Gardening in Texas

Gardening in Texas: Top Hardy and Drought-Tolerant Plant Recommendations for Texas Landscapes

This is our first spring in our new home, and we’re in the process of evaluating our yard to determine what’s working and what needs work. This weekend I attended a class on ‘Texas Tough Plants’ at the Dallas Arboretum with a hope of learning more about low-maintenance plants that are well-suited to our area. The instructor described the class as an “intro to plants that are hard to kill,” which was perfect for me since it matched my strategy earlier this year for buying and maintaining houseplants.

After the two-hour session, I left with a better understanding of the plants we already have and a list of new ones to add to the mix. Our initial plan for this season was to identify what is doing really well in our yard and plant more of it, but the class gave me a bit of confidence to introduce a few new plants too.

With that in mind, here is a list of native plants that are in our yard or likely to be added soon:

Gardening in Texas: Top Hardy and Drought-Tolerant Plant Recommendations for Texas Landscapes

 

The Plants:

Flower Workshop

Flower Workshop in Dallas, TX with Bows and Arrows

Last night I joined a flower workshop with the amazing team at Bows and Arrows. I’ve admired their work via Instagram for awhile, so it was great to learn a few tricks from these talented folks. If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend taking a workshop – they have a photography and flower class coming up this weekend and a two-day workshop in Marfa this summer.

I’ve never been great at arranging flowers, but I was pretty impressed with the look I was able to create last night (photo above). A few things I learned:

  • It takes some time to style an arrangement. In the past, I’ve always spent 15 mins or so on an arrangement. During the workshop, I spent over an hour creating my masterpiece. While this won’t always be possible, starting early and allowing lots of time is definitely key.
  • Always use floral foam to hold the stems in place and make sure the foam is tightly placed within the container. After soaking the foam, you can press it gently against the top of your container to make an impression and then cut along those lines to create a perfect fit.
  • Start by defining ‘the bones’ of the arrangement: a tall piece and a low extending piece, for example.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix heights. In the past, I’ve always tried to cut each stem the exact same length. In looking at the Bows and Arrows arrangements, I realized that they have a mix of shorter and taller stems, giving the overall piece some movement as well as the quirkiness I love.

Here are a few more scenes of the floral awesomeness from last night:

flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

Flower workshop with Bows and Arrows in Dallas, TX

A Christmas Tour with Williams-Sonoma

A Christmas Tour of our family and dining rooms styled by Williams-Sonoma

This weekend we participated in the annual Christmas Tour of Homes in our neighborhood. While we did quite a bit of decorating on our own, we were also very excited to work with Williams-Sonoma on our family and dining room. They came in and decked out our dining room table, console table and sofa in gorgeous products from both Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

A Christmas Tour of our family and dining rooms styled by Williams-Sonoma

My own style is very minimal, and our house tends to be a bit under-decorated as a result. It was fun to see the talented folks at Williams-Sonoma completely go to town in this space and work with our existing furniture and decor to create a styled and festive environment that also felt very warm and inviting.

A Christmas Tour of our family and dining rooms styled by Williams-Sonoma

Here are a few of the details:

A Christmas Tour of our family and dining rooms styled by Williams-Sonoma

Christmas at our house wouldn’t be complete without hot chocolate, so we also created a hot chocolate station in the kitchen:

hot chocolate bar for the holidays

Thank you so much, Williams-Sonoma, for helping make our home tour a success.

Snow Day

We had an ice storm last night in the DFW area. The kids were thrilled to wake up to a blanket of white over their entire yard, and they ventured out almost immediately to play in the snow. Unfortunately, the temperatures were still very low and they came inside almost just as immediately. For now, we’re bundled up by the fire, enjoying these views from the warmth of our home.

snow day in dfw

Jason’s Legoland Birthday Party

legoland birthday party

This weekend, we celebrated Jason’s 7th birthday with his friends at Legoland Discovery Center, probably one of his favorite places in the whole world. I love throwing birthday parties for Jason and Jenna, but this one was almost entirely handled by the nice people of Lego. In fact, both my husband and I had trouble leaving the house because we felt like we were forgetting something.  This was by far the easiest of all of our kids’ birthday parties so far, and while I miss the fun of planning and creating, I also know that Jason could not have been happier with his party.

legoland birthday partyMy only two additions to an otherwise ‘store-bought’ party were the very cute Lego-themed invitations from Tiny Prints and the party favors.

legoland birthday party invitations by Tiny Prints

For the favors, I ordered a Lego stamp and created Lego-themed notebooks and carrying cases to hold the notebooks and a few other goodies. I’m not a big fan of giving (or receiving) favors that will just be thrown away, so I usually try to create something with a longer shelf life. Jason and Jenna are always packing up cases, bags and other containers with toys to take on the go, so when I saw these little suitcases at Target, I knew they’d be a perfect favor box.

legoland birthday party

The cake was provided by Legoland and Jason wasn’t too pleased when I wiped all of the dye-filled frosting off his piece. Sorry, Jason.

legoland birthday party

Our friend Dustin’s handmade gift-wrap has become a tradition at Jason’s birthdays, and this year’s design didn’t disappoint.

legoland birthday party

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Weekend Snapshot

We had an amazing couple of days and I couldn’t seem to sum it up in a single ‘snapshot,’ so I’m posting two: the first covers our stay at the Gaylord Texan, where we spent the Fourth of July holiday, and the second covers some highlights from our downtown Dallas adventures. Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend too!

Fourth of July

weekend snapshot - fourth of july

Downtown Dallasweekend snapshot - downtown dallas