Joette Reger

If you want a great place to spend next Saturday, Nov. 1, I have a suggestion for you! The Golden Triangle Rose Society is holding its Fall Rose Show at Tyrrell Park Garden Center at noon. They have invited the public to not only attend but to enter a rose in the contest Do you have a special rose in mind? Or you can just go and enjoy the Garden Center, which will be overflowing with the beautiful colors and fragrances of hundreds of freshly cut roses. How great is that!

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Want a great garden next spring? Now is the time to start improving your soil if you want those super healthy colorful blooms next year. Just remember that when Jack threw the bean out of the window that grew the beanstalk, that the soil it grew in was probably super fertile.

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Even if you do not often eat them, I’ll bet you would like the way they add elegance to your garden spaces. The oh-so-interesting artichoke is simply a showstopper in full bloom. It will spread into a huge silvery green fountain-shaped vegetable. And you could try dipping those artichoke leaves into some butter and then eating that tender artichoke heart. The artichoke is a goldmine of rich, earthy, hearty flavor.

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As the temperatures soar higher and higher, lots of us are looking for plants that are happy with less water. Water isn’t as inexpensive and plentiful as it once was. Have you ever considered xeriscaping part or all of your yard?

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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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