Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Local doings and garden notes




I was able to attend Mercer’s Garden Faire a couple of weeks back. It wasn’t in the main part of Mercer but across the street and all the way down the back. There were about a dozen vendors, most with plants, a couple with yard art. I had really expected more of a showing given all the promotion. I was going to be thoroughly disappointed. However, way in the very back we stumbled across another bland looking display of plants that turned out to not be so bland upon closer inspection.

I was able to purchase a trumpet vine. Which I have been lusting after since I saw that one at the San Antonio gardens, a Musical Notes plant, and the husband found an Encephalartos ferox ( cycad ). So we were very pleased.

We spoke with a vendor who told us she had moved to the Houston area two years ago into a new home. Her mother-in-law brought her several 12″ long 1″ diameter sticks from her trumpet vine. The vendor put them the ground around her home, they rooted and now reach to the roof of her two story home. So I have great hopes for my trumpet vine.

Last weekend we attended The Woodlands Landscaping Solutions event. I was sorry I hadn’t left more time for that. There were about 30 vendors there with plants, products and information. They had several Community Service employees, Master Gardeners, Master Wildlife and other various experts wandering about explaining different plants and their uses, how to create a self sustaining pond, and much more. Next year I will get to that event early.

We were really happy to find out the name of the ‘Remata’ tree. We first stumbled across one on one of our long car trips exploring the area. I’d never seen a pine tree with flowers. I thought that was so cool. At the Landscaping Event we learned they are great for attracting wildlife, especially praying mantises. We were unable to find any retmatas for sale there but I’m hoping to score one at the ‘Conroe Extension Office Sale’ this Saturday. If not then I’ll stumble across one for sale soon I’m sure.

I’ve not been to any extension office sales yet, but I have heard good things about them. (Details on the garden calendar ) I’m very much looking forward to it. We even wiped out another 6’x6′ section of lawn last weekend. So I’ve another whole bed just waiting for plants.

I’ve lost three of my four pittosporum tobira over the summer. First the leaves turn yellow, then the leaves brown, die and the stem they are attached to dies as well. I’ve been slowly cutting off dead sections all summer. Finally last week I cut them back to the ground. I don’t know what happened I’ll have to investigate further. I have Diseases of Pittosoporum (pdf ) on my desktop for digging into this week. It’s looking like a fungal infection.

One of the first things you notice moving down here from the north east is that many plants are the same but different. Our oaks and maples look like yours but the leaves are just a slightly different shape. Or the tree shape or bark is slightly different than the same version back home. So I thought the pittosporum were just azaleas with slightly odd leaves. I couldn’t figure out how to get them to bloom. Finally I went digging through some books and figured out that they were not azaleas.