Gardening

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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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

Oh so attractive are the blooming Lily of the Nile lining the front garden beds of many of the homes in the Golden Triangle. The name agapanthus is translated from Greek as the “flower of love,” and I can see why. The ball-shaped blooms of gorgeous blue or white attract hummingbirds and other pollinators from late June until August or September.

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Grant Boucher of Groves won the youth category with his bell peppers

Tensions were high among the affable crowd at Central Mall last week. Area gardeners were about to be judged on their efforts in the garden in the 46th annual fruit and vegetable show. This is the longest running contest of its kind anywhere around Texas. I visited with both David Oates and Peggy Coleman of Texas Agri-Life Extension Agency recently. Oates is the county extension agent and Coleman is head “inside agent” as she has been with the agency since way back when.

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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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Holly Berries

Just driving home from the grocery store with goodies for tonight’s dinner, I was thinking about just how brown all of the landscapes looked. Then I rounded the bend and spotted a large group of holly berry trees. What a happy surprise! These evergreen trees look good all year but especially cheer you up in February when they are chock full of red, red holly berries.

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Cool weather flowers

Just when you think one more day of dreary drizzly weather will send you straight to Mexico, you see a patch of colorful winter blooms that cheer you up. February is when I need a splash of color the most. We seldom freeze, but our cool weather temperatures have scared away most of our summer bloomers by now. But think about cheery pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale, English daisies and my favorites, primrose and cyclamen. We can enjoy them here until temperatures start to climb in late spring.

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