garden gate

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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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.

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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.

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Mistletoe

I’ve always wondered about that lore of kissing under the mistletoe, and after countless movies on the Hallmark channel, I thought it might be fun to investigate just where this all started. How could a parasite become something so mystical?

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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

It is such a thrill each year to see the little buds come out on my Christmas cactus plants. Seems like they tease me for about three weeks before the buds turn into gorgeous blooms. What a seasonal decoration! Between blooming seasons, I keep them along with “expired” orchids on the tile floor under a piano. That way, it is hard to forget to give them watering every week or so until they surprise me with blooms again.

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Fall flowers

“If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums.”

— Unknown Chinese philosopher

Just look at the wonderful surprise I saw at the Houston area Champions Golf Club. These lovely mums are a reminder of how hardy and long-lasting garden mums can be. And as you can see, they are just beautiful! I rounded the corner after attending a baby shower inside and on my way back to the car, there they were — a huge mass planting brightening everyone’s day.

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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.  

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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

My patio is full of pots along the sides just choked full of different herbs. Hey, they are so easy to grow. And it is such a supreme treat, a real richness in life, to be able to walk out the door and clip an ingredient for a meal … truly better than a million bucks. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration.

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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.

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