Herself's Houston Garden

Gardening for fun and wildlife at the edge of Houston's piney woods

Chinese indigo ( Indigofera decora )

Indigo Aug, 2008

Indigo Aug, 2008

indigo Apr, 2014

indigo Apr, 2014

I love this plant. So I planted him right outside my office window. However, it is far shadier than he would like. Indigo prefers part sun, but it can become invasive given too much sunlight. It will send out suckers and become very dense over time. It is often used as a ground cover in difficult forested areas.

Leaves fall off in the fall and return early to late spring depending on how much sun the indigo receives. It can die back to the ground in cold winters, but will return when the weather warms.

In time it will become a full bush with lots of flowers every summer. This indigo was planted last summer and is barely settled in this year.

It is not particular about the soil and is known as a good plant to try in difficult areas. It is a spreading shrub, so be sure to give it some room.

Once established it is heat and drought tolerant.

Indigo will reach about 3′ tall in full sun 1′-2′ otherwise with a 2′-3′ spread.

Flowering is on new branches.

It is a very, very slow grower.

This died back to the ground in the cold winter of ’09-’10 and didn’t reappear until late May.

In times of famine the seeds have been boiled and eaten or ground into flour.

Survived, grew and bloomed during the heat wave-drought of summer 2011.

Amaryllis – Hippeastrum hybrids

April 2014

April 2014, Almost thick enough to hide a mastiff

Apr 2014

Apr 2014

Amaryllis Oct 2008

Amaryllis Jan 2008

Amaryllis Oct 2008

Amaryllis Jan 2008

Amaryllis Oct 2008

Amaryllis Jan 2008

The first Christmas I was here, I tossed my amaryllis bulbs after they had bloomed. Then I was at a plant sale that spring and saw amaryllis for sale. I purchased a St. Joseph’s which bloomed in early March. And I saved all my holiday amaryllis bulbs and planted them after they finished blooming the following Christmas. This year they all bloomed in January and continued to bloom through March. I added this year’s bulbs to the bed and I expect in time this will become a very large bed of amaryllis.

Amaryllis are part of the Narcissus family of flowers. The name amaryllis means to twinkle or sparkle. Though they look like lilies, lilies have their ovaries above the petals and narcissus have them below the petals. In their native climates they die back in the heat of summer and re-appear in the fall. Mine had leaves all year last year, but it did not grow at all in the summer.

The Greeks and Egyptians associated narcissus flowers with death and they can be found in ancient burial tombs. In the 1650s a ship is believed to have wrecked off the coast of the Channel Islands. Amaryllis bulbs, native to South Africa, washed ashore and bloomed on the beach the following spring.

Amaryllis want sandy, well drained soils or the bulbs may rot during wet winters. Mine are planted in clay, that’s all I have and they have wintered over just fine. If you have them in clay, find a dry spot for them. Plant them so the top of the bulb is level with the top of the soil.

I tried planting them in the shade and while they lived through it, it was just barely and they didn’t bloom. Plant them in full sun to part shade, the more sun the better.

The wonderful thing about bulbs is that they require very little care. Put them in the ground and leave them be.

You can plant your holiday amaryllis bulbs as soon as they are done blooming. Or just keep them watered in a sunny window until we have a day warm enough to go out into the garden.

Typically amaryllis will send up blooms, then leaves appear after the flowers and it all fades away when the weather gets cold.  These ones have leaves now because they bloomed first inside before I put them outdoors.

Amaryllis survive cold winters as well as Houston summers. They will die back to the ground after a hard frost, but return once the weather warms back up.

Mine are late blooming this year ( it’s early April ) most years they bloom the winter. This winter was much colder than normal.

Amaryllis is the name of a beautiful Greek fictional shepardess.

Survived extreme heat and drought summer 2011.

More information:
US National Arboretum Amaryllis Photo Gallery
Amaryllis/Hippeastrum Forum at the Garden Web

Hope Farms Gardens Annual Open Gardens Time

We will open April 27
9:00 a.m. – - closing at 4:00 p.m.
We are open on Saturday and Sunday to the public.
Our last day this year will be Saturday May 24, 2013.

Location: 18750 F.M. 1484 – Conroe, Texas 77303

Check us on the Web at HopeFarmsGardens.com
or give us a call with any questions – (936) 264-1499

Method of payment accepted: Checks and cash only

We look forward to seeing you back this year.

2014 Orchid Show And Sale

2014 Orchid Show And Sale
HMNS Grand Hall
Saturday, April 12 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 13 | 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
FREE Admission

For the fifth year running, HMNS will host the Houston Orchid Society’s annual Spring Show and Sale. During this spectacular two day event, which is free to the public, patrons will be able to enjoy numerous lavish exhibits featuring orchids, orchid arrangements, corsages, orchid collectables and educational information. The orchids and the exhibits will be officially judged before the show opens, with first, second and third place ribbons and trophies awarded to the best orchids and best exhibits. In addition, there will be several commercial sales booths selling orchids and orchid-growing supplies with vendors both local and exotic.

Don’t miss this chance to see and learn more about nature’s most coveted and beguiling flowers! For more information see Houston Orchid Society