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Category Archives: Spring

Raincatcher’s Plant Sale, April 25

April 23, 2019

Master Gardeners are bringing the very best plants out of their gardens and you have an opportunity to purchase them on Thursday, April 25 before the Master Gardener meeting 10-11:30am and then afterwards from 1-2:00pm. The proceeds are plowed back into our garden so that we can continue the educational programs we enjoy bringing to you.

Lisa Centala has three toad lilies and has propagated purple trailing ruellia, a tender perennial. Lisa originally got the ruellia  from one of our favorite Master Gardeners, Tim Allsup. It had been in his grandmother’s garden.

Trailing Ruellia, pretty in a pot!

Toad Lilies

Jim Dempsey, a  true gentleman gardener, brings seedlings and rooted cuttings from his home garden to our sale. You may want to make a list of what you plan to buy before coming. I sure am!

Tomatoes:
Celebrity
Cherokee Purple
Brandywine Red
Beauty
Lemon Boy
Yellow Pear
Porter
Tomatillo: Grande Rio Verde
Eggplant: Black Beauty
Peppers: Hot Sunset
Gypsy
Cornito Giallo
Carmen
Poblano L
Dutura: Double Yellow
Marigolds:
Janie Yellow
Janie Orange
Disco Mix
Super Hero
Tithona (Mexican Sunflower): Fiesta del Sol
Zinnia:
Pinwheel Mix
Forecast
Giant Yellow
Giant Lavender
Basil:
Purple
Sweet
Rudbeckia:
Autumn Glorosia
Cuttings (rooted):
Champanel grape
Celeste grape
Winter Honeysuckle

Evelyn Womble is offering Hardy Amaryllis bulbs. They are blooming right now in our courtyard and are so pretty, so reliable and they multiply!

Evelyn holding Hardy Amaryllis blooms. You can buy these bulbs at our sale.

We are willing to part with some of the treasured members of our garden for a small price. So won’t you please come to our sale on Thursday; it’s a tax free day.  Cash, check or credit card accepted.

Ann Lamb

 

All Members of the public are invited to Master Gardener meetings.

Click here to find out more about this month’s meeting on Orchids Treasures of Texas.

Bluebonnets at The Raincatcher’s Garden

April 9, 2019

Bluebonnets are blooming once again along Midway.

Bluebonnet close up

In the fall we sowed more wildflower seeds, hoping for their return.

Bluebonnets at The Raincatcher’s Garden

It’s a good year to head out on country roads outside of Dallas to see bluebonnets. Here’s a great website that gives an update on the blooms in Ennis: https://www.visitennis.org

We have written many times about bluebonnets so before you go in search of them read:

Itching in the Bluebonnet Field

Wildflowers at the Farm

Bluebonnets in Texas 2014

And now would you please get your calendar ready for these dates:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

Thursday, April 25th – Plant sale and DCMGA monthly meeting.

Tuesday, April 30th, 11am-  ‘Planting the Edible Landscape – the Spring/Summer Collection” with Linda and Ana to share the plants chosen and the reason behind the choices. Class and tour to be provided.

Tuesday May 7th, 9-11am Turf talk and demonstration by Stephen Hudkins.
 
Saturday May 25th 9-11am Grapevine Canopy Management Pruning by Michael Cook
 
Grow and Graze Events:
 

June 25th… Herbs of the Mediterranean (Please note the new date!)

August 27th… Corn, the Golden Essence of Summer, and Okra, a Garden Giant

October 22nd …Seasonal Splendor, Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes

Grow and Graze reservations will be posted approximately one month before the event.
 
Ann Lamb
Pictures by Starla Willis

 

 

It’s Spring and Plant Sales Are Coming!

April 2, 2019

Over and under and in and out, Roseanne and her volunteer band of planters are busily preparing for the upcoming plant sale at Texas Discovery Gardens.  They could still use some help in the mornings  and be sure to ready your list and make your way to the plant sale April 13 and 14th, (April 12th for members).

I just added a new Shrub to mine !

Texas Discovery Garden Greenhouse

Under the tables, so to speak at TDG!

I spy Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’.

Kerria japonica is the perfect blooming shrub for shade to part sun.

Tig Thompson and pots!

The Raincatcher’s Garden plant sale is April 25th. More information about what we have to sell will be coming your way in the next few weeks. Good prices, home-grown selections!

Putting on plant sales is a lot of work. Thanks to all the volunteers who share their plants through the spring plant sales and thanks to our audience who support our endeavors. It is a labor of love to find new homes for our plants.

Starla Willis

 

What We Saw at The Dallas Arboretuem After the Freeze

March 6, 2019

Starla and I walked the grounds of the beautiful Dallas Arboretum yesterday and found everything to be as lush as ever.

As Dave Forehand says in the video, the tender vegetables were covered with frost cloth.

Pansies like these ‘Rebelina Blue & Yellow” glowed, undaunted by our cold snap.

Blooming narcissus, hyacinths, and tulips scoffed at our cold weather.

Here’s one particularly cheerful daffodil.

and more smiling in the sun.

