Joette Reger's archive

Have you seen how wonderfully landscaped hotels and other public spaces are using the sweet potato vine? Traveling through Houston the other day, I saw esplanades, planters and landscaped areas relying on this humble plant. This beauty is adaptable, too; it works in both sun and shady areas of your yard. The colors are deeper and brighter in full sun than shady areas where they will bring drama and more of a green hue.

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Hostas are a secret weapon for those of us with shady gardens. They come in crazy combination of shapes, textures and colors. You can look for them with a wide variety of leaf shapes, too – heart-shaped, oval, lance-shaped, round – and shiny, dull, smooth or textured. The colors vary from blue to bright green to yellow to red to whites.

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Not many plants, trees or flowers can boast that they bloom continuously for months on end. But the vitex can! It is a sure-fire winner for your yard. This purple bloomer is an excellent choice for our smaller, modern suburban landscapes.

You may know this small tree or bush by other names. Some folks call this specimen tree a “chaste tree.” I’ve also heard it called Hemp tree, sage tree, Indian Spice tree and monk’s pepper. It is native to China and India but became a “resident” of America hundreds of years ago.

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With Memorial Day and July 4 only weeks apart, it just feels like the right time to do some “patriot gardening.” We have just enough time to get some red, white and blue plants started in our yard.

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We won’t be planting radishes for a few months, but we can sure eat them right now. Radishes are one of the things, like beets, that I saw my parents eating but swore I would never try. Do our taste buds change? Do we expand our eating horizons? Not sure, but I love them now.

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