Lynn Sheffield Simmons: UNT student group mulls plans at Argyle retreat

The University of North Texas Student Athlete Advisory Council recently went on a retreat at the Argyle home of Jerry Thomas, dean of the College of Education, and his wife, Katherine Thomas, UNT kinesiology professor.

Janet Laminack: Earth-Kind landscaping good choice for region

Trying to have an attractive landscape in North Texas can often feel like a losing battle. There are droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, insects, disease and weeds, just to name a few challenges we face.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

This has been a relatively mild summer thus far — especially compared to the last few summers we’ve experienced. But one concern we’ve had to deal with for the last few years is limited rainfall. The current drought, combined with the continued influx of new residents to North Texas

Becca Dickstein: Big red sage fragrant, pretty and hard to find

Although big red sage, Salvia pentstemonoides, was thought to be extinct in the 1950s, it was rediscovered growing in the Texas Hill Country in the 1980s and you can grow it in North Texas today.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Independence Day weekend is traditionally the biggest weekend of the year for swimming pool use. If you are the pool owner, hopefully by now your plans are in place for this weekend — the yard is mowed, the food is planned, the guests are invited and the pool is ready.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Most area schools let out for the summer this week. As a matter of fact, all three Denton high schools — Denton High, Ryan High and Guyer High — are holding their graduation ceremonies today. Congratulations to all students on what I hope was a great year, but a special congratulation to this year’s graduates.

Matt Gohlke/ Pools

Even with the long, hard winter that we had in the Denton area, we knew that it was just a matter of time before it warmed up. Although summer officially begins this year on Saturday, June 21, most are already enjoying outdoor activities.

Matt Gohlke/Pools

It’s been just a few weeks since we heard the phrase “polar vortex” for the first time here, and only days since we experienced “thunder sleet,” so it seems surprising that it’s now time to talk about swimming pools.

Matt Gohlke

Matt Gohlke/Pools

After a number of years, pools can become outdated and in need of a renovation. Some pool owners desire minor changes and some desire dramatic overhauls.

Becca Dickstein / Native Root

Spring cannot get here fast enough for me, and the sweet-smelling flowers on Carolina jessamine vines are a harbinger of spring that I am looking forward to.

Matt Gohlke: Aquatic exercise good choice for new year

As we begin this new year, we are given a fresh start and many times a fresh outlook on what we want to accomplish in the future. Oftentimes this includes looking to the past to determine if there are things that we would change if we were able to do so.


Fleeting fall splendor

Fall foliage is at its peak in Denton County, but you’d better enjoy it while you can. The recent wet weather, cold snap and warm, sunny days have left a burst of orange, gold and red leaves throughout the Denton area, among the best displays in recent years.

Dr. Patricia Berube / Dental Health

Hello! So, the last article I wrote discussed the effects of diabetes and the effects that an unhealthy weight has on your blood sugar. (It’s interesting writing this article a day after Halloween considering that this holiday is all about candy, but I digress.) I think the key in all of these discussions is moderation.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

One area that is often overlooked by designers is backyard and pool area lighting. Backyard lighting can be beautiful, and it can be enjoyed year-round.

Matt Gohlke/Pools

What a late summer it was, with September starting out very hot and dry. But it has finally started cooling down — and we even received some rain! And although we don’t know what this winter will bring, we do know that we will soon have periods of cold weather.

Kathy Saucier

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Tired of planting new non-native chrysanthemums every fall only to have them die in subsequent seasons?

Matt Gohlke / Pools

This has been a relatively mild summer — especially when compared to the last few summers that we have experienced. But one concern that we have had to deal with is limited rainfall.

Matt Gohlke: Tips offered to cool pools

Although this summer appears that it will be much milder than the last two summers, it is still hot this time of year. Traditionally one of the solutions to dealing with the summer heat is the cool enjoyment that a swimming pool can provide. That is not always possible in August — as pool water tends to heat up, oftentimes past the point of being refreshing.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

The July Fourth weekend is traditionally the biggest weekend of the year for pool use. If you are the pool owner, hopefully by now your July Fourth plans are in place (or are least close to being in place) for your guests. If you are anything like me, you prefer to follow a list to be sure that everything gets done. Following is a checklist to assure that your July Fourth pool party will be one to be remembered.

Becca Dickstein: Shrub’s colors brighten gardens

Pavonia (Pavonia lasiopetala) is an excellent choice for North Texas landscaping as it survives our summer heat. Its many brilliant pink-rose flowers add color to dry summer gardens and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Matt Gohlke: Maintenance key to pools

School is out for the summer. That means kids get to enjoy the breathtaking feeling of freedom unlike any other. There is nothing in adulthood that can compare with the feeling of freedom that kids have when walking (or running) out of school on the last day.

Matt Gohlke / Pools: Tips offered to help improve water safety

In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States and the resulting need for ongoing public education on safe water practices, May has been designated as National Water Safety Month.

