garden gate

Magnolia Tree

The sheer variety of magnolia tree options might surprise you. Although your local garden center may handle only a few varieties, you can find magnolia trees that are deciduous and evergreen, if you really search. Some of the southern beauties have blossom options of white, pink, purple or yellow. Some magnolias are trees; some are shrubs.

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Agapanthus blooms come in many different colors, but the blue is a favorite, wit

Gardens all throughout our area are struttin’ their stuff with spring in full swing. One of the most outstanding shows is the agapanthus in bloom. Oh yes, the agapanthus will stop you in your tracks with their stately beauty and wonderful fragrance.

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The shapes of plants in your yard can affect the look of your home. As noted in the previous Garden Gate article, your choice of weeping, round, pyramidal, columnar or horizontal plants in your yard will make a world of difference in your home’s appearance. Have something to hide, like a bad roof? You can direct the viewer’s eye away from “the offender.”

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Have you ever thought about changing the look of your home by changing the shape of the front yard landscape? Before you say no, grab your camera, head out the front door and take a few shots of your home. You can then go to the local drugstore and print out a dozen or so copies, as large as you can. Grab a new black marker, too, if you don’t have one.

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Put on your walking shoes because this Saturday, April 13, there is a treat in store for all plant lovers and area home and garden enthusiasts. The Magnolia Garden Club has organized speakers and home gardens to tour that “sing the songs” of organic gardening, adaptability to nature and dedication to outdoor beauty.

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I begged, yes, I begged. When I heard that Robin Powell, gardener and real estate agent, had a 70-year-old grapefruit tree next door in her son Eric’s yard, I really wanted some of those local grapefruit. The sweet, thin skinned, juicy grapefruit did not disappoint! The Powells live in the closely-knit community of Sour Lake. They discovered the tree years ago and have been enjoying these delicious grapefruit for years. Granddaughter Isabella Powell was the first to add that her daddy’s tree is the best grapefruit tree anywhere, and I’ll have to admit she might be right.

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You might know the lovely narcissus by other names such as daffodil or jonquil. You can count on them to come back year after year, giving you spring flowers from their bulbs. They are native to the meadows and woods in Europe, North Africa and West Asia with great numbers in the Mediterranean’s west side. Most of the literature agrees that without exception, the most common narcissus species found growing throughout America today were brought over from Europe by the early colonists and distributed westward by settlers from the East.

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Just because they are beautiful doesn’t mean they are difficult. The lovely cyclamen can be found at local nursery centers flaunting their flirty pinks, purples, white and fuchsia petals. They are so full of themselves that they also go by the name “Shooting Stars.”

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Think you don’t like beards? Well, think again. The bearded iris is truly a thing of beauty. This is an eye-catching addition to any garden. Their leaves are like swords and the flowers are oh-so-showy.

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Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth was honored with an historic visit from Nancy Bechtol of the Smithsonian to the gardens of the Phelan Mansion last week.

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