garden

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
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
Yellow Roses of Texas

So, I know you are planning on going to the Rose Society Show in November, but what can we learn about roses before then? Where can we buy a good rose? What roses are good for Southeast Texas? Are they hard to take care of? These are the most common rose questions that I see asked. These rosarians can help with the answers, but let’s get started with a little information about roses today.

shadow
Lindy Dennis of Beaumont talks about his late wife, Lelia.

So much more than the harvest of vegetables and the care and labor that goes into growing them, a garden is also a myriad of symbols.

Gardens are soft, tender spaces. They are symbolic retreats, sanctuaries, safe places, sacred spaces and spaces to grow, worship, and appreciate life’s beauty.

shadow

Keeping your garden looking its best throughout the growing season and into fall is possible with the help of low maintenance bulbs planted in the spring. Plant them among other annuals or perennials and watch as these bulbs brighten the garden, adding new life to your late season gardens.

shadow

It’s fascinating to me that we are eating a plant cultivar that was popular even before the Middle Ages! Kale is the new buzzwords at trendy restaurants.

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

Well, it could be called “Heaven on Earth” if you like colorful strutting peacocks, huge brugmansias, towering orange trees and large streams cascading into ancient ponds. The Alcazar in Seville, Spain, was built in the 1300s during Europe’s Dark Ages and has managed to thrive. UNESCO made this one-time Moorish palace a World Heritage Site in 1987.

shadow