The 5 Commandments of Native Plants

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve probably seen me post many pictures of native plants. I am a huge advocate of native planting regardless of where you live. Native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions and they require far less water, which means you save money and a natural resource. They are also beneficial to wildlife in the area whether it be insects or birds.

To help you decide on plants for your garden, I’d like to present what I call The 5 Commandments of Native Plants:

  1. Know thy planting zone
  2. Know thy ecoregion
  3. Know thy soil
  4. Understand the sun
  5. Understand water use

1. Know thy planting zone
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. You can find the map here. You can also enter in your zip code to determine exactly what zone your garden is in. This is where you should start off with the purchase of plants. I love Peonies and Poppies but I live in zone 9A. It would be a waste of money to plant them because they would not survive the sun/ heat.

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2. Know thy ecoregion
Within all the zones of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, there are many ecoregions. An ecoregion is geographical area with plants, animals and ecosystems that are characteristic to that area. Texas has 10 different ecoregions. Why is this important? For choosing what plants are truly native to your area of course! Plants found in a plains setting would probably not be found in a desert setting. I live in the Gulf Coast Prairie ecosystem so naturally I would choose plants found in this ecoregion. By doing so, I know my plants will thrive better than plants meant for a desert such as a agave. Even though the an agave would technically be safe because of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the amount of rain we get here would be hard on the plant. Find your ecoregion here.

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3. Know thy soil
There are 6 main soil types: Clay, Sandy, Silty, Peaty, Chalky, and Loamy. Each of the different soil types has a different acidity and passes water differently. Clay drains poorly and sandy drains quickly. Knowing what type of soil you have will also help you know which type of plants to select because as you might have guessed, different plants from different ecoregions are used to different types of soils. Where I live in the gulf coast prairie, I have primarily clay or clay-loam. Knowing this, I would not choose a plant that would prefer to live in sandy soil. There would be too much water retention for the plant and it would more than likely die. Here is a great explanation of the different soils.

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4. Understand the sun
Seems simple enough, right? The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. But, as the Earth rotates, where the sun is shining on your house or garden changes. Before planting a plant, or even starting a garden for that matter, take a day to watch the sunlight direction change around your house. This way, you will know what areas have full sun, partial sun, and full shade. If you plant a plant that requires full shade in full sun, it will die. Full sun is 6+ hours, partial sun is 3-6 hours and full shade -3 hours.

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5. Understand water use
One of the benefits of native plants is they require less water once established than other plants. Usually. Of course, there are some native plants that always require a lot of water because they come from a waterlogged environment. Understanding what type of soil you have will aide in water use. For example, if you have sandy soil, and you plant a plant that requires a lot of water, you are going to be wasting a lot of water trying to keep the plant hydrated.

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So there are the Five Commandments of Native Plants. If you are interested in have a beautiful garden that requires less water and maybe even less maintenance, try going native. You might be surprised at how many different types of native plants are out there. To get you started, here are some of my favorite resources:

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center- wildflower.org

Texas Parks and Wildlife- tpwd.texas.gov

Wildflower and Native Grass Seeds- seedsource.com

Gulf Coast Prairie Plant List- wildflower.org

Native Plant Society of Texas- npsot.org

Guest Room Update Complete

My 10’x10′ guest bedroom updated with Target’s new Opalhouse line and a couple of items from around the house. It has a single window that faces North and my neighbor’s fence. My objective was to make it one of the most inviting and comfortable rooms in the house. So even though it’s small, the color palette is inviting, the fan blows well, the bed is comfortable and when you close the blackout curtains, it’s like a tomb.
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Source List
Headboard-Modway Lily Upholstered Headboard
Sheets-Target
Coral Pillow- Target
Blue Ikat Pillows- Some flash sale online store that does not exist anymore
Ikat Throw- Indonesia
Quilt- Target
Lamps- Thomas O’Brian for Target, No Longer Available
Nightstands- Target, No Longer Available.
Case- Indonesian
Mirror- Target
Desk lamp- Nate Berkus for Target, No Longer Available
Above the Bed Art- Saatchi, Chloe Henderson
Wall Art- Saatchi, Grazyna Smalez
Frames- HomeGoods
Nightstand Bowl & Planter- HomeGoods
Case Bowl- At Home
Cactus- Target
Basket- Target
Tea Set- Indonesia
Gold Tray- Pier One, No Longer Available

Meet Koby!

