Gardening

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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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

Palm trees always give that relaxed, resort-like atmosphere when they are used in a landscape. Just think of those fabulous area backyards with pools and hot tubs surrounded by moody, swaying palms. Whether you have the pool or not, you can just turn on the oscillating sprinkler, pour yourself a lemonade and do a little research on the palms that could make your yard a tropical paradise.

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Dill weed

Now don’t start asking, “Why are we reading about a weed?” This weed is invariably in the dishes of most Eastern European and Scandinavian dishes, and it is delicious and super easy to grow. Dill weed is that super fresh herb of winter.

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Mistletoe

I’ve always wondered about that lore of kissing under the mistletoe, and after countless movies on the Hallmark channel, I thought it might be fun to investigate just where this all started. How could a parasite become something so mystical?

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Joette Reger of Garden Gate

It is such a thrill each year to see the little buds come out on my Christmas cactus plants. Seems like they tease me for about three weeks before the buds turn into gorgeous blooms. What a seasonal decoration! Between blooming seasons, I keep them along with “expired” orchids on the tile floor under a piano. That way, it is hard to forget to give them watering every week or so until they surprise me with blooms again.

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