Joette Reger's archive

The sago palm plant is one of the most primitive living seed plants around today. You can recognize it by its rough trunk, topped with feathered rugged leaves. Although nicknamed sago palm, it is actually related to conifers and the ginkgo tree. According to Lynn McKamey of Rhapis Gardens, all cone bearing plants trace their origins back to the ancient flora of the early Mesozoic era.

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Dinosaurs probably snacked on the relatives of the cycads that you have in our yard today. Yes, cycads are those unique plants that resemble palm trees. The cycad family dominated the landscape during the Mesozoic era more than 150 million years ago. We are probably most familiar with the cycad called the sago palm.

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Someone is giving away free trees? Jefferson County Master Gardeners, under the volunteer guidance of Glen Watz, will be giving away one-year old, bare-rooted seedlings to the local community. Get there early to get yours. The Campbell group is sharing trees with area residents on Friday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Jefferson County Master Gardener test garden at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

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We hear about the USDA hardiness zones and most garden centers sell plants with tags clearly marking which zone the plant is best suited for. With few exceptions, gardening success is vitally linked to selecting plants that suit your climate. Our area hardiness zones are Zone 8 and Zone 9.

If you want a low maintenance garden, stick with plants for your zone. But that being said, you can cheat the zones a little. It might be interesting to expand your plant palette and push the limits by creating microclimates.

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When it is just too cold, too wet, and just too nasty outside to plant in your yard or garden, get thee to a nursery that sells seeds. Just standing there and looking at those racks of colorful seeds and dreaming of the garden you could have should make you feel better.

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