Home and Garden

When most of the other flowering plants in your yard are gasping for air, the bougainvillea is just hitting its stride. They start smiling and blooming like crazy when there isn’t much water, when the sun is too hot and when you can barely walk barefoot on your concrete sidewalk.

shadow
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?

shadow
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.”

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow

Not many plants, trees or flowers can boast that they bloom continuously for months on end. But the vitex can! It is a sure-fire winner for your yard. This purple bloomer is an excellent choice for our smaller, modern suburban landscapes.

You may know this small tree or bush by other names. Some folks call this specimen tree a “chaste tree.” I’ve also heard it called Hemp tree, sage tree, Indian Spice tree and monk’s pepper. It is native to China and India but became a “resident” of America hundreds of years ago.

shadow
Scout

Say hi to Scout, an adorable little pup who currently weighs 25 pounds. Scout is very inquisitive and eager to learn. We believe he is a pointer mix who is around 5 months old. No. 25715

shadow

With Memorial Day and July 4 only weeks apart, it just feels like the right time to do some “patriot gardening.” We have just enough time to get some red, white and blue plants started in our yard.

shadow

We won’t be planting radishes for a few months, but we can sure eat them right now. Radishes are one of the things, like beets, that I saw my parents eating but swore I would never try. Do our taste buds change? Do we expand our eating horizons? Not sure, but I love them now.

shadow