Joette Reger's archive

Under an asparagus fern’s ‘delicate’ mound of bright green are tiny thorns.

When is a fern not a fern? Well, we all call this plant “asparagus fern,” but no, it’s not actually a fern at all. You can count on this plant with cascading foliage to be super hardy, green and lush even through our summers of relentless heat.

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Eileen Slater, Best of Show
Melissa Starr,  Best Fruit and  Tomato

At Central Mall recently, local gardeners got to show off. County Extension Agent Emilee Bean helped record all of the fun and note the winners at the Jefferson County Fruit, Herb and Vegetable Show. Truth be told, they are winners all. A total of 78 entries were judged for quality and uniformity. In my book, each and every one of those gardeners are champs.

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It was amusing to see a website entitled Dummies.com. One of their many subjects covered planting a window box container garden. We all love container gardening whether we have an apartment, patio home or a few acres. You can picture that most perfect window box garden if you just close your eyes. You imagine a well-tended home with decorative boxes under the windows with dozens of colorful plants just spilling out over the sides. Those lovely flowers and trailing ivy just give a home so much personality.

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onions

I don’t know about you, but I would really miss onions if they weren’t around. They are so great at adding flavor and punch to cooked dishes, and crunch and zest in their natural state. Raw or cooked, you can have your choice from a small group of “alliums,” or members of a family that include onions, garlic and chives.

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Cactus blooms

What a wonderful surprise I saw the other morning on one of the hottest, dustiest and driest corners in town: The cactuses were in bloom. Even on this inhospitable corner, these courageous beauties showed off blooms that were as pretty as a rose.

In fact, plants from the huge cactus group are pretty perfect for you to consider in some high and dry area of your yard. There are also striking varieties of cacti for a windowsill or sunny spot inside your home. Some like a little shade, while some want sun all day.

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