Planting seeds for the future

Sowing seeds in April, known for many showers in North Texas, can indeed bring May flowers, as the popular saying goes in a short poem written in 1157 by Thomas Tusser.

From the bountiful Texas bluebonnets to the bright hues of the Texas Indian paintbrush, the native flowers bloom along many Texas highways and fields in April.

As Lady Bird Johnson has said, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”

Establishing native landscapes at Denton County buildings has long been a mission of mine as we work to reduce water needs and replenish wildlife habitation.

During my term as Commissioner Precinct 4, I designed property surrounding the Southwest Courthouse on Canyon Falls Drive with various native plants that continue to replenish each year, attracting birds, bees, and butterflies.

As Commissioner, I would purchase pounds of Texas wildflower seeds and plant them along the ditches and rights-of-way of Denton County roads, taking my boys with me. Now, the boys are grown, and those wildflower seeds planted years ago are still coming back each spring.

As County Judge at the Courthouse-on-the-Square in downtown Denton, our facilities team worked to replace existing plants with native species that can thrive whether our region has plentiful rainfall or experiences seasons of drought. Native pecan trees provide shade for picnics on the lawn and food for birds and squirrels.

At the Denton County Administrative Courthouse, both the back and front gardens are filled with an array of native plants and trees. Soon, passersby will see the budding Texas Redbud and colorful Crepe Myrtle trees lined along the walkway to the outdoor amphitheater. In front, depending on the season, Black-eyed Susans may bloom along with the purple coneflower. Daylilies line the entrance to the Courthouse along with a mix of different sages and the Texas Gold Columbine. Native trees also selected for the new grounds ranged from Cedar elm to Southern live oak.

The idea is to create a year-round landscape for the public to enjoy and wisely choose native plants that regenerate, making good use of taxpayer funds.

As Denton County continues to grow exponentially, preserving our existing natural habitat and replenishing areas with native landscaping will cultivate an interest in continuing the trend among our youth.

Our Denton County Master Gardener Association works with all ages to share information about native, well-adapted plants for your home or business landscape. You can purchase native plants in an upcoming annual plant sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until sold out on Saturday, April 29, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 633 Hobson Lane, in Denton.

To gather ideas for your own native landscape, consider joining the annual garden tour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at

The tour takes you through several areas across the county where native landscapes have been maintained in a variety of styles: Hidden Cottage Garden in Denton, Red Rock Crossing in Lake Dallas, Wildlife Waystation in Oak Point, and Hundred Woods Acre also in Oak Point. Following the tour, a Market at the Garden offers an opportunity to shop for garden decorations from local artists and master gardener craftspeople.

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