Joette Reger's archive

We gardeners are often looking for those plants that can give some structure and beauty and color to the yard but don’t grow as large as a tree. The wonderful Aggie Superstar group called “Woody Shrubs” might have just what you are looking for among its choices. These are plants chosen by horticulturists all over Texas for their drought-tolerance, lack of disease issues and beauty, among other things.

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We hear about superstars every day on the television and in our magazines, but did you know that there are superstars in the garden too? Our wonderful Aggies have designated a group of plants that are just that — superstars. The term “Texas Superstar” is a registered trademark of Texas Agrilife Extension Service. You can check their Web site for even more details on the Superstars and hundreds of other plants that we can grow in Texas.

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One of our most beautiful imports into the American plant world is the Princess Lily, which originated on the slopes of South America. They are found in Brazil and the Andes in Chile. The Princess Lilies are a series of plants belonging to the Alstroemeria family. We can consider these beauties hardy perennials. You can find them in pinks, rose, red and lavender shades.

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Big, bright and beautiful verbena is a great easy-to-care-for addition to your yard or patio. It thrives in our heat. It is enamored with the sun. And its continual color will make your garden sparkle until autumn’s frosty weather.

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In the quest to convert your yard from a water-hungry (albeit lovely) sprawl of green St. Augustine grass to one which is less demanding, you could consider growing edibles in a portion of that space. How about blackberries for a start? They are naturally occurring along fence lines along the walking path at the Chris Quinn Soccer Fields and in lots of rural fields around town. How delicious to pick and eat!

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