garden gate

Under an asparagus fern’s ‘delicate’ mound of bright green are tiny thorns.

When is a fern not a fern? Well, we all call this plant “asparagus fern,” but no, it’s not actually a fern at all. You can count on this plant with cascading foliage to be super hardy, green and lush even through our summers of relentless heat.

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It was amusing to see a website entitled Dummies.com. One of their many subjects covered planting a window box container garden. We all love container gardening whether we have an apartment, patio home or a few acres. You can picture that most perfect window box garden if you just close your eyes. You imagine a well-tended home with decorative boxes under the windows with dozens of colorful plants just spilling out over the sides. Those lovely flowers and trailing ivy just give a home so much personality.

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onions

I don’t know about you, but I would really miss onions if they weren’t around. They are so great at adding flavor and punch to cooked dishes, and crunch and zest in their natural state. Raw or cooked, you can have your choice from a small group of “alliums,” or members of a family that include onions, garlic and chives.

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the common daisy

There are few flowers that say “summer” and “American” like the daisy. Daisies are a super huge family with some blooms just for beauty and some blooms that you may decide to use in your kitchen.

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Have you ever tried to grow apples? Yes, it is possible. Do a little research and find the species of apple that will grow well here.

If you have tried to grow apples, you learned that you may have some competition from friendly birds and bugs and other pests. An interesting body of research has been underway at Cornell University Extension Service to experiment with ways to make our apple trees more “fruitful.”

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container gardening

You may want to try container gardening, or maybe just expand your ideas of what can be grown in containers. It is a genius way to grow plants if you don’t have much space or are new to gardening. Some expert gardeners just want the ease of container gardening and the beauty it adds to existing garden areas.

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I’m amazed at the variety of colors available in caladiums these days. There are outrageous combinations of red, pink, super hot pink, white, chartreuse and shades of green. This plant is a classic. Its leaves have a translucent quality that seems to make them all glow brilliantly in the sunshine.

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Do you have a special tomato or pepper plant that you think is a real winner? Maybe your granny passed down a special recipe for canned preserves or processed herbs that you think are way out of the ordinary. Canned pickles, tomatoes, peppers and their fresh counterparts are welcome at the 43rd annual Jefferson County Fruit and Vegetable Show this Saturday, June 13.

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drowning plant

Weren’t we just in a drought? You would never know it now with creeks overflowing, mold growing and plants hoping for a little sunshine. You may have some plants outdoors or inside that are struggling. Are they struggling because they need a little more water or a whole lot less?

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For years, the Jefferson County Master Gardener Association has been making Beaumont and surrounding areas more beautiful. They recently gathered a considerable workforce of volunteers and beautified the Veterans Memorial Park in Port Arthur.

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