Posted by: Highland landscaping | June 19, 2019

May/ June 2019


May/June 2019                                      EDITION 123

817-488-2718  Phone |



    In the March and April, 2019 issues of this newsletter, we presented information related to the condition of the U.S. infrastructure.  The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues a report card on the  16 elements of the U.S. infrastructure every four years.   The last report was issued in 2017.    The United States Congress does not create legislation to address all infrastructure issues and funding under one act, but rather multiple committees in both the House and Senate work various components of each of the elements needing attention.  Numerous bills focusing on any given issue may be presented and sent to the appropriate sub-committee for discussion.  It can be a long, slow process before any legislation is actually brought to the floor for debate.

The issue of water safety is a very complex issue.  It involves standards for safe drinking water, as well as wastewater, stormwater, water pollution, etc.  Various aspects of each element for water safety may involve numerous Congressional committees.  As an example, the basic infrastructure for drinking water and wastewater require attention to pipes, treatment plants, etc.  There are over one million miles of water lines in the United States today.  In 2017, the ASCE graded the nation’s drinking water with a “D”.  They report that there are, on average, 240,000 water main breaks every year.  Many of the water pipes were laid in the early to mid-20th century.  This means many have surpassed their 75 to 100-year life span.  The ASCE estimates that the amount of treated drinking water lost to leaks would meet the needs of 15 million households.

News reports in various cities across the nation have illustrated problems with aging pipes, as well as contaminated water from other causes.  Senate Bill 3021(115) was signed by President Donald J. Trump on October 23, 2018 authorizing $3 billion to de-authorize and re-evaluate projects pertaining to this issue from before 2007.  These are projects that were never planned or designed yet.   In addition, H.R. 1497, Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2019 was introduced March 5, 2019.  Referred to the Sub Committee on Water Resources and Environment, it would designate $4 billion per year, 2020-2024, to local communities to bring their water infrastructure into compliance with the Clean Water Act.  The Federal Government currently bears less than 5% of the financial load.  Local ratepayers must fund the balance.

As stated previously , water safety is a complex issue;  and funding for these projects is massive.  In addition to acts of Congress, numerous governmental agencies must play a role, as well,  if the current ASCE grade  is to improve.

This month, we also discuss two topics that are current in the news;  High-speed railroads and 5 G.    When the state of California began formulating ideas for a high-speed transit system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the cost was projected to be $33.6 billion.  After amassing $10 B from tax payer bonds, and $3.5 B in Federal funding, California Governor Gavin Newsom called off the project when cost estimates hit $77 B.  Texas is currently engaged in a battle on the proposed high-speed railroad between Dallas and Houston.  The project of Texas Central Partners LLC is  meeting “bumps in the road” from the Texas Legislature.  Of great concern to many Texans and legislators is that Texas Central believes it has the right to condemn land that land owners are unwilling to sell.   Numerous bills filed in this year’s legislative session are anti-rail.  In addition, Texans would want to see the project fully funded before any work begins.

As we approach the end of this decade, 5G technology is in the news daily.  This technology is the next-generation of mobile internet networking.  The larger phone companies in the U.S., along with the larger internet vendors, are racing to cross the finish line.  As the usage of networks increase, the current LTE system cannot support additional demands and sustain connectivity speed.  5G ties current loads together more efficiently and with far greater speed than is currently possible.

“True faith is not

 a leap in the dark;

It is

 a leap into the light.”

                         – Eric Metaxas


Plant trivia

What plant below is also known as “Sapphire Flower”? (look for the answer at the end of our blog)


Featured project


Highland completed a residential renovation project this month. With the unprecedented amount of rain we have received this spring, the run-off tends to wash away mulch from their beds and into the yard. A great solution we use, is transforming the beds from mulch to river rock or gravel. Which in this project, we used Aztec gravel. The rock not only stays in place when it rains, but it is also a great solution to drainage problems. In this project, we removed a number of roses that had rosette disease, and replaced them with large moss boulders to make this landscape a little less high maintenance but still keep a unique look.



Brooke Sugden Photography : 817-948-6428

 Seasonal color this month…

Summer phlox, Hydrangeas, Magnolia, water lilies, Lythrum, Echinacea, Yarrow, Oleander, Yucca, Turks Cap, Perennial Salvias, Abelia, Flowering Tobacco, Hardy Hibiscus, Smoke Tree, Vitex

May June Landscape Tasks:

  • Plant summer flowers
  • Plant late-spring/summer garden
  • Plant trees, shrubs, groundcovers
  • Plant tropical and perennial plants
  • Feed lawn
  • Apply post-emergent for weeds
  • Run -through sprinkler system
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after blooms fall
  • Fertilize landscape beds
  • Trim cannas and banana trees
  • Increase irrigation for hot weather

BestofLogo_76092 (002)

We are excited to announce that Highland Landscaping was awarded “Best Landscape Design “Company”!


Trivia Answer


Featured plant—VERBENA

Picture1Verbena (Verbenaceae), also known as vervain, holywort and herb of the cross, is native to the Americas and Asia.  This sun loving, drought tolerant garden staple may be found in 250 varieties, cultivated as both annuals and perennials. Perennials varieties  are cold hardy in zones 5-11.  Common verbenas today are hybrids of many different species.

Common verbena found in North Texas have few requirements for robust growth.  A sunny location that allows 8-10 hours of sunlight each day, and well-drained soil are the basic requirements.   Presuming one is planting healthy plants in the appropriate locations, verbena will bloom from early summer right into fall.  Fern-like, semi-woody foliage sprouts leaves that are toothed, lobed or dissected. Picture2 The foliage is a deep, rich green in color.  At the end of each stem sprouts a flower of dense spikes, each spike having five petals.  Verbena is available in blue, purple, red, white, pink, orange and bi-colored flowers.  Pre-cultivars, the early verbena were thought to be purple only, as described by Carl Linnaeus in Genera Plantarum (1753).  However, Linnaeus is also noteable for his emphasis that plants (flora), like fauna, are not the same in all climates, soils, latitudes, etc.  Hippocrates used verbena for fevers, nervous conditions and wounds.  In addition, stomach aches, coughs and mental illness, depending on the color of the plant.  This suggests Hippocrates had more than one color available to him.

Picture3 Verbena in North Texas is generally 6-12” high, with a 12-20” spread.  Because of its color, texture, trailing nature and hardiness, the applications in the landscape are extensive.   It can be used in edging, borders, rock gardens, butterfly gardens, window boxes and other containers.   As a colorful cascade over walls, it becomes a stunning focal point (pictured above).   Verbena is recognized as a Texas Smart Scape plant for its many strong qualities, and as an excellent choice in moon gardens as a night accent plant.  The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.


Picture13          Picture14        Picture15  Picture16

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