Home and Garden

Twice as Nice Daylily

Sometimes we might want to plant an area with blooming flowers we can rely on for color all summer. Long-blooming perennials make this a possibility. We can consider these long blooming perennials the “workhorses” of the garden.

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Agapanthus blooms come in many different colors, but the blue is a favorite, wit

Gardens all throughout our area are struttin’ their stuff with spring in full swing. One of the most outstanding shows is the agapanthus in bloom. Oh yes, the agapanthus will stop you in your tracks with their stately beauty and wonderful fragrance.

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I begged, yes, I begged. When I heard that Robin Powell, gardener and real estate agent, had a 70-year-old grapefruit tree next door in her son Eric’s yard, I really wanted some of those local grapefruit. The sweet, thin skinned, juicy grapefruit did not disappoint! The Powells live in the closely-knit community of Sour Lake. They discovered the tree years ago and have been enjoying these delicious grapefruit for years. Granddaughter Isabella Powell was the first to add that her daddy’s tree is the best grapefruit tree anywhere, and I’ll have to admit she might be right.

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January is sometimes a bad month for gardening in the yard, so we may turn our attention to perusing seed catalogs, cleaning tools and generally organizing our sheds and garages. Lots of us have huge stacks of those containers of all sizes that we use to bring our plants home. There are quite a few uses for them other than just replanting plants into them.

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Roadside vendors occasionally have signs advertising their sale of mayhaw jelly. There are even Mayhaw festivals in Hull-Daisetta, Texas (May 2-4 2013); El Dorado, Ark.; Marion, La.; Starks, La.; and Colquitt, Ga. What’s all the fuss about?

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Hanging Basket

We all love the look of hanging baskets on a porch or under a trellis. You might have great luck with other container plants, but your thumb turns black when you’ve tried to nurture hanging baskets. They are not difficult to build or maintain if you follow just a few guidelines.

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Want to create a fantastic fall garden? By now, your yard might be looking a little neglected. We all think of spring and summer as times to make our yard and garden areas shine, but why not fall? Leftover and sad looking plants in mud-spattered, tilted containers and summer flowers on their last leg are easy to replace.

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People the world over love the aloe vera plant. There are more than 250 species of aloe. Surprisingly, the aloes are members of the lily family. Most of this healthy looking group are native to Africa. They are found in African deserts and the islands of Aruba and Barbados.

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Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange will celebrate the orchid, one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, from Oct. 6-13. At Shangri La, there will be daily tours of the Exhibition Greenhouses, classes and presentations highlighting the orchid, and a variety of orchids will also be available for purchase at Shangri La’s Garden Store.

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If it were to send out notices of a family reunion, the kalanchoe would have more than 125 envelopes to lick. An avid collector can find varieties from a few inches in height to a few feet tall. Some are creepers.

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