Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy

I don’t know exactly what has prompted me to feel the need to begin this blog other than simply my sincere love of plants and the fact that the promise of spring is right around the corner. In my eyes, spring begins with the explosion of the mixed border of the Armstrong residence at the corner of Park and Barberry. It has always been my favorite mixed border featuring the most beautiful camellias, nandina and the jewel of the bunch-the Japanese cherry tree! Other plants that are putting on a show around the area include quince, tulip trees, daffodils, lenten rose and star magnolia.

Don’t wait until spring fever hits to go plant shopping. True gardeners are ready to get their wheelbarrows out and their hands dirty well before the first bulbs wake up. Stop by your local nursery now when traffic is relatively low and you will have a much easier time getting your questions answered regarding the trees and shrubs you may be considering planting in your garden.

It is a great time to plant your trees and shrubs so that their root systems can become established before the summer heats takes over.


Remove old flowers from your cool-season bedding plants to extend blooming.

Clean out your beds and mulch shrubs and flower beds to get plants off to a good spring start and minimize weed problems.

Watch for lacebugs on azaleas. They cause the foliage to have numerous small white spots and feed underneath the lower foliage. Control with oil sprays or Orthene.

Fertilize trees!!!

Plant bare-root roses and prune the existing roses.

Prune your crepe myrtles (go online to see exactly how to prune-don’t commit crepe MURDER).

Give your lirope and aspidistra a hair cut. If you cut it back now, it will put on new growth and be more beautiful than ever!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! Two great horticulture events not to miss:

TULIP WATCH at Biendenharn Gardens – MONROE, LA

During the first half of January, the Biendenharn’s garden crew planted over 3500 tulips throughout the garden. When exactly they will bloom, no one really knows! Tulips are very weather dependant with factors such as temperature, rain fall, sunny vs. cloudy days and much more factoring into the blooming periods for this popular plant. Lovers of tulips can expect announcements about tulip blooming through the Biendenharn Facebook page.


The Jonquil Jubilee is an annual festival to celebrate the beautiful jonquils (daffodils) that grow in this area. Gibsland is a very small town in north Louisiana made famous by the fact that it was where Bonnie and Clyde met their end. I prefer to think of the lovely daffodils instead. This year, the festival is set for March 3rd beginning at 8:00 am with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Gibsland Lions Club. Vendors will be gathered at the Pavilion and Gazebo area and always have many hand crafted items for sale. For more information, please call 318-843-6228 or email

I will be updating regularly as spring unfolds and in the meantime, would love comments from any of you gardeners out there that may have tips for me!

Kathy VanVeckhoven, Realtor
(318) 388-0941

2 thoughts on “Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy

  1. Pingback: Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy – Crape Myrtles « John Rea Realty

  2. Pingback: Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy – Daffodils and Narcissus « John Rea Realty

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