Author Archives: katherine.whitney


One of the best parts of gardening is sitting back to enjoy the garden and all the garden visitors.  As much as I love to plant new things and tend to my veggies and flowers, the ultimate reward is relaxing in my garden chairs to watch the hummingbirds visit the Turk’s Cap for their early evening snack and see the fat bumblebees in the comfrey. Hummingbirds are so fun to watch, and I have worked to add plants to my landscape that will provide nectar for hummingbirds and… Read More →

Spring Lawn Tasks

Spring is in the air!  Well, spring was in the air last week, but this is Texas, and we never know when that last bit of winter will hit.  Even if the weather is confused about which season it is, the calendar tells me that it is time to get outside and start working in the lawn.  This cold snap is a good time to start making a to-do list for your lawn. If you need to fertilize your lawn, now is a good time to take a… Read More →

Cucumber Beetles

This week I had a conversation with a newcomer to Williamson County who was interested in plant recommendations for our area and lawncare guidelines.  I have those conversations fairly often, and usually some of the questions are focused on the weather and how different it is in Texas.  Lately, I have to laugh and say that it has been a weird few years, even for Texas! The weather already feels like spring, and we are just in the beginning of March.  I love warm weather, and I am… Read More →

Tree Damage Assessment After the Ice Storm

As I write, the roads are slick with ice and tree crews are out clearing broken limbs from the road.  This week feels a little bit like a flashback to Winter Storm Uri, at least as far as ice and tree damage.  Before you lose all hope for your trees, let me give a few tips and some encouragement to be patient. The good news about this winter storm is that the temperatures did not get much below freezing.

Garden Journal

One thing I love about gardening is the camaraderie and conversations that you get to have with other like-minded plant lovers.  I always learn good tips from other gardeners, and they are usually willing to share plants, too!  You know you have made friends with a gardener when they offer to let you take cuttings from a plant or give you some bulbs that they divided. Several great gardeners that I admire recommend keeping a gardening journal, and that is one tip that I plan to try out… Read More →

New Year Garden Tasks

January 2023 has started off with beautiful weather and sunny days.  This kind of weather makes it nice to get outside and work in the lawn, and there is always something to do in our lawns and gardens.  If you made a New Year’s Resolution to get more exercise, then yard work is the perfect opportunity. The winter months are a great time to prune trees.  Most of our trees have lost their leaves, making it easy to see the limb structure, and it is better for the… Read More →

Free Compost

Trees offer a lot of great things in our world.  They provide shade on hot days, they are beautiful points of interest in the landscape, and they put off oxygen.  Trees go one step further by providing free compost every fall! We have really had some beautiful fall color during the last few weeks, and the trees are starting to lose their leaves.  Before you purchase landscape waste bags and start raking, consider using the leaves for mulch or compost in your landscape. Leaves can be used in… Read More →


The Christmas season is here!  I enjoy using plants and natural elements to decorate my home, and during the Christmas season that means poinsettias and Christmas greenery. Poinsettias are a neat plant to grow, and they have an interesting history as the Christmas flower.  Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were cultivated by the Aztecs for their bright colors.  The flowers were used by Franciscan priests in the 17th century for nativity processions since it blooms near Christmas. In 1828, Joel Roberts Poinsett, US Ambassador to Mexico, saw… Read More →


One of my mom’s favorite flowers to grow is a pansy.  Every year in the fall, we went on a search for the perfect tray of pansies.  Some years she liked to plant a mix of colorful pansies, and other years she planted a solid color for a big impact statement. Pansies are in the Violaceae family, which has more than 500 species.  Violas originally come from Europe, and our modern-day pansy is a hybrid cultivar that was developed in the mid-1800’s.

Texas Arbor Day

Texas Arbor Day is coming up on November 4, just in time to kick off tree planting season.  Many of the cities in Williamson County are celebrating Texas Arbor Day with tree planting events, so be sure to look up your local city information to find out how to participate. One of my favorite things about Texas is the wide variety of trees that are native to our big state.  Texas boasts as many as 281 native tree species, from the pines in East Texas to the southern… Read More →