Posted by: Highland landscaping | February 8, 2018

February 2018


February 2018                                       EDITION 108

817-488-2718  Phone |


    February is the month we may begin to experience the first signs of Spring.  In some areas, daffodils and other bulb plants can be seen stretching tender arms from the ground. Their emergence is the first sign that our other bloomers will soon awaken from their winter slumber. This is a good time to provide nutrients to the soil that will give them a healthy start for a robust growing season ahead. A fresh layer of mulch will add protection for any frost or freezing temperatures we may still have, and retain moisture and nutrients in the soil that benefit our plants.


   By now, most people have heard the news reports of how large companies are planning to use tax savings from the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (H.R.1). Plans are underway to give employees bonuses, raise pay schedules, increase benefits, and/or make large charitable or civic contributions. We don’t hear too much about small business owners, and what impact this new legislation will have on their business.  Across the United States, 99% of all U.S. Businesses are small businesses that make-up 50% of the GDP, and create two thirds of all new jobs.

 The boost to small businesses actually began in early 2017. The President promised prior to the November, 2016 election, he planned to review all regulations on the books and repeal all those that were prohibiting business growth. There were regulations on the books that, while they may have been noble at the time instituted, no longer served a purpose in today’s business climate. The goal was to repeal three regulations for each new one instituted. The ratio through 2017 was actually 22:1, and there are still mountains of regulations to review. Small businesses, in particular, felt some relief immediately. The business atmosphere was becoming clear and bright.

From the National Federation of Independent Business, we learn that three of the top five issues for small business owners in Texas are: Tax relief, regulatory relief and workforce development.  All three have been addressed, or are in progress. On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed  “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” (H.R.1) into law. It had been more than 30 years since Congress last reformed the tax code. Though personal tax rates are temporary (2025), business rates were lowered permanently.  The tax code lowers a business’ taxable income by 20%, thus lowering their tax burden by 20%. The new law also repeals the Obamacare Individual Mandate Penalty Tax, effective January 1, 2019.

Small business owners are now able to hire more employees, move part-time workers to full-time, spend more on employee development, expand the size and scope of their business, increase inventory, purchase more equipment, and create a more competitive business.  The new climate has unleashed the potential and energy of American small businesses!

Some interesting statistics on small businesses in Texas is there are 2.1 million firms that compose 97% of all business in the state.  Also, 80% of all business is classified as “Non-Employer”. From the Small Business Administration we learn that Texas has the fourth fastest growth rate for woman business ownership in America.

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything

without losing your temper or

 your self-confidence”

                              – Robert Frost


Plant trivia

What flowering plant is called the “Rose of Winter”? (look for the answer at the end of our blog)

Featured project


Highland completed a project to enhance and update the Southlake Chamber of Commerce office. Older or overgrown landscaping can date a facility. Outdated landscaping can reflect poorly on the organization as a whole. When implementing a new landscape, mature size, correct watering needs, and the amount of sun each area will get throughout a day are all very important factors to consider.Picture3

For this property, we incorporated all native and well adapted plant types that will work and thrive together to create a drought tolerant and low maintenance landscape. To help the issue of multiple dead grass areas, river rocks were placed to keep the landscape looking fresh and still keep that Native Texas design. Many of the native plants and grasses seen in this landscape design will fill in within the first two seasons of planting, each year the areas will become more lush and beautiful. The variegated Yuccas and seasonal color will keep the property colorful year round and with the addition of pottery, it not only adds character but allows  the client to be as bold or as subtle as they may wish.


Brooke Sugden Photography : 817-948-6428

 Seasonal color this month…

Camellia Japonica, Crocus, Daffodils, Dianthus,  Hyacinths, Italian Jasmine, Paperwhites, Snapdragons, Winter Honeysuckle, Flowering Quince

February landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape and hardscape projects
  • Prune mistletoe while trees are dormant
  • Plant deciduous shrubs and ornamentals
  • Fertilize landscape beds and gardens
  • Spread compost in beds and gardens
  • Plant early Spring vegetables
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  •  Schedule yard clean-up
  •  Water landscape beds before a freeze

Trivia answer

Camellia Japonica

Featured plant—Daffodil


Daffodil (Narcissus),a member of the Amaryllis family,   is also known as narcissus, jonquil and daffadowndilly.  First noted on the Iberian peninsula and southwest Europe, daffodils are native to northern parts of Africa and western parts of Asia and the Mediterranean.  Today, we find them as a hardy perennial in most areas of North America, except Southern Florida.   Daffodils need cool soil during winter months for the bulb to begin developing the flower, stem and leaves prior to their emergence.

This easy-care  plant can be grown indoors and out. When the bulbs are planted in the fall, the daffodil will be the first flower to sprout in the late Winter or early Spring. They are one of the rare species that can grow up through snow.  Their emergence announces the impending transition to Spring and the awakening of our dormant winter sleepers.

Flowers sprout from a leafless stem that may be 6-20 inches in height, depending on the variety. The flower has a central  trumpet-shaped corona with six surrounding petals. Traditionally, daffodils are yellow or white;  but with 13,000 hybrids and 25,000 named varieties today, many options exist.  Each stem bears from 1-20 blooms.  One to three basal leaves emerge from the bulb. The leaves are light green to blue-green with a waxy appearance.  Daffodils do well in full sun to partial shade;  and bloom from six weeks to six months (depending on the growing conditions).Picture10

The history of the daffodil dates back long before ancient Rome.  About 400 B.C. Hippocrates recommended narcissus oil for the treatment of certain cancers.  This use carried through and was expanded by Ancient Romans.  By 200-300 B.C. they were being cultivated by the Romans. Both medicinally and botanically, the history of the daffodil has been rich.

In the early 1600’s, the English introduced this prized flower to the gardening world. It was formally described by Carl Linnaeus in his Species Plantorum (see our January, 2017 edition).  Great Britain soon prized the daffodil highly, and does to this day.  It is the National Symbol for Wales, and the symbol for numerous entities and meanings in the UK.  The Daffodil Society of Great Britain was established in 1898;  and is still active today. It is also the symbol of Marie Curie cancer care in the UK, as well as other countries.

Research began in 2010, using a natural compound in daffodil bulbs, that shows promise in treating aggressive forms of cancer without adversely affecting normal cells. Researchers hope to have a drug on the market within the next few years. The drug Galantamine, is used to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It increases a natural substance in the brain required for thought and memory. Galantamine is obtained from the bulbs and flowers of daffodils, as well as a few other plants that fall in the Amaryllis family. The rich history of the daffodil, its healing properties and its natural beauty explain why it is a highly prized Gift from God.


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