garden gate

If you look in your closet, you might be able to tell what your favorite colors are. Have you ever thought about using your favorite colors in the planning of your backyard? Love blue? A patch of blue in a container on your patio could make your morning brighter. Love orange? Why not place a huge orange bougainvillea outside of your kitchen window? Color is the most noticeable feature in most of our yards, so why not make it a color that you love?

shadow

When I’m asked about the consummate flower for summer, I always think “bougainvillea.” The vibrant colors that you can find at our local garden centers are the first attraction. The other things that are fabulous about them is their heat tolerance and low need for watering.

shadow

What a joy it is to look out your patio window and see a little lemon tree chock full of these bright yellow treats. And the blooms have a heavenly scent. The warm weather of Texas is perfect for growing lemon trees. But just like with any region where you grow citrus plants, you have to take steps to ensure the health of your tree if you want the harvest. One of the easiest ways to grow happy lemon trees and other citrus here is to plant them in containers.

shadow

If you want to get out of those big box stores and find something more personal for your outdoor spaces, you are on the “Right Side of Texas.” Decorators and gardeners in the know scour our local antique stores for the best and most unique inspirations for their gardens. Just flip through magazines like Architectural Digest or Southern Living and you will see picture perfect areas with personal touches. Free your mind. The trend now is to re-use and re-purpose.

shadow

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.

shadow
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.

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow
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.

shadow

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.

shadow