Home and Garden

Blah, blah, blah…. is what some gardeners may say if you announce that you have a part of your yard that you are going use to plant impatiens. These “naysayers” might change their minds after seeing these fabulous mass plantings at Villa d’Este done with a single color, single variety, single flower; impatiens. 

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The movers and shakers in the Jefferson County Master Gardener group have a great surprise for you if you come out this weekend, Saturday, October 13 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. to Jack Brooks Regional Airport. Excitement awaits at the Master Gardener Test Garden in front of the Jerry Ware hangar. The pros will be there with demonstrations and information for your garden. Admission is free. Parking is free.

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? One of the homes we lived in had a small water pond that I knew absolutely nothing about when we first moved in. But without any attention from me these lilies bloomed and floated on the surface of the water with unbelievable colors and a certain ‘mystique.’ The podiatrist who had owned the home for years and his yardman had done a wonderful job with the backyard, including installing the pond. It wasn’t long until I discovered that there was some maintenance involved, but not an overwhelming amount.

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Rose of Sharon is such a heat-loving beauty that I can’t help but admire her this time of year.  She not only gives you beautiful flowers but flowers with height.  Another plus for Rose of Sharon is that she blooms later in the summer than some other summer standbys, which have long since given up flowering because of the heat.

The official name of our hardy bloomer in the U.S. is “Hibiscus syriacus.”  Most Americans can easily find this deciduous shrub in whites, pinks and lavenders.

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No, the name is not the newest dental disorder.  On the contrary Pericallis is one of the most vibrantly colored and long-lasting flowers around. I spotted this beauty in the plant area of a nearby box store last March and some of them went home with me.  They have recently called it a day because of the extreme heat but lasted for months with no problem.  

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Purple Coneflower

Just look at this beauty!  I stumbled upon this bevy of blooming flowers on a recent walk through a landscaped area in the Woodlands.  The guy watering the area said that these flowers just keep on producing all summer long and don’t really require much care at all.  That sounds like my kind of plant.

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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

Oh so attractive are the blooming Lily of the Nile lining the front garden beds of many of the homes in the Golden Triangle. The name agapanthus is translated from Greek as the “flower of love,” and I can see why. The ball-shaped blooms of gorgeous blue or white attract hummingbirds and other pollinators from late June until August or September.

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Grant Boucher of Groves won the youth category with his bell peppers

Tensions were high among the affable crowd at Central Mall last week. Area gardeners were about to be judged on their efforts in the garden in the 46th annual fruit and vegetable show. This is the longest running contest of its kind anywhere around Texas. I visited with both David Oates and Peggy Coleman of Texas Agri-Life Extension Agency recently. Oates is the county extension agent and Coleman is head “inside agent” as she has been with the agency since way back when.

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Joette Reger

I’ve always thought that the fuchsia flower was one of the most beautiful things that gardeners could put into a hanging basket but then I learned that they have a history too. A most interesting English article at www.fuchsiaflower.co.uk opened my eyes to the background of this plant.

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Sure, when we visit Colorado, we see those delicious looking columbines just hanging from rocks in the mountains. But if you have ever tried to grow most of those varieties here in Texas, you may have been met with failure. They just don’t like our heat. Period. An article published in Illinois Natural History Survey calls the columbine the “mountain goat of plants, seeking out cracks and crevices in rocks and often dangling precipitously from these high places like a tethered mountain climber.” The Colorado Blue Columbine is the state flower of Colorado.

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