garden gate

Remembering the color wheel in art class, there is a whole section with my favorite colors of the hottest pink, neon orange and brightest yellow. Those colors just make you feel so great. Color can be exciting or soothing. In my mind, there is always a place outdoors for an area that looks like a party is ready to happen.

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hibiscus

Just look at that beautiful bloom! I can always count on my hibiscus to give me a jolt of color in the yard. Not only are they easy to grow, but they also tolerate our summer weather. And you say they are edible, too?

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eggplant

Our cup runneth over this time of year! Recent trips to our farmers market and local stands has my kitchen counters laden with huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. I can’t help myself! I’m finding myself looking up those recipes from last summer about canning and freezing and drying. Not everyone likes eggplant as much as I do, but it could be thought of as an art installation. Just look at those purple and white beauties.

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Governor’s mansion in historic Quapaw

Herb enthusiasts from Texas and all over the United States met in Little Rock, Arkansas, from May 4-7 for the annual meeting and educational conference. Many from the Beaumont area were in attendance. Highlights of the conference included a presentation by P. Allen Smith and tour of his Moss Mountain farm, trip to Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, dinner at the governor’s mansion, and presentations by many well-known herbal experts.

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I had the great pleasure of talking with a real local farmer recently. I first met William Perego at the festive Saturday morning farmer’s market on College Street by the tennis courts a couple of weeks ago. William and his wife, Lori, live in Kirbyville and are pretty popular up that way this time of year. They farm acres of land and produce quite an inspirational variety of produce. If they have just too much of something some weeks, they give the extra to the local nursing homes. William says, “I make sure to keep the local widow women with some produce, too.”

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tomato

Maybe I like to grow tomatoes because they are so quirky. Maybe its because I can grow whatever weird kind of tomato I’d like to eat rather than pick from those limited options at the grocery store. I pulled some delicious red ones off the vine this morning and sliced them to go onto toast. Life can’t get much better than that.

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I’ve walked through many a furniture store trying to find just that ‘right’ area rug to inspire the rest of the room.  Certain colors just make me happy and others bring me a sense of calm while others just don’t do a thing at all.   Your outdoor room can inspire you in just the same way.  Why would you want a yard that makes you snooze?  Choosing the colors that you find appealing when you are outdoors at your home are just as important as what you see inside.

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If you love roses, you have a chance to see the best of the best very soon. And if you have never attended, you must make this your first of many Spring Rose Show events. Just to see and smell the roses is enough to make you swoon. 

The Spring Rose Show will be held Saturday, April 29, at the Beaumont Botanical Garden, 6088 Babe Zaharias Drive, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont. Viewing is free and open to the public from noon until 3 p.m. 

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One of the very best things about spring is the wealth of herbs available for us to plant in our own gardens at home. And what a joy it is to be in the middle of cooking an Italian dinner and be able to go out to your own “crop” and pick oregano or basil, clip, rinse and chop for the recipe.

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Yes, it is time to get those plants into the ground! If you’ve never had a pollinator-friendly plant area, maybe this is the year. 

Why pollinators? Pollination begins with flowers. Flowers have male parts that produce very small grains called pollen. Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from one flower to another; it leads to the production of more plants and seeds that will create more plants. 

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