by Sara Riggs
Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT)
If you have driven through the Texas hill country in the spring, you know just what a beautiful show our native plants can put on.
Why then do so many of our friends and neighbors (and dare we say it) we ourselves insist on moving into this area and trying to make yards that look exactly like the suburbs in Houston, San Antonio, Northern Virginia or wherever we moved from?
Because this is probably from a lack of knowledge about using native plants in home landscapes, NPSOT is working to educate us all.
The Native Landscape Certification Program is one such effort. The Level 1 class of the program will be offered at the Tye Preston Memorial Library on May 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional courses are available or under development.
Level 1 is Introduction to Native Landscapes. Anyone regardless of knowledge level or background is welcome to take this class.
It would be especially helpful for landowners who are planning to build in the hill country, current homeowners and landscape professionals. (Landscape professionals may take an exam at the end of the class to receive continuing education hours.)
In this class students will:
- Learn the value of including and preserving native plants in landscapes.
- Discover the differences between sustainable and conventional development.
- Understand your Texas vegetation region and soil.
- Become familiar with 45 native Texas plants recommended for your landscape and five invasive plants to avoid.
The course includes a classroom session and an outdoor plant knowledge walk.
Registration for the course and more information about it may be found here. The $37 registration fee includes snacks and beverages. Box lunches will be available to buy.
Instructors Deedy Wright and Melodie Fryar
Deedy Wright has been a NPSOT member for over 20 years, serving in many capacities within the organization. She has taught native plant classes for the Guadalupe Master Gardens for several years as well as adult continuing education classes on Xeriscaping Your Yard. She received the NPSOT President’s Award in 2013 for service to the Society.
Melodie Fryar has been in the New Braunfels native plant business 24 years. She and her husband currently own and operate NativeScapes Landscaping where she designs and installs unique and environmentally sound landscapes. Over the ensuing years she has educated anyone who will listen about the benefits of using native plants and working with the natural environment to create a landscape that is not only sustainable but beneficial as well.