In the world that is my job of answering gardening questions, at times I'm wildly entertained how one topic can take on a life of its own. Here's a minor example from the show just two weeks ago, and a fun way to give you an e-mail tip on a plant that I'm a big fan of. A call to the radio show asked about an idea for a 'fragrant' plant. I suggested a couple, but I honed in on the Aloysia Sweet Almond Verbena (Almond Verbena for short).
Since that idle mention, there have probably been over 20 emails asking "What was the name of that "fragrant" plant you love so much?"
Interestingly, I've always wanted to do a tip sheet on this, because I've taken pictures of it in my own backyard. So, I guess after all the interest after that one mention on the air, it's time to make an official e-mail tip on this spectacular plant.
Obviously, the first remarkable attribute are the wonderfully fragrant blooms. In fact, other than the Night Blooming Cereus, not many other fragrant plants sweeten up the air to the extent that Almond Verbena does, and it is a very sweet smell too.
Once the Almond Verbena starts blooming, it will keep blooming day and night from late spring through to the first freeze with repeated clusters of white flowers that attract butterflies and bees. And, yes, it can take our winters around here. While it may shed its leaves during the heart of winter, it seems to always come roaring back by spring time. While I have both of mine in pots so that they can sit on my patio, the ones in landscaping can become drought tolerant once established.
I've fed it a number of things and it seems to like them all. So, as long as you feed it at least a 1-2-1 ratio fertilizer it should respond well. I've used Nelson's Color Star with great success as well. You're likely never to find this plant at big box store nurseries. In fact, the wholesale grower locally known as Treesearch Farms is the prolific grower of this perennial shrub, and as such they only sell to independent nurseries and garden centers in the Houston area.
So, with that in mind, if you have a good relationship with your favorite nursery and/or garden center, ask them if they can order this spectacular plant from Treesearch Farms for you. I've seen it at Buds and Blossoms in Cypress and The Arbor Gate in Tomball.
Lastly, while this is not the only "fragrant plant" for your gardening needs, do a little Google searching and you'll be impressed with how many plants you can incorporate for fragrant gardening. The other plant that I casually mentioned two weeks ago, and that you can find at just about every garden center in town is the Sweet Olive.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
P.S. This Saturday, if you live anywhere around Galveston Island, you ought to come check us out at Tom's Thumb Nursery. We will be there from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 28. Tom's Thumb is located at 2014 45th Street, in the heart of Galveston Island. If you've got a problem with Dollar Weed, I'll have the tools there to help you get rid of it, and if you're one of the first 40 people to buy the chosen product, you'll receive the actual tool that helps you make the herbicide work effectively against Dollar Weed. We will give you the professional surfactant known as "Turbo," and you'll also be entitled to another free Nitro Phos gift such as Vegetable Food, or Fire Ant Killer, if you print out this e-mail, and bring it with you!
GardenLine Listeners and E-mail Tip Subscribers can purchase a copy of my new book at discounted price! Check it out! "Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon"
Garden retailers interested in stocking the book, should call the Nitro Phos Warehouse at 713-228-1868 for wholesale ordering information.
Our Printer-Friendly Version
Click Here for a complete
KTRH program schedule
E-mail The Editor. Please feel free to forward this issue to friends and associates. Anyone can subscribe for free.