garden ideas

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Garden

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Garden

Read at the risk of creating a good habit...

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Let's Plant Some Spring Veggies!

Let's Plant Some Spring Veggies!

March is just around the corner and almost time to plant some Spring veggies.  Growing your own vegetables can be very rewarding for the entire family, and it's never too late to get started if you haven't already!

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Five Favorite Evergreens Keep Your Winter Garden Gorgeous

While winter may bring some chilly overcast days, we’re lucky here in Houston that our soils never freeze. That means we get to keep gardening all year-long, even in winter! While many plants will drop their leaves or die back to the ground in order to conserve energy through winter, many evergreen plants still grace the landscape with lush foliage and endless color. When designing a successful landscape, you always want to make sure to balance the foliage. Be sure to incorporate enough evergreens so that your landscape still has color and interest during the winter season.

Rosemary is both a beloved culinary herb and a workhorse landscape plant. This evergreen just never quits! Plants sport their fragrant evergreen foliage year-round and will sporadically produce tiny blue flowers through the seasons, even in winter. These flowers can be an important food source for honeybees when many plants are dormant. Keep in mind, rosemary is not a small plant. You’ll need to make sure you provide ample room for rosemary to spread, as it’s a quick grower. Upright varieties can grow to 5-tall and wide. Trailing varieties will stay shorter in height, but will spread to 5- to 6-feet. A full sun location and well draining soil is all this beauty will need to thrive. Once established, rosemary has low water needs.

Yaupon Holly is considered a small tree or large multi-trunked shrub. Not only do they sport small shiny leaves all winter long, but also bright red berries. These berries add a burst of beautiful color to the winter landscape and also a food source for local birds. Plants perform best in a sunny location. Take note: If you shear your Yaupon hollies regularly, you’ll lose out on all those beautiful berries. Tip-prune plant to keep to the desired size and you’ll not only have a more beautiful specimen, but you'll also get to keep those winter berries. Cut a few branches to add to holiday containers or indoor arrangements!

Texas Mountain Laurel is one of our favorite evergreen water-wise shrubs. This slow-growing, yet tough Texas native, has beautiful deep green, glossy round leaves that provide an impressive backdrop to other plants in your garden. In spring, they drip with cascades of purple flowers. The flowers have a distinctive fragrance; many describe it as grape kool-aid! Once you’ve smelled it, you’ll never forget it. Texas mountain laurel performs best in a full sun location, but can tolerate some afternoon shade. It does need well-draining soil to stay healthy and once established, plants need little supplemental water.

Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ is the perfect evergreen foundation shrub for your shady spots. While related to the classic Oregon grape mahonia, ‘Soft Caress’ has a very different appearance. ‘Soft Caress’ sports delicate, feathery foliage that is deep green in color. In late-fall and early-winter, plants put out bright yellow blooms, followed by dark berries. This is a dwarf shrub, growing to only about 4- to 5-feet tall and about 3-feet wide. It’s perfect for smaller urban landscapes or for placing towards the front of shady beds. For the best impact, plant in clusters alongside ferns, lenten rose and coral bells.

Junipers, plants in the genus Juniperus, are some of the most naturally adapted of the conifers to our Texas climate. Junipers are available in both upright and prostrate forms and usually have a blue-green to gray-green color. Juniper ‘Blue Point’ has some of the prettiest blue-green foliage and is perfect for growing as a large accent shrub, landscape topiary or container specimen. Plants grow naturally in a pyramidal shape and require little pruning to maintain their form. Growing to about 12-feet tall and 8-feet wide, you’ll want to provide adequate space for plants to mature; or you can tip prune or lightly shear plants to any desired shape or size. ‘Blue Point’ is often used to create topiary spirals, pom poms and other unique shapes. These Junipers also produce fragrant silvery blue berries, which are a lovely complement to the plant. Junipers are best situated in a full sun exposure with well-draining soil.

TIP: Don’t forget that many evergreen shrubs and perennials also make wonderful container specimens, so don’t be afraid to use them on your patio and porch as well.

Evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials are the backbone of your landscape. Be sure to plant enough of them, mixed with your deciduous plants and annuals, so that your winter garden is just as beautiful as your summer garden!

