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Category Archives: Summer

Summer Song

Have you discovered a summer symphony of enchanting sights, aromatic smells and textural pleasures playing in your garden? Does the air around you seemed to be filled with an overture of sweet and elegant melodies?

Let’s meander along the herb scented pathways together. Pause to listen as the music of the morning opens your senses. Find solace in nature’s serenade.

 

Papalo, sunflowers and juicy peaches soothe the spirit

 

Hoja Santa, and society garlic blossoms play a peaceful rhythm.

 

Celeste fig and purple basil create a pleasing tempo.

 

Okra leaves and blue borage in perfect harmony.

 

Carrot blossoms, eggplant leaves and lemon thyme keep up the beat.

 

Zucchini leaves and blossoms give garden sage a smooth, silvery sound.

 

Sweet potato leaves and balsamic basil for a jazzy little tune.

 

Cinnamon basil and scented geraniums (chocolate and peach) hit those base notes.

 

Lemon verbena in an encore performance.

Linda Alexander

More seasonal flower arranging inspiration-Bundles of Love

Pictures From A Master Gardener’s Very Own Yard

Jon Maxwell, MG class of 2015, is one of the leaders of The Raincatcher’s Garden. Below he is sharing pictures of his home landscape.

In August, do you feel like I do? Your yard is a wilting mess and you want to throw in the trowel!

Jon recognizes the  same challenges and reminded me this is a portfolio of his garden taken over many months.

Here’s a late summer tip: Jon says, ” August is a trial because our water is alkaline so I plan ahead to catch rain water in multiple 5 gallon buckets and use it to water planters and hanging baskets.”

As for his stunning summer flower pots; Jon writes “Each year, other than this one due to the virus, I try to make visual statements that draw your eye to the container. Notice the Brazilian Plume with wild pink slender petals.  My two plants are now 4 years old.  I try to carry them over each winter without a greenhouse.”

Thank you, Jon.

Ann Lamb

Other posts by Jon Maxwell:
Eagle Scout Project
Step by Step, How to build decomposed granite flooring and paths 
Protecting Fig Trees and Grapes

A Summer Walk Through The Raincatcher’s Garden

Mimic the moth and enjoy our zinnias.

Sniff John Fanik Garden Phlox and let the scent take you away.

Host butterflies with flowers like these.

Avoid unfriendly plants.

Discover pretty plant combos like the vibrancy of white spider lily with red Turk’s cap in our rain garden.

Hope for more rain after seeing rain lilies blossom.

Applaud the work of our gardeners! Pictured below is Lisa Centala, one of the Raincatcher’s leaders and Jeff Raska, our county horticultural agent.

Watch your step. Some bunny may be at your feet. This one lives in our rain garden.

 

Thank you for wandering through The Raincatcher’s Garden this morning. Come by anytime. We are located on the grounds of Midway Hills Christian Church, 11001 Midway Road, Dallas, Texas.

Ann Lamb

Pictures by Starla Willis

Rain Garden Pictures by Susan Swinson

 

The Raincatcher’s Garden, Has a Purpose Even Now.

Tomorrow we will explore our garden through pictures. Please join us.

The Raincatcher’s Color Wheel

The red section of the color wheel at The Raincatcher’s Garden blooming with yucca, sages, red verbena, cannas and poppies.

The color wheel like most gardens is a work in progress, never finished. It is fun to mix flowers and edible plants together. They compliment each other quite nicely.

There is no master plan as to what gets planted. Many of the plants are donated by fellow Master Gardeners. Each year Jim plants seeds and shares them. Rudbeckia, Zinnias and Marigolds are favorites. He also provides pepper plants.

As you know the garden is shaped like a pie, It has 6 wedges of different colors.  Red, blue, green, orange and violet and yellow flowers and foliage fill each wedge.

Go visit the garden, it will make you feel good and you ‘ll probably recognize some of your babies.

Annette Latham, Master Gardener class of 2005

Picture by Starla Willis

Pollinator Friendly

August 10, 2019

Pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, bats, birds,   and wasps are the basis of a healthy ecosystem. They allow plants to reproduce and those plants provide us with countless varieties of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  I have read that one in every three bites of food lands on your plate because of the work of these pollinators.

With that in mind, look at your garden in a new way. How are you providing for the pollinators who make your life happen?

Here are some of the plants we are growing with that purpose.

Above: Zexmenia hispida

Above: Rudibeckia fulgida and Gregg’s Mist Flower

Above: Tithonia rotundifolia or Mexican Sunflower in front of a 5 foot hedge of Lantana ‘Miss Huff’

Above: The delicate blossoms of the Desert Willow provide nectar

Above: Datura-an interesting flower that blooms at night and attracts the sphinx moth

Above: Pink Skullcap

On the right side of the page under Raincatcher’s Resources, take a look at the list of butterfly and hummingbird plants for more information.

Ann Lamb

 

Crushing Heat

How do  you beat the heat in summer? What are your tactics? We asked several Master Gardeners and this is what they said.

Above: Starla gives a pictoral  reminder for all of us

Susan Swinson says: Long sleeves and pants for the mosquitoes. I like the fabric in hiking pants. It’s pretty cool and wicks moisture. Hat and sunglasses of course and towel for mopping up. Enormous insulated glass of iced tea with a lid that I keep in the shade. If I’m working in the backyard I rig up a big fan with extension cord.

