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Nancy Donovan


Barbara Porsch, Master Gardener  The night blooming cereus is certainly not the most beautiful foliage plant.  It is quite often rangy, even unsightly.  Then for a one night stand it blooms and compensates for all of its disadvantages.  The egg shaped bud covered with tan sepals grows out of a vein on the leaf, slowly unfurls during the day and opens about 10 o’clock at night, regrettably fading shortly after the sunlight strikes it the next morning. Continue Reading...

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By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener If a plant could be my nemesis, it would definitely be the Mexican Petunia.  My Mom gave me my plant in 1990.  It was only one small stalk.  Fortunately, I planted it in a bed that is surrounded by concrete.   However, I am still constantly thinning it to keep it from spreading and invading the rest of the flowerbed and the yard.   The picture of it growing out of the concrete 15’ away from where it is planted will give you a hint about the bat Continue Reading...

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Carol Siddall, Master Gardener The dahlia, in my book, is one of the prettiest and showiest flower in the family garden.  My mother could grow beautiful dahlias that would have taken prizes if she had ever entered them.  Me, I am not so fortunate, but that doesn't keep me from trying!  Dahlias are gorgeous heat lovers that provide color summer through frost. The dahlia was named in the late 1700s for Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl.  The dahlia began to be pop Continue Reading...

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Carl White, Master Gardener and bird Enthusiast The hummingbird tongue extends and retracts some 20 times per second when drinking.  The tongue separates so as to trap the sugar water and draws that up into its mouth.  Scientists are still puzzled as to how the drawing of the water and swallowing are coordinated.  So extends the mystery of the amazing little birds we so enjoy each summer.  First, that the common habitant of the West Texas area is the Black-chinned species, whic Continue Reading...

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Barbara Porsch, Master Gardener and Herb Enthusiast I love herbs and love to grow and use them in my culinary adventures.    In fact, I hardly thought of them as being advantageous medically.  But more and more today I see references about certain herbs being helpful to combat medical problems.   Looking back, I have always seen a historical use of herbs for medicinal purposes.  It is hard to know which use came first…… the culinary or the medicinal. Let’s l Continue Reading...

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  Roger Corzine, Master Gardener Succulents are an interesting group of plants that seem to be earning more gardener interest at present. However, there also seems to be some misunderstanding about the word ‘succulent’. I have found that many people seem to equate the terms "cactus" and "succulent". There is a statement in botanical circles that says, “Nearly all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti,” so let me explain. First, the term su Continue Reading...

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Shan Wheeler, Master Gardener Intern If you love butterflies but have either a shady garden with little sun to induce flower production or mostly evergreen flowerless bushes, you can still lure those beautiful creatures to their very own butterfly heaven by a couple of simple methods.  Every gardener enjoys seeing butterflies coming to their garden. A butterfly feeder can be fabricated from a Mason jar.  Using twine, cut two pieces of string that are 48" lon Continue Reading...

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By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener My friend asks “That’s pretty!  What is it?”  My response: “I have absolutely no idea.”  Thus began my garden journal.  After taking a class on journaling at the Master Gardener State Conference, I knew it was the answer to my problems – or at least part of them.  I remembered that my now gone gardening neighbor, Buddie, kept a record of how much rain we got each year and when we got it.  He also recorded what he planted and when. Continue Reading...

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By Carol Siddall, Master Gardener   One of my favorite plants for the shade garden is Coleus.  I sometimes feel it is a little forgotten.  I haven't been able to find many varieties at all in the nurseries I have been to, and that is a shame as there are lots more varieties to choose from now, some even like the sun! Coleus is native to Southeast Asia.  They are tender tropicals that are generally grown as annuals.  They like warm soils with decent d Continue Reading...

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