Becca Dickstein: Native sundrops brighten up yards

Berlandier’s sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri) is native to Texas and surrounding states. It is a deciduous perennial that usually grows 4 to 20 inches tall, 1 to 2 feet wide, and may develop a woody base.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

What will the weather be for the next few months? Pete Delkus, chief meteorologist at ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas, showed a weather pattern map on March 28 that provides some insight on what to expect. The map indicated that the Dallas-Fort Worth area forecast for the months of April, May and June would be normal rainfall and above-average temperatures.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Most pool builders are asked one simple question more than any other that they hear, and it is: “What is the best time of year to build a swimming pool?”

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) is valuable in landscapes because of its airy, delicate foliage that sways gently in the breeze.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

What a year 2012 was! Between the West Nile virus, the presidential election, the fiscal cliff and other events and tragedies, many of us are just ready to escape from it all.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Having trouble deciding on a gift for that person who is difficult to buy for? You know, the person who has everything.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

If you have ever viewed a satellite image of Denton or have flown over the city in a small aircraft, two things are very noticeable: There are quite a few swimming pools in Denton, and there are many trees in most areas of the city.

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Lindheimer’s muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri), also called big muhly, is native to the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas and is valuable as an accent grass in full sun. It is the Operation NICE! (Natives Instead of Common Exotics!) Plant of the Season.

Dr. Patricia Berube: Technology can help out mouths

As a periodontist, I am constantly being bombarded daily with the new best thing — the thing that will cure gum disease, the machine that will make my life easier and more productive, the device that will make all of my dreams come true.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although Dallas and Tarrant counties have been all over the news recently with more than 200 West Nile virus cases each, those of us in Denton County have not escaped, with 118 people infected with the virus as of Thursday afternoon.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although this summer is shaping up to be relatively mild, the hot weather can create problems for swimming pools even when a routine pool maintenance program is followed.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday this year, you may see a wide range of dates for Independence Day pool parties. Some people are selecting this weekend to celebrate, some prefer the actual holiday in the middle of the week, while others are opting for the weekend after.

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Zexmenia (Wedelia texana, formerly Zexmenia hispida) is dependable for summer color and is easy to maintain. Also called orange zexmenia, it has 1- to 1.5-inch yellow-orange composite flowers from late April though November. The seeds are similar to sunflower seeds, but much smaller. It is a perennial native to Central and West Texas south to Mexico.

Dr. Patricia Berube / Dental Health

Summer is here and so are summer vacations. The normal preparations include where to go, how long to stay, what to pack and what activities will be appropriate for you, your kids, parents, etc.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although summer officially begins June 20, for most of us it has already begun. I have always considered summer beginning when the kids get out of school, which happened this week for most area schools. There are so many things to look forward to as summer begins — spending time with family and friends, summer camps, Six Flags, Rangers baseball, not having to wake up early … the list goes on and on.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although swim season started early this year because of the warm weather that we have recently experienced, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally considered the beginning of swim season.

Shannon Goleman: Rug can really tie the room together

My family moved around a lot when I was a kid. I’ve never gotten a clear answer as to why; for all I know, my parents were on the lam.

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Golden groundsel is one of the earliest flowering native plants in our region, flowering from early March and into April.

Dr. Patricia Berube / Dental Health

During a recent conversation with someone who wasn’t aware I’m a periodontist, I learned the person’s child had been injured in a fall. When I asked if the child’s teeth had been checked for damage, the response was jarring.

Becca Dickstein / Native Roots

Golden groundsel is one of the earliest flowering native plants in our region, blooming from early March and into April.

Georgia Caraway: Welcoming the bundle of joy

Many of you have contacted me about how tickled you were with the “nice boots” column. Al’s boot business at the Antique Gallery has stepped up and there are more of us out there strutting our stuff (or should I say scooting our boots?). Consequently, Al just brought in 100 more pairs of boots to stock his shelves. Pam and I had such success with our first purchases that we were among the first to buy a few more of his vintage beauties.

Matt Gohlke: Unexpected warm weather good for early pool prep

So how ’bout that weather? Do you remember last winter? What I remember most vividly about last winter is Super Bowl week in early February when we received more than our fair share of winter weather all in one week — virtually immobilizing the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the world watched. But this winter was completely different — very mild and enjoyable, perfect for spending time outdoors.

Georgia Caraway: Vintage cowboy boots spur love at first sight

My dear readers, I wanted you to be the first to know, I have fallen in love — again. Last month I wrote about my “Georgia” sheet music collection (some of you may have considered this to be the ultimate in egocentric behavior). This month, I am writing about my newest passion.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

As the years pass, pools can become outdated and in need of renovation. Some pool owners want minor changes; some prefer dramatic overhauls. The availability of new products and materials that weren’t available when the pool was constructed can mean the renovated pool looks better than it did when it was new.

2011 Baby Edition

Dr. Patricia Berube: Dentistry unfairly given a bad rap in pop culture

Dentistry seems to be everywhere we look — and it’s not always portrayed in the best light.