Planting Flowers in Austin Texas

Cleome hasslerianaDid you know there are over 400,000 flowering plant species? I just moved into a new house and I am trying to learn what kind of flowers I like, and what will thrive here in Texas. Planting heat tolerant annuals ensures that your borders bloom all season long.  Some examples of heat tolerant plants are:

Texas Scarlet


These are just a few of the many choices that I thought would look good in my yard. First I have to decide what kind of Landscaping I want to do in the backyard. I read the steps to coming up with what I want are:

Step 1: Measure your back yard with a measuring tape to get an idea of the size of your project. You needn’t landscape your entire yard: If it’s large or if your budget has limits, concentrate on areas close to your home. Then sit in a central area and imagine what your yard will look like when you are finished with your landscape project.

Step 2: Search for ideas in gardening magazines and websites. Plan your landscape design with the four seasons in mind and then select plants that will add to the beauty of your yard year-round. For example, perhaps you’ll plant a tree that displays autumn colors, one that blooms in the spring, wildflowers and vegetables for the summer, and an evergreen tree or two for the winter.

Step 3: Plot out a plan on graph paper, using the measurements you took and the ideas you gathered. Plan to plant trees and larger plants toward the back of your property. Put smaller plants, such as a flowerbed, in front of them. Allow for access in the form of paths. Perhaps you’ll want a vegetable garden—this must go in an area that receives full sun.

Step 4: Visit your local nursery, show them your plan and ask for their suggestions of plants that will fit in and that are suitable for your microclimate. If you have a lot of shade, for instance, this will dictate that you plant only shade-loving plants.

Step 5: Build your paths first. They can be simple affairs covered with wood chips, sawdust or gravel. If your budget allows, pour cement for your pathways because it will never grow weeds.

Step 6: Measure your planting areas and beds and then dig compost into the soil. Research the various plants you have purchased and add any soil additives they might require. For example, bulbs that give you flowers such as tulips, iris and daffodils need their soil supplemented with bone meal and/or blood meal.

Step 7: Plan for irrigation. It can be in the simple form of a hose with a sprinkler head, or you can set up a drip irrigation or soaker hose system. It’s best to establish your irrigation system before you plant anything because you can easily damage new plantings when working with soaker hoses, drip lines and hoses.

Step 8:  Plant your plants and then keep them well watered until they become established.

Hopefully this will help you with your landscaping project as well as myself.

-Hope Mojica, RDHSalvia

History of Mother’s Day

WVGRAFmotherMother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis  held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.   Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died.  Anna’s mission was to honor her own mother by continuing work she started and to set aside a day to honor mothers, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues .

Mothers are very special people who love you unconditionally.  My mother has recently moved in with me so that I can help her.  I feel that as I get older, family is most important  and if I can help my mom it is an honor.  I asked her yesterday what she wanted to do for Mothers Day and we decided together to just stay in our jammies and watch old movies.  I can’t wait to be able to spend that time with my mom.  Mothers sacrifice a lot for their children and as they age I feel its  our responsibility to take care of them.  Somedays  are a challenge as we are adjusting to each others personal space.  I never thought at the age of 50 I would be living back with my mom but I am so grateful  for the time I get to spend with her . Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunts, grandmothers, and all the other women who have guided, nurtured and loved us.

The Taste Bud Truth

May1 TastebudsFood. It’s one of life’s best necessities. It’s fun to prepare, it’s great to eat, and the flavors are what makes it enjoyable and exciting. At our dental office in Austin, we’re huge fans of food, but there’s one thing that bothers us a little bit. Remember when you learned about the tongue map and how different areas of the tongue tasted different flavors? Well, we’re about to blow your mind.

The Myth

Just to refresh the memory, the tongue map was taught in elementary school, and it explained that bitter flavors were tasted on the back, sour and salty on the sides, and sweet on the front. While we agree it was a great way to roughly explain how taste works, we’d like to set the record straight.

The Tongue Truth

Although the explanation is bit more in depth than the tongue map, the taste bud truth is well worth knowing. The tongue is an amazing muscle and serves multiple purposes including helping us swallow, speak, and of course, taste. If you stick out your tongue, and we encourage it, you’ll notice a bunch of little bumps all over. Those are often believed to be your taste buds. They’re not. Well, not exactly.

Those various shaped bumps are actually called papillae, and there are several kinds on different areas of the tongue. Taste buds are much smaller and are hosted within some types of papillae. But not all papillae have taste buds and the ability to taste. This is why we technically can’t experience taste on all areas of the tongue and where we believe the idea for the tongue map came from.

The Middle

The center of the tongue is packed with small, fuzzy-like papillae that are called the filiform. Unfortunately, these papillae don’t contain any taste buds at all.

The Sides & Front

Looking out from the middle of the tongue, you’ll find little round dots. These are the fungiform and each one of those tiny bumps is home to about 3-5 tastebuds.

The Back

The back of the tongue is where it’s at when comes to experiencing taste. There are two types of papillae on this area — the foliate and the circumvallate. The foliate are found on the back sides of the tongue and look like ridges while the circumvallate go from side to side on the back of the tongue. Each one of these papillae contain over 100 tastebuds each! That’s a lot of flavor!

In total, your tongue has about 10,000 taste buds, all of which can taste at least five flavors — bitter, salty, sweet, sour, savory. So next time you’re enjoying your favorite meal, just remember, most of these taste buds are near the back of the mouth. Take a bite, let it linger, enjoy. And if you feel so inclined, share a bit with all of us at our Austin dental office.

Serving patients from Austin, Westlake, Cedar Park, and neighboring communities.

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