Category Archives: Favorite Plants

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 →

Overton Horticulture Field Day

Last week the rains didn’t dampen landscapers, Master Gardeners and industry reps from attending the annual Horticulture Field Day in Overton, Texas, where trials of a wide range of mostly annual flowers and foliage plants were planted in replicates to see which ones had what it takes to make a good showing in our hot, humid (and often rainy) East Texas climate. Of course, this is just the end of June, and it will be interesting to see which ones will still be going strong when it comes… Read More →

Crapemyrtles for Great Summer Color

You know summer has arrived in the South when the cicadas start singing and the crapemyrtles are blooming. Crapemyrtles are among the most popular of the small trees in the southern United States because of their beauty, long season of bloom, compact size, hardiness and longevity. It is common to find stately, thriving crapemyrtles well over 100 years old at old homesteads, abandoned home sites or cemeteries. Crapemyrtles have been called the lilac of the south, being cultivated in the U.S. since the early 1800’s. The common crapemyrtle,… Read More →

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 →

Ginkgo – a Unique Tree with a Long History

Tyler, famous for roses and azaleas, has another plant that attracts attention from fans of Texas trees. On the grounds of the Tyler City Hall stands a living monument to the ice ages and to the city’s early history. On the southeastern lawn lives an old, large Ginkgo tree, brought to us by one of Smith County’s famous residents. This tree is now known as the Hubbard Ginkgo since it was a former Texas governor and ambassador to Japan, Richard Bennett Hubbard of Lindale, who brought this tree… Read More →

Orange for Holidays

Orange is such a fall color – probably most closely associated with pumpkins, and that favorite Thanksgiving desert, pumpkin pie (yes, pecan pie is also right up there in the favorite category). All the fruit off of my Satsuma orange tree has been harvested, ripening during the fall color fest. One of my other favorite fruits is Japanese persimmon, and they are indeed pumpkin orange, also ripening at this wonderful time of year. The color orange is not restricted to fruit, however, as several trees and shrubs have… Read More →

Colorful Foliage for the Yard

  This is the time of year when foliage takes over flowers for center stage in the landscape. Many people have commented that fall foliage in our neck of the woods is just as good as the more renowned northeastern foliage. No need to take a long road trip; a drive around town or out into the surrounding countryside will reward you with a bounty of reds, yellows, oranges, purples, and the various hues of green from different evergreens. You may not have room in your yard for… Read More →