Posted by: Highland landscaping | January 8, 2018

January 2018


January 2018                                       EDITION 107

817-488-2718  Phone |


  As early as 700 BC when Janus (or Januarius) was added to the Roman calendar, January is thought to have been the mark for new beginnings or passageways.  Many today strive to add positive momentum to their lives;  whether through a New Year’s resolution, or the desire to try new ideas to move their business to a new level.  While lawns and many of our bloomers rest in their winter dormant slumber, our staff is at work seeking new answers to landscape issues we see in North Texas.  The quest for keeping up with the latest technology in the Green Industry, and examining more native and adapted plants, is unending. Our staff strives to increase “best practices” to share with our customers and others in the industry.


   Every month as we do research on our featured plant (page four), we attempt to bring some amount of historical information.  This month, our plant is a cultivar.  The cultivation of new plants that have more desirable features for today’s landscapes would not be possible without the centuries of botanists, physicians and naturalists that came before us.  Many have made significant discoveries and contributions along the way.   In previous plant articles, we have recognized those who made contributions that involved the plant presented. Others, like Robert Hooke (1635-1703) are not usually thought of in terms of plant life.  However, Hooke, an English naturalist, was the first known to discover cells in living plant tissue using a microscope.

During the life of Aristotle (384-322 BC) plants were seen as sources of nutrition and healing.  His student and friend, Theophrastus( 350-287 BC) , was the first to show curiosity about the plants themselves. His writings show that he was interested in plant structure, plants found in other countries, reproduction, growth, etc. In Historia Plantarum (Enquiry into Plants) and Causae Plantarum (Causes of Plants), Theophrastus described plants by their uses, and tried to classify plants by how they reproduced.  It was a first in the field of botany. Historia Plantarum was originally ten volumes (nine still exist) that described his work with 500 plants.  Some names that he gave plants, like  “Asparagus”, are still used today. Theophrastus is known as “The Father of Botany”.

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778),  a Swedish physician, botanist and naturalist, is known as “The Father of Taxonomy”.   His observations and curiosity led to his ideas for organizing and classifying the natural world or “the system of nature”.  Linnaeus recognized  the animal kingdom (Regnum animale), the plant kingdom (Regnum vegetabile) and the mineral kingdom (Regnum lapideum).  In seeking to find a means to classify hierarchy in nature, Linnaeus identified and divided each kingdom into classes, orders, genera and species.  In the plant kingdom, his observations, by which he classified the roughly 5900 plant species of his time, is known as binomial (or binary) nomenclature. This system first identifies the genus.  As a starting point, each kingdom (animal, plant and mineral) were a genus.  Humans are of the genus “Homo” (with addition of species, “Homo sapiens”). Within the plant kingdom, Linnaeus initially grouped plants into numerous genera based on a plant’s sexual system. Though his system now serves as the foundation on which later amendments were made by others,  it established a consistency on which to build and grow the knowledge base we have today.  His work is detailed in Species Plantarum, which is a compilation of numerous writings along his journey. The first edition was published in 1753.  It listed every species of plant known at the time.  It included 5940 plants by name. Later editions came in 1763 and 1764;  but the fifth and final was not published until 1800 (22 years after Linnaeus’ death).

As we consider the curiosity and determination that drove these early botanists and consider the paths of many others along the way, the ability today for cultivating plants for particular traits inspires “anything is possible”.

“Our greatest gift

is not in never falling,


in rising every time we fall.”

                      – Confucius

Plant trivia

The leaves of the lemon balm plant are used in alternative medicine for what purposes?(look for the answer at the end of our blog)

Featured project



Highland Landscaping’s featured project of the month is a new phase for the beautiful Grubbs Nissan Dealership in Bedford. The mixture of  shrubs and native Texan plants keeps this property low maintenance, drought tolerant, and thriving  year round. The seasonal color along with perennials look marvelous in their blooming seasons due to  the full sun the property receives throughout the day. Grubbs  Nissan was recently recognized with the Beautification of Bedford Award. Highland Landscaping is very grateful that we could help contribute to Grubbs Nissan’s amazing honor of receiving the award for their superior landscaping and Eco-friendly environment!


 Seasonal color this month…

Beets, Cabbages, Chard, Kale, Lenten Rose, Mustard, Pansies,Violas

January landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape and hardscape projects
  • Plant winter seasonal color
  • Plant trees and shrubs
  • Cut-back Liriope and ornamental grasses
  • Spray shrubs and ornamentals with dormant oil
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  • Schedule yard clean-up

Trivia answer

As a sleep aid and digestive aid



Ligustrum Sinense “Sunshine” PP20379, is a cultivar that offers year-round interest in USDA zones 6-10. Hardy to –10  ͦF, this evergreen shrub displays golden yellow foliage when it is at home in a sunny location.  “Sunshine” is a truly descriptive name for this plant.  In a location that lends too much shade, its color will fade to a light green.  It has low water needs once established, which places it in the Water-Wise community.

Compact in size (3-6’ in height X 3-4’ in width), Sunshine ligustrum lends itself to many landscape plans and in container plantings.  It stands out as an accent plant, and draws attention to any setting where it may be used as a border plant, hedge, edging, or in mass plantings.  It can be trimmed and shaped to one’s desire, and is often seen in topiary form.  As a container plant, it can grow in most any zone, and (if needed) taken inside during the winter.  A slow grower, it takes about 10 years for Sunshine to reach its full size. Picture9

“Sterile”, “non-invasive”, and “non re-seeding” were some of the goals in the development of this cultivar.  Since it is non-blooming,  allergy sufferers find this a good choice for color in the garden.   Developed in 2002, by Thomas P. McCracken in Zebulon, North Carolina,  Sunshine was granted a U.S. Plant Patent (PP20379) in 2009.

Sunshine is a member of the Southern Living® Plant Collection.  The Collection is a compilation of plants selected specifically for our Southern climate.  Southern Living® Magazine, in partnership with Plant Development Services, Inc., partnered  to develop new plants that are individually selected for their unique ability to solve specific landscape challenges in the South.  The Collection was introduced in the Spring of 2008 after years of plant evaluations, trials and research.  The Dallas Arboretum named “Sunshine” Ligustrum its Plant of the Month in February, 2013.


For our readers who choose to rake leaves, or who  need to schedule yard clean-ups, area cities still have dates on the calendar for their Annual Leaf Recycling Programs.   Check your city website for dates and general information on when yard debris will be picked-up in your area.


Picture13          Picture14        Picture15  Picture16


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