Wildflower Wire

APRIL 2014    
The Wildflower Wire is a monthly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Wildflower Center. It includes upcoming events, Center news and membership specials. Gardeners, check out the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants section. Learn more about our e-newsletters.
Spring Plant Sale & Gardening Festival
Members Preview Friday, April 11
Public Sale Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13

The Spring Plant Sale is a great time to add new foliage to your yard and see Texas bluebonnets and other blooms on site. Select from nearly 300 native plant species for sale, including Carolina larkspur, shade-loving plants such as heart-leaf skullcap, and a trademarked cultivar of rusty blackhaw viburnum named after Lady Bird Johnson. At Members Preview Friday from 1 to 7 p.m., Mr. Smarty Plants answers questions and visitors can hear an 11:30 a.m. talk about agaves followed by the festival’s first book signing (see What’s In Store for details). The public sale 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday includes garden tours and storytimes in the Little House. Talk with experts throughout the festival about the native lawn option Habiturf®, and kids can make ecopots to bring home. Sponsored by KUT 90.5 and KLBJ News Radio 590 AM.

View a plant list and more festival details


Web Feature:
Migratory Matters
Gardening to help monarchs

Like most butterflies, monarchs depend on just a few families of native plants for food. Populations of the world’s only migrating insect are at an all-time low. To help them out, the Center’s horticulture director offers tips for boosting monarchs’ survival by providing milkweed and nectar plants.

Read More


Shou Ping Watercolors
Saturday, April 5 through late May

Plan to be amazed by the works of Shou Ping in the McDermott Learning Center. This popular artist brings her beautiful watercolors of butterflies, wildflowers and other natural subjects to the Center once again. Shou Ping creates intricate paintings by cutting watercolored paper into 3-D sculptures of her subjects like you’ve never seen before. She has given demonstrations to dozens of art groups, schools and organizations in the state. And she has taken part in more than 50 art shows and received numerous awards. You can meet this talented artist at her exhibit the afternoon of April 5 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Learn more

Wildflower Photo Exhibit
Saturday, April 19 through late May

Enjoy photos from past spring issues of Texas Highways magazine in the McDermott Learning Center. The exhibit is expanded from previous years, and commemorates the publication's 40th anniversary.

Learn more about current exhibits

Native Plant Spring Symposium
Saturday, April 26

If you’ve ever wanted to understand the research that explains why native plants matter, come hear award-winning author Doug Tallamy speak during this year’s Native Plant Spring Symposium. Also learn about new developments at the Wildflower Center, hummingbirds of Texas, the state’s latest prairie preserve and its remarkable native plants. Register before April 18 for $10 off on the $65 fee for the symposium sponsored by the Native Plant Society of Texas and the Wildflower Center.

See details and register

Spring Go Native U Offerings
Build your native, artistic skills

The Wildflower Center’s spring educational offerings continue with a class on Integrated Pest Management April 5 as the last of a series on developing your own native garden (it can be taken by itself). A class on the native plants of Texas will also be offered April 6. And those who took the complete Native Plant Gardening series can augment their designs in a two-day studio April 21 and 22. Plus the popular Art in Nature series begins April 26. It will cover basic aspects of nature photography, watercolors, floral silk painting, ink painting and botanical illustration.

Learn more and register

Support Texas Environmental Organizations
H-E-B coupon promotion

H-E-B has selected EarthShare of Texas to benefit from its April in-store coupon promotion in recognition of Earth Day. Store customers can tear off and add check-out coupons worth $1, $3 or $5 to their total bill. The Wildflower Center is a member of Earth Share of Texas and will get a share of every dollar contributed. Look for the EarthShare of Texas display and tear-off coupons at the check-out stands in H-E-B and Central Market stores beginning this month. And help support the Wildflower Center, EarthShare of Texas and the Texas environment!

Family Garden Fun
Learn more, and help plant

Wondering what the Luci and Ian Family Garden will offer come May? Our education staff and volunteers will answer questions at a booth at the SFC Farmers’ Market – Downtown on April 19 and at Austin Earth Day April 26. And you can see the garden yourself while helping add plants around the Family Garden's Play Lawn. Volunteers are needed Thursday, April 17 from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m., and the same morning hours Friday, April 18. Advanced sign-up required. Contact Carrie at cmcdonald@wildflower.org to RSVP and receive details.

