Garden View: Power of papaya

Papaya, Carica papaya, is native to southern Mexico and Central America. The Spanish introduced papaya to southern Asia and from there it has spread...

Garden View: Lemongrass for gardens, tea, cuisine and medicine

I had the opportunity to host three women farmers a few years ago for a morning. They were part of an agricultural exchange program...

Garden View: Your plants need special care during the cold, too

Now that the cold weather is finally here, this is a great time to refresh on protecting our landscape plants from the cold temperatures. Before...

Elaborate nest construction uses a variety of materials

BY ANITA WESTERVELT SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR Ash trees seem to shed most of their leaves with the first fall wind event, revealing what might previously...

Garden View: Root Beer Plant medicinal uses date back to Aztec times

SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR The root beer plant or hoja santa, in Spanish, is an aromatic herb used in Mexican cuisine and herbal medicine. It’s...

Garden View: How to use fertilizer during the fall season

Applying fertilizer in the fall has shown to really help plants with reemergence in the spring. Particularly with turf grasses, because of favorable environmental...

Climbing hemp weed is a favorite for the honey bees and butterflies

BY ANITA WESTERVELT SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR Climbing hemp weed, Mikania scandens competes with all-time butterflyattracting Rio Grande Valley favorite, Crucita — fall-blooming mistflower, Chromolaena odorata — during the annual...

Garden View: Rosemary, an herb that has many uses and meanings

Rosemary officinalis is a woody perennial plant, and is an ancient herb that is native to the Mediterranean. Rosemary can reach heights of six...

Garden View: Frogs leap, toads hop

BY ANITA WESTERVELT TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST Distinct features can help you identify whether you’re looking at a frog or a toad. A prominent one is that...

Garden View: From cacao tree to chocolate bar

Chocolate is a product of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao. The seeds of the tree are encased in a pod that grows along the branches....