Some folks asked me about my hypertufa pots during the garden tour. They were very simple and fun to make. Here is a "how to" video that pretty much is the way we (Nancy and I) did it though we made a bigger batch in a wheel barrow to make a number of containers. Biggest thing is to be patient and let the container dry for a week or two before you take it out of the mold. We also did not sift the peat moss and that did not seem to affect the pots any. Maybe sifting makes them smoother? Also, be sure to use plain portland cement, not the kind with stones in it.
Hypertufa: How to make a planter


A GDOGC facebooker posted a question on rose hips.  I found this article that may be of interest.


Photo by Pamela Delgado P

Question: Rose Hips - What are They and What Do You Do with Them?

Answer: Rose hips are the seed pods of roses. We don’t often see them anymore, because we tend to prune the faded rose blossoms to encourage more flowers. However if you leave the spent flowers on the rose bush at the end of the season, you should see these small, berry-sized, reddish seed balls, left on tips of the stems. They are actually very ornamental and birds enjoy them too.

Are Rose Hips Edible?

Both rose hips and rose petals are edible. Roses are in the same family as apples and crabapples, so the resemblance of their fruits is not purely coincidental. Rose hips also have a bit of the tartness of crabapples and are a great source of vitamin C.

All roses should produce hips, although rugosa roses are said to have the best tasting hips. These are also generally the largest and most abundant.

Caution: Don’t use rose hips from plants that have been treated with a pesticide that is not labeled for use on edibles.

Read more: ROSE HIPS



BY Gyorgyi Szebenyi

is Desert Willow (Botanical Name: Chilopsis linearis, pronounced: kil-OP-sis lin-ee-AR-iss).

                     desert_willow     desert_willow_2     desert_willow_3


            Desert willow is among my beloveds plants, because it is our wedding anniversary tree. But my reasons for enthusiasm are not only personal. Desert Willow is a tough tree that thrives in Dallas and is strikingly handsome. It is a plant native to the American Southwest and Mexico and thus loves the sun. It is drought tolerant, but can handle downpours with good drainage (add expanded shale to your soil). If watered, it will grow faster and bloom more abundantly, but it will do fine even if you left it alone for long periods of time. Most labels for Desert Willow say that it grows up to fifteen feet, sometimes they even call it a shrub, but the one Paul and I planted for our tenth wedding anniversary twelve years ago is now more than twenty feet tall, and we did not fuss over it. We do prune the lower branches at least once a year, may be that helps to give it more than average height. I love it being tall, because it creates another level of interest in the garden without halting growth below.

     The sun shines through its open structure canopy, graceful, swaying branches, and between its fine long leaves. Underneath our tree, I grow roses that have full sun requirements. So you see, this tree will not create a shady spot for sipping your margaritas, but if you want an inspiring tree to marvel at while you are relaxing under your elm or oak tree and look up towards the sky, this is definitely an excellent choice. The flowers are delicate, elegant, subtly multicolored, and they are plentiful from May through November. I am quite attached to the pink variety we have in our garden, but the white, and the darker hot pink-purplish Buba, a newer and very popular cultivar, are also spectacular.

            Finally, there is one more piece of good news I want to share about this tree: even though I have not yet tried, I read that willows were easy to propagate from either wood cuttings or seed. So if anyone of you would like to try to grow a tree just like ours, let me know. You are most welcome to cuttings and seeds.

            Passing along plants, seeds, and garden stories is what our garden club is about. We’d love to hear about your favorite plant in the next newsletter! Send your story and picture to Allison (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)!

Gyorgyi Szebenyi