Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

No more grass and a hummingbird showed up

At least out back that is. The back yard is finally grass free. We still have to mulch it but that should go quickly. The front yard is mulched, and the plants I purchased at the Conroe Ext office sale are all planted and happy in their new homes. From lots of view points I can see the jungle to come.

I found lots of good loot at the Extension Office sale, I’ve added in a Coral Bean tree, nun’s orchids, a Cat’s Whisker’s bush and several more flowering shrubs and oddities that I’ll cover in more detail when I have a few moments to research them.

I ended up moving the cattleya orchids to the back. It was too sunny and too dry in that bed by the door for them. I filled it with calla lilies for now.

As always trends come and go in gardening. One herb that I’ve been hearing lots of about lately is ‘Stevia’. The leaves are said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar. I tried a leaf from one of the plants being readied for sale at the Extension Office. It was very sweet, but I’m not sure I believe it is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has long been used as a sweetener in several prepared foods in other countries. Stevia is being promoted as a no calorie alternative to sugar. Myself I think the evils of sugar are over rated, at 15 calories a tablespoon you have to eat an awful lot of sugar to do damage. And remember just because it is natural doesn’t mean it is better for you. Many of our most interesting poisons come from plants. But if you are looking for a new addition to the herb garden consider Stevia. [Stevia the new sugar substitute]

Another up and coming trend is micro orchards. In the Houston area citrus fruit trees are becoming more popular and everyone is reporting higher sales of these plants. The New York Times is also reporting ‘Backyards, Beware: An Orchard wants your spot’. City folk across the country are buying fruit trees and cramming them into city lots where they are successfully growing fruit. Up in the north mid Atlantic and New England they are growing cherries, apples and grapes.

And I saw my first hummingbird, a ruby throat on Monday. He was feeding away on my shrimp plant. Which although incredibly scraggily looking has had a prolific amount of blooms non-stop.

This past week I had to move all my websites to new servers. As far as I know everything is back together and working well. If you see anything off, drop me an email or a comment. The sites should all load more consistently and faster now.

And as a final note the Resources Page has some really excellent sites I learned about in the master gardener class. I just this week had a free minute to start digging through my notes.