Author Archives: khansen

Gardening Tips for November

Standing in my yard today reminded me of why we typically call this time of year “fall” instead of autumn. Almost with no breeze, elm leaves float down like confetti, requiring yet another sweeping of the walk leading to the front door. But, I’m not complaining. This is a lovely season, with mild weather and beautiful scenes both in landscapes and in the country side as trees begin their transition to winter dormancy. Fall leaf color can vary year to year based on temperature and soil moisture leading… Read More →

Fall Bloomers for the Garden

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year with the changing of the seasons, perfect temperature to be enjoying working or playing outdoors, and flashes of color we haven’t seen all year. Besides the turning of tree leaves into an array of hues ranging from yellow, orange, red, brown (yes, brown is a color), and everything in between, many flowering plants hit their floral stride at this time of year. Shorter days and long nights trigger plants to flower whose reproductive clocks are triggered by the lengthening… Read More →

Gardening Events in October in the Tyler Area

Fall is for planting, and that also means opportunities to learn more, and to buy adapted plants at plant sales (and of course, from local independent nurseries and garden centers). Here are a few upcoming events to get on your calendar: September 27: Cherokee County Master Gardeners Annual Fall Plant Sale – 8-2:00; Ruth Nichols Arboretum, 1015 South East Loop 456, Jacksonville October 4: SFA Gardens Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale – 9-2:00; SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches October 7: 1st Tuesday in the… Read More →

Gardening Tips for September

September is a swing month in the garden, since summer has not completely left us yet, but the milder days of fall are around the corner. You could almost say this is a time of preparation because many consider fall to be the best time to be planting both cool season vegetable crops and trees and shrubs for our landscapes. September also has a couple of local gardening educational opportunities. The First Tuesday in the Garden series presented by Smith County Master Gardeners in their I.D.E.A. Garden starts… Read More →

Attracting Butterflies to Your Home Garden

One of the benefits of having a landscape full of flowers is the joy of seeing colorful butterflies flitting from flower to flower to feed on their sweet nectar. It is interesting how much of the summer may go by with only an occasional sighting of a butterfly. Then, suddenly, they seem to be everywhere. Some years butterflies are plentiful, others not so much. The weather and the environment play big roles in the annual abundance or scarcity of many species of butterflies. In some cases, human activity… Read More →

Not Your Common Groundcovers

Landscaping any yard presents many opportunities and challenges. Opportunities might include creating a design to facilitate movement from one place to another, or focus attention on a great feature on the home or special plant. Maybe it is to showcase a special plant. And there are always challenges, like figuring out the best plants for that spot that gets too much sun for shade-loving plants, but not enough for most blooming plants. Or, plants that will take constant wetness, dryness, deep shade, shallow soil, etc. Or, plants that… Read More →

Plumeria and Frangipani – Bring the Tropics To Your Home

  You don’t have to go to Hawaii to enjoy the State’s traditional welcoming fragrant leis which are typically made of plumeria flowers. That’s because this tropical plant is easy to grow and care for in our more temperate climates. You do have to protect it in the winter time, and if you’ve ever grown one, then you know why they are worth the effort. Plumeria, also commonly known as Frangipani, bears sweetly fragrant flowers. Even if they did not smell so good, they are also very beautiful!… Read More →

Gardening Tips for July

Happy July! It’s time for fireworks, watermelons and summer vacations. Get your wide brimmed hat and sunscreen out, and protect yourself from intense sun as you go about your July gardening chores. Drink plenty of water, and take frequent breaks. Don’t let heat exhaustion sneak up on you! And always wear mosquito repellent to reduce the chance of being bitten and contracting West Nile Virus. Check out the series of articles about mosquitoes on Citybugs.tamu.edu Vegetables. How is your vegetable patch doing? Some spring-planted types may be starting… Read More →