Learn more about the Family Garden

Nature-inspired Sculptures
Through late May

John Christensen’s exhibit of 10 abstract sculptures will remain amid the Center’s flowering gardens through end of May. He developed his nature-inspired works from resin, steel, bronze, limestone, concrete and other materials. The sculptor has work on permanent display in Austin and elsewhere, and drew inspiration for these stately pieces from natural science, metaphysics, literature and history.

Learn more about current exhibits

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
Seeds to scatter on lawns

Which seeds are good to throw and scatter on lawns or garden beds? Seeds that germinate easily, I suppose?

Read Smarty Plants' answer

What's in Store

April 11, 11:30 a.m.: During the Members Preview sale at the Spring Plant Sale, hear a talk about agaves in the Auditorium by Lucinda Hutson, author of Viva Tequila! She signs her book afterward in the store until 2 p.m.

April 12: During the public portion of the Spring Plant Sale, Matt Turner talks in the Auditorium about Remarkable Plants of Texas at noon, and signs the book afterward until 3 p.m. Susan Wittig Albert signs her new mystery, Death Come Quickly. James Truchard signs Memories from a Hill Country Garden, and artist Joy Fisher Hein signs our Wildflower Days™ 2014 art print and T-shirt, all from 1 to 3 p.m.

April 13, 1 to 4 p.m.: Store book signings continue at Sunday’s Plant Sale, when Louann Temple signs her new young adult book, Lady Bird Johnson: Deeds Not Words. Also, Scott Roberts signs the Salt Lick Cookbook, and Sara Barnard signs The ABCs of Texas Plants.

April 19 & 20: The children’s book, Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers, will be 10 percent off on Easter weekend, and the Center and store are open Easter Sunday.

April 21 to 25: Receive 20 percent off all environmental books the week of Earth Day.

April 26, 1 to 4 p.m.: Carol Toole signs Tara’s Spring Wish.

Shop our online store

Coming in May:
Join Us for the Wildflower Gala and Silent Art Auction
Friday, May 2

Please join us on May 2 for the 2014 Gala and Silent Art Auction honoring Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin and the other generous donors who have made possible the development of the Luci and Ian Family Garden, opening May 4. This new garden, designed by noted landscape architect W. Gary Smith, is the ideal place for hands-on, creative nature play for the whole family among native plants and woodlands. The Wildflower Gala and Silent Art Auction features good food, great conversations and extraordinary art, all in the beautiful setting of the Wildflower Center courtyard and gardens.

This elegant, eco-friendly gathering showcases the Wildflower Center’s lovely gardens and our leadership work in environmental sustainability through the use of native plants. The gala will include a dinner catered by the Four Seasons featuring a locally-sourced, sustainable menu. Our renowned Silent Art Auction offers a stunning collection of more than 40 nature-themed pieces contributed from Texas and beyond. The Wildflower Center receives no regular support from UT or the government. The Gala provides nearly half of our annual philanthropic support, so your gift to the Wildflower Center through this premier event is vitally important. Please consider a gift to support our work even if you can’t attend. For details, ticket and table prices or to preview the fabulous art available at the auction.

Luci and Ian Family Garden Members Preview
Saturday, May 3

Center members can get a sneak peak at the new Luci and Ian Family Garden before its public opening. Wander through the Metamorphosis Maze, check out the Hill Country Grotto, Nature's Spiral and other features from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 3. Enjoy live music, kids’ activities and much more. Not a member? Sign up for discounted membership online by April 30 using Promo Code FGOTH2, or join onsite May 3rd!

Join now!

Luci and Ian Family Garden Grand Opening
Sunday, May 4

Celebrate the opening of this 4.5 acre wonderland where kids can discover nature while having fun at unique interactive features. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., we offer music, storytelling, food, children’s activities and artist and author appearances.

Learn more about the Family Garden


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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave
Austin, Texas 78739

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