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Karen Beaty

Karen works as forestry specialist for the city of Austin’s Wildland Conservation Division. She received an M.S. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College. As a 5th-generation Texan she is fascinated with the native flora of the Southern Plains region and enjoys hiking and camping as a way to meet new plants. Her outside interests also include vegetable gardening, homesteading, and building things with scavenged materials.

  • Purple poppy mallow
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Low-Growing, Native Perennials for the Southern Plains

    Do you ever have a spot in your garden, usually at the very front of a bed, that needs a short plant? Maybe you even want it to grow up…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Southern Plains: January Garden To-Do List

    Transplant early spring bloomers like bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis, Zones 3–9), baby blue eyes (Nemophila phaceloides, annual), and spiderwort (Tradescantia spp. and cvs., Zones 4–12). While October and November are a…

  • narrow path edged by grapevines
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Lessons from Festival Beach Food Forest in Austin, Texas

    In the heart of downtown Austin, right next to the interstate that runs from Mexico to Canada, is the Festival Beach Food Forest. This small public garden is located on…

  • dill in bloom
    Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Southern Plains December Garden To-Do List

    Plant cool-season herbs. You might not think of December as a good month to add new plantings to your vegetable garden, but cool-season herbs are perfectly happy to be planted…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Southern Plains November Garden To-Do List

    November is a great month for gardening in the Southern Plains. Unlike our neighboring states to the north, much of the Southern Plains still hasn’t had freezing temperatures in the…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Exciting Evergreens for the Southern Plains

    Evergreens are crucial to achieving varied texture and form, as well as the key to any successful four-season garden. Unfortunately, many gardeners would put a lot of evergreens in the…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Bold and Beautiful Yuccas for the Southern Plains

    We are fortunate here in the Southern Plains to have quite a few native yucca species (Yucca spp. and cvs., Zones 5–10) that thrive in our climate. Many of them…

  • Design

    Best Natives for Southern Plains

    Top pick: Standing cypress is a reblooming hummingbird magnet Name: Ipomopsis rubra Zones: 6–9 Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and 12 to 18 inches wide Conditions: Full sun to…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Southern Plains October Garden To-Do List

    October is a great time to be gardening in our region. We are in the prime month of fall, with cooler temperatures (but likely no freezes yet) and increased rainfall.…

  • Southern Plains Regional Reports

    Six Tough Picks for the Southern Plains Hell Strip

    If you’ve ever walked down a city sidewalk, then you are likely familiar with a hell strip—that narrow section of yard sandwiched between the sidewalk and the street. The hell…

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