Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mercer Garden Faire.

Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens will host a garden faire next weekend, sept. 23-24. (via K. Huber)

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Sunday, February 22, 2004

Dream Catcher Hills.

darin and i are back from an overnight trip to the fredericksburg area. we stayed at dream catcher hills, a b&b a few miles out of town. i highly recommend it as the perfect setting for a romantic weekend -- secluded, quiet, and, unlike in houston, the night sky is full of (visible) stars.

before leaving the fredericksburg area today we went to enchanted rock state park and hiked up the summit trail. having hiked around enchanted rock in july a few years ago, i can say the it is much easier in february -- probably has something to do with the fact that the temperature was about 40 degrees (fahrenheit) cooler this time.

the bluebonnets and other wildflowers won't be blooming for several more weeks, but the texas hill country is worth a visit any time of year.

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Thursday, January 01, 2004

March Mart 2004.

mark your 2004 calendars now -- mercer arboretum's annual march mart sale is scheduled for friday and saturday, march 26 and 27.

i went last year and bought a bucketload of new plants. most of them are even still alive.


  • coreopsis grandiflora, not only still alive, but it has multiplied. it didn't bloom last year, but i'm willing to bet it will this year.
  • laurus nobilis, taller than it was last year and apparently happy. it's spending the winter in a pot in the garage.
  • penstemon tenuis, bloomed lightly after being planted and i let them set seed. the plants also made a few offsets, so i am hopeful there will be more this year.
  • phlox divaricata var. laphamii, didn't bloom, but seems to have increased slightly.
  • salvia greggii, bloomed briefly, but didn't grow much, either due to location or just having been planted at a less than ideal time (i.e., after it started getting hot and dry and i have a bad habit of not watering new plants).
  • salvia urtica, bloomed a few times and grew a lot.
  • thymus serphyllum, thriving. it has grown enough that i've taken cuttings and moved them around the yard.


  • stipa tenuissima, dead. i left it in the pot on the deck and never watered it.
  • thymus x citriodorus, struggled mightily, but finally succumbed. possibly poor location, but the nearby thymus serphyllum has thrived.

jury still out:

  • gladiolus byzantinus, bloomed a few weeks after i got it. after the foliage died back i dug up the corms, which seemed to have increased in number. i have since potted them and wait to see what will happen.

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Friday, September 12, 2003

Rose-ted Pepper Fest.

next saturday, september 20th, is the rose-ted pepper fest at the antique rose emporium in brenham, texas.

Buy one rose and get one free - or - Bring any homemade dish with pepper included (hot or not) and get one free rose bush or a free bottle of Antique Rose Emporium organic liquid fertilizer. Taste Hatch Chili Stew and salsa while tasting local brew.

i've never been to the antique rose emporium, but i understand it is one of "the" places to go for roses in texas.

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Thursday, March 20, 2003

March Mart 2003.

guess where i'm going tomorrow?

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Monday, October 14, 2002

Home Again.

darin and i returned last night from a few days in salt lake city for my sister's wedding.

the wedding ceremony was at the university of utah's red butte garden and if i hadn't been so busy with my bridesmaid duties i would have loved to spend more time touring the garden. maybe it's just as well i didn't have time to explore or i would have been tempted by too many plants that could never be happy in houston.

it was nearly dark when we got home last night (and only barely light when we left for work this morning), so i couldn't really check on any of my plants. i could see the peas well enough to know that at least one is about three feet tall and the spinach is sprouting (again).

the cats ate much of one of my potted gardenias but i think it is salvageable. two or three of my latest gardenia cuttings are in desperate need of potting - masses of roots are getting all tangled up and i have to add water every day.

the most noticeable change is that the temperature here in houston is about 20 degrees cooler than it was when i left last wednesday. brrr.

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Sunday, April 14, 2002

Wildflower Weekend.

not much gardening going on this past week or weekend, just some maintenance weeding. however, darin and i did make a weekend trip to see wildflowers. i've lived in texas for ten years now, but i'd never before driven out to "see the bluebonnets" which can be found not-so-far from houston.

so, after much delay, we got out of houston about 10:30 saturday morning, heading northwest on hwy 290. the texas highway department's wildflower website and hotline had told us that the bluebonnets were heavy in the brenham area. indeed, we saw a great number of bluebonnet patches, interspersed with indian paintbrush and a yellow flower i didn't recognize. lots and lots of flowers. the combination of royal blue, orange and yellow is very, very attractive.

after a detour (pilgramage) to the home of blue bell ice cream, we made our way towards austin, drove along the north side of lake travis and ended up in fredericksburg. but before getting quite to fredericksburg, we stopped at wildseed farms.

i highly recommend a visit to wildseed farms. they have a great setup with a huge selection of live plants, seeds and gardening decor in their market center. and you can walk around their fields and see whatever is in season. this weekend they had acres upon acres of bluebonnets. even though you can't actually walk through the fields (there are very pleasant walkways between the growing areas), the sheer number of flowers is awfully impressive.

after wandering through the flowers, we headed for the fredericksburg winery. (the wine is better than the website.) dinner was at the silver creek restaurant on main street - very tasty german fare. finally, we headed west again in search of lodging. the original plan had been to rough it in our tent at a campsite, but we started seeing lots of lightning during dinner and decided a real roof overhead was in order - next time we'll remember to check the forecast before heading out. nothing was available in kerrville, so we ended up an hour further west, near segovia.

this morning we took the scenic route to lost maples state natural area. darin had been here a few weeks ago on a motorcycle ride and really wanted to take me on a particular hike. it was a fairly short hike - but steep - up to the top of a ridge for a scenic overlook. the view was well worth it. and down was much easier. roundtrip was ~1.5 hours.

after that we were pretty well "scenic-ed" out and headed back to houston.

all in all, a good trip, though a bit long. never having gone wildflower watching before, i can't compare what we saw to previous years or other routes, but it was definitely worthwhile and i'll make darin take me again next year.

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Friday, February 08, 2002

New Links.

thanks to chuck for pointing out a couple of interesting sites - The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Buchanan's Native Plants. too bad darin and i already have plans for tonight, otherwise i'd like to attend the "organic lawn care" presentation at buchanan's.

seed order has not yet arrived. maybe tomorrow?

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