Speakers will highlight Native Plant Week

Experts on the natural world of Texas will be speaking in Burnet on Saturday, Oct. 8, as part of the celebration of Native Plant Week by the Highland Lakes Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

A sale of native plants, with members of the organization there to answer questions about the plants they and Wright’s Nursery have grown, will be going on 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Farmers Market on the Burnet courthouse square.

The speakers, Valerie Bugh and Randy Johnson, will make presentations at the Herman Brown Free Library, also on the square, at 100 East Washington Street.

Valerie Bugh

At 9:30 a.m., Bugh will present “Floral Fauna.” At 11 a.m., Johnson's topic will be “Pollinators and Natives: An Ancient Marriage.

“There is more going on in your garden than you might ever imagine,” says Bugh. “While it is well known that flowers lure such showy visitors as hummingbirds and butterflies, there is a lot more that occurs within this unique habitat.”

Her talk will cover the wide range of arthropods that utilize blossoms as a place to find food and mates, as well as the relationships and interactions that occur between species.

Bugh is a local naturalist specializing in the arthropods of the Austin area, with interests in taxonomy and photography. She runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, teaches entomology courses, provides insect/spider identifications and gives talks to local organizations. She is the author of pocket guides to "Butterflies of Central Texas," "Spiders of Texas" and her own website www.austinbug.com.

Randy Johnson

Johnson will discuss the intimate and ancient relationship between native plants and pollinators. Flowering plants and pollinators co-evolved with and for each other and that relationship is the foundation for almost every terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. The speaker will discuss alarming loss of ecosystems and biodiversity that support this relationship, the worst threats and common-sense solutions for mitigating some of the losses.

Johnson earned a degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences at Texas A&M University. He is the past director of horticulture at Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas and current horticulture manager at the Dallas Zoo.

Through his personal business, 'Randy Johnson Organics,' he grows and sells native plants and offers consulting services on a wide range of subjects including native plants, propagation, garden design and organic horticulture. He serves on the board of directors at Peckerwood Gardens in Hempstead and the Lake Highlands Community Garden in Dallas. He is the past president and current vice-president of the Dallas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas and treasurer of the Blackland Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas.

Proceeds from the Oct. 8 plant sale will be used to establish a native landscape for the newest Habitat for Humanity home.

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