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The Garden Guy

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By Norman Winter | Horticulturist, Author, Speaker

There was a new firecracker in town for the long Fourth of July celebration, and The Garden Guy could not have been happier. It is not the kind of firecracker to make noise other than the sounds of hummingbirds’ wings rushing in to feed. It is not just for July 4 but the entire summer as well. The plant I am referring to is Estrellita Little Star, the new Bouvardia or firecracker bush. While I flipped for the flowers, the old silver head guy went bonkers because he had never heard of a Bouvardia.

This plant is native to the southwest and needs my kind of soil in Georgia, but I am also from Texas so you would have thought I would have at least heard of Bouvardia. Bouvardia is in the Rubiaceae family with other great firecrackers like the Manettia cordifolia or firecracker vine which is incredible too, but I have never seen it for sale. Bouvardia is related to Ixora, Firebush and Crossandra too, which by the way is also a firecracker flower. The Rubiaceae family also has coffee and the gardenia, of which I would like to visit with a taxonomist on that one.

To read more, pick up a copy of the August issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by more, call 940-872-5922.

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Grazing North Texas: Bud Break

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By Tony Dean, [email protected]

Many of us who live and work in the country take note of when mesquites leaf out in the spring. For most people, this is just a casual observation of life around us and a promise that warm weather is around the corner.

If you are interested in killing mesquite with an herbicide, “bud break” on mesquites is a significant event and signals the beginning of your planning for a successful control.
Mesquites go through a fairly predictable life cycle every year. This, of course, changes somewhat with location, weather patterns, soils, and other factors, but the overall process is very similar wherever you find mesquite.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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The Garden Guy

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By Norman Winter | Horticulturist, Author, Speaker

It’s planting season for many and verbenas are high on the list. We had just fallen in love with Superbena Imperial Blue verbena and piled on a bunch of awards then, stop the presses! It has a new name which is now Superbena Cobalt. Not sure if this would be similar to Shakespeare’s ‘What’s in a name?’ scenario but one thing is for certain, it is even better than ‘The Garden Guy’ thought.

This year a cold spell of a few nights had ‘The Garden Guy’ moving containers to the garage for a series of nights in the mid-teens. It was about five nights straight, when they were afforded protection. Several of these containers had Superbena Cobalt verbena. There were three other containers of verbenas on the hillside that I did not move. All of them are now in a stage of riotous bloom.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Parting Shot: Dogs, Pigs, Goats, Oh My!

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By Jelly Cocanougher

What an extraordinary end to the Wise County Youth Fair – a fantastic opportunity for the Heart of a Champion participants to show. From rabbits to lambs, to pigs to dogs – we’ve seen it all. Through this unique event, the Heart of a Champion Livestock show aimed to promote confidence, friendship, and a sense of accomplishment within our amazing community. Everyone worked tirelessly to create an environment that fosters growth, camaraderie, and a shared passion for agriculture. Until next year!

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