To burn or not to burn. If this is your question, allow me to try to answer it by going through the laws on public and private burning and the exceptions that are allowed. With the winds that have already been quite prevalent this week, and the upcoming springtime and summer heat, we should …

I’m sure you’ve heard about the problem with feral hogs in Texas. The population has exploded, and with it comes an increase in the damage done by their rooting and feeding habits. Lands affected by feral hogs include parks, nature reserves, ranch land, golf courses, and even rural neighborh…

It is important to ask ourselves “why” from time to time, since it’s essential to have a rational for what we choose to do. The interesting part of asking ourselves “why” is there may not be one motive, but several. I stumbled across a quote about growing plants that fits me rather perfectly:

All roots are not created equal, but they all serve at least one if not two of the most essential of purposes — providing a plant with the needed water and nutrients, and holding the plant firmly in place in its growing medium. Today, I wanted to discuss how you can start rooting plants righ…

As January comes to a close, I wanted to share a quote I found that is reasonably profound. Since we have had such cold temperatures, and although they tend to warm right back up, most of the flowers, plants and perennials are looking pretty toasted. Only the evergreens look unaffected. The …

This time of year always makes me smile, watching all the commercials about shaping up and getting fit, joining a gym, or trying the latest “eating healthy” plan. I’ve heard it is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but a month later, the excitement and/or momentum is all but gone.

I love that scene in “Mary Poppins” where Dick Van Dyke sings “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Other than this memory, many folks don’t think much about their chimneys. For those of us who have them, we see and care for the looks and function of our fireplaces, but the chimneys are out of sight, out of …

Some of the folks in my neighborhood got together recently and strolled around to homes open for visiting and snacking. We finished an enjoyable evening by stepping outside one home to sing Christmas carols. I had a lot of fun. It has been so long since I have caroled outside. I miss it, and…

When I was a kid, my mother always seemed mad, or extremely frustrated, with this one plant she had that would not bloom. It was a wisteria and she wanted so badly for it to cover her fence and bloom those beautiful purple flowers. But as I recall, it never did, and eventually she dug it up.

Time has flown by this year, and the Thanksgiving holiday is just days away. Our country has been through a great deal of discord, frustration and uncertainty. We heard talk of folks threatening to leave the U.S., we saw our flag burned, and we heard “this is NOT my country” after a contenti…

I recently experienced an unusually baffling situation with a lacey bark elm tree. It is 5 years old and was gorgeous two months ago. Now, it is totally brown. It literally went from a full canopy of green to a thin canopy of brown, shriveled leaves. It was painful to see.

I have been talking about different weeding options in this column for years now. I’ve always held that pulling them out by the roots is the best way to immediately rid your yard of weeds. I’ve also discussed using a pre-emergent twice annually as well as a post-emergent when necessary. Then…

The city of Killeen just ended its curbside pick-up of recycling, for financial reasons, I’ve heard. They took the recycling bins, and now, how many of us have stopped collecting the recyclable materials? What are we supposed to do? I guess it depends upon how important we think it is to recycle.

I thought I would play off of some recently popularized “buzz words,” but instead apply them to plants, not people. How I came to this was, lately, I have found myself, while working in my landscaping, saying over and over, “Man, I hate this plant!” I don’t say that about many things, as I k…

Many of our daily conversations begin by discussing the weather, since it affects us all and so much of our schedule and activities depend upon it. Nowadays, we usually feel fairly confident that we know the upcoming weather based on the forecasts provided by local TV stations and internet s…

I was heading into a business a couple of weeks ago and noticed a fun sight — a bunch of bananas. While I grew up seeing bananas growing quite often, I don’t see it much here. But it makes sense that these particular trees are fruiting this year, and for a couple of reasons.

As I look over my summer landscaping, it’s amazing how much it has grown. We got quite a bit of timely rainfall, followed by significant heat and humidity. This combination has allowed the turf grasses, shrubs, perennials and annuals to grow like crazy. Mine have extended beyond their boundaries.

I was asked a question this week by a concerned homeowner whose ash trees are losing many of their leaves. Since there are so many homes with ash trees, I thought I would share with everyone why this may be happening all around this area, though I highly recommend you consult a professional …

I found so much useful information about flag etiquette last week, that I thought I would continue sharing. There are so many interesting and seldom known codes of conduct to ensure the flag is flown correctly and honorably, so I’ll try to put in as many as I can.

What can I say but “how heart-breaking!” Our U.S. flags have been flying at “half-staff” for way too many days and months. There has been so much killing recently, and our country is reeling from the shock, the disgust and the grief we feel when human beings take the lives of others, whether…

I heard a weather forecast mention that we would be in the 100 degree temperatures this week. It also emphasized we were actually a couple of weeks later than normal in reaching the triple-digit mark for the year. It’s always somewhat startling to hear that it’s 100 degrees or higher. Even n…

Summer is the time for relaxation for many families. Some will hang around the house while others will want to get outside and play. There may be trips to the neighborhood park, a day trip to one of our local state parks, and even vacation time away from home and travel to unfamiliar areas.

Bluebonnets are out and blooming. As I am writing this column, I notice the blooms are still rather immature. But very soon we’ll notice fuller, more vibrant flowers on the popular Texas symbol. You’ll want to wait until they are mature before taking everyone out for family photos.

We’ve all heard the saying “15 minutes of fame," and although those words are not the exact quote and it’s disputed that it was ever said by artist Andy Warhol, we all still use it to describe someone or something that gets attention for a short period of time and then fades into the background.

Did you vote Tuesday? This year’s primary was probably the most difficult ballot I’ve ever had to cast. So many candidates, so many platforms, and so much at stake. This election’s results will have a tremendous effect on the future of this country, in more ways than we can count.

If you haven’t pruned back overgrown summer-blooming plants and perennials from last fall, do it now. This includes ornamental grasses, brown seed heads and plants that have gotten too large for their space. The warm weather will be triggering new growth. You need to get the dead branches of…

I love driving around and looking at items folks use as planters. Some are quite creative while a few, well, should NEVER be used as planters. While everything is subjective in landscaping, there should be some universal (un)written rules about what can and cannot be used as yard art, as a p…

I don’t know if I missed the memo or just wasn’t paying attention, but I have been doing some research on a product additive that was supposed to be a great thing, but ended up disastrous for the environment. I am referring to the microbead. You know, the teeny-tiny plastic particles that ar…

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