Mom’s Hibiscus

Look what happens to a Lord Baltimore Hibiscus in a cooler climate.  This Lord Baltimore Hibiscus was purchased in Texas and brought home to Chicago where it has sustained freezing cold winters, has been all covered up in snow for months and has come back every year bigger and better than ever.  This year’s bloom count was over 300.   I am so happy that Mom gets to enjoy this hibiscus.  It is the talk of the neighborhood.  img_3106




Thank you Jennifer !

Earlier this year the server where P&B Garden lived was hacked.  Thank goodness for children with technology smarts.  Jennifer fixed one of my favorite hobbies for me.  Thank you Jenn !    I have so much catching up to do now.  So fun !


Stop the Spread of Fire Ants !

I have been following the efforts made by the Corpus Christi Independent School District and the Texas Legislature after a 13 year old boy was killed by fire ant stings on the football field in Corpus Christi in 2013.? As reported at the Imported Fire Ant Conference held in New Orleans,? I am happy to announce that the 2015 84th Regular Session of Texas State Legislature introduced four bills relating to the use of epinephrine on school campuses.? In addition, the School District with the involvement of Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Program Specialist, Dr. Paul R Nester is seeing fewer and fewer fire ant piles with their new fire ant management practices.

According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, 500,000 people go the Emergency Room for insect stings each year. More than 40 people die from sting anaphylaxis or whole
body reactions annually. Fire ants may be the number one agent of insect sting and costs the United States about $6 billion a year.
If we all made a pledge to treat our yards faithfully every year for fire ants, could we stamp them out and stop them from spreading elsewhere?? It’s worth a try.?? For more information and the latest on how to keep fire ants out of your yard read the full report here : ??





Winter Bulbs

It was a very warm winter in North Texas and this was the first year I left my bulbs out in the conservatory through the entire season. The amaryllis just loves the heat and I got the biggest, most spectacular flowers ever. I dedicate this flower to two lovely women, Rita and Vonnie. I did not get to have as much time with them as others who grew up here, but the memories I have will always have a special place in my heart. I know that I will see them again in heaven’s garden.IMG_0788

Happy New Year 2016

This year we welcomed our new grandbaby Tae and son-in-law Kent to our family. ? We achieved many of the goals that we set this year and are thankful for so many things. ? As I approach almost two years of weekly allergy shots and start maintenance, I am hopeful that I can return to P&B Garden soon.?? IMG_6509 IMG_0218 Happy New Year !

Long Time No Post

It has been several months since I posted to P&B Garden.? This was an exciting summer for Paul and I. ? We celebrated the birth of little Tae Alexander,? Alaya’s 1st birthday, family coming to visit and Jennifer’s marriage. With that came an unstoppable busy feeling around P&B Garden.? Paul had a brilliant idea this year.?? He said to put a candle tree in front of our bedroom window. It was lovely to look at from any angle of the yard all summer long and made a beautiful statement.



Forcing Bulbs Results

In a previous post I wrote about forcing bulbs.? I usually force amaryllis bulbs only at Christmas, but have decided to do this year round.? My Dad sent me a website for an Amaryllis Bulb Company and I found a pretty tropical bulb called Cybister Bogata.? We set the vase inside the red lantern for something different.?? I have a new bulb starting in the house and will keep rotating the blooms.??? Ants are out in full force, so this is much safer for me.


Brrrr… What happened to Spring?

When I lived in Chicago, I used to love March, because I knew winter was almost over.? There was the old saying,? “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”, but since I moved to Dallas this old saying did not hold true, as March was already a lamb, until now.? What happened?? Just two weeks ago, it was almost 90 degrees in the conservatory.? It was so warm we had to open up the doors. ?? This picture was taken the week of Valentines Day of the roses Paul got me.? The conservatory was full of sunshine.?? My peony was starting to come up!? My pansies were flourishing!? Cannot wait for old man winter to leave !? IMG_4508

Conservatory Doors Installed

This year my goal is to master the forcing of bulbs in water as I celebrate the completion of 6 months of allergy shots.? Paul has completed the design and oversight of the construction on the doors to my safe garden haven and there is no dirt involved when you force bulbs in water.? So in 2015 I will have a safe gardening activity in my safe haven conservatory — free of fire ants.? Thank you Paul.


IMG_4400 Red Lion Amaryllis forced in water.

Summer Garden 2014 – The Year of the White Flies

I took a year off from gardening this year and Paul had his hands full.? We were infested by white flies.? He sprayed every weekend and they are still swarming.? In a few weeks we will cut everything back for the fall and hopefully that will solve it.? In the meantime, I have gone every Saturday for my fire ant shots with only one reaction and have enjoyed my garden from afar this year. ? This beautiful butterfly was enjoying it too.