Spot of Gardening

Gardening in South Louisiana

A Visit to the Dallas Arboreteum

While attending my lil’ sis’s baby shower two weeks ago, I went to visit the Dallas Arboreteum. They grow a wide range of plants that suit the dry hot Texas weather. My favorite was the flower house displays they were spotlighting for the summer. They were small houses with walls of hanging planters of vincas and begonias. They were pretty and I’d like to take the idea of a wall of planters and do something similiar in my garden. Hmmmm…. food for thought.  Anyways, I have some photos of my lil’ sis’s baby shower display (which are not garden related but nice anyways) and some flower houses and a Japanese Windflower (it’s a beautiful mint green flower!)


May 31, 2010 Posted by | Family & Friends, Flowers | Leave a comment

Blooming Pomegranate

My pomegranate tree is blooming.  I wasn’t sure it would since I moved it from the side of the house to the pond in March.  I needed something to replace the papaya tree next to pond.   The Sushiman didn’t want to put another papaya tree there since it was so difficult to keep covering it every winter.   I guess this spot is perfect for the pomegranate since it is happily growing there.  For those who are interested in such things, the cultivar is Wonderful.   The blooms are a beautiful crimson color, which my camera doesn’t quite catch properly.   It looks more orange than red in the pictures.  This shrub is drought- tolerant which is perfect when summer comes around.  I feel that this summer is going to be a scorcher.  Temps are already in the 90s and it’s only May.   Meanwhile, I think I’ll enjoy the heat after such a cold winter.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables | | 2 Comments

Cilantro Flowers to Coriander Seeds

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a funny plant.   The plant itself is called cilantro but it’s seeds are called coriander.  This annual herb grows best in cool spring weather around 50s and 60s.   When temps reach the 70s, cilantro tends to start to go to seed.   I love to use the leaves for cooking and garnishing.  Lately, I have been using fresh coriander seeds as a garnish for various dishes.  The seeds have a fresh herby taste vs. the nutty taste of dried coriander.  Many trendy gourmet restaurants have added fresh coriander seeds to their dishes as a garnish, also.   It’s a bit tedious to pick out the seeds one by one but worthwhile for the final dish.  The flowers are also edible.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Herbs | Leave a comment

Pink Hearts, Azaleas & Roses

In the front of the house, the heart flowerbed is beginning to look about how I imagined it when I first planted it.  The pink azaleas are in full bloom with pink roses rising above it.  My azaleas are a full two weeks behind the other azaleas in the area.  When the azaleas around town have already faded, my azaleas have started to bloom.  Talk about late bloomers.  LOL.  By next year, those ugly cable and electric boxes will be completely covered and I’ll have a beautiful pink heart flowerbed for viewing instead.  Yay!  I still have one corner of the flowerbed to plant something in to finish off the flowerbed.  Something pink of course.  Originally, I had a huge pink geranium but looks like it didn’t survive this winter.  I’m considering another geranium.  Maybe, I’ll find the perfect plant next week at the Mother’s Day Plant Sale at the Burden Center.   That will be the reason I have to go to the plant sale, not that I’ve turned into an obsessive gardener who fervently looks forward to the flower and plant shows and marks it on her calendar so she won’t miss it.  No, No, that’s not me…..

May 6, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | , | 2 Comments

Yuzu, Yuzu

The Yuzu trees (Citrus Ichangensis x Citrus Reticulata) have burst into bloom with beautiful flowers and fresh green leaves.  Hopefully, this year’s multitude of blooms will turn into beautiful yuzu fruits which will ripen into fullness.   Last year, the fruits kept falling off while still tiny and only about 4 managed to ripen.

The yuzu trees has huge 2″-3″ thorns which I usually snip off every spring.  Yes, this is a lot of work but so is weeding.  For me, the extra work is preferable to being  stabbed by a 2″ thorn while trying to admire or pick a beautiful aromatic yuzu fruit.

