Sunday, January 24, 2010

'Lemon Lime' Abelia

I've wobbled back and forth in my head about this plant.  Do I like it?  Do I not like it?  Well, yes and no.  I LOVE the variegated foliage which is a lemon-lime color.  I'm not so hot on the pale pink flowers it produces in the Spring though.  I just don't like the color combination of pink with lemon and lime.  While the pink blossoms on the dark green glossy Abelia are lovely, they just seem out of place on this variety.  I've made my decision though, and I LOVE this plant!  It has performed very well with our unusually cold winter, and the foliage is very striking right now when everything else is dull and boring.  This plant reaches 24-36 inches tall and loves full sun.  I've already mentioned how well its done in our cold, but it thrives in our heat as well.  So, it's official!  I'm a fan!

This plant made my day!  How 'bout yours?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Put the Pruners Away!

This is for all my Houston readers who are struggling with plants that froze a couple weeks ago.  I get asked everyday by my clients if it's okay to cut things back yet.  The answer is no.  It is better to leave the frost damaged leaves/ stems on the plant until March 1, which is Houston's average last frost date.  Leaving the dead material on the plant insulates the living part of the plant if we get another freeze.  Also, if the dead parts are trimmed too soon, and we get a spell of warm weather (like we are now) the plants think Spring has arrived and will start putting on new growth.  If we get a late freeze, this new growth will die and set the plant back even further.  So, leave the dead growth on any damaged plants, and don't rip anything out until March/April when you can be sure the plant isn't going to surprise you with new growth from its roots/lower stems.  Not everything is completely gone even though it may look like it now.

My last piece of advice is to give your plants a good dose of Superthrive.  Superthrive is simply vitamins and hormones that help stressed/ diseased/ newly transplanted plants perform their best.  It can be combined with a fertilizer in the Spring to really give your plants the extra ummph to get going again.  I've had plants that were literally sticks come back for me with this stuff, and I am a true believer in its miracles.  Simply mix one capfull to a gallon of water and pour around the base of the plant.

Spring will be here before you know it, and we'll have beautiful gardens to play in again.  In the mean time, start some seeds inside that can be transplanted in March.  It just might satisfy that gardening itch to pick up the clippers and cut everything back.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Unusually Cold in Houston

This week has been absolutely crazy at the nursery.  We have almost literally had to move the whole 5 acre nursery inside in prep for the cold temps that start tomorrow.  We haven't seen weather this cold since 1970 (according to  Plants that normally don't mind our minimal freezing temps are really not going to be very happy with our weather possibly dipping into the teens tomorrow and Friday.  I must say, I'm over the cold weather.  I've had my fill and want the warm sunshine on my face again.  I'm tired of looking at brown sticks.  I want green leaves, colorful flowers, and butterflies dancing in the sky.  (*stomps foot, *folds arms, *pouts)

***On the other hand, I just found out the nursery is going to be closed tomorrow through Sunday since nobody will be buying any plants.  I think I could get used to 4 day weekends in exchange for the cold! ;o)  Watch out Sookie Stackhouse, here I come to finish your book series!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Currently in January

Current Book(s): My hubby listened to my groans and grumbles of not having anything "good" to read.  By "good" I mean something that captures my attention and leaves me captivated til the very end...something that I read on my lunch hour, at stop lights, and until 4:30 in the morning just to get to the end....  Something in the Harry Potter and Twilight realm of "good." So, he bought me three new books for Christmas.  Yes, they were back in the fantasy genre which I was trying to get out of, but I've come to expect that from my husband and books.  So far I have finished the first Sookie Stackhouse book Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris...Awesome book (made the hubby go buy me the second already!)  And, since I finished that book around 8:30 at night, I decided to start Evermore by Alyson Noel...I stayed up til 4:30 am (sick, and on nighttime medicine) just to finish the thing cause it was just that good!  

Current Playlist: Silence is golden at the moment!
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: There's still a lot of Christmas candy just calls my name every time I walk by it!
Current Color:  Winter White
Current Drink:  Water.  I'm determined to drink more water in the new year!
Current Food: Black Eyed Peas for good luck and Cabbage for money in the new year.
Current Favorite Show: Hmmm, I haven't really been watching anything lately.
Current Wishlist:  I think Santa already took care of that for now.
Current Needs: For the weather to warm up so I can start Spring planting already!
Current Triumphs: My family and I had a great Christmas!
Current Bane(s) of my Existence: I'm sick.  I hate being sick!
Current Celebrity Crush: Maybe they aren't exactly celebrities, but Bill and Damen are fresh on my mind from the above mentioned books. ;o)
Current Indulgence:  Chocolate Chip cookies that my Mom made.
Current #1 Blessing: My friends and family
Current Slang or Saying:  ...??? I don't think I have anything new this month.
Current Outfit: I'm sporting my SHSU hoodie and jeans.
Current Excitement:  I'm hoping for a great date night with the hubby to go see Avatar tonight.

Current Mood: Tired and Thankful...if those two things even go together?
Current Link: :  I need to catch up on my 101 in 1001 goal!

Happy January!
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