Features

We hear about the USDA hardiness zones and most garden centers sell plants with tags clearly marking which zone the plant is best suited for. With few exceptions, gardening success is vitally linked to selecting plants that suit your climate. Our area hardiness zones are Zone 8 and Zone 9.

If you want a low maintenance garden, stick with plants for your zone. But that being said, you can cheat the zones a little. It might be interesting to expand your plant palette and push the limits by creating microclimates.

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Q. A contractor came to see me and gave me a verbal quote for work I wanted done. His total price was $2,000. I received the invoice in the mail and promptly paid it. I then received another invoice for $3,200. He said it was for extra work he had to do. I told him I would only pay the amount he quoted me. Now he has sent me a letter stating he is going to put a lien on my house if I do not pay the additional $3,200. Help! I don’t know what my legal options are.

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Buddy Smith had a pair of his favorite quail hunting dogs on the ground and Jimmie Buffett, his go-to pointer, was locked up on a covey in a brush pile next to a huge oak tree. Smith motioned for his yellow lab, Wes, to move in and flush the birds.

Mike Ramsey, his son Michael and I were on point when five bobwhite quail flushed. The birds were surprisingly fast, considering they were pen raised. But only two hit the ground.

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This week, the State Department denied TransCanada’s permit to develop a proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that crosses the American-Canadian border. This pipeline, know as Keystone XL, would transport crude oil and bitumen, a tarry pre-oil material mined in Canada’s tar sands, from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast.

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The news media reported recently the federal government had passed out $30 million to various law enforcement agencies throughout Texas. U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson proudly announced she had seen to it the checks went out promptly and were distributed throughout Texas. This $30 million represents proceeds gleaned by seizing contraband while prosecuting the war on drugs. While I appreciate as a taxpaying citizen of Texas the fact that $30 million will be infused into Texas, I have serious misgivings about making our law enforcement personnel bounty hunters.

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