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Garden

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Garden

Read at the risk of creating a good habit...

Read More

Beneficial Insects You'll Want to Have Around

Beneficial Insects You'll Want to Have Around

But did you know there are many other insects to consider as beneficial  for your garden/yard because they eat the pests for dinner?  Learn to recognize these "good guys"!

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Texas-Tough Summer Bloomers

Texas-Tough Summer Bloomers

Yes, heat hardy and water-wise landscapes can also be lush and colorful!

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Get Gardening with Kids

Get Gardening with Kids

There are so many benefits of gardening with your children.  Once kids see flowers growing and plants turn to food, they become more motivated to have a green thumb, get outside, eat healthy, and more!

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Composting - Why Everyone Should Do It

Composting - Why Everyone Should Do It

Decomposition is nature's way of recycling the building blocks of life!  Composting is simply managing the natural decomposition process for OUR BENEFIT.  It's easy with so many benefits...

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2015 February Local Gardening Events/Workshops of Interest

February     March     April     May     June     July     August      September     October     November     December

FEBUARY

Summer Harvest  by OakleyOriginals/CC BY

FEB. 7

  • Gardening workshops with  Dr. Joe Novak ($20 per workshop, $110 for series): Workshop #1 Starting Transplants for Your Garden - 9am - 11 am; Saturdays, Feb. 7-March 14 at White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine; 713-895-8021.  More info:  nnmd.org.
  • Eighth annual Tree Planting Competition: Houston Area Urban Forestry Council event co-sponsored by the Harris County Flood Control District, Texas A&M Forest Service, and CenterPoint Energy.  Details: 10 a.m. at the Harris County Flood Control District retention basin, 7600 block of W. Little York; 713-688-8931, 713-688-8932.  More info: haufc.org. FREE. (rain date 14th)
  • 7th annual Texas Camellia Show and Sale: 1-4 p.m. at Walker Educational Center, 1402 19th, Huntsville, TX.  FREE.  More info: coushattacamelliasociety.com

FEB. 11

  • "Lunch Bunch" : Native Trees and Plants for the Landscape" is set for noon-2 p.m. @ Mercer Botanic Garden: 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, TX, 77338; (281) 443-8731.  Bring your lunch and enjoy presentations that cover the latest trends on gardening and a variety of related topics.  FREE.   Lunch Bunch held every 2nd Wednesday of the month.  Space is limited so please call to register 281.855.5600.  More info:  http://themercersociety.org/

FEB. 12

  • Harris County Master Gardeners' Green Thumb Lecture Series: Spring Vegetables - Harvesting Know How (second Thursdays through Oct. 8th), 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Barbara Bush Library - 6817 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, TX 77379.  FREE.  Space is limited so please call to register 281.855.5600.  Note: There are other Houston library locations and dates in this same series.  More info:      http://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubGreenThumb.aspx

FEB. 14

  • Gardening workshops with  Dr. Joe Novak ($20 per workshop):  Workshop #2 Make Your Garden Grow—Really!  9am -11 am; Saturdays thru March 14 at White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine, Houston, TX; 713-895-8021.   More info: nnmd.org.
  • Urban Harvest Class (cost $45): Growing Great Tomatoes - 9:00 am - 11:30 am with Instructor Jean Fefer, Ph.D, a Harris County Master Gardener.  Location: University of Houston, Central Campus, Charles McElhinney Hall, room 106.  More info: http://urbanharvest.org/classes
  • Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners' Fruit Tree Sale: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena.  FREE.  More info: hcmga.tamu.edu

FEB. 16

  • Children's Story Time in the Garden: 10:30 am - 11:30 am @ Mercer Botanic Gardens,  22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, TX, 77338; (281) 443-8731.  Children’s Librarian, along with Mercer volunteers, share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents in the Mercer gardens. A craft project is included. Check in at the Visitor Center for the specific location.  Recurring on the Third Monday of the month.  FREE.  More info: http://www.hcp4.net/Calendar/

MID-FEB (Exact date in Feb. TBA)

