Now That’s A Man’s Flower

I suspect that I am like most guys. Flowers are pretty and nice, but they take a lot of work and they all got those big fancy names. Well boys, I got news for you. I found me a flower that is easy to grow, takes very little work to maintain and doesn’t cost much too boot. It’s called the “Iris”.

This pretty little flower comes in a lot of different colors and it’s planted by root, kind of like a potato. You buy a piece of root and plant it in the fall, about four inches or so deep in a trench or hole and low and behold, come spring its green leaves pop out of the ground. And come the first part of summer, a tall shoot emerges and develops into a pretty flower that looks similar to an orchid. Pretty easy right? Well it gets even better. After the flower blooms the long green leaves stay until frost and about the time you cut the grass for the last time, you just run the lawn mower over the Iris patch. Come next spring those Irises will have expanded and before you know it, without doing any additional work you will have a pretty patch of flowers.

I have got a patch of Irises that I planted around a nasty old Elm tree that sheds like a dog. Now I admit I do not like that old Elm tree. I have to pick up after it all the time. Well I was told it was the wrong place to plant irises, too much shade.

Here was my plan. After about 5 years those Irises had spread all around that tree, but they had not bloomed. So I told my wife, who likes that tree, that if she would let me trim up that elm I could get those Irises to bloom. I hit that Elm pretty hard with a chainsaw hoping it might accidentally die. No luck there, but those Irises bloomed like crazy. Since that was 5 years ago, maybe I can talk the wife into letting me attack the Elm again. Wish me luck.

Guys, the point is that there is practically nothing you can do wrong in planting Irises. They just grow, look pretty year after year and keep multiplying. Now is that a man’s flower or what? Now if your sweetheart’s name happens to be “Iris” you have got it made. You can really bail yourself out of a lot of tough spots with this flower, just use your imagination.

How to grow Asters

In my never ending search to find flowering plants that do not need a lot of care I present to you the Aster. As you might remember from previous articles I am a lazy gardener. I like my garden and yard to look great, but I need to spend a lot of time fishing and building things and doing other man oriented stuff. Well the Aster fits well into my easy care garden.

There are over 600 varieties of this species and they come in all sizes. From the alpine Asters that grow only to 6 inches tall to the New York and New England varieties that can grow to 4 feet or more in height. They are an extremely hardy species and survive our Colorado winters and dry conditions well. Probably the worst thing you can do to an Aster is over water it. Mine gets sprinkled every couple of days during the summer when the lawn sprinklers come on and they look great.

When I planted them in the spring I gave each plant a cap full of Osmocote 14-14-14 slow release fertilizer and have not touched them since. It is now the end of September and as you can see from the pictures the beautiful pinks and purples really give the garden some wonderful fall colors.

How to grow Asters – mix with Lazy Susans or Coneflowers for contrast.

The bigger varieties of Asters I plant in the back of the garden and the small ones go in the front. Coneflowers, Daisies, Mums and many other flowers are great to plant around Asters and give you a variety of color. Asters tend to last a long time and it is best to thin them every two or three years to keep them growing strong. They are very easy to transplant in the spring so when you thin your Asters, don’t throw them away, plant them somewhere else in your yard or give them to a friend.

Tall Asters make a nice focal point in the yard for Fall color.

To thin just dig up the clump of Asters and divide the root clump into three or four small clumps. Plant these right away and give them a good drink of water. We tend to have very poor soils in Colorado so I amend the soil with Vermiculate, compost, sand and fertilizer (use whatever is handy).

In the late fall after you get a killing frost you might want to prune up your Asters by trimming off the dead flowers and shaping the plant to suit you. Also pick up those trimmed off dead flowers and throw them away so that the seeds do not germinate and produce more Asters. What is wrong with that you might ask? Asters grown from those seeds seldom produce the same colored flowers as the parent plant.

Growing Bonsai in the Houston and Gulf Coast Area

Traditionally, bonsai are grown outdoors all year long and brought into the house for display only on special occasions. It is, therefore, a must to consider the needs or the plant over the desires of the grower. In theory, almost any woody plant can be grown as a bonsai since, by definition, a bonsai means something grown in a shallow dish. In more temperate climates, evergreens have become very popular because they keep their foliage and look the same all year. Growing bonsai in more tropical or dessert-like regions presents challenges while offering new opportunities. Along the Gulf Coast of Texas we experience sustained high temperatures during the summer and rains that range from very heavy to nonexistent. Avoid plants that cannot take these extremes. A fairly good rule of thumb is to look for Texas natives or introduced varieties that have proven their ability to make the adjustment. Start with “volunteers” from your garden, find in the wild or are inexpensive, hardy nursery plants and add others as you become more experienced. I particularly recommend Yaupons because they are readily available, can be pruned to almost any shape, do very well even in full sun and are green all year long. Some plants, even natives, will need to be watched for signs of too much sun and moved into a more shaded area during the height of the Texas summer. I also recommend growing common moss as a “ground cover.” This is both attractive and will help prevent soil from being washed out during heavy rains.


