Austin: ten years later and even better by Elizabeth Licata

Cecropiamoth caterpillar at the Wildflower Center More than 90 garden bloggers got together for three days of garden touring in Austin last weekend. It is a return to the first such get-together, which took place in April, 2008. I was one of those Austin, 2008 bloggers, organized a similar weekend in Buffalo in 2010, and have attended other Flings, as they’re called, in Chicago, Seattle, Asheville, Toronto and the DC region. (I missed the ones in San Francisco, Portland, and Minneapolis.) So there was no way I could miss the return to Austin and boy, am I glad I didn’t. Pam Penick’s pool area—we saw many great pools The great thing about these Flings is that they are pure garden-viewing pleasure. No sessions, few (if any) talks, and lots of time to hang out. There is always at least one group dinner with raffles and a couple short speeches. One can spend an entire weekend with professional colleagues without once having to sit in a poorly lit hotel seminar room with inexplicable car..
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The Feisty River Birch

Tree of the Week The Feisty River Birch By James R. Fazio | May 8, 2018 Betula nigra River birch is a tree that is easy to admire. As its name suggests, the river birch naturally grows along river banks. Mud is a natural bed for the seedlings and the tree is excellent for holding stream banks, helping to keep erosion in check. It is one of 12 Birch species that extend south from the Arctic Circle, and the only one that grows naturally at low elevations in the southeastern part of the U.S. Its ability to withstand dryness better than other birches has made it popular for planting in landscapes where its white-barked kin inevitably suffer stress from summer drought and eventually succumb to the bronze birch borer. This species is resistant to both. It has moderately strong wood, a graceful, semi-weeping form at maturity, and it can withstand the trampling effects of foot traffic. This tree quietly serves an important role in anchoring the soil and providing a cornucopia o..
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