Joette Reger

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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We won’t be planting radishes for a few months, but we can sure eat them right now. Radishes are one of the things, like beets, that I saw my parents eating but swore I would never try. Do our taste buds change? Do we expand our eating horizons? Not sure, but I love them now.

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Photo by Stephanie Reger

Every few years, I torture myself and attempt to grow one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. My object of sure disappointment is the peony. But aren’t they just gorgeous!

According to our friends at Wikipedia, the peony is a flowering plant of the genus Paeonia. They are native to Asia, Europe and Western North America. Peony experts can attest to around 40 or so species of this most lovely flower. They are among the most popular garden plants in some regions, but alas, not easy to grow here.

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You can have a beautiful garden whether you have a yard or not. Don’t let poor soil or lack of grand outdoor spaces stop you from planting beautiful flowers, herbs, evergreens or vegetables. Be bold in you choices of containers and what you put into them. It’s such a fun way to express yourself. Some simple tips will help you design the perfect outdoor container garden.

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It is that wonderful time of year again when we have blooms everywhere around us. Some of the most perfect blooms will be at the Golden Triangle Rose Society Annual Spring Rose Show. It will be held Saturday, April 30, at the Tyrrell Park Garden Center. The show is open to the public from noon – 3 p.m. and is free.

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My favorite tomato is a big, juicy, red, fresh-off-the-vine homegrown one. Next I’d have to say “yummy” to those sweet little cherry tomatoes, and who doesn’t’ love a delicious fried green tomato? The truth is, I’ve never met a homegrown tomato that I didn’t like.

My first (and probably only) romantic story involving a tomato was when my mother would reminisce about her honeymoon at Niagara Falls where they spread out a quilt and enjoyed tomato sandwiches while taking in the view.

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