Author Archives: Alisa Miller

Composting Call

The leaves are falling! The leaves are falling! The compost team at the garden would like to take advantage of all these leaves. If you would like to donate your leaves, fill a paper leaf bag with leaves only (please no large sticks, pet waste, or items that can’t be composted) and deliver your bag or bags to the garden. If you need help getting your bags to the garden, send a message to, and we’ll arrange pick-up.


4th of July in the Garden

We’ll be celebrating the 4th of July at the garden with a parade around Bayton Loop and a potluck to follow on Wednesday, July 4.

Join us about 10:00 am as we get ready for the parade. Bring your kids, friends, and pets (on leashes) as we make a short parade around Bayton Loop. Get as festive as you like with your 4th of July attire. If you don’t want to participate in the parade, that’s okay. We need people to watch, too. We’ll start the parade at 10:30.

After the parade, we’ll make our way back to the garden where we’ll provide hot dogs and veggie dogs. You bring a little something to share. Please see the link below to select what you’d like to bring.

In addition to your potluck selection, please bring something to sit on and sun protection. We’ll provide plenty of water. If you’d like to have additional beverages for yourself, feel free bring those, too. Here’s the link to the potluck sign-up.

As we always do, we are also providing an opportunity for our community to give back. We are taking up donations for League of Women Voters, which is a nonpartisan organization that provides voter education and registration opportunities for all Americans. And in this spirit, if you need to register to vote or have recently moved and need to update your voter’s registration, we will have an opportunity for you to do so at the potluck.

We look forward to seeing our friends and neighbors at the garden to celebrate!

Wildflower: Engelmann Daisy

The Englemann Daisy is named for a German-born physician and botanist who settled in St. Louis as a young man. These cheerful yellow wildflowers bloom from March through July. Not only do birds eat the seeds, these plants are a favorite of livestock, so they don’t last long when growing in grazing pastures.

Englemann Daisy

Englemann Daisy

Wildflower: Texas Native Indian Paintbrush

Texas Native Indian Paintbrush is one of the most recognizable wildflowers in central Texas. Normally blooming from March to May, this little straggler is still hanging in there. These flowers are larval hosts to Buckeye butterflies and are frequently visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.
An interesting point about these flowers is the colorful red are not actually petals, but bracts–or specialized leaves that look different from the foliage leaves.

Texas Native Indian Paintbrush

Texas Native Indian Paintbrush

Wildflower: Standing Cypress

These majestic flowers are difficult to miss. Standing cypress, also known as Texas plume or Red Texas star, can grow up to six feet tall. The red blooms flower from May to July and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. You can see several of these growing along the walking path that skirts Williamson Creek.

Wildflower: Texas Thistle

The Texas thistle is a useful wildflower for wildlife. Native bees use these for nectar and nesting material. Once the flowers begin to transition, goldfinches will use the fluff of the ripened seeds for their nests and will feed on the seeds. Texas thistles are also a larval host for Painted Lady butterflies.

Texas Thistle

Texas Thistle

Wildflower: Blue Larkspur

The blue larkspur is certainly a stunning flower. Seen from April to July, these flowers are tall and commanding. They are certainly popular for their beauty, but sadly, they don’t provide much to the wildlife. One interesting fact about the blue larkspur, though, is that the seeds used to be ground and soaked in alcohol to create a treatment for head lice.
A word of caution about this flower–all parts of it are poisonous to both animals and humans.

Wildflower: Winecup

The deep purple of this flower makes it no surprise it’s called the winecup. You can see these flowers from early spring into summer. Both bees and butterflies may consider this flower their own winecup as they enjoy the nectar it provides. The roots can be boiled and made into a tea for humans to drink to help alleviate pain.


Wildflower: Bluebonnet

Just about everyone in Texas knows the state flower is the bluebonnet. When the bluebonnets are in full bloom (usually March to May), they attract bees and butterflies. This time of year is past the bluebonnet’s prime, but you can still find a few faded flowers out there.
More importantly, though, this is the time of year when the bluebonnets are going to seed. If you let the seeds stay on the flower until they turn brown, they will reseed themselves, almost ensuring you’ll have a bigger patch of bluebonnets the following spring.

Wildflowers: Pink Evening Primrose

This delicate little flower, pink evening primrose, is also known as buttercup or pink buttercup and blooms from April to June. The flowers wither at the end of each day and are replaced by new blossoms in the evening. The bees like these flowers, and when they go to seed, birds will visit them–especially finches.
The greens can be eaten in salads or cooked, but the flavor is better if harvested before the flowers bloom. It seems a shame to miss the opportunity of seeing these sweet flowers on a beautiful spring day, though.