Joette Reger's archive

Years ago I started buying plants for the yard, and if I saw it and it was pretty, I bought it. The result was areas full of bits and pieces and mostly flowering little plants that were pretty labor intensive. Then I went to a gardening lecture at our Beaumont Botanical Center where the speaker spoke about a plan for the yard. Crazy talk. He suggested a list of attributes that you would want in any plant in your yard. He also talked about the possibility of using no flowers at all in your landscape!

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This beauty is a perfect addition to your yard. The shrimp plant has a rather sophisticated botanical name: Justicia brandegeeana. It was named after the American botanist Townsend Stith Brandegee (1843-1925) according to an interesting article titled “Reiman Gardens” in the Iowa State University blog. The species is indigenous to Mexico, where it was discovered. Brandegee is given credit for bringing many beautiful and hardy Mexican plants to the U.S. Your grandma may have called the shrimp plant “false hop” or “Mexican shrimp.”

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Remembering the color wheel in art class, there is a whole section with my favorite colors of the hottest pink, neon orange and brightest yellow. Those colors just make you feel so great. Color can be exciting or soothing. In my mind, there is always a place outdoors for an area that looks like a party is ready to happen.

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hibiscus

Just look at that beautiful bloom! I can always count on my hibiscus to give me a jolt of color in the yard. Not only are they easy to grow, but they also tolerate our summer weather. And you say they are edible, too?

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eggplant

Our cup runneth over this time of year! Recent trips to our farmers market and local stands has my kitchen counters laden with huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. I can’t help myself! I’m finding myself looking up those recipes from last summer about canning and freezing and drying. Not everyone likes eggplant as much as I do, but it could be thought of as an art installation. Just look at those purple and white beauties.

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