Joette Reger's archive

Firecracker plant from Mexico

You know you are popular when you get a nickname or two. Well, the firecracker plant has lots of nicknames. What does that tell you?

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Crepe myrtle

Whether you spell it crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, you can’t help but love this long lasting bloomer. These small flowering trees or large bushes can be seen in commercial plantings and in lots of creative lawns around town. Why do we love them so much? For one thing, they bloom around 120 days throughout the spring, summer and fall. Use them as screens, lawn specimens, shrub borders and container plants. We call them “The Kings of Color.”

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As you drive around Beaumont and Houston, look for the use of the striking celosia plant. It is a favorite of landscape architects because of its bombshell colors and ease of care. They often use it like a carpet in mass plantings across great swaths of median strips and entries into shopping areas. You can take advantage of celosia’s good looks in your own yard.

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There’s nothing so cheerful as the daisy-like blooms of rudbeckia. You can find them in a wide range of sizes and colors that include annuals, perennials and biennials. They will make you feel even more cheerful when you learn how easy care they are.

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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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