garden gate

I have been following the progress of the new Folsom Walking Trail with much anticipation since reading an article by Kevin King back in April 2013 in The Examiner. Kevin let us know that “plans to construct a hike and bike trail alongside Folsom Drive and between Major Drive have taken steps forward.” The City Council at that time approved parking and access to the easement for construction and was looking for lowest bidders to get the job started.

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My favorite tomato is a big, juicy, red, fresh-off-the-vine homegrown one. Next I’d have to say “yummy” to those sweet little cherry tomatoes, and who doesn’t’ love a delicious fried green tomato? The truth is, I’ve never met a homegrown tomato that I didn’t like.

My first (and probably only) romantic story involving a tomato was when my mother would reminisce about her honeymoon at Niagara Falls where they spread out a quilt and enjoyed tomato sandwiches while taking in the view.

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Spring has sprung! Best not to stay up too late this Friday night. Bright and early Saturday morning, April 9, you better get on over to the Annual Spring Plant Sale and Market Day. You’ll be sorry if you don’t. There are scads of new plants this year and hundreds of the classics.

According to the new horticulture agent for Texas Agri-Life Extension Agency, David Oates, the master gardeners have outdone themselves again this year. 

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If you are crazy for bluebonnets, this is your time of the year! All of the major highways in Texas have been thoughtfully seeded by the Highway Department to give Mother Nature a hand in filling the highways and byways full to the brim with bluebonnets and the other gorgeous wildflowers that we can grow in Texas.

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We look through the magazines and look lovingly at the pages of blooming spring daffodils and tulips. What a picture perfect scene they make! So many area gardeners ask if we can grow them here. Well, yes, and then probably no.

It takes a lot of work to grow temperate-climate bulbs in an area with generally warm weather. But it can be done!

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Are you ready for this spring beauty? Just look at the colorful blooms. One of the times that I feel the luckiest to be in Southeast Texas is right now when the azalea bushes start to bloom.

Not just anyone can grow azaleas. Those poor folks over in Midland or San Antonio or anywhere much west of here aren’t as lucky as we are. Azaleas love our acidic soil.

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Donna and Steve Heironimius of Donna's Farm
Elizabeth Waddill, Karen McCormick, Becki Stedman

You have GOT to go there this weekend. I’m talking about the Beaumont Farmers Market at the athletic complex on College Street in Beaumont. The BFM is a locally run, seasonal, open-air market that runs roughly February through December. The hours are 8-11 a.m. but the crowd usually gets there early for the best “pickings.”

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As you drive around town right about now, have you seen the small trees that dot the community with huge blooms of pinks and whites? It is the camellia. And we are lucky to live in a part of the world where we can grow them easily.

This is the perfect time to find a lovely blooming camellia bush or small tree and bring it home with you. The local nurseries have them right now and you can pick your favorite color. You can decide the precise color, shape and size of the flowers.

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Is spring here? Has is sprung yet? It sure seems like it has. This is the very best time of year to clear away those dead winter leaves and make room for fresh, vibrant flowers and plants. It’s time to bring our yards back to life.

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After our month or so of daydreaming and looking at photos about a few fabulous international gardens, it’s about time to get to our own gardens. The winds are still blowing and it’s still a little cold outside, but have you ever thought of starting some plants from seed now? They can be ready to transplant into your yard in a few weeks. And besides, its fun to flip through the seed catalogs.

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