Home and Garden

When it is just too cold, too wet, and just too nasty outside to plant in your yard or garden, get thee to a nursery that sells seeds. Just standing there and looking at those racks of colorful seeds and dreaming of the garden you could have should make you feel better.

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Gardening doesn’t stop in Texas when it’s December, but it does slow down. This is a good month to check all of your gardening tools. Repair, replace, discard, oil and sharpen tools. Are there some tools or gardening supplies that you need? Make a wish list.

Vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses: Ground covers and ornamental grasses can be planted or transplanted. Make sure they stay moist but no need to fertilize until next spring. Cut back growth of vines if there is a freeze or brown damaged growth. Mulch to protect the roots from extreme cold.

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The International Seed Saving Institute has the mantra “Feel the need for seed!” Yes, this institute does exist. It is located in Arizona and is a great resource for seed saving, permaculture and any questions related to seed saving.

Why should you become a seed saver? Seed saving is as old as gardening. Years ago gardeners considered seeds from their favorite plants to be treasures to be guarded. Since seeds these days are relatively inexpensive, you may ask, “Why should I be a seed saver.”

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As long-time gardeners know, the bank is not the only way to save for the future. They save seeds from their harvest and from favorite plants. By saving seeds, you can save money. Also, by saving the seeds of the tallest or most colorful of the plants, you can begin to manipulate the preferred genetic traits in your next year’s plants.

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Bulbous, smelly, yet oh so good is one description of the Allium genus, or onions. These popular rhizomes can be either perennial or biennial. The onion is native to the northern hemisphere, Ethiopia, South Africa and Mexico.

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How aptly named can a plant be? Just look at the “Topsy Turvy” for an answer to that question. This quick-growing succulent takes on a swirling, rosette shape with its leaves pointing inward toward the center of the plant. It looks like your favorite ride at the carnival.

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Have you ever planted roses? They are one of the most revered garden choices the world over. A short visit to our own Tyrrell Park Rose Garden will demonstrate just how well roses can grow here.

The charming old book “The Pleasures of Gardening” by Angela Stanford gives some fun history of the rose. Egyptian roses were shipped to Rome when the Italian roses were out of bloom. On Nero’s order, millions of rose petals were strewn in the streets during festivals.

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My name is “Spot.” I am a 1-year-old female akita/shepherd mix. I weigh 67 pounds. I came to the shelter as a stray, and no one has claimed me. I am good with other dogs. I am a working dog and will need lots of exercise. My looks are a little intimidating, but my personality will melt your heart. Apartment living is not for me; I love the great outdoors with a big fenced-in yard with lots of toys. Please come and give me a good home.

 

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My name is Sparky. I am a 2-year-old pit bull/Lab mix. I weigh 65 pounds. I am good with older children and other dogs. I am very sweet, lovable, and I love to ride in the car. I was brought to the shelter as a stray and no one has claimed me. Don’t condemn me because of my breed. I am not a fighter, just a lover. I can make a good pet for a loving family.

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One flower that is not usually overlooked is the brightly colored sunflower. This cheerful giant is a beauty, partially edible and talented, as well. Did you know that the sunflower gracefully turns its head to follow the sun each day?

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