My yuzu tree has finally grown taller than the neighbor’s 6′ fence!  It just celebrated its 3rd birthday with us and really has grown very nicely.  I’ve hesitated to prune it since I wanted it to grow taller but I think I will have to prune it this year to encourage a fuller look.   I am thinking of selecting the branches that need pruning and trying to propagate those branches.   I’d love to have a few extra yuzu trees!

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables | , | Leave a comment

Sweet Sweet Olive…

The Sushiman and I purchased this Sweet Olive tree (Osmanthus fragrans) at the RedStick Farmers Market downtown.  The Sweet Olive has been on my list of “Trees I would like to Have” ever since a co-worker told me that the sweet olive blooms are also known as osmanthus.  Osmanthus are dried flowers which are used to add a wonderful aroma to teas and desserts in many Asian cuisines.   I especially love it with rice wine dessert.  When we put the Sweet Olive tree in The Sushiman’s Jeep to bring it home, the Sweet Olive filled his Jeep with its wonderful fragrance.  We planted it at the far side of the driveway since we needed something to replace the bush that was killed by last year’s frosty winter.   I look forward to coming home and being greeted by the Sweet Olive’s fragrance as I get out of my car in the future.

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | Leave a comment

It’s a Purple Iris!

The first iris is blooming in our front border and it’s purple!  It’s a surprise since I thought it was a yellow iris like the other irises I have been seeing bloom around town.  The iris is actually a deeper purple than in the photo.  Too bad my camera isn’t able to capture its true colors.  There’s only one bloom so far but it’s a small planting.   I wonder if the irises which The Sushiman planted the heart garden is also purple?

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | 1 Comment

Return of the 50 cent Rose

Last year, my mother gave me some hybrid roses which she picked up for only half a dollar each.  I planted them in the front side border and watched them grow and bloom.  My post on the 50 cent Roses was well received last year and I thought people might want to know how those roses are doing.  Well, they are doing very well in that spot and have been blooming their hearts out since the beginning of April.  It just goes to show that the frugal rose can also be a show stopper.  If only my camera skills could do them full justice…..

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | Leave a comment

50 cents Tulips

Last year, my mother gave me some roses she purchased for 50 cents each.  This year, she found tulips for 50 cents each.  They were such a good deal and so beautiful that she got some for me, also.  I haven’t been too successful with tulips so far.  In fact, my tulips from last year grew about five inches before joining the great garden above.  But, these are a beautiful light shade of purple tulips and yellow tulips.  My mom must have happened upon an after Easter sale of tulips.  I planted them in my front yard border.  They are perfect to hide the scraggly Dusty Millers that are recovering from being transplanted about two weeks ago.   Thanks, Mom!

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | Leave a comment

My Pretty, My Pretty Peony

Like many gardeners, I suffer from this extreme shortcoming, which is I want to plants not suitable to my zone.  I love peonies but I live in the deep South where peonies supposedly don’t grow.   Well, there are some accounts of people somehow managing to grow them by throwing ice on top of the plants in the winter but I actually haven’t tried that yet.  I purchased some peony bulbs last spring and planted them.   After carefully nuturing the bulbs, I had one small spindly sprout which lasted for a month before falling to the heatwave of June.   I convinced myself that the bulbs were growing roots underneath and resisted digging up the bulbs to check.   This winter has been extremely cold with several weeks of frosty days so I had my hands full trying to protect as many plants from the frost as possible.   The peonies were left out in the cold and neglected.

The Sushiman and I have a deal.  He is only allowed free reign over the lawn and watering the plants.   Everything else to do with the garden must be approved by me since he can’t tell a weed from a beloved plant.   Unfortunately, he decided to help clean up the winter debris and various pots with plants which did not survive the winter.  Digging in my peony planter which happened to mulched with a light covering of leaves, he dug up a bulb with a sprout.  Imagining my reaction, he promptly replanted it back and went to find me.    Luckily for him, I’m too happy to find any surviving plants so I forgave him.   Hopefully, these cute little sprouts will result in some peony bushes this year!

Mid- March Photos:


April 13, 2010 Posted by | Flowers | Leave a comment