Harvesting History at Casa Navarro

By Emiliano “Nano” Calderon, Casa Navarro Staff

Hummingbird BushAfter numerous 100-plus degree days, temperatures have finally dropped throughout South and Central Texas. Casa Navarro staff endured the summer heat to keep the garden healthy and beautiful for our visitors.

Lemon Verbena and ThryallisWe recently planted Firebush, Coral Plant, and Apricot Cape Honeysuckle, which bloom in the fall to attract migrating hummingbirds to the site seeking nectar. Likewise, staff focused on landscaping with perennials that are native or adapted to the soils and climatic conditions of the South Texas Plains and Edwards Plateau. Our picks are Lemon Verbena, Pink Skullcap, Firecracker Fern, Thyrallis, Yellow Columbine, and Majestic Sage. These plants are drought tolerant and largely resistant to pests and diseases. They require little watering, fertilizing, or chemical control once they take root, and should survive, to varying degrees, through the occasional winter freeze.

We also planted Marigolds to harvest for the upcoming Dia de Los Muertos Craft Day on October 29. Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday to commemorate and celebrate loved ones who have passed. Traditionally, the holiday begins the evening of October 31 and runs until November 2, encompassing the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. The roots of the festival can be traced to Mesoamerican and European traditions, and has been celebrated throughout Mexico, South America, as well as Tejano San Antonio and South Texas.

Craft Day attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the holiday and create their own portable altar decorated with marigolds from the Casa Navarro garden as well other ofrendas or offerings. For more information, please call Casa Navarro State Historic Site at 210.226.4801.

Firecracker FernCasa Navarro is located at the corner of S. Laredo and W. Nueva streets in downtown San Antonio, in the Texas Independence and Hill Country Trail Regions.

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Great information on native plants, as well as the holiday. Sounds like a great event.

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