In November of ’17, Andy and I had to make an incredibly difficult decision. We had to let our beloved cocker spaniel, Prince, cross the rainbow bridge. He had a condition known as Cushing’s Disease and it was beginning to take its toll on him. We could not bear to watch him suffer anymore.

I was not wanting to adopt another dog. Toby (our other cocker spaniel) is so well behaved and easy to manage. Why shake things up? Andy wanted to adopt something small. He thought, oh hey I can see that being easier. So we inquired about a couple of rescues and never heard back from anyone.

Now, flash forward to two weeks ago. While surfing Facebook, the cocker spaniel rescue where we adopted Toby posted an adorable guy named Koby. After a lengthy discussion, and making it through some busy weekends, Andy and I decided to bring Koby home to our house for a weekend to see how he would do. Well, he did well and he is officially ours! So, everyone, please meet Koby!

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Impressionist Prints Under $100

After months of deliberation, I have decided to hang up art in our guest bathroom. I’ve been contemplating this since September of ’17. It was hard to decide to put in a nail in the wallpaper. I know that sounds silly, but wallpaper is not cheap, we are not made of money, and in my head, there was no going back. If it were just a painted wall, something would have been up months ago, but with the precious paper, I could not just jump for it.

My favorite style of art is impressionism usually combined with the abstract.  For the most part, I am pretty clean-cut. Blunt, if you will. There is a place for everything, and everything belongs in its place. With art though, I prefer it to be free-flowing. Interestingly enough, Andy is very opposite. He is more free-flowing all the time and enjoys surrealism when it comes to art. While I enjoy something that, at a quick glance is a mountainscape, Andy is intrigued by Dali.

Shopping for art is never an easy task in our house. I think his choices are dark, he thinks a five-year-old painted mine. We do manage to find common ground more often than not though. When it came time to select a print for our guest bath, I said I wanted a colorful, abstract nude, and he was totally on board. I ordered a print we both agreed on last night; I can not wait to frame it and hang it up. Maybe then I will finally share the guest bathroom.

In the meantime, if you are looking for impressionist art prints for your bathroom, below are some great print options for under $100.

 

Impressionist Art

People: Left and Right  Beach: Left and Right  Floral: Left and Right  Landscape: Left and Right

Hey Blog World, it’s Been a While

 

So what the heck have I been up to since my last post?
Well, we got a new sofa. We love it.
We replaced all the door hinges and knobs in the house. We love the new black ones.
We had to replace a ceiling fan. At first, I was iffy. Now, I love it.
We played a lot of World of Warcraft. I was playing so much, that I burnt myself out on it trying to progress in the game. I made it to a certain point and quit. Then I tried to play again earlier this month and I just couldn’t.
I did a mini facelift to my best friend’s guest bath.
I purchased a new car.
I went on a cruise. While on the cruise, I turned 36.
We came home and Andy turned 36.
We also started learning German.
I’ve baked, cleaned, shopped online, enjoyed good food, drank a lot of wine, watched a lot of TV, and in general, have just enjoyed life.

What I haven’t done is the blog. I have been in a lull. I have not had anything to share, but then again. I have. I guess you can say I’ve been in a little funk. I am trying to come out of the funk now. Just need to motivate myself. Like I told Andy last night, I’ve become comfortable with not doing anything, which is dangerous for the body, mind, and soul.

So I am scheming and self-motivating. Stay tuned.