Joette Reger

Still standing and blooming at the end of July, but what is it? Phlox is one of the heroes in your yard just about now. You can pick the flowers at their best just after the dew dries on the morning of their first bloom.

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One of the most joyful blooms you find in the summer are those of the hibiscus. They can be dramatic. Some of the hundreds of varieties will grow flowers as large as a child’s head. Now lets talk color! Look for hibiscus in all shades of pink from soft to hot, shades of red, white, yellow, peach, purple and orange.

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When I’m asked about the consummate flower for summer, I always think “bougainvillea.” The vibrant colors that you can find at our local garden centers are the first attraction. The other things that are fabulous about them is their heat tolerance and low need for watering.

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What a joy it is to look out your patio window and see a little lemon tree chock full of these bright yellow treats. And the blooms have a heavenly scent. The warm weather of Texas is perfect for growing lemon trees. But just like with any region where you grow citrus plants, you have to take steps to ensure the health of your tree if you want the harvest. One of the easiest ways to grow happy lemon trees and other citrus here is to plant them in containers.

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If you want to get out of those big box stores and find something more personal for your outdoor spaces, you are on the “Right Side of Texas.” Decorators and gardeners in the know scour our local antique stores for the best and most unique inspirations for their gardens. Just flip through magazines like Architectural Digest or Southern Living and you will see picture perfect areas with personal touches. Free your mind. The trend now is to re-use and re-purpose.

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We’ve been enjoying quite a show these last few weeks with the area’s azaleas. Try as they might, even the best gardeners in most of the United States cannot have those lovely blooms that we take for granted. A unique combination of climate, soil and conditions have come together right here that give us these breathtaking flowers that we pass by for a month or so in the spring in this lovely part of Texas.

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James Farmer III

Magnolia Garden Club has an out­standing event planned for our area and you are invited. On March 18 at Beaumont Botanical Center, you can hear a lecture and enjoy a demonstra­tion by James Farmer III. Coffee will be served at 9:30 a.m., and the lecture will begin at 10 a.m.

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The Christmas plant we call the Blooming Christmas cactus is officially known as “Schumbergera” or “Zygocactus.” It blooms at Christmas and even at Easter time if well cared for. This little surprise from Santa stays tucked away all summer and then in the early fall, you can watch the tips of the leaves beginning to grow. The tips get darker and darker until a little bud forms. This beauty is just waiting for short days and cool night temperatures to show you its blooms.

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What do gardeners do when they can’t go outside without getting wet and chilled? Well, just like fashionistas who pour over pages of fashion magazines, gardeners pour over pages of seed catalogs and gardening publications to get new ideas for better weather. Tired of that? Some gardeners seek out ways to continue gardening. One fun way to garden indoors is the old classic, terrariums.

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