garden gate

We’ve been enjoying quite a show these last few weeks with the area’s azaleas. Try as they might, even the best gardeners in most of the United States cannot have those lovely blooms that we take for granted. A unique combination of climate, soil and conditions have come together right here that give us these breathtaking flowers that we pass by for a month or so in the spring in this lovely part of Texas.

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Master Gardener Donna Thompson, green house specialist, seeded and transplanted
Cecil Hightower, Test Garden Chairman, helps customers with a plant.

If winter left your plants in a frozen mess, take heart! The Jefferson County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale and Market Day is around the corner. Everything you need to get your garden glorious again will be offered. Our Master Gardeners have been celebrating spring with this very popular plant sale for as far back as 2007, according to Peggy Coleman of Texas Agri-Life. She adds that the event may even date back further than that.

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The Christmas plant we call the Blooming Christmas cactus is officially known as “Schumbergera” or “Zygocactus.” It blooms at Christmas and even at Easter time if well cared for. This little surprise from Santa stays tucked away all summer and then in the early fall, you can watch the tips of the leaves beginning to grow. The tips get darker and darker until a little bud forms. This beauty is just waiting for short days and cool night temperatures to show you its blooms.

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Have you noticed how beautiful Beaumont is becoming? The esplanade down Calder, the new lighting and the impressive user-friendly driveways into businesses in that area are just wonderful. One of the crown jewels in the city’s beautification is the Maree Calcote Greenway on Phelan Boulevard and Kennedy Street. The fragrant roses are a showpiece project of Beautify Beaumont.

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Twice as Nice Daylily

Sometimes we might want to plant an area with blooming flowers we can rely on for color all summer. Long-blooming perennials make this a possibility. We can consider these long blooming perennials the “workhorses” of the garden.

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After a visit south of the border, my eyes were opened to the infinite possibilities of container gardening. Hanging baskets, pots, unique items used as pots, and containers brimming with flowers spilling down from walls have enormous potential for brightening up your outdoor spaces.

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Well … most everyone has them but no one likes them. Mosquitoes have been around forever, and will probably be here for a while longer. What can you do to cut down on your mosquito population? In addition to tips to keep areas dry, certain plants can be added to our yard that those pesky mosquitoes don’t like. They don’t like them at all.

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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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