetable Planting Calendar
meetings: 2nd monday of each month, 7:30 pm
@ Zilker Garden Center

Zilker Botanical Garden Show Schedule

Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin
This is a great hiking/nature trail for families in the Austin area.

Tutorial On Oak Wilt And Dutch Elm Disease

San Antonio Botanical Society

Fire Ants -- Applying Nature's Controls
 by Ed Vargo, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Dept.Zoology, U.Texas
Important information on Diazinon

Gardening in Houston
by Donald Ray Burger

Come into my Garden
by Tom H. Robb

Wildseed Farms
 Texas wildflower farm

Wildflowers - A visit to my Yard
by Gene Hargrove


kinderGARDEN site
link to Aggie Horticulture site for kids

Madison Elementary Learning Laboratory Gardens
San Antonio, Texas

Wildflowers in Texas
(Images and descriptions of about 28 wildflowers)
by 7th grade class in Louise, Texas

Schoolyard Habitats
by the National Wildlife Federation


Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country
This is a very useful book with pictures of native plants, many of which
you can buy at the Wildflower Research Center when they have their plant sales.

The best source for native plant information is www.wildflower.org

Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife
This is a great book, with my only complaint being that it doesn't have an index in the back.  I met the author at an Audubon meeting where she gave a presentation, and she is very nice.

          Texas Organic Gardening Book
    by Howard Garrett
This book convinced me to become an organic gardener.

Plants for Texas
by Howard Garrett
I also own this book and it's great for finding out about all sorts of plants here in Texas.
Please read this short article about invasive exotics
(maybe he didn't know about these when he wrote the book)

Complete Guide to Texas Gardening
This book is nice because it provides lots of big pictures, but invasive exotic species are shown as well.
Please read this short article about invasive exotics - and which plants to make sure and avoid.

 Stokes Bird Gardening Book
The Complete Guide to Creating a Bird-Friendly Habitat in Your Backyard
by Donald Stokes, Backyard Nature Books

The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher
This is a wonderful book that I received as a gift.
It has great ideas for turning your backyard into a place birds will love.

The National Wildlife Federation's Guide to Gardening for Wildlife
How to Create a Beautiful Backyard Habitat for Birds, Butterflies and other Wildllife
I recommend this book for children, and of course adults too.

Butterflies through Binoculars (west)
I use this one all the time for butterfly identification!
It's a "must-have" for butterfly watchers.
There is also a guide for the eastern U.S.

Butterfly Gardening : Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden
by Xerces Society
In this book I learned many interesting facts,
such as that there are over 5000 species of native bees in the U.S.,
and they are not aggressive like the non-native bees.
It is great fun to attract this great variety of interesting bees to your garden.
You can help the native bees by providing nest-sites for them in your garden.
Just follow the instructions at:


Leisa's Backyard Birding

Pearl Doyle's Site

Tiny Birds Organics...offering organic and fair trade alternatives:  View Shopping Cart

Cloth Diapers
Diaper Covers
Diapering Accessories
Free Soaker Pattern
Free Longies Pattern

Soft-soled baby shoes:
Cute Baby Shoes

Cute Organic Baby Tshirts
Cute Organic Onesies
Baby Kimono T-shirts/Onesies
Under the Nile baby clothes
Organic Baby Pajamas
Organic Wool Sweaters/Jackets
Organic Childrens Clothing
Organic Hats/Mittens/Socks
Sale Items

Baby Slings/Gear:
Organic Slings
Ergo Baby Carriers

Natural Wood Puzzles
Organic Toys / Rattles
Fair Trade Toys/Gifts
Baby Sign Language

Baby Bedding:
Organic Crib Mattress
Organic CoSleeper Mattress
Unfinished Solid Wood Crib
Toddler Beds and Bunk Beds
Organic Baby Blankets

Earth Creations T-shirts
Organic Blankets
Organic Mattresses
Organic Wool Yarn/Fabric
Organics for Women
Natural Soap

Organic Stuffed Toys