Home and Garden

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.

shadow
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.

shadow
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.

shadow

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.

shadow

Just the name “Dahlia” suggests a thing of beauty, distinction and great meaning.  Their beauty makes them popular the world over at florists and in our landscapes.  

Look for this charmer in colors of red, pink, purple, white, blue and the black dahlia, which is actually a burgundy color tied to a warning of betrayal.  But be careful of the color that you choose, you may be sending an entirely different message than you intend.

shadow

A recent trip to a for the beautiful wedding of Monet, the gorgeous daughter of a friend of mine, Norma Motiee, will find me always remembering a few things: the lovely church and service, the chic looking guests from Beaumont and all corners of the world, the festive 15-minute walk down the cobblestone streets led by a mariachi band to the after-party, the views in all directions of this UNESCO protected city, and the lovely fields of lavender we could smell all over town. The lavender aroma permeated the air and scented the parks.

shadow
Holly Berries

Just driving home from the grocery store with goodies for tonight’s dinner, I was thinking about just how brown all of the landscapes looked. Then I rounded the bend and spotted a large group of holly berry trees. What a happy surprise! These evergreen trees look good all year but especially cheer you up in February when they are chock full of red, red holly berries.

shadow
Joette Reger of Garden Gate

Palm trees always give that relaxed, resort-like atmosphere when they are used in a landscape. Just think of those fabulous area backyards with pools and hot tubs surrounded by moody, swaying palms. Whether you have the pool or not, you can just turn on the oscillating sprinkler, pour yourself a lemonade and do a little research on the palms that could make your yard a tropical paradise.

shadow
Dill weed

Now don’t start asking, “Why are we reading about a weed?” This weed is invariably in the dishes of most Eastern European and Scandinavian dishes, and it is delicious and super easy to grow. Dill weed is that super fresh herb of winter.

shadow
outdoor planter

Back in “the day” most every home had window boxes that added beauty to the street view of their home.  You could also see the beautiful display of flowers in the box from inside most of the rooms of the house so everyone was happy.  I’m seeing more and more of these relics from the past.  As a matter of fact, I am officially declaring National Return of the Window Box Day on November 31 of each and every year.  

shadow