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In The Garden: Peppers Abound? Try Pickling…

I can’t imagine a summer garden without an abundance of peppers. Peppers, both hot and mild, are easy to grow and can be planted through the summer months. There are many varieties of peppers to choose from to suit any palette. Peppers also make great ornamentals and can be grown in patio containers. If you provide your plants with a sunny location and are fairly consistent about your watering (they are forgiving), you’ll end up with plenty of peppers for the eating and the saving until the first hard frost.

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In The Garden: Fall Greens

Even though we’re finally hitting 100 degree temps in Dallas, it’s already time to start thinking about your fall garden. By mid-August, you should be shopping for seeds to plant your cool season salad greens. If temperatures come down a bit by the end of August, you can start sowing seeds of lettuce, arugula, kale, and other greens. If it still feels like an oven by then, wait until mid-September to sow. Either way, now’s the time to get planning! Here’s some advice on how to do it.

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In The Garden: Plant For The Bees

It’s honey harvest time here in Texas. Beekeepers like myself are busy wrapping up their harvest and prepping hives for fall and winter. I won’t lie, the last couple of years have been tough on the bees. While this and last year’s harvest were ok, they’re slim in comparison. Many of us are struggling too keep our hives healthy under environmental pressures, pesticide spraying and a host of other issues. I personally re-queened some of my hives 4 times this spring to no avail. If you didn’t know that bees are having a tough go of it right now, then you must be one of those lucky people that doesn’t watch any news! These important pollinators are falling victim to some major blows such as habitat destruction, mass crop monocultures, heavy pesticide use, weather, and a host of pests and diseases made worse by all of the above.

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5 Local Shops that will Make Your Outdoors Great

Plants not looking too pretty in the Texas heat? Time to upgrade your pots? Or maybe you just need a new lounge chair to catch some rays. These shops have got you and your garden covered. From any sort of plant you could desire to classes on how to care for them, (and even Christmas trees when it ’tis the season), we’ve got the top five spots that will help make your outdoors great.

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Fresh Cuts for August: Avant Garden

Confession: We’ve spent whole afternoons admiring event planner Todd Fiscus’ work. We’ve also spent afternoons drooling over arrangements from Avant Garden. It only makes sense that the two purveyors of pretty are connected—Todd Events owns the Highland Park Village floral shop.

When we stopped by earlier today to check out their selection of blooms for August, we were amazed by the array of colors, sizes, and amazing scents. Avant Garden has just received a huge shipment from Holland: think giant hydrangeas, garden roses, and much more. This month you’ll see a lot of rich, jewel-toned colors when it comes to flowers, transforming centerpieces into statement pieces.

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In The Garden: Bravo Texas Sage!

A Texas sage that has burst into full bloom in July is a welcome sight, but not just because it’s so beautiful. Texas sage is my favorite weather indicator plant. These tough Texas natives are adapted to come into bloom just before rainfall comes their way. That’s why these blooms are always cause for celebration during the depths of summer. What triggers the emergence of flowers? Higher than normal humidity levels signal the plants it’s time to flower and proliferate. They may also bloom after a bit of rain.

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In The Garden: What Makes a Lawn?

I just happen to be strolling Central Park, NYC this morning. The first thing I notice is that it’s July and my clothes aren’t sticking to my body— it’s heaven. The next thing I notice are the beautiful green lawns that are sprinkled through the park accentuating different features; huge stands of American elms, garden beds, baseball fields and so on. But upon close inspection, I see that all of these lawns, with the exception of the baseball field, are not monoculture lawns. Rather, they are a mixture of different grasses and other native plants; or what most people would call “weeds”. My first thought? Hooray! I applaud the park’s management for not trying to create over-manicured and treated monoculture “lawns” within the park, but rather allow nature to do its thing. Guess what: It’s just as pretty.

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In The Garden: 5 Summer Watering Tips

So it has gotten a little toasty over the last week or so. Not that we don’t expect intense heat in July, it’s just that we got spoiled with a really mild spring and June! You may have noticed your garden plants drying out very quickly in the 100 degree temps. With water restrictions in place, it’s important to apply water to our landscapes with conservation in mind. So I thought I’d offer up a few tips to help you keep your landscape through the heat.

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