Posted by: Highland landscaping | January 11, 2019

January 2019


January 2019                                      EDITION 119

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  This month we present a continuation on the subject of early botanists that we began in January, 2018.  In that article, which can be viewed on our website, Facebook page and blog, we gave some basic information that started with Theophrastus (350-287 BC) and included Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) and the importance of their work.  In this issue we look at the beginning of this field known as “botany”.  Botany is the study of plant life.  The term “botany” comes from the Ancient Greek “botane”, which means “pasture”, “grass” or “fodder”.

The study of plants began at the beginning of time.  Humans, as hunters and gatherers, foraged the land for what could be eaten or not eaten, and what could be used medicinally.  Since scientists date the Neolithic Revolution back some 12,000 years ago, we can only guess that some of their knowledge was instinctual;  just as wild animals today seem to have natural instincts about which plants are poisonous to them.   In the earliest of times, the present day term “herbalism” describes human’s study of plant life.  In those early civilizations,  the information they gained would have been passed by word-of-mouth or folklore.  Evidence of their findings has been found in archeological discoveries, including the remains of ancient plants, seeds, etc.  The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants was found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, dated at approximately 5000 years old.  It contained over 250 plants.

The earliest recorded examples of  botanical work are thought to have been from India, dating prior to 1100 BC.

As people depended on plants for survival,  they studied the growing seasons (i.e., when these plants would be “in season”), and the connection with soil and water.   The nomadic lifestyle settled into communities, and their observations of plant life were tested.  It was during this Agricultural Revolution that intentional farming was conceptualized and born.  Humans determined which plants would become their staple crops for food, medicine, or fibers.  It was also during this time that records of their gained knowledge give us some insight into those earliest days, and what humans were able to achieve.

Through Ancient Greece and beyond, the scientific field of botany  was herbalism. It was the study and use of plants for healing.   As we shared in the January, 2018 edition,  Theophrastus, the “Father of Botany”, recorded his plant studies in two major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants.

In the works of Hippocrates (459-370 BC) are 300 medicinal plants that are classified by their physiological action.  Western culture considers Hippocrates the “Father of Medicine”.  He is credited as the author of the Hippocratic Oath;  but it has been altered so many times since Hippocrates’ writing that his authorship has been challenged.   When one considers that Hippocrates did not have the advantage of our modern diagnostic tools,  what instincts or methods did he have to successfully diagnose, prescribe the correct herb, and heal?

Pedanius Dioscorides (40–90 AD), a Greek physician and pharmacologist, wrote a five-volume encyclopedia on herbal medicine, De Materia Medica, in the middle of the first century.  Known as “the father of pharmacology”,  discords gave detailed descriptions of 657 plants.  Included in  the information was a description of the external appearance, how to collect, how to make medicinal preparations, and their therapeutic value.

Throughout history, the knowledge and discoveries of these early “botanists” has been a strong foundation for humans to continue to build on.

“We cannot solve our problems

with the same thinking

we used when we created them.”

– Albert Einstein


Plant trivia

The name of which flower on our seasonal color list means thought or remembrance? (look for the answer at the end of our blog)


Featured project


 Not getting enough privacy for your home or business? Try adding a variety of plants and trees to your property. Highland took on the challenge of providing privacy to an open backyard with surrounding neighbors. By strategically placing evergreen trees like Yaupon hollies, Magnolias, and Live Oaks, we were able to create a year round barrier of privacy for their pool and lounge area. To add in more privacy and color, we placed native ornamental trees in front ,so when they bloom they are easy to see but when they are dormant they do not lose any of their privacy.  By creating two new beds, we have resolved lower privacy needs.  The use of native plants not only made their new landscape low maintenance, it provided additional screening below the tree canopies. Boulders were also added to provide dimension and uniqueness to the backyard.


Brooke Sugden Photography : 817-948-6428


We send people all over the world doing mission work, and those are wonderful missions, but we often overlook the world’s largest mission field that most of us enter into every day… the business world.  Whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or just walking into the store to buy a pair of shoes, there are opportunities to share your faith and share God’s love with those that you encounter.

On January 25th come and hear from our allstar line-up including Grant Teaff former head coach of Baylor University, Traci Bernard president of Texas Health Hospital, Mark Mednansky former CEO of Del Frisco’s companies, John Terrell VP of Commercial Development at DFW Airport and former Mayor Southlake, Veronica Cochran CEO of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, and Dr. John to learn how to serve the Lord and grow The Kingdom through the business you do.

Growing The Kingdom… in business. This is our Mission in the Marketplace!

For more information or to register for this event, go to


 Seasonal color this month…

Beets, Cabbages, Kales, Lenten Rose, Mustard, Pansies,Violas


  At this, the advent of a new year, we are thankful for the many blessings of the previous year. As our bloomers take a much deserved slumber, we look forward to what 2019 brings.  New technologies in the Green Industry are being studied and reviewed; Growers are gearing up to reveal new cultivars; Business practices are being studied and evaluated for efficiency and better customer service; and, we wait for that first early hint of color that reaches out of the soil.


January Landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape and hardscape projects
  • Plant winter seasonal color
  • Cut-back Liriope and ornamental grasses
  • Plant trees and shrubs
  • Spray shrubs and ornamentals with dormant oil
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  • Schedule yard clean-up
  • Purchase winter goods like frost cloth and ice melt
  • Bring tropical plants into garage for freezing temperatures
  • Water landscape beds before a freeze
  • Wrap palms before a deep freeze


Trivia Answer


Featured plant—LENTEN ROSE

picture6Lenten Rose (hellebores orientallis), is a member of the buttercup family.  The evergreen  plant (zones 4-9), native to Turkey and Caucasus, blooms late winter to early spring.  First blooms typically appear with the advent of the Christian season of Lent;  thus, the name “Lenten Rose”.  The shape of the buds resembles a rose bud, but the plant is not a rose.

Growing directly from a rhizome, evergreen hand-shaped leathery foliage  with coarsely cut margins adds color and texture to the landscape year around.   The clumps can reach 2’ wide and 1’ tall.  Hardy in braving frost and snow, the leaves may look stressed.  At first exposure to sunlight, however, the leaves perk up again.

Though some hellebores species produce flowers on stems with various leaf patterns, the Lenten Rose grows directly from the rhizome.   Blooms range from 2—3 1/2”.  The flower consists of five petal-like sepals that protect the actual petals in the center of the bloom.  These cup-shaped petals hold nectar, and are sometimes referred to as “nectaries”.  The sepals do not fall from the plant, but remain in bloom for up to three months.  In our area, the blooms may remain on the plant  from February into May.

A partial to full-shade plant in our region, warmer temperatures slow the plants growth during summer months.  It will resume growth in the cooler fall temperatures and prepare for its early blooms in late winter.  The Lenten Rose is a stunning picture7companion to other shade-loving evergreens  that do well under the canopy of large trees.   The foliage adds interest on its own;  and,  the flowers bring color to an otherwise winter-toned  landscape.  Cultivars are grown in a wide range of colors, from white to black (pictures below).  Lenten Rose was named the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2005 by the Perennial Plant Association.

With a rich history that dates to at least 1400 BC, much has been written about hellebores.  Though poisonous, it was originally grown for herbal medicine as an emetic and to “clear the mind of illness”. The toxic substance that the plant produces to protect itself from predators is actually being studied today for use as an anticancer agent, and for other diseases dependent on cell proliferation.


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