This tulip in the trial garden aptly named ‘Hot Honey Rag’ is  on my list for next year’s planting.

The pond froze, see the ice? We promise, it’s there.

We also saw Forsythia ‘Show Off™’ waiting to bloom

and Spring Bouquet Viburnums against a backdrop of Coral Bark Japanese Maples.

The cold weather didn’t bother this Robin

or a squirrel feasting on the Arboretum’s preferred mulch, chopped pecan shells.(I have always been envious of the Arboretum’s use of chopped pecan shell mulch and I guess the squirrels are too.)

Dallas Blooms will be open through April 7th. This year’s festival features a larger-than-life, picnic scene topiary comprised of a  40’x40’ picnic blanket, a vase of flowers, a picnic basket with pie and a giant picnic ant. The frost cover  will be discarded tomorrow. Life is truly a picnic especially when you are at The Dallas Arboretum.

Ann Lamb

Photos by Ann and Starla Willis

Dallas Blooms information here.

 

 

Poppies In My Garden And Bees

Like the title of the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, I could say all the plants I really need  to know came from  Master Gardeners. For example, these beautiful poppies.

 

They self seed all over my garden and at Raincatcher’s.

A close up tells the story: bees also love poppies!

This loaded honey bee is happy about the choice of flowers in my garden, which is something to consider! Note, bees prefer these single petal blooms rather than double.

Load up on information about poppies. Remember to sow seeds in the fall.

Poppies

Poppy and Larkspur Planting

Ann Lamb

When Words Fail

    Probably almost all of us have had those situations where mere words alone seem to fail us.   Occasionally it is in the happy times, such as an upcoming marriage or a new home, when there are too many well-wishes that one wants to say.  However it is often in the sad, gut-wrenching times when one feels at loss for words.  At these times for gardeners, the language of symbolic herbs and flowers may be of help.

Tussie-mussies (a.k.a. tussie mussy) are symbolic bouquets of flowers and herbs.  Though often associated with the Victorian era during which the language of flowers and herbs were codified and instructions for making tussie-mussies were found in books such as Godey’s Ladies Book, the actual history of the tussie-mussie goes back much further than Queen Victoria’s era.  In fact, due to the lack of hygiene and sanitation, the use of nosegays to mask odors has been traced to medieval times and can be found in several cultures such as Greece, Turkey, and the Aztecs of Central and South America.  Because the meanings of herbs and flowers were derived from various cultures, some herbs and flowers took on widely divergent meanings, sometimes even opposite meanings.  For example, according to an article in Mother Earth Living, the inclusion of basil in a tussie-mussie meant “best wishes” in Greece, “hatred” in Italy, and “sacred” in India.  However a few herbs and flowers have retained their same meaning throughout the world.  Rosemary is an herb that commonly means “remembrance.”

In compiling a vocabulary of symbolic herbs and flowers, most people start with lists of herbs and flowers and their meanings found in books such as Tussie-Mussies: The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers by Geraldine A. Laufer and The Illuminated Language of Flowers by Jean Marsh.  Though it helps to have a wide variety of herbs and flowers available, even a very small bouquet of mixed flowers can say “love.”  As opposed to a typical large bouquet, a tussie-mussie is normally just the size of a nosegay.  Tussie-mussies can be presented in a small vase or, if you really want to get fancy and be historically-correct, antique tussie-mussie holders can be found on Ebay. Just be sure to include a card that explains the meaning behind each herb or flower.

Flowers and herbs gathered for a tussie-mussie

Over the years I have made tussie-mussies for friends who have new jobs, weddings, and babies.  I have also found the language of flowers to be especially appropriate in those sad times, such as a bouquet that was given to a friend who was placed on hospice.  That tussie-mussie  (composed of geranium for friendship, Lamb’s Ear for kindness, thyme for courage, rosemary for remembrance, sage for wisdom, bay for peace, peppermint for warmth of feeling, honeysuckle for gentleness,  oak for strength, and, of course, flowers for love seemed to say it all.

Carolyn Bush

Picture by Starla Willis

Tussie- mussies by some of our school children here.

Worker Bees

 The garden is buzzing with volunteers; the people variety and the bug variety. The bees are pollinating, the ladybugs are keeping our aphid population at bay, and the butterflies dazzle. 

Ladybug on Clasping Coneflower

Ladybug on Clasping Coneflower

Thanks to all who do their part to make our garden beautiful  and  provide educational opportunities to our community.

Tig Mowing and Catching Grass for Compost

Tig Mowing and Catching Grass for Compost

Jim and Lisa Taking a Break from Planting Zinnias and Milkweed

Jim and Sue Taking a Break from Planting Zinnias and Milkweed

 

Gail Working in the Butterfly Garden Camouflaged Behind the Orange Poppy.

Gail Working in the Butterfly Garden  Behind the Orange Poppy.

Maves, Elizabeth, Cynthia, Linda, Annette Planting the Color Wheel

Maves, Elizabeth, Cynthia, Linda, Annette Planting the Color Wheel

Cindy and Lisa with Tools!

Cindy and Lisa with Tools!

As Rudyard Kipling said: “Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade.” 

Starla

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