Lisa Centala: A hat and sunscreen are the first wave of defense! One way I stay cool is to drape a wet, cold cloth around my neck. I keep a couple to change them out and roll some ice in the towel if it’s really hot.

Jim Dempsey: Never go out into the heat without a good wide brim hat.

Jon Maxwell: In the Texas summer heat, “you have to start early and end early!
Its not just the plants that need water, remember to drink plenty when out in the summer garden, and not just when you feel thirsty!

Cindy Bicking: I try to get out early in the morning and get “finished” for the day by 10 a.m. If  I have a lot to do, I keep to the shaded areas as much as possible.  I also set a timer for 15-20 minutes and then go inside for about the same amount of time.  That’s when I drink my water.  Also, try to wear a hat. If it’s dry enough, I mow in the morning while it is cool.  Otherwise, I wait until just before dark.  Use bug repellent.

Also, I sometimes wander about for a few minutes and pull weeds, trim a littler here and there.

Dallas Garden Buzz Readers, please give us your heat crushing advice in the comment section.
Ann Lamb

 

A Walk Around The Garden

June 18, 2019

When you’ve worked in a garden, something happens to you. You begin to pay more attention to the rain, the temperature and sunshine and how it affects your plot of land.

You peer down at the soil looking for signs of life. Have your squash seeds sprouted? Are the beans going to climb up that trellis?

Some plantings have flourished and are bearing fruit, others have  peaked and need tender loving care.

What I am saying is-you are now emotionally involved with a garden plot and it makes it very hard to leave town.

That is the state I am in and so yesterday I walked through our gardens and took these pictures.

Above: Garden trellis made of irrigation tubing. Long beans will grow here and other vining crops.

Above: the grape vines seem to be glowing

Above: Poblano Green Pepper

Above: Blue on blue-sage and vitex in our butterfly garden.

Above: Should be a good fig harvest this year!

Above: The color wheel

Above: a view of our grass plots-looking mighty fine!

Above: Horsemint in front of our Redbud Tree

Ann Lamb

If you would like to learn more about herbs of the Mediterranean, come to our garden lecture by Marian Buchanan on Tuesday, June 25th at 10-11:00 am. Class will be held in the church sanctuary.

The lunch following the lecture has been sold out. No reservations required for the lecture. Just come! All welcome.

Location: 11001 Midway Road, Midway Hills Christian Church

(Master Gardeners earn two CEU’s)

 

 

Wildflowers in East Texas

June 4, 2019

The roads of East Texas are full of wildflowers and I got to be in East Texas at just the right time. A new grandson was born in May. One day during my visit, my grandaughter and I walked the fields looking at wildflowers.

Queen Anne’s lace was everywhere. It is an ancestor of the garden carrot and it’s taproot can be cooked and eaten.

Above: Queen Anne’s Lace

Another white flower was en masse along the roads. Woolly-White is common in East Texas along roadsides and uncultivated land.

Above: Woolly-White or wild cauliflower

You’ve got to love a plant like sensitive brier that has feelings. Touch the foliage and it bashfully closes. The prickly stems protect it’s sensitive nature.

Above: Sensitive Brier

This picture was taken on a misty morning. Hope you don’t mind the blur effect. Enjoy this beautiful blue and the simplicity of the three petaled flower.

Above: Ohio Spiderwort

Cherokee Indians steeped the roots of Venus’s Looking Glass with other plants and drank the infusion for indigestion.

Above: Venus’s Looking-Glass

Cows enjoy grazing this daisy. Now that I am back home looking at these pictures and reading my wildflower guides, I realize how much was missed. This flower is fragrant and I never even noticed ! I’ll not chastise myself too much because fire ants and poison ivy were all around. Grandaughter and I had to stay clear of those dangers.

Above: Huisache Daisy

Another bright yellow flower but this one is not tasty. Honey made from pollen of this flower is very bitter and unpalatable. Hence the name-bitterweed.

Above: Yellow Bitterweed

Only a few Indian Paintbrush flowers were seen, but even one makes a brilliant statement.

Above: Indian Paintbrush

Wild clematis, what a find! The nodding bell shape flowers  are so unusual. Notice the bumble bee mining a blossom, upper left.

Above: Bellflower Clematis, Clematis pitcherii

These two wildflower books helped with plant id: Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi and Texas Wildflowers by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller.

In future years, hunting wildflowers could become a family outing. The fields in May are full of them and they will always remind me of a special birthday.

Ann Lamb

Pictures by me and grandaughter!

 

 

 

Grape Harvest at The Raincatcher’s Garden

Our Fig Luncheon on Tuesday, August 7th is sold out but we have plenty of room if you would like to join us for Jeff’s Fig Lecture.

 

Champanel Grapes Harvested at The Raincatcher’s Garden, summer 2018

Jim’s grape notes:
33 lbs. of grapes were picked last Tuesday, July 31st. Previous week’s harvest was 16 lbs.   The ripe grapes were juiced providing enough for 5 batches of jelly. That should make about 40- ½pints of jelly. We have been wanting grapes, well… we are getting grapes now!

Thank you, Jim Dempsey and everyone who picked the grapes!

 

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