Joette Reger's archive

After our month or so of daydreaming and looking at photos about a few fabulous international gardens, it’s about time to get to our own gardens. The winds are still blowing and it’s still a little cold outside, but have you ever thought of starting some plants from seed now? They can be ready to transplant into your yard in a few weeks. And besides, its fun to flip through the seed catalogs.

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I hope that you have been saving up some plastic bags and other small waterproof containers. Why? It is almost time for the much-anticipated annual Tree Give Away, a project of the Jefferson County Master Gardeners. Prepare to make the short trip over to the Jefferson County Master Garden Test Garden at Jack Brooks Regional Airport on Friday, Feb. 19, from 8-11 a.m. to get your own trees.

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Another destination for superb garden inspiration is Normandy on the coast of France. Its rugged beauty and American-loving people make it a great place to visit. From the wind-torn vines and trees on the coastline to hidden interior garden spaces to Mont St. Michel itself with its marshy spaces and super interesting topography, it is a “must see.”

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Well, it could be called “Heaven on Earth” if you like colorful strutting peacocks, huge brugmansias, towering orange trees and large streams cascading into ancient ponds. The Alcazar in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1300s during Europe’s Dark Ages and has managed to thrive. UNESCO made this one-time Moorish palace a World Heritage Site in 1987.

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I do enjoy the winter break from heat and weeds and daily responsibility outside in the yard but really welcome some “inspiration” during these colder months. And what a more perfect place to go for inspiration than the great gardens of the world. Versailles is such a garden. In these stately French green spaces with their topiaries and fountains and lakes, you can just imagine yourself in formalwear with nothing to do but stroll the paths and eat bon-bons.

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