  • See Daffodils in bloom peaks mid-Febuary thru March at Mrs. Helen Lee's Garden in Gladewater, TX.  The garden opens, depending on Mother Nature, around the middle of February and remains open through March or until the daffodils are no longer in bloom.  The garden is open during this time seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..  For Road Conditions and predicted blooming schedule, contact the Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Gardens directly at (903)845-5780 or visit www.daffodilgarden.com/daffodils_home.htm

FEB. 20

  • Emerald Ash Borer Workshop: sponsored by Houston Area Urban Forestry Council and International Society of Arboriculture - Texas Chapter. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Harris County Flood Control, 7522 Prairie Oak, Houston, TX; 713-688-8931, 979-324-1929, isatexas.com. Members and students $100, $135 nonmembers before Feb. 13, $150 after.

FEB. 21

  • Gardening workshops with  Dr. Joe Novak ($20 per workshop): Workshop #3 Composting for the Home Garden - 9 am -11 am, Saturdays thru March 14 at White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine, Houston, TX; 713-895-8021.  More info: nnmd.org.
  • Brazoria County Master Gardeners' Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale: 8 a.m.-noon at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 S. Downing, Angleton; 979-864-1558.  FREE.  More info: brazoria.agrilife.org

FEB. 22

  • Urban Harvest Class (cost $45): Constructing the Home Vegetable and Fruit Garden with Instructor Danny Millikin - 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm @ Westbury Community Garden, 12581 Dunlap Street, Houston, TX 77035.  More info: http://urbanharvest.org/classes

FEB. 24

  • Open Garden Day and Workshop on Spring Vegetable Gardening9:00 am - 11:30 am @ Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX, 77084.  FREE.  More Info: http://harris.agrilife.org/events/

FEB. 28

  • Rose Pruning Made Simple Class with Gaye Hammond from Houston Rose Society: 10am @ The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, TX; (281) 351-8851.  FREE.  More info: http://www.arborgate.com/classes.php
  • Gardening workshops with  Dr. Joe Novak ($20 per workshop): Workshop #4 Soil Management for the Home Garden - 9 am - 11 am, Saturdays thru March 14th at White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine, Houston, TX; 713-895-8021.  More info at: nnmd.org.
  • Tomato and Pepper Sale and Symposia: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm @ Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX, 77084.  Tomato and pepper varieties as well as other vegetables and herbs suited to our summer growing season.  More info at: http://harris.agrilife.org/events/
  • Urban Harvest Class (cost $45): Spring Vegetable Gardening - 9:00 am - 11:30 am with Instructor Ray Sheer.  Location: University of Houston, Central Campus, Charles McElhinney Hall, room 106.  More info: http://urbanharvest.org/classes
Click below to view events/classes for that month:
February   March  April   May   June    July      August   September   October   November    December

2015 November Local Gardening Events/Workshops of Interest

February     March     April     May     June     July     August      September     October     November     December

NOVEMBER

NOV. 11

  • "Lunch Bunch:" noon-2 p.m. @ Mercer Botanic Garden: 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, TX, 77338; (281) 443-8731.  Bring your lunch and enjoy presentations that cover the latest trends on gardening and a variety of related topics.  FREELunch Bunch held every 2nd Wednesday of the month.  More info: http://themercersociety.org/

NOV. 14

  • Pioneer Day at Jessie H. Jones Nature Park: Volunteers and re-enactors demonstrate settler life in Stephen F. Austin’s colony during the 1820s and early 1830s. Old-fashioned crafts, demonstrations, and period re-enactments bring the homestead to life

NOV. 16

  • Children's Story Time in the Garden: 10:30 am - 11:30 am @ Mercer Botanic Gardens,  22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, TX, 77338; (281) 443-8731.  Children’s Librarian, along with Mercer volunteers, share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents in the Mercer gardens. A craft project is included. Check in at the Visitor Center for the specific location.  Recurring on the Third Monday of the month until.  FREE.  More info: http://www.hcp4.net/Calendar/

NOV. 24

  • Open Garden Day and Workshop on Holiday Plant Care: 9:00 am - 11:30 am @ Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Drive, Houston, TX, 77084.  FREE.  More info at: http://harris.agrilife.org/events/
Click below to view events/classes for that month:
February   March  April   May   June    July      August   September   October   November    December