Joette Reger's archive

Each and every year, I pass by a yard on the way home from the grocery store and pause my car to have a long look at their redbud tree with its gorgeous, flaming pink color. And each and every year, I think I’m going to plant one of those in my own little slice of the universe. Well, 2017 is the year!

Like fruit trees, it is best to plant redbuds in the late winter. Redbuds are very hardy, but our super hot summers are hard on any baby trees. Go ahead and get your blooming beauty into in ground in late February or March.

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Yes, my front porch is dressed with a few poinsettias, and I have holly in respectable places around the house, but my true passion is Christmas cactus. Let me clarify, the enjoyment comes in getting this seasonal cactus to survive 11 months of the year and then bloom right about now. A beautiful Cuban friend of mine has a pink Christmas cactus that has been blooming annually for 15 or more years. It was her mom’s, so she is proud to see it flower every Christmas season.

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Rarely do I see a plant that blooms so long and is so totally easy to care for. My new best friend is officially called “leonotis leonurus.” Even for those who don’t know Latin, like me, you can see some version of the word “lion” in that name. “Lion’s paw” is the most common name for this herbaceous perennial.

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It’s fascinating to me that we are eating a plant cultivar that was popular even before the Middle Ages! Kale is the new buzzwords at trendy restaurants.

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Audrey Fulton of Port Acres is overall Best of Show winner with her OPO squash.

Top gardeners from the Golden Triangle had a chance to show off their produce recently at Central Mall, and the overall winner was a young girl, Audrey Fulton of Port Acres. I checked with master gardeners and the Texas Agri-Life staff, and they don’t remember a youth ever winning Best of Show. Congratulations, Audrey!

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