These recommendations are based on personal growing success in the Houston/Clear Lake area.

• Acacia (Acacia farnesiana)
• Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra nana)
• Crepe Myrtle (Lagestroemia indica)
• Dwarf Elm (Ulmus parvifolia sempervirens hokkaido)
• Dwarf Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides prostrata)
• Dwarf Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria nana)
• Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
• Flowering Quince (Chanomeles speciosa)
• Gingko (Gingko biloba)
• Holly (Ilex dimorphophylla) – a species holly
• Holly (Ilex X. ‘Rock Garden’)- a hybrid holly
• Japanese Red Maple (Acer palmatum rubrum) or any Japanese maple
• Parsley Hawthorn (Crataegus marshalii)
• Rosemary (Rosemarinus offieinallis)
• Serpentine Bougainvillea ( Bougainvillea, x. ‘pink pixie’) – use an upright bougainvillea and train into an “S” shape as it grows, protect from temperatures below 50o F.
• Sophora (Sophora affinis)
• Sweet gums (Liquidambar styraciflua) – great for a “forest” effect.
• Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora)
• Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipfera)
• Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus)
• Texas Ebony (Pithocellobium flexicaule)

Other plants suitable for Bonsai along the Gulf Coast (others have reported success with them)

• Taxiodium distchicum – Bald Cypress
• Juniperus procumbens – Weeping Juniper (the mall bonsai!)
• Acer rubrum – Red Maple
• Ulmus crassifoloa – Cedar Elm (species name to be added)
• Pinus thunbergii – Japanese black pine

Companion Planting Clematis and Snowball Bush

Ok fellow gardeners in my never ending search to find easier way to garden, here is an article on companion planting. I got real tired of building or buying trellis for my Clematis plants which do well here in Colorado. So I decided to plant some Clematis starts under one of my large snowball bushes. As you can see from the photo the experiment worked. It worked so well that I plan on doing more of these companion plantings.

This fall I will plant some Clematis near some Butterfly bushes we have to see if they will climb up and spruce up these bushes. The attached photo was after we had a huge hail storm so the contrasting flowers looked even better before the hail storm.

I also have companion planted Iris around my Peonies to hold them up. I assume I am not the only one who hates to see those beautiful Peonies flowers fall over. I built wood cages to support them and that worked fairly well. But then I got to thinking that I could use the excess Irises I have to plant around the Peonies. Irises are nitrogen fixing plants so my thinking was that the Iris would give the Peonies a nice shot of nitrogen and hold them up as well. First the Irises bloom and when they start to fade the Peonies take off.

This worked like a charm. Never have we had better looking Peonies are Irises.

Tips to Grow Vegetable Garden Plants

The whole process can be much easier than you expect. There are also some considerations involved in planting a vegetable garden you have not noticed. Once you learn the key points guiding although subsequent experience can be fun and rewarding.

Needs is the key to having healthy plants. It is important that each plant is given to what is necessary. At the same time, the plants should be protected against things you do not need. Qualities that make the division if the key to success. Consider one of the most basic needs of plants: water.

A plant may need more water than others. With many water gardens will be provided by rain or irrigation directly. Especially in the case of an attempt to keep watering the plants with similar water requirements. Thus, there is little interest that the water will go when it is applied. In the case of rain fields may be more important. Plants that need little water should be planted in the ground to allow the right of drainage, while crops that require more water to be greeted by an appropriate choice of land and other resources in some case. Needs of your plants with many ways to plant a vegetable garden plants, but there are other aspects of a park that should not be overlooked.

Plants are not alone. They have the potential to interact. You may have heard stories about cross-pollination of plants. Maybe you even know someone who has a mixed taste of plants that grow close to each other. This is a secondary reason for adequate separation. There are plants that can be cross-pollinated. If you want to allow the plant to grow and develop through the natural cycle, then you should look for plants that grow. In some cases, you can use a neutral to plant crops that can interact separately. In some cases, leaving an empty space in your garden may be necessary. Usually, however, there is something that can be planted in this place naked.

Given the above, you should have a very strong despite basic understanding of how to grow a vegetable garden plants. This does not mean that you have to park the same thing year after year. In many gardens, there are one or two places that are changed from one year to another. This adds variety to grow vegetables, but also can improve the quality of agricultural land in some cases.

The combinations are endless and perform spatial changes can add more fun to share the experience of your garden with you. It also means that there will be the most interesting vegetables that you have to share with others. A smile can continue to invite people who share the vegetables actually take part in the garden. They can not be fun for weeding, but maintenance activities of watering and the other can be enjoyed by many people.

Three Highly Popular Herb Garden Plants

The herbs that grow and dominate the world in the garden to flavor foods. There are dozens of different herbs available and many of them have similar activities, each with its own distinct characteristics. But for many years, herbal medicine has been happening in our food, some have been used in a variety of cuisines. Here are three of the most preferred:

1. Basil

Basil, a plant with large green leaves, has an active history, having grown there over 5,000 years in Iran and India. Basil pairs well with a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, but in fact most vegetables every summer. His specialty is known as the main component of pesto base sauce used in Italian cuisine, and is also used as an oil or vinegar infusions.

Although basil is known presence in Italian cuisine, which is commonly used in other areas, including many Asian countries. We conclude that there are different types available, including basil, dwarf basil, Thai basil and lemon basil.
Basil is best used in the form of heat during the soft bake will reduce natural oils, so it is generally added at the end of the cooking process. It is also good to stop it, not cut it. This keeps more flavor. It is also preferable to use the form that the loss of fresh flavor after drying. Basil may be stored for a short period of time in a refrigerator. This must be wrapped in a paper towel and garden bags brisbane or it will dry in a few days.

Basil is not the best when grown in hot and dry conditions and will succumb to the cold. It can be grown indoors, while sufficient light.
Basil had a variety of uses in the millennium as a drug dealer. It has been said to stimulate the appetite and helps reduce dysentery, nausea, headaches, anxiety and stomach distress caused by excess gas.

2. Oregano

O regano is native to Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia. The name comes from Greek and means “joy of the mountain.” As such, there are many culinary and medicinal uses in ancient Greece. Oregano has small green and temporarily used as additional costs leaves, has a flavor more pronounced after it has dried. It is used in a variety of sauces, and cooked with vegetables and meat. Often combined with basil, contributing much to the typical attributes of many Italian dishes.

Given its use in Italian cuisine, it is logical that the pizza is often associated with oregano. Interestingly, oregano popularity of reach to America, where the army has returned from World War 2 began to ask several times for “pizza herb”, they are so delicious back to Europe.

Oregano grows best in hot, dry climate, with sunshine and well-drained soil. Indeed, the sun promotes the formation of essential oils that give different oregano flavor. It is usually grown in container gardens, but can not overcome after a few years after becoming too woody.

Oregano is also very helpful in the healing value and actually contains a lot of antioxidants. The ancient Greeks used it as an antiseptic and a cure for stomach and respiratory problems. The Chinese have long been used to treat fever, oregano, vomiting and diarrhea. Moreover, it has sedative properties and built a tray for this purpose.

3. Parsley

Salsa, with small green leaves, grass is probably more familiar to many people, because the ubiquitous use as a garnish on many restaurant dishes. This is another plant that dates back to ancient Greece, where the salsa is used to make wreaths for the winners of the ancient Olympic Games. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, parsley is used as an antidote for poison.

Apart from its use as a monitor, salsa deemed for all purposes and herbs used in stews, dressing, stuffing, and most meats, fish and vegetables. Salsa is best used fresh as dry versions tend to have a feeling of wood.

Salsa is not as easy to grow as other herbs, but given the conditions of healthy growth, as deep soil and plenty of sunshine, can be a staple of every herb garden.
Parsley is rich in vitamin A and C. In fact, it has three times the amount of vitamin C than oranges. It has been used to cleanse toxins from the body and to help reduce inflammation and clear kidney stones, as a diuretic, rheumatoid arthritis, as a stimulant to resolve the stomach, and as an appetite stimulant.

Well, if you have three of the herbs used in this planet. But there are others as well, and much, much more. Whatever your favorite food to provide extra boost that differentiates when used in the right proportions herbs. And many believe they are a great natural alternative to modern health care.

Learning About Herb Garden Plants

Herbs are available in the familiar form of annual, perennials and biennials. Herbs are as unique as the different types of flowers or plants. Just as you check the requirements of growing before you take home and plant interest, it must be done with herbs. Here is a quick lesson in several different popular herbs and what they can be used.

Basil, coriander and savory season that can not survive freezing. They should be planted fresh each year, unless you decide to try to grow indoors.

Learning About Herb Garden Plants

Perennials like sage and savory are stronger, more able to survive the winter and come back and continue to flourish. Biennial two season period, the development of leaves and flowers of the season. Parsley, angelica and juniper are biennials should be sown directly in the garden after all threat of the loss of ice. The soil should be loose, in collaboration with the smooth texture and slightly damp. The seeds should be planted in rows, very shallow, with a small amount of dust that covers and covering their land must be properly packaged. Sow the seeds in a mixture of fine sand spread evenly and allow them to grow with better spacing. A layer of wet burlap or paper can be placed on top of the seed bed to help maintain soil moisture.

You will also notice that the herbs are grouped into categories that will eventually be used in most plants gardeners often use the culinary herbs. It has a wide range of uses to prepare food of all kinds. Chives, thyme, basil, sage, savory, marjoram and has a strong flavor and is often used sparingly. Salsa is the most widely recognized and used as an attractive garnish. For very fragrant flowers or greenery, choose herbs with their subtle fragrance .. Loyage, mint and rosemary are their own aromatic oils are used in a wide variety of scented products.

Parts of plants but can also be left intact and used to scent linen or light clothing. Potpourri is another herb used to it after being dried, they remain and aroma for a long period of time. Lavender verbena and lemon in particular, are commonly used in potpourri to scent large. There is also a medicinal plant. For centuries, people have turned to herbs to treat various diseases. While modern medicine recognizes the healing power of the health benefits of certain plants, others have virtually ineffective. When using herbs for medicinal purposes, you should research well and use it with caution. Some plants are harmless, but there are others that can not be consumed and should not be swallowed.

While many herbs are used to flavor, aroma and healing properties, there are other uses. Some cultivated only for their own good, its natural beauty. The ornamental grass enjoyed by beautiful and colorful flowers and striking foliage. Valerian, for example, has a beautiful, dark red flowers, while borage and chicory superb sports blue flowers. Then there are the herbs that are used for various purposes. Mint can be used for cooking, tea and fight against pests, which makes it an ideal multi-purpose plant for your garden. Whatever your initial interest in the grass can be, understanding help you choose the ones you gain a lot of fun, and you can even choose some that you would not otherwise be developed.

Herb Garden Plants

Herbs can be classified as annuals, biennials and perennials based on life expectancy. herbaceous perennials are preferred because they grow more than one season. Examples of perennials are lavender, mint, sage, thyme, fennel, oregano and many others. Annual and biennial herb garden plants must be replanted every year or alternate year. Examples of annual savory, borage, basil and dill. The biennial grew slowly during the first year is for the winter, and then bloom in season. Parsley is a biennial plant which must be replaced after it has flourished and received seeds.

Do not worry if you are a beginner in gardening, nursery or even a trip to Wal-Mart and K-Mart will introduce a number of plants that you can start your herb garden. Plan a visit to the gardens and explore the amazing variety of plants that are ready to take their place in your own herb garden. In fact, there are over 40 different varieties of Basil alone! Spend a few dollars, you can get a plastic tray with a nice pot of peat or plastic containers, ready to fill the earth and seeds or seedlings favorite herb.

Get 3-5 of them, depending on the type of plants you want to grow. While in the nursery garden, mix rather barren land. You can try another brand – Pierre ProMix and Miraclegro. They are a very good brand and containing fertilizers to be released slowly into the factory and save you the trouble of providing nutrients for plants. Check and make sure the nursery you buy. You may also need to mark the plants, using indelible ink and popsicle sticks for this purpose.

Let the pot with water and allow the soil to get uniform moisture throughout the night. If you have an outdoor garden, prepare the soil in rows and limit the space for uniform rectangular herbs aside. Oregano does not require much space, but the basil, parsley and sage is very large and so you should be able to isolate three or four to a cell. Dusting the seeds on the ground. Cover lightly with nothing more than a mixture of sterile soil quarter inch so that planting is far enough. Remember, as herbs are not rooted shrubs and tall trees, grass seed to sow in shallow soils. Make bed queue with a damp cloth or paper to ensure that the soil remains moist during germination.


After most of the germinated plants (1-2 weeks), depending on the variety, place the flat where they will receive bright light all day long, if you are growing seeds inside. You can buy nursery lamps, if you do not have a sunny patio or bedroom. Make your bed online ready to plant young trees well in advance. Remove each child tree package (plastic box) with caution. Open and flexible place the plant firmly in the line-plastic sleep. Water regularly until they have a firm grip on the ground without flooding. You can apply a light blanket of shredded bark to conserve moisture. Do not forget to clean and remove weeds regularly.
The following could be some of your first herb garden:


Seeds balm is very low and can spread throughout the park. Can be grown from seeds or plant of a small portion of the bottom with a few shoots nursery rod. Some good color. If you want to remove the abundant growth of flowers every time they appear. It has a wonderful lemon scent and is very rejuvenating tea.


Chives are a great herb with a mild onion or garlic taste. Chives can be grown from seeds, but it becomes difficult to save bullets and weeds. For best results, chives growth of young trees from the nursery. They were fantastic with steak, salad, mashed potatoes and gravy.


Many do not know that parsley is a good source of vitamin C than oranges and more expensive. Salsa is a favorite pastime kitchen all the time and, of course, found its way into salads and soups. Flat-leaf parsley is better and is more nutritious than the curly kind.