Loose Ends

Here are three topics that each merits mentioning, but I didn’t want to take up too much space in the process.

Horseherb along the Sperry driveway. Click on photo to see the yellow flower toward the center. Its blooms are a selling point. (I find them less than exciting.)

Horseherb: Groundcover or weed?
This depends on where you’re going to grow it and how willing you are to have it show up everywhere else in your landscape (and neighborhood).

There was so much interest in horseherb back 30 years ago that I decided to try a flat of it in a shaded spot in our landscape. Now I have it coming up 150 yards away in places where I really don’t want it.

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I’ve since replaced it in the original bed because I didn’t like the fact that it died to the ground in the winter. I’m not big on bare ground when it’s cold and muddy. But I’d declare it as invasive into other parts of my gardens. So much so that if I ever get rid of it I’ll put it on my “Never again, Neil” list so I won’t make the mistake again.

I know it’s native, so it might have shown up anyway, but it didn’t – not until I invited it in. And I also know that a broadleafed weedkiller spray would make quick work of it.

Our Forest Grove poinsettia may not be quite as beautiful as it was 5 months ago, but it’s still going strong. I’m going to miss these!

Last of the Forest Grove Nursery poinsettias
My buddy Kenneth Cranfill, whom I’ve always described as the best grower I’ve ever known, is retiring at the end of this spring’s crops. And with that he’ll no longer be turning out 15,000 of the most picture-perfect poinsettias you’ve ever seen.

I’ve taken extra special care of this one, my last Cranfill poinsettia, to get as many months of color as possible. It was one of the last ones he had in December. That was 5 full months ago that it came to our sunroom. I took this photo earlier this week, so Christmas, New Years, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day we’ve celebrated with our Cranfill poinsettia. With a little luck we’ll make Father’s Day and Independence Day, too.

Kenneth is one of my best friends. I’ll still annoy him whenever I can, but I’m surely going to miss watching his incredible skills at work. Get some rest, pal. You’ve made North Texas a more beautiful place. And keep up that great volunteer work that you do.

Mushroom is a thing of beauty, but not a joy forever.

Beauty is where you find it
Somebody sent me this photo of a mushroom growing in one of their pots. It’s just such a work of nature’s art that I had to share it with you.

For the record, unless it crowds the desirable plant it won’t hurt it. The mushroom lives off decaying organic matter in the soil (making it a saprophyte). But it’s also not something you’d want to be sampling. Some mushrooms can be deadly poisonous. Buy the edible types at the grocery.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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