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  - - Featured Articles - - : Exterior Articles
Planting Smart in the Texas Hill Country

Garden Editor

Trumpet Vine
Wise homeowners living in the central Texas area soon learn that it's easier to work with Mother Nature when planning landscapes... with stunning results! Selecting plants with tolerance for drought and resistance to deer browsing with an eye toward attracting welcome attention from hummingbirds and butterflies can result in a rewarding landscape with year-round pleasure.
The term Xeriscape originates from the Greek word "xeros," which means "dry." In practical application, with the emphasis on "practical," this translates to the design or modification of planned landscapes incorporating drought-tolerant, hardy plants.

For instance, the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), shown above thriving in a Wimberley yard, is a vigorous fast-growing vine that flowers beautifully throughout the summer. It is drought tolerant with flowers that are attractive to hummingbirds.

The practice of Xeriscaping (sometimes called Xeroscape or even Zeroscape as a reference to garden maintenance simplicity) not only frees the homeowner or gardener from constant attention to watering, but also helps preserve ever-dwindling water resources.

Below are selected online and print references to help you choose plants for an easy-care, custom design that can result in a beautiful yard or garden for years of pleasure.


Aggie Horticulture - How to: Xeriscaping
Xeriscape landscaping, quality landscaping that conserves water and protects the environment.

Grow Green Plant List
An excellent resource compiled by the City of Austin including a recommended plant list with a rating system and details.

Small Trees and Shrubs
A list (including a printable version) with all you'd ever want to know about small trees and shrubs recommended for the area...another great resource from the City of Austin.

Texas Parks & Wildlife - Texas Wildscapes
Wildlife-friendly gardening with Texas-specific information about grasses, plants and designs.

Texas A & M - Aggie Horticulture
Plant answers, links and much more at the website for combined resources for teaching, research and extension program at Texas A & M University. If we could recommend only one resource, this is it!

Xeriscape Plants
Beautiful plants, carefree gardening, great choices from Texas A & M.

Deer Resistant
These plants are those especially unattractive to deer palates, attractive to us (from Texas A & M).

Deer Resistant Plants with Details
A printable list of deer-resistant plants from the Central Texas Gardener, KLRU.

Butterfly Favorites: Plants to Attract Butterflies
Bring nature's colorful wonders to your garden. Grab an iced tea, pull up a chair and enjoy the show! (More about Monarchs here at

Especially for Hummingbirds! Hummingbird Attractors
Located in the Central Flyway for migrating birds, central Texans quickly become accustomed to these tiny bits of entertainment. Bring hummingbirds to your yard without using artificial feeders by offering these plants especially to their taste.

And two excellent general references:

Alphabetical Index to Scientific Names
If you already know this name and want to know more about the plant...

Alphabetical Index to Common Names
For the rest of us...

in Central Texas