Joette Reger

Joette Reger of Garden Gate

My patio is full of pots along the sides just choked full of different herbs. Hey, they are so easy to grow. And it is such a supreme treat, a real richness in life, to be able to walk out the door and clip an ingredient for a meal … truly better than a million bucks. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration.

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As we look forward to fall and cooler temperatures, I’ve noticed that the colors of fall flowers for events and the colors of fashion we see in the stores seem to be very similar. That’s not an accident. Fashion often subtly dictates the colors that we use years before we even notice. Colors in our garden, in our “fancy” flower arrangements for weddings and special events, even the colors in our clothing and on the walls of our home, are set into motion years before they look “right” to our eye.

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I had the great pleasure of talking with a real local farmer recently. I first met William Perego at the festive Saturday morning farmer’s market on College Street by the tennis courts a couple of weeks ago. William and his wife, Lori, live in Kirbyville and are pretty popular up that way this time of year. They farm acres of land and produce quite an inspirational variety of produce. If they have just too much of something some weeks, they give the extra to the local nursing homes. William says, “I make sure to keep the local widow women with some produce, too.”

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tomato

Maybe I like to grow tomatoes because they are so quirky. Maybe its because I can grow whatever weird kind of tomato I’d like to eat rather than pick from those limited options at the grocery store. I pulled some delicious red ones off the vine this morning and sliced them to go onto toast. Life can’t get much better than that.

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I’ve walked through many a furniture store trying to find just that ‘right’ area rug to inspire the rest of the room.  Certain colors just make me happy and others bring me a sense of calm while others just don’t do a thing at all.   Your outdoor room can inspire you in just the same way.  Why would you want a yard that makes you snooze?  Choosing the colors that you find appealing when you are outdoors at your home are just as important as what you see inside.

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One of the very best things about spring is the wealth of herbs available for us to plant in our own gardens at home. And what a joy it is to be in the middle of cooking an Italian dinner and be able to go out to your own “crop” and pick oregano or basil, clip, rinse and chop for the recipe.

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I find home remedies fascinating. They usually work so well that the ideas have been passed down from great-grandparents. They don’t cost much, if anything, and they are just downright interesting. We want our gardens to thrive, not just limp along. Farmers did well with no purchased pesticides for hundreds of years, so maybe we can too?

Spray to deter bugs 

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“Just for you, we are having two.” That’s the slogan for the 2016 Master Gardener’s Fall Plant Sales. Last spring, this energetic group tried two separate sales events and based on the success of that project, they have decided to do the same this fall.

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Crepe myrtle

Whether you spell it crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, you can’t help but love this long lasting bloomer. These small flowering trees or large bushes can be seen in commercial plantings and in lots of creative lawns around town. Why do we love them so much? For one thing, they bloom around 120 days throughout the spring, summer and fall. Use them as screens, lawn specimens, shrub borders and container plants. We call them “The Kings of Color.”

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Hostas are a secret weapon for those of us with shady gardens. They come in crazy combination of shapes, textures and colors. You can look for them with a wide variety of leaf shapes, too – heart-shaped, oval, lance-shaped, round – and shiny, dull, smooth or textured. The colors vary from blue to bright green to yellow to red to whites.

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