Author Archives: khansen

Jazz Up the Landscape

Have you ever looked at your yard and thought, “This needs something to jazz it up?” Something to make it more than just another ho-hum planting of “round green meatballs” as some of my horticulture friends like to call plants that look like, well, round green meatballs. There are lots of plants that can liven up a plain yard. Even one plant, properly selected and located, can make a striking statement and attract attention. The following is a very small sampling of plants with dramatic form or foliage… Read More →

April Gardening Tips

Springtime! Finally azaleas and other spring flowers are bursting into their spring glory. This is a perfect time for not only enjoying the fabulous scenery and landscapes in East Texas, but also for getting into your own yard for planting, cleaning up and creating your own personal paradise. There’s plenty of gardening things to do in the month of April, and here a few items for your list. Mark your calendars for the East Texas Garden Lecture Series which continues this month on April 12 with a program… Read More →

Location, Location, Location (Right Plant / Right Place)

Have you every fallen in love with a plant at a nursery and decided to you just had to have it? You take it home, and then wander about, wondering where you can put your newly acquired plant?  No? Then you probably are not a plant geek, like me.  That is just one way a home landscape can become a hodge-podge and not really look as good as it could. A much more common occurrence is when a home is landscaped with plants without taking into consideration the… Read More →

Valentine’s Day Gardening

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and folks are reminded of the special people in our lives. It should also remind us of a couple of items in our landscape and lawns that may need special attention. Here in Northeast Texas, Valentine’s Day coincides with the ideal time to prune back rose bushes so they will be ready to burst forth with strong growth as the temperatures warm. This is also the time of year to consider whether or not the lawn needs an application of a weed preventer…. Read More →

February Gardening Notes

February brings an increased pace of gardening activities. Even though the average last freeze of the winter season is around mid-March, there are many things that can or should be done in the home landscape and garden. Here are some items for your garden calendar. Rose pruning is a task that is done around mid-February. Valentine’s Day is used as a convenient reminder to cut back your rose bushes to increase their health and productivity. Pruning roses often puzzles folks who are not used to cutting back their… Read More →

Pruning the Fruit Orchard

One of the more common questions I get at this time of year when everything is dormant is when, and how, to prune various fruiting plants, like peaches, blackberries, figs and blueberries.  In general, January and February is an ideal time train and trim most of our orchard fruits. Each type of fruit is trained and maintained differently, and so it is helpful to know some general guidelines for what you are growing. For example, figs are NOT annually pruned to enhance fruit production, whereas peach trees need… Read More →

Pruning for Healthy, Attractive & Productive Plants

At this time of year, as our trees and shrubs enter dormancy, homeowners often think about pruning their plants. Improper pruning can destroy in a few minutes the beauty, grace and vigor of a plant that nature has worked for years to create. It is better not to prune at all than to do it incorrectly. Proper pruning of trees and shrubs involves art and skill. The artistic part is to prune plants so the result is pleasing to the eye – a compliment to the yard and… Read More →

Upcoming Gardening and other Educational Programs

This is the time of year that is loaded up with opportunities to sharpen your skills or learn more about gardening, landscaping and related topics. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides a variety of educational programs and topics to the citizens of our great State. Here is a listing of some of the many upcoming programs in the northeast Texas area that might be of interest to you. For more details and other regional educational opportunities, go to the East Texas Gardening web site and the Educational… Read More →