Over 1.4 million Houstonians garden for a hobby or pastime, and GardenLine is where they listen for advice and information on gardening and landscaping.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 6 to 10, GardenLine's Randy Lemmon answers listeners' questions on everything from aphids to zoysias. He's Houston's absolute expert on lawns and gardens, offering help to listeners both with and without "green thumbs."
Randy's a Texas Aggie who truly KNOWS plants and flowers. He explains them with ease and candor, and is as competent a "plant person" as there is. He studies, and he practices. He embraces "new methods" as well as the "old" ways of dealing with problems. Call for Randy's solution for your question ... 713-212-KTRH (5874).
If you've traveled on Memorial Drive near Waugh Drive recently, you may have noticed the blue crape myrtles. Blue?!
It's not the blooms that are blue, but the trunks.
My emails have blown up with messages from folks concerned about the trees' health. Well, it's really isn't anything to worry about ... it's art, supposedly. It's up to you whether you like the color or not.
The project, by Australian artist Konstanin Dimopoulos, has the trunks of the circular collection of crapes stained a deep blue. He enlisted hundreds of local volunteers to help a couple of months ago, and they went to town painting.
They say it was to bring awareness to things we take for granted every day. But, I've never taken that stand of crapes for granted, because I've loved the shape of the planting for years. And I appreciate all the times they've been submerged in flood waters yet have rebounded every time.
And why blue?
Dimopoulos was quoted on a local TV station saying, "Blue, to me, is about breathlessness. It's about breathing. It's about when you can't breathe, you become blue."
I guess if we cut down all the world's rain forests, we would all turn blue, eh?! Nevertheless, in Dimopoulos' defense, if you have taken this miniature forest for granted, maybe he made the otherwise unappreciated planting more visible.
Well, the blue trees may be taking some breath away, but if you're like me, it wasn't because of being in awe of the art. At first, I was shocked. And I, too, feared for the trees' health. So, I did some digging and found that the paint is mineral-based. It will decompose over time, especially if hit with some significant rain.
So, I say, "BRING ON THE RAINS!!!" (Because we are still in a bit of a drought, right?!)
It seems that at least once a year I get an email or a call from someone wanting to know what an odd plant is. And it will turn out to be another crossing of horticulture and art. A recent example can be seen on the Loop 610 feeder eastbound towards the Interstate 10 interchange, close to Memorial Park. It's a spiky pink-and-purple stalk with tinge of blue. I've received at least three inquiries since April from listeners who want to know what it is and where to get one for their garden. Well, it's art — not a plant.