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Growing Your Own Garden — How to Make Your Own Outdoor or Indoor Oasis Blossom

Consider a Citrus Tree — and More Pro Tips From a Texas Gardening Whiz

BY // 03.24.20

The need for sunshine and flowers, fresh air and greenery has never felt more important. Fortunately it’s spring in Texas, which is the ideal time to get outside in the comfort (and socially distancing acceptable space) of your own backyard, balcony or patio. So, before April showers bring May flowers, prep those flower beds and plan your own fragrant personal oasis.

Thompson + Hanson’s River Oaks location has long been one of Houston’s most idyllic spots, but the nursery is also a one-stop shop for plants, flowers, pottery and garden ornaments. Thompson + Hanson director of retail division Melissa Halleran advises gardeners to start weeding, cleaning and mulching beds before the planting process, while also keeping color and fragrance in mind.

“Salvias, Delphinium, roses, and particularly the Peace Rose, which is a beautiful, fragrant, layered, full-bodied rose, are all great varieties to plant right now,” Halleran tells PaperCity. “They offer fragrance and color to your spring garden beds.”

Pro tip: Bring the outside in by cutting and placing the blooms naturally in a vase for a natural, no-fuss arrangement.

Flowers that flourish this time of year with color and scent top Halleran’s springtime plant list. She gives Star Jasmine high points for scent and Delphinium love for its saturated blues. Lavender is always a winner with its one-two punch of both.

Also consider planting a flowering citrus tree. “There’s truly nothing as intoxicating. It stops me in my tracks each time I happen to pass by one,” Halleran says.

And while reveling in Texas’ version of spring, it’s wise to start planning ahead for summer. Outdoor gardens can make the most of the summer temps with a combination of olives, lavender, rubber trees and agave and Blue Age in particular.

“The colors are romantic, the species are relatively heat tolerant, and the textures provide perfect depth and intrigue,” Halleran notes.

Thompson + Hanson
The Peace Rose is a beautiful, fragrant, layered, full-bodied rose.

If the thought of braving the great outdoors in July and August seems less than ideal, turn your creative vision indoors with Elephant Ears, Birds of Paradise and the Audrey Fig. Approach potted plants like you would putting together an outfit, especially in a smaller space.

“Don’t be afraid of layering with texture and planting in pots if space is limited. Texture is a powerful design element, while still maintaining a sense of calm, and can go a long way, quickly, in small spaces,” Halleran says.

Be bold with mixing and matching to create a “bungalow jungle.” There’s currently a gorgeous Clivia grouping, sitting next to large Elephant Ears in Halleran’s living room, and the wildly curated combo gives color and a dark, glossy structure to her space. And although she counts the Thompson + Hanson nursery as one of her favorite green spaces, Halleran admits she’s often eager to go home and get her hands back in the earth.

“Honestly, gardening in and out of my home after work is one of the highlights of my day,” she says.

Moving forward, it seems that we can also take some social cues from the Clivia plant. It just so happens they are happy living in a cozy pot while hanging out indoors.

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