I Could Tackle That To Do List……

Or I could just sit for awhile…………………

As Winter gives way toward Spring, that urge to clean up, fix up, organize and generally put our lives and gardens  in order seems to just be hard wired into our DNA.   As the first promise of warmer weather and sunshine glimmers distantly in the air, off we go, rushing almost in unison, often still in our boots and sweaters,  to our favorite sources for garden delights and the local Home Improvement Stores.

Here in the subtropics, Spring comes early and is very short lived.  If you don’t get that Garden To Do List done early, then the heat, humidity and bugs soon put a damper on your enthusiasm.  So even though it’s early January, my Spring Cleaning clock has begun ticking in earnest.

In making the rounds this morning with my brand new shiny 21st century version of the notebook To Do List (my first ‘Smart Phone’).   I passed by the spot where the summer dog days stopped all but my most essential garden chores dead in their tracks last season.   I could spend the rest of the day just making a list of the work that needs to be done in that one 12’x12′ area.  The bougainvilleas are overgrown and desperately need to be pruned, a gate needs to be installed, the door painted, the stepping stones  laid,  the umbrella stand put up, and on and on.  That feeling of being overwhelmed and annoyed at what was not achieved was fast pushing out the satisfaction and pride in what was accomplished last year.
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History of the Heirloom, Antique Rose Louis Phillipe aka Cracker Rose

The Louis Phillip Rose was likely introduced into the Southeastern United States by a Texas politician, who was Minister to France in the 1830s, Loreneza de Zavala.  It is believed to have been a gift from the French to Zavala who planted it at  his home in Lynchburg, Texas near Houston.  Louis Phillipe was originally hybridized by the well known French rose breeder,  Guerin in 1834, and was named in honor of the King of France  Louis Philippe, who had returned to France around this time after a long period of political exile.

More than 100 years later this beautiful gift from France had become a staple in the southern landscape, and has become so associated with the South that it is commonly called the Cracker Rose.   This popularity is no doubt due to how easy and rewarding Louis Phillip is to grow.  This  rose bears flowers profusely and often, with very little effort.  The bush grows to be between 3 to 6 feet tall depending on climate with a busy rounding habit.  It is generally considered winter hardy in Zone 7 and south, some sources rate it to Zone 6.  But, we would caution Zone 6 growers to plant a large mature plant early, in as protected a location as is possible, and then mulch heavily well ahead of freezing weather.
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Crapemyrtle Trees

At Emerald Goddess Gardens we consider crapemyrtles to be one of the best summer plants for southern landscapes and gardens.  There are few trees or large shrubs that are as versatile, colorful and easy to maintain.

Crapemyrtles were introduced into landscape cultivation in the southern United States about 150 years ago, and have since become popular favorites in Zones 7 to 9.

The Emerald Goddess Gardens Featured Plant  is a crapemyrtle named Twilight, which is a purple flowered, intermediate sized, early summer bloomer.  Twilight  is a somewhat smaller than average crapemyrtle.  It will reach a mature height of about 12′ to 15′ at most, or can be easily kept pruned at a lower height as a large hedge.   The flowers of Twilight are bright, vibrant and eye catching in multi tones of neon purple.
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About Smelling The Roses

Bermuda Mystery Rose

Bermuda Mystery Rose

‘Stop to smell the roses ‘ is a cliche phrase that is meant to remind us to slow down and enjoy the world around us.

This is advice I agree with, but have to have forgotten to put it into practice over the past few months. For weeks now I’ve been immersed and obsessed with using this time while everyone is preparing for the Holidays and cooler weather to get this site well stocked and fully open for business by the Spring. For someone of my level of computer technical ability, it’s quite an undertaking. The learning curve continues to be daunting. I’ve barely taken notice of anything beyond the 16″ x 9″ square of this lap top monitor, including my own garden.

Gardens are like children. They do not pause their growth and development waiting on you to catch up. So, when I walked through mine a few days ago, I was appalled and discouraged by all that needed my attention. Pruning, weeding, mowing, mulching, spraying, dividing; every where I looked some undone task was waggling a scolding finger at me. Which, of course, set the stage to get a full blown pity party going.
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