Category Archives: Favorite Plants

Helleborus Blooms

Nothing brightens the wintertime (this is winter, right??) like cheery blooms. Narcissus and flowering quince are starting to bloom, and I’ve seen a few early deciduous magnolia blooms. Another early bloomer is Helleborus, also known as Lenten Rose or Christmas Rose. It’s not even closely related to roses. But they are reliable bloomers for the winter garden, and do great in shady spots in the landscape. They can take quite deep shade, but bloom better if they get some morning, or late afternoon sun.  They do like well-drained… Read More →

Moth Orchids – Easy to Grow Houseplants

Early in my gardening hobby days, I became interested in orchids. Those beautiful, large, colorful, long-lasting, waxy blooms are quite enchanting, and the lure was irresistible to try growing some of these exotic plants. I availed myself to references, books and magazines, and became thoroughly confused, and nearly convinced that folks without greenhouses were not meant to enjoy these botanical wonders, except as corsages on special occasions. Killing a few along the way reinforced my notion that special conditions were a necessity to grow any kind of orchid…. Read More →

Christmas Cactus Care

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesi) is a favorite holiday season house plant, but one which needs careful attention to details if it is to flower again the next year. It is closely related to Easter Cactus (Schlumbergera gaertneri) and Thanksgiving Cactus (Schlumbergera truncatus), all with fleshy, flattened, segmented joints and showy flowers ranging in color from white through pink, red and purple. These cacti are epiphytes, which means that in their native habitat, they live in the crotches and bark of jungle trees. This is why they do best… Read More →

Camellias – Southern Charm with a Long History

Fall and winter bring out the flowers of one of the loveliest blooming shrubs we can grow – camellias. Like many other wonderful plants we grow and admire in the landscape, camellias are native to Asia. Did you know that the leaves of a very close relative of garden camellias is the source of the beverage we call tea!  Camellia sinensis has been grown and used in China since 2737 B.C., and it became a popular drink in Europe in the 17th century. Due to the expense of… Read More →

Color Your Landscape Every Fall

One of the great things about living in the northeast part of Texas is that we typically have four distinct seasons. Yes, spring and fall some years are altogether too brief, with hot weather shortening the pleasant days and nights of these delightful times of year. But, more often than not, in the fall, conditions are good for many trees to put on a final, glorious show before turning loose of their food making factories (their leaves). The palate of red, yellow, orange, and purple leaves paints the… Read More →

Time to Plant Pansies

  Without a doubt, the number one bedding plant flower for winter and early spring color is the pansy. These are tough plants, even though they may sound and look delicate.  One of the few flowers that can take it down to single digit temperatures, fall-planted pansies make a spectacular show the following spring. Plant them in large drifts or masses, or as pockets of color to brighten up a dreary winter landscape. Use them in containers to spotlight a path, porch or wall. The pansy has one… Read More →

Bachelor Buttons Newest Texas SuperStar

What do you think of when you hear the word “Superstar”? Perhaps Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning? What about a Texas Superstar? Troy Aikman, Nolan Ryan, Josh Hamilton? While you may be thinking about a sports, movie or music icon, I have superstar plants in mind. For over twenty years, horticulturists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension Service have conducted statewide evaluations of landscape plants, searching for outstanding plants for the gardeners of Texas.  Plants identified with superior characteristics, including great garden performance in all areas… Read More →

May Garden Blogger Bloom Day

Today is Garden Blogger Bloom Day (GBBD), a day when garden bloggers post what’s blooming in their garden. It is fun and interesting to see what is blooming in different parts of the country at different times of the year. To see what other bloggers are posting for GBBD, go to May Dreams Gardens – they’re the folks that started this great concept. I really didn’t have a lot of time to take photos today, but did manage to get a few snapped before taking care of business…. Read More →