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Category Archives: Summer

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!

 

The Bath House Garden is 10 Years Old!

Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of the planting of the Bath House Garden Saturday evening, July 7th, 7-9 pm

This celebration is part of a fun night at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake with an art gallery opening, live music and refreshments.

All Master Gardeners and members of the public are welcome!


Janet D. Smith, fresh out of the Master Gardener class of 2005, was brave enough to think a partnership between Dallas County Master Gardeners and the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department could evolve to build a garden  in front of the bath house at White Rock Lake.

The White Rock Bath House Garden and “Whirl” Sculpture in June 2018.

Janet, having a passion for pollinators, dreamed of a garden that would host and feed all kinds of bees, butterflies, and birds. Carmel Womack,  Dallas County Master Gardener  class of 1997, took up Janet’s mantra and designed the garden around the “Whirl” sculpture. Monies were donated and following the May 2008 art installation the garden was planted in July that year.

Garden funding is so important!

10 years later, let’s look at the changes. Plants have been cut way back, a few have died, and some have been removed. More native plants like autumn sage, cowpen daisy, native milkweeds, four-nerve daisies, rock rose and blue mistflower have been added.

The original irrigation system was inefficient and has been disconnected.  Instead Master Gardeners volunteer to hand water the new plants until they are established and then about once a month in our hottest, most scorching weather.

The current garden tenders include garden coordinator Janet D. Smith and CMG’s Judy Meagher, Ginnie Salter, Barbara Hardin and interns Nancy Griswold and Monica Nagle. They currently meet Tuesday evenings to work when the sunny garden is in the shade. Ginnie also provides TLC for the plants inside the BHCC. 

All the plants are labeled and the Texas natives have Texas-shaped stakes to make them easy to spot.

Native Plants are identified with appropriate signage.

Oh, and a new garden has been started on the other side of the building. It’s a small start with salvias planted around a desert willow,  but look at the view.

The new bath house garden with a view of downtown Dallas.

The team also takes care of a tiny garden surrounding the historical marker at Winfrey Point. Check it out when we have meetings there.

Ann Lamb

For more information and the plant list click here.

Chrysalis Butterfly

A lovely friend and fellow Master Gardener has left us. Carolyn Bush died Friday, June 15, 2018.

From the beginning, Carolyn  supported our garden in many ways.  She brought her chickens when we had children visiting the garden on field trips. She also taught our visiting kids a  wonderful little class on cotton.  She brought a loom and let the kids weave. She taught them about growing cotton as well as it’s social aspects.

Carolyn Bush teaching children about cotton in 2014.

When we built our first rain garden in 2009 on Joe Field Road, Carolyn created posters explaining the whys and hows of rain gardens. She could be poetic as well as scientific in her explanation of things.

After our move to Midway Hills Christian Church in 2014, Carolyn began writing for Dallas Garden Buzz. Whenever she submitted an article, she always let me know we didn’t have to publish it  and reminded me to check for typos and errors. Of course, there never were any and we loved reading her point of view on everything from rose rosette, to unusual vegetable crops and then her last article written in February about cabbage white butterflies.  She didn’t like them as you can see from the title of the post: THOSE @#$%&BUTTERFLIES. Her gentleness had some limits!

Carolyn, the fund raiser, contributed to our craft sales with her handmade paper art and she was the instigator of our brick sales campaign.

Other gardens benefited from Carolyn’s knowledge and commitment including Hope Community Garden, Texas Discovery Garden and the chicken coop tour,” A Peep at the Coops.” She was also the capable layout and design editor of Helping Hands, the Dallas County Master Gardener monthly newsletter.

Chrysalis butterfly was Carolyn’s email address. A butterfly emerging from a cocoon is beautiful and a good representation of our friend.

Oh Carolyn, I wish I had known you were leaving us. I would like to tell you how much you were loved and that I admired your courage in the face of handicaps.  How wonderful it would be to see you pull up to our garden one more time in your trusty Subaru.

Goodbye dear Carolyn. We miss you,

Ann Lamb

Blog posts by the multi talented and productive Carolyn Bush:

Year of the Pulse

Malabar Spinach

A Musical Squash for the Edible Garden

Hanging out at the Mall

When Words Fail

Pretty Peas Please

Christmas in July

Made for the Shade

Cotton from Plant to Fabric

A Gardener’s Fright

It’s that Time of Year

Compost vs. Mulch, What’s the Difference?

Want to Try a Different Vegetable?

A Bright Spot in the Early Spring Garden

Vegetable Lambs

From Wheat to Bread

 

 

 

 

 

August 2017 at Raincatcher’s

We appreciate and enjoy our new shade structure!

Our rain garden flourishes with purpose and beauty.

Our volunteers are busy with projects like staining vegetable beds.

Our roses are carefully monitored in Rose Rosette Trials.

Please visit us at The Raincatcher’s Garden. We are at work Tuesday mornings and also have several upcoming education events open to the public. Drop a comment if you would like more information or call the Master Gardener Help Desk 214 904 3053.

Ann Lamb

Pictures by Starla Willis

Hurricane Harvey 2017

Our hearts are with our fellow Texans under duress because of Hurricane Harvey.

Here are two posts about the area:

Hummer Festival

The Big Tree

Ann Lamb

 

 

 

 

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