By Bryan Beck, 2017
The native plant garden at the Plano Heritage Farmstead Museum has been through a lot in the past month or so. First, came the boot-deep snows and the bone-chilling cold. Next was the eighty-degree temperatures that we had at the end of February. Then hail and even fog reared their ugly heads. And, most recently we have seen the pre-April showers and wind that we are accustomed to getting around here. But none of these plagues could stunt the emergence of our wonderful prairie natives at the Farmstead!
Or so we thought… The middle of March brought about the one plague that the Farmstead garden hadn’t been accustomed to since its inception. Part of the garden was mistakenly weed-whacked by some overly zealous maintenance workers! Now, I don’t blame them totally… If someone gave me a weed eater, and some gasoline and told me to go whack back some weeds I’d do it, too. Unfortunately, the team in charge of upkeep at the Farmstead haven’t had a Master Naturalist class in a while and had a hard time distinguishing between the dandelions and the Texas Star. It was harder to discern the Dallas grass from the Indian grass, and our coneflowers were mistaken for clover flowers in a large patch of the garden. Not all the garden suffered cutbacks (pun intended), but a fair amount of our native sons and daughters were taken to the ground by the whirling weed machine.
So, if you see Lu Anne, Deb, Logan, or the Nappers (our regulars) at a virtual meeting, put a virtual arm around them and tell them it’ll be ok. It’s a good thing that our Texas native plants are as tough as the conditions they are raised under. Remember, our prairie is maintained by disturbance. Buffalo, bison, fire, and humanity has all threatened these plants in the past. And, there are few worse disturbances than the mechanized mayhem that happened at the Farmstead. But know that the plants’ roots are strong, and their resilience is even stronger. Please make plans to come out to the Plano Heritage Farmstead garden later in the Spring to enjoy the rehabilitated and rejuvenated plants and people that call our Blackland Prairie home!