garden gate

It’s a shame but each and every year I go and buy all of the beautiful colors of mums available at the local garden center; and each year I am astounded at how short of a time they seem to last.  Just look at these colors!  Last year I decided to do a little research to find out what I was doing wrong. Chrysanthemums (mums) are one of the most popular flowers to use in decorating our homes in the fall.  They have all of the colors we love to see in October, November and December.  And they are considered easy to grow!  You can keep

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Blah, blah, blah…. is what some gardeners may say if you announce that you have a part of your yard that you are going use to plant impatiens. These “naysayers” might change their minds after seeing these fabulous mass plantings at Villa d’Este done with a single color, single variety, single flower; impatiens. 

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The movers and shakers in the Jefferson County Master Gardener group have a great surprise for you if you come out this weekend, Saturday, October 13 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. to Jack Brooks Regional Airport. Excitement awaits at the Master Gardener Test Garden in front of the Jerry Ware hangar. The pros will be there with demonstrations and information for your garden. Admission is free. Parking is free.

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Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? One of the homes we lived in had a small water pond that I knew absolutely nothing about when we first moved in. But without any attention from me these lilies bloomed and floated on the surface of the water with unbelievable colors and a certain ‘mystique.’ The podiatrist who had owned the home for years and his yardman had done a wonderful job with the backyard, including installing the pond. It wasn’t long until I discovered that there was some maintenance involved, but not an overwhelming amount.

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Rose of Sharon is such a heat-loving beauty that I can’t help but admire her this time of year.  She not only gives you beautiful flowers but flowers with height.  Another plus for Rose of Sharon is that she blooms later in the summer than some other summer standbys, which have long since given up flowering because of the heat.

The official name of our hardy bloomer in the U.S. is “Hibiscus syriacus.”  Most Americans can easily find this deciduous shrub in whites, pinks and lavenders.

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No, the name is not the newest dental disorder.  On the contrary Pericallis is one of the most vibrantly colored and long-lasting flowers around. I spotted this beauty in the plant area of a nearby box store last March and some of them went home with me.  They have recently called it a day because of the extreme heat but lasted for months with no problem.  

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Joette Reger

I’ve always thought that the fuchsia flower was one of the most beautiful things that gardeners could put into a hanging basket but then I learned that they have a history too. A most interesting English article at www.fuchsiaflower.co.uk opened my eyes to the background of this plant.

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Sure, when we visit Colorado, we see those delicious looking columbines just hanging from rocks in the mountains. But if you have ever tried to grow most of those varieties here in Texas, you may have been met with failure. They just don’t like our heat. Period. An article published in Illinois Natural History Survey calls the columbine the “mountain goat of plants, seeking out cracks and crevices in rocks and often dangling precipitously from these high places like a tethered mountain climber.” The Colorado Blue Columbine is the state flower of Colorado.

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Just the name “Dahlia” suggests a thing of beauty, distinction and great meaning.  Their beauty makes them popular the world over at florists and in our landscapes.  

Look for this charmer in colors of red, pink, purple, white, blue and the black dahlia, which is actually a burgundy color tied to a warning of betrayal.  But be careful of the color that you choose, you may be sending an entirely different message than you intend.

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A recent trip to a for the beautiful wedding of Monet, the gorgeous daughter of a friend of mine, Norma Motiee, will find me always remembering a few things: the lovely church and service, the chic looking guests from Beaumont and all corners of the world, the festive 15-minute walk down the cobblestone streets led by a mariachi band to the after-party, the views in all directions of this UNESCO protected city, and the lovely fields of lavender we could smell all over town. The lavender aroma permeated the air and scented the parks.

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