Category Archives: Favorite Plants

June Gardening Notes

Spring is holding on with relatively mild temperatures and abundant rainfall. Of course, Texas summer time conditions are right around the corner with hotter and usually dryer weather. Here are some tips to help you be more successful in your June garden. Make plans to attend the free Horticulture Field Day on June 25, at the Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center in Overton, where you will get a firsthand look at the very latest plant introductions. This all-day program starts off in the morning with a… Read More →

Spreading Japanese Plum Yew

I’d like to introduce you to a different kind of evergreen groundcover that may fill a niche in your landscape. If you are originally from more northern parts of the U.S., you are no doubt familiar with the common evergreen shrub known as Yew (Taxus), which does not fare well in our area. Similar in appearance, but much more tolerant of our southern heat is Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus). This is a great plant that deserves wider use in the South. Plum yews have feathery, dark evergreen, needle-like… Read More →

Get Ready for Azalea Season

Despite the recent cold and cloudy weather slowing down the start of our azalea blooming season, the official Tyler Azalea Trail annual celebration kicks off Sunday, March 22 with a ribbon cutting at the Pyron’s lovely garden on Dobbs Street in Tyler. Some nice sunny and warm days should speed up bud break and the wonderful display, not only on the Tyler Azalea Trail, but all across our region. I have written about azaleas many times before, and why not? Our climate and soils are so well-suited for… Read More →

Anticipate Springtime with Early Bloomers

Like so many others, I’m ready for cold weather to go away and pleasant spring weather to arrive. Just be thankful you don’t live any further north where winter hangs on for what seems an eternity. I am also thankful for the many early bloomers that brave the cold to cheer the soul at this sometimes dreary time of year. You might find a spot in your yard for some of these to help chase away the winter blues. Deciduous Magnolias. What a gift these wonderful small trees… Read More →

The Winter Landscape

Winter is not the most favorite time of year for most folks when it comes to gardening and enjoying your yard. The bright flowers of summer are a faded memory, fall tree colors have dropped to the ground, and the days grow shorter as we approach the winter solstice, bringing chilly, often damp, cloudy and dreary conditions. Yet, the changing seasons also bring about transformations in the yard and landscape that cannot be appreciated at other times of the year. Now that trees are bare, their interesting branching… Read More →

Japanese Maples for Year-Round Interest

One of the finest ornamental trees for a home landscape is the Japanese maple. I should probably rephrase that, because there is not just one Japanese maple, but hundreds of different named varieties sporting different growth habits, with varying leaf shapes and colors. Here in East Texas we have all the right conditions to grow these wonderful trees, including acidic soils, abundant rainfall (usually), and four seasons that aid in good fall color changes. The term Japanese maple refers to a very large group of plants belonging mainly… 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 →

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 →