The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Seasons. What seasons?!


By Raquel


Thanks so much to everyone who wrote and welcomed me to GOY, it has really made me feel like I am part of a community! I love strawberries, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do in the heat and humidity in Houston. This brings me to my topic today – which is to say (and apologies to all Texas natives) that there are really only two seasons in Houston – hot and hotter! Well, maybe I exaggerate but not by much. From November to May the weather is spring-like or fall-like, except for maybe a couple days where it might actually hit 30 F. Beginning in May the heat and humidity increase exponentially and come July we’re hitting temperatures of 100 F, 103 is not uncommon. Yikes!! This is when I fantasize about living in Canada, or visiting Alaska. =) The heat does not break until late October. Having grown up in northern Virginia, where there are actually four seasons, the Texas weather was a biiig adjustment for me, one that I think that – 5 years after moving to Houston – I’m still dealing with. The first year I kept waiting for it to get cold. And waited and waited. Needless to say, it never did. I tried to buy sweet alyssum to plant in late March – there were none to be found anywhere!! I was just totally confused, I didn’t know when to plant what, so for the longest time, I simply didn’t plant anything. Eventually I figured out that spring begins in February, because sweet alyssum, pansies, violas and cyclamen all are in bloom at this time. The azaleas begin to bloom in late February, and will be at their peak in just about a week. If you’re crazy enough to attempt to plant tulips and paper whites in Houston, maybe a daffodil or two, (and some people do) they do bloom but just for about a week or so. Paper whites last a bit longer, the tulips barely make it to a week. It’s just a different pace…this crazy Texas weather!

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I understand your frustration about learning to garden in a new climate - although not to your temperature extremes!! That is a little on the toasty warm side for me.
I found by observing what nature provides and what the neighbours have planted are good indicators of what to grow, where to plant and when they bloom/fruit.
Good luck with the challenge and if you feel the need to see the coolness of your northern states/neighbours have a look at Lori and Mikes photos!!

4 Mar, 2008


It must be very frustrating for you and the other gardeners trying to grow things in such difficult conditions. I love the sun, but as you've found, you can have too much and too hot! I think that maple's right, if you are able to watch what does thrive in your area it will become more pleasurable for you and your garden will thrive accordingly! Have you got Garden Centres where you can look to see what's in flower each month? (and of course buy something if you like it!) That tip seems to work for many people. Happy choosing!

4 Mar, 2008


I know how you feel. We have found that plants that grow like mad at home im UK do not do so well in the more extreme climate of Hungary along with the light sandy soil. We have very hot summers but also very cold winters. We are trying to create an English cottage garden look, but things grow more slowly and not so lush.
It's a challenge but always very rewarding when our watering is rewarded and the plants survive.

4 Mar, 2008


Raquel, if I could grow it I'd have bouganvillea all over the place! lol Every tropical greenhouse I visit has it everywhere. maybe check out your local library for books on xeriscaping... Mikec has pictures posted of ephyllum cacti...he might have some interesting plants to discuss with you. Is Houston humid or dry? Sorry to be so uninformed, but factors like that can help in selecting plants. Check out the horticultural societies. Maybe you could specialize in begonias or tropical orchids.
I live in southern Canada; we are in the midst of a late winter storm, expecting 50 centimeters of snow/freezing rain this evening into tomorrow...had to go out Friday and make sure we had all necessities. We may not have hurricanes but the cold period is no fun either.

8 Mar, 2008


wouldn't you know it...didn't proof read...that should be
epiphyllum cacti... apologies to Mikec.

8 Mar, 2008

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