Posted by: Highland landscaping | March 18, 2020

March 2020


March, 2020                        EDITION 128

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  Since March of 2019, we have presented a series of articles on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 report on the United States infrastructure.  Through these, we have made the effort to present the same data that our government agencies must sift through, learn from, and understand, in order to build or improve infrastructure that meets the ever-changing needs of the citizens and businesses that give our country the energy to continue to move forward.  Where possible we have shown how “it all started” historically, so our readers can put all of this in perspective.

This month, the topic of a new reservoir lake in North Texas, Bois d’ Arc Lake, ties together articles that started back in March of 2012.  At that time, we were struggling with drought issues, water restrictions and a little critter causing problems in area lakes called zebra mussels.  Residents that receive water from Lake Texoma were feeling this more than most other communities in the DFW area (March, 2012, May, 2013,).  During this timeframe, we were not seeing the massive development brought about after the 2016 election that invited many new businesses and residents to the area.  Our big concern at that time was the severe 2011 drought;  and possible water shortages, if another dry summer followed or pipes from the area reservoir lakes became clogged with zebra mussels.  At that time (see January, 2017 edition), the estimate was 300 people were moving to the Dallas Metroplex every day.  In May, 2019, the Texas Tribune (supported by Census figures) estimated the number of new residents has grown to 1000 per day.

In the early 2000’s, planning and permitting began for a $1.6 billion reservoir lake to be built by the North Texas Municipal Water District.  Bois d’ Arc Lake is the first new reservoir lake for Texas in 30 years.   Located north of Bonham, in Fannin County, the 16,641-acre lake will be a welcome addition to the infrastructure,  meeting the needs of 1.8 million people until 2040.  The water supply estimate is stated at a “firm yield “ of 108 million gallons of water per day.   The firm yield is the amount that can be supplied under the driest conditions ever experienced in the area.

The project includes a 2-mile long, 90 foot tall earthen dam.  In addition to a raw water pump station, there are two 210 million gallon storage reservoirs, a water treatment plant and a high service pump station.  Each of the reservoirs will hold enough water to fill 318 Olympic-size swimming pools.

This massive project, which began in 2018, should be completed this year.  The January, 2020 Progress Report states that work continues on building the dam, spillway and reservoir; as well as, virtually all aspects of the project.    The dam is scheduled to be completed by next winter.  Natural streams that were redirected for farm land are being  returned to their original flow to feed  into the lake.    Trees and natural debris are being removed from the lake bed.  Native grasses and trees are being planted to restore natural habitats for wildlife,  and to support stream and lake banks.   To date, 1.4 million trees have been planted.   The plan is to plant another 1.6 million trees by this March.  The remaining 2 million trees will be planted next season (2020/2021).  The name Bois d’ Arc is to honor local history and the Bois d’ Arc tree, a distinctive symbol of the region.

In addition to providing much needed water infrastructure to North Texas communities, Bois d’ Arc Lake will also support new economic development and afford residents lake recreation.   It is anticipated that the Lake will be completed and filled by 2022.  Funding for the project will be shared by the 80 communities who receive water from the North Texas Municipal Water District  (NTMWD).   The Texas Water Development Board approved $1.47 billion for these projects.  This low interest funding  is anticipated to save the communities of the NTMWD over $230 million in interest.


“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.”

                          – David Brinkley



Plant trivia

What six fruits are members of the rose family?

(look for the answer at the end of our blog)


Featured project


Del Frisco’s Southlake has received a stunning low maintenance, native Texas landscape design! We have ripped out old shrubs and trees, and have replaced  them with a variety of yuccas, agaves, and cacti. We strategically utilized stone and boulders to lower the maintenance of mulch and weeds as well as create dimension throughout the property.


 Seasonal color this month…

Alyssum, Camellia Japonica,  Carolina Jessamine, Clematis, Crocus, Daffodils, Dianthus, Evening Primrose, Flowering Quince, Forsythia, Foxglove, Hyacinths, Italian Jasmine,  Paperwhites, Pear trees, Petunias, Pincushion, Redbuds, Saucer Magnolias, Snapdragons, Tulips, Verbena


March Landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape and hardscape projects
  • Plant spring seasonal color
  • Plant trees, shrubs and ground-covers
  • Plant perennials
  • Plant ornamentals
  • Plant late spring/summer garden
  • Schedule yard clean-up
  • Prune trees, evergreens and shrubs
  • Apply post-emergent for weeds
  • Fertilize landscape beds and gardens
  • Feed lawns
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  • Run-through  sprinkler system
  • Enjoy Spring!


Trivia Answer

Apples,  apricots, peaches, pears, quinces and strawberries

Featured plant— CORAL BELLS

Picture1 Coral Bells (Heuchera), also known as alumroot, is an evergreen herbaceous perennial hardy to USDA Zone 3.  Native to North America, Coral Bells are prized primarily for hardiness,  and leaf color and texture.  The National Garden Association currently lists 591 Coral Bells in their database.

Often thought of as a shade plant,   many hybrids do well in full sun.   Generally, varieties with dark colored leaves do well in full sun, while lighter colors require some or full shade.  Stems of the deeply notched leaves grow from a fibrous, woody root or crown just below the soil surface.   The dome-shape leaf canopy is, on average, 12-18” tall with a spread of 6 to 30 “.   Flowers are small bell-shaped inflorescences that sprout on stalks that rise 2-3 times above the canopy of leaves.  Flowers appear March to August, depending on the hybrid.

Gardeners and landscape designers often use the leaf color and texture of Coral Bells to accentuate surrounding plants.  In turn, color and texture around Coral Bells accentuate their stunning contribution to the palette.  Low water needs add to their versatility.   At home in xeriscape designs, rock gardens and other WaterWise settings,  Coral Bells are stunning when paired with hosta or other shade loving plants in the landscape design.  They do well in containers, alone or arranged with other plants.  Picture2When planted in a garden, Coral Bells will probably need to be divided every 3-4 years.  The flowers attract hummingbirds and other pollinators.

The Swedish physician, botanist and naturalist, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) whom we covered in the January, 2018 edition of this newsletter, often named plants after friends.  The family classification, Heuchera, was to honor Johann Heinrich Heuchera(1677-1746), a German physician, botanist and medicinal plant expert.  Exceptionally well educated in natural science, Dr. Heuchera developed the form in areas of zoology, mineralogy, and geology still employed in museums today.  He practiced as a physician and was a Professor at Wittenberg University.

Roots from Coral Bells may be used like alum in the pickling process (hence, the common name “alumroot”).  Roots have also been used medicinally for centuries for a variety of ailments.  Native American peoples used the root as a pain reliever and general “cure-all”.  It was known to shrink tissues associated with  inflammation to control bleeding, and soothe sore throats.





Picture13          Picture14        Picture15  Picture16

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