March 7, 2014

Dear Friends,


Here is the 49th issue of our weekly gardening newsletter for Houston, the Gulf Coast and beyond. This a project of The Lazy Gardener, Brenda Beust Smith, John Ferguson and Mark Bowen (both John and Mark are with Nature's Way Resources). We also have a great supporting cast of contributing writers and technical specialists who will chime in and tweak away regularly. We would love to keep receiving your input on this newsletter . . . . comments . . . . suggestions . . . . questions. . . .Email your thoughts to: lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your interest.

 
Please  or sign yourself up to receive this newsletter by clicking the "Join Our Mailing List" link just below. We will never sell or share our mailing list to protect the privacy of our subscribers.

Enjoy!







Two longtime Plumeria favorites, members of the "Original 50" - 'Japanese Lantern,' and 'Aztec Gold.' Who are the "Original 50"? Read on!
 



PLUMERIAS & OLEANDERS LOVERS - LOOK THIS WAY!
 
by BRENDA BEUST SMITH  

"The trees are coming into leaf. Like something almost being said." 
                                                                 -- Philip Larkin

Isn't that exactly the way spring starts?. 
Guess Big Al, our spring-predicting gator was right again! (Of course, he's 100%, unlike the groundhog.) Hope you didn't ignore him and put in some tender little plants that now are no more?

I can spot little buds popping out all over, but not enough to make a definite statement yet.  Of course, the yellow Carolina jessamine is blooming now, and the pink magnolia is full of buds. But they're always my earliest ones. Hope, hope!


Haven't seen any buds on the pecan trees yet. Once you see those, you know spring, as Leon Hale liked to say, is "movin' this far nawth."

That's not to say, unfortunately, all our plants will return. My theory: if a plant doesn't return, it's a message from the plant gods that plant doesn't belong in my yard.

Of course, I never say that around plumeria folks. They get rather emphatic when it comes to the value of protecting these incredibly fragrant flowers.
 
Three grande dames of the garden are vying for the Lazy Gardener & Friends  spotlight this weekend - oleander, plumeria and azaleas. No reason why you can't bask in the glory of all!

Oleanders (cuttings) will star at the Galveston Home & Garden Show, first great opportunity of each year to buy both plants named after historic isle stalwarts as well as newer varieties. Most of these incredible multi-size shrubs probably missed our recent 20-degree cold spells. They were asleep. They will wake up as bright and chipper as ever. 

Oleanders don't start blooming until later, around May, perhaps wisely, since who wants to compete with the Queens of the Spring? Our eye-popping azaleas, of course.

Most folks go on the River Oaks Garden Club's annual Azalea Trail,  March 7-8-9 to oogle incredible floral displays and gorgeous landscapes. But the wise among us also carry along pads and pencils. 

This Trail - now 79 years young - lets us view landscapes loaded with professional tips, tricks and techniques. Each site is manned by a knowledgeable docent. 

Keep your eyes open. Savor the overall view.  Then narrow your focus. Start looking for vignettes or small pocket garden site ideas to help solve the  landscape challenges we all face. Often it's not a matter of actual plant choice. Notice the use of shapes and colors, whether in plants or hardscapes (statuary, stepping stones, borders, etc.)

Docents can identify plants for you and chances are they share your gardening headaches. Details:  http://www.riveroaksgardenclub.org/AzaleaTrail.cfm  Remember, the money you spend on tickets benefits all of us through River Oaks Garden Club's extensive range of civic beautification projects.

MEANWHILE, DOWN I-45 ON THE ISLE ... 

On March 8-9 the International Oleander Society will be one of the plant-selling booths at the Galveston Home & Garden Show at the Galveston. Wish I could tell you they'll have the exciting new Jane Long Oleander, but the first batch has already sold out. Not to worry.  The IOS is propagating even more and they should have some available at the big Oleander Festival April 18-20. (www.oleander.org)
 
If you can drop by the stage around 1 pm Saturday.  I'll be speaking on Lazy Gardening and will be happy to help with any gardening problems you might be having. It's at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis, 5600 Seawall Blvd. in Galveston, TX. Free parking on two levels under the building. Details with a full agenda of speakers: www.galveston.com/homeandgardenshow/

SOCIETY SPOTLIGHT - DOUBLE WHAMMIE!
 
This week we have two Society Spotlights: Plumerias and Oleanders. 
 
Isn't it a hoot that these two flowers - neither native to our soils - have their national and international, respectively, organizations based here and founded by local folks? 

* The Plumeria Society of America (Houston)
* The International Oleander Society (Galveston). 
 
As with most of our plants, success in successfully growing both lies in get advice FOR THIS AREA. Wondering about that "one of the Original 50" designation on plumerias pictures above?  Nowadays, hybridizers submit creations in their own names. The first 50 varieties were registered sans names by the Society back in 1980. Hence they're known as the "Original 50."

Will in-ground plumerias not "protected" this past winter survive? 

If yours does, let us know.  Eulas doesn't think it's likely they will. But I bet a lot do!

Plumerias are worth planting again (and protecting, Eulas would quickly add). The fragrance is incredible, they have almost no insect or disease problems, they adore our heat and they thrive in our high humidity. The more winters they survive in the ground, the colder temperatures they will be able to tolerate. But, they are tropicals.

In various cultures, plumerias are associated with weddings, ghosts, graveyards, funerals, religious ceremonies and love potions and used to treat skin inflammations, rheumatism, indigestion, high blood pressure, cough, dysentery and fever. Plumerias are normally not edible, however. It is safer and more fun to wear one. Plumeria flowers positioned over the right ear say you're "taken." Over the left ear, you're available.
 
This week's second Society Spotlight, below, is on the International Oleander Society. Author Elizabeth (Betty) Head has been a forever friend, inspiration and advocate for oleanders. 
 
A personal aside: we are so grateful to Betty, and the IOS, for working with the Jane Long Society to honor the Mother of Texas with an oleander named in her honor. If you're interested in purchasing one when they become available, email me your request at lazygardener@sbcglobal.net. They'll hopefully be available for sure by the Jane Long Festival, Oct. 14, on Bolivar Peninsula.

And now, some "pro" notes on plumerias and oleanders!  
 
 
 


Plumerias extraordinaire, l to r,  'Allura' (out of Hawaii by Bud Guillot, 'Mardi Gras' (by Elizabeth Thornton) and 'Lakes Passion' (by Lake & Eulas Stafford). Photos courtesy of the Plumeria Society of America.


 
 

"The 10 Biggest Mistakes Newcomers  
Make in Trying to Grow Plumerias 
in the Greater Houston Area"
 
by Eulas Stafford, The Plumeria Society of America
 
Now that you have bought that stick at Home show, what do you do with it.
 
  1. You need to plant it in a well draining soil and pack it in by adding water and tapping the pot on the ground. The biggest mistake that a new grower makes is to water that stick to much. After that first water when you planted it, it does not need any more water until it starts to put on leaves. If you think must do something to it you can mist the top only.
  2. After the leaves start to come out and you start your watering your plant don't give it to much TLC.  Over watering is the most common mistake that a new grower makes.
  3. Fertilizing can be a problem. If you use a high middle number fertilizer you need to alternate with an even number fertilizer to keep the phosphorus from building up.
  4. Your new plant probably won't bloom the first year but after that you need to give it as much sunlight as possible.
  5. When winter arrives, your plant needs to be protected from a freeze. If it gets to 31 degrees, you will have a nice dead plant.
  6. If you move your plant in the garage do not set it on the concrete as the concrete sweats and can get your plant to cold. You can set it on cardboard and it will be fine.
  7. During the winter the plant is dormant and does not need any water.
  8.  After the last freeze, bring your plant out and give it a good dose of high-quality water soluble high middle number fertilizer (BR-61or Super Bloom) to jump start it.
  9. Don't be afraid to cut a plant that gets to tall, it will put out again.
  10. Most important, Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Enjoy your wonderful Plant        

The Plumeria Society of America has four meetings per year. Visitors are welcome and this is the best place to get all your questions answered. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 11, 7pm get-together, 7:30pm meeting at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 West Gray. Details: 
http://www.theplumeriasociety.org   
 
Oleanders now come in singles, doubles, huge shrubs, dwarfs, standards . . . you name it. Don't want a shrub? Prune one into a tree!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oleander Survival, Revival, and Care
 
by Elizabeth Head, International Oleander Society
 
This year, spring time will bring a lot of work for gardeners with large plants like oleanders, especially on the mainland.  The large stems of these bushes, if frozen, should be cut back to the end of the freeze damage to help maintain their bush form.  Most will have survived except the newer dwarf and intermediate long-blooming varieties and, even those, might come back from the ground.  The popular Petite Pink and Petite Salmon do freeze and the leaves have turned brown.
Otherwise, if one is going to plant new ones, there are some things to bear in mind when planting in your landscape:
 
(1)   If possible, check on the variety so that you are choosing the right size plant for the space it will occupy.  A general description of the size to be considered includes the following-
    * Dwarf 4-6 feet,
    * Intermediate 6-8 feet
    * Large up to 18-20 feet. 
Any of these, if left untrimmed after 5 years, can grow even taller.  If your bush is out of shape, consider trimming it back to the ground for regrowth to a full form.
 
(2)   Do not plant in the shade as they will not bloom well. 
               
(3)   Water regularly until they are well established.  After that, they are considered a xeriscape plant.
 
(4)   To make a more full bush, cut back 1/3 and 3 new stems will grow at the cuts.
 
(5)   Do not trim back bushes that did not freeze at this time because the blossoms have already set for spring bloom.  In this temperate zone, we recommend usual trimming in late August or early September.  This will vary according to when your area experiences the winter freezes. The newer varieties that bloom 75 percent of the year can be trimmed back any time during the year and blossoms will usually return.  Many other varieties have shorter spring and early summer blooming periods.
 
 
 
 
 
Need speakers for your group?  Brenda's "Lazy Gardener's Speakers List" of area horticultural/environmental experts is available free for the asking. Email your request to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.

"THE LAZY GARDENER'S GUIDE ON CD" - Specifically for Houston Area gardens - WHAT TODO EACH MONTH - when to fertilize, prune, plantwhat where, best plants for sun, shade, butterflies,hummingbirds,
etc. Based on Brenda's quirky 40+ year Houston Chronicle Lazy Gardener column. PDF format, print out only the month you need.  $20 total, checks payable to Brenda B. Smith. Mail to: Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD, 14011Greenranch Dr., Houston, TX 77039-2103.