Gosh, I love this time of the year where everyone decorates with pumpkins and old flowers get ripped out and mums go in. As much as I treasure Belgian mums, I must admit there is something special about mari-mums. I would be quick to tell you there is no such thing as a mari-mum but in actuality, it has won the coveted Texas Superstar award, not...Read more
After a hurricane, you find beauty and pleasure in simple things and in my case it is the old-fashioned zinnia. Now I say old-fashioned because we grew them from generic seed packets so I don't really know the variety. I would say it is the zinnia you grew up with as a kid.
If you are like me that was one of the first plants you grew from seeds...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It was hard to miss the red and white gingham tablecloths, the lively green plants and the red and blue furry creatures jumping up and down above a pile of hay in the White House Kitchen Garden this week.
Children laughed as they ran around the tables, and the TV creatures behind the hay shouted with excitement as first lady ...Read more
When I moved into my new house about this time last year, I was quick to notice my neighbor's flowers across the street. I could see drifts of wonderful tall blue flowers coupled with the complementary orange of swirling gulf fritillary butterflies. I knew immediately this was a real gardener as those showy blooms were the native blue mistflower...Read more
The trumpets are sounding, well not really but it sure looks like it all across the south. I'm talking angel's trumpets known botanically as Brugmansia. No matter what the color, white, pink, yellow, apricot, or a shade of red the sight of these flowers hanging downward just seems to capture the imagination.
Fifteen years ago I wrote in ...Read more
It has been called the world's most colorful shrub which is certainly not an exaggeration and I have been in love with it ever since I made my first visit to the Caribbean 30 years ago. If you are a gardener then you probably know the plant I am talking about is the croton.
Crotons are known botanically as Codiaeum variegatum and though I first...Read more
In the last couple of years, there have been few plants that totally overwhelmed me with their beauty in the garden like Everillo. I briefly touched on this incredible sedge last winter but now after watching it for the second year, and seeing it through a brutal summer, even more, I know this is a must-have plant.
I have always lamented that ...Read more
Hurricane Hermine came in and was a tropical storm by the time it reached Savannah and while it left a wake of plant destruction it also magically brought us blooms by the dozens. The storm hit on Friday; on Tuesday morning when we returned after the Labor Day holiday we were welcomed by rain lilies.
Friday the day of Hermine's arrival the rain...Read more
Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The ArrivalN. E. Brown
A young 15 year old girl is orphaned shortly after arriving in America in 1898 and is stalked by a drifter who wants her for himself. Romance, danger and fleeing a dangerous man wanted for several murders challenges her livelihood and future. All of this is happening ...
Growing Cape Plumbago is like having your own personal ticket to the butterfly wild kingdom. Not only will you be the proprietor of the daily nectar cafe but depending on where you live you will also be celebrating young ones as this is a host plant for the Cassius Blue butterfly.
This comes from someone who has become a recent butterfly geek ...Read more
This morning in Savannah, the heat and humidity were simply staggering but as I drove into the garden there they were, two acalypha plants, the tropical troopers of the landscape. What I was looking at were Java White and the bright red cat tail like blooms of chenille plant.
When it comes to August temperatures we as gardeners need some tough ...Read more
You can spot Lime Sizzler a mile away! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but the new Lime Sizzler firebush is definitely an attention grabber. Ever since firebush was declared a Texas Super Star Winner, 20 years ago, it has captured the fancy of gardeners, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Now with the addition of Lime Sizzler, everyone...Read more
The princess flower loads up with uncountable blossoms of royal purple, making it unchallenged as the most beautiful plant in the late summer garden. Botanically speaking the princess flower is known as Tibouchina urvilleana and is native to Brazil the site of the 2016 Olympics. The family name is Melastomataceae and is most likely quite rare at...Read more
Names like Queen Lily and Emperor belong to an incredible group or genera of gingers called Curcuma, and they are among the most beautiful plants you can grow in the landscape. As the names suggest, they are indeed fit for royalty.
In addition to these, there are others that might best be described as the crown jewels. Jewel of Thailand, Jewel ...Read more
The last time I reported on the Cora Cascade was in 2010; so much has changed with this trailing beauty, it's now even better than we knew it then, so I thought I'd write an update.
Cora Cascade vinca has been beating the brutal summers in simply amazing fashion and if you are looking for trailing color look no further. Twice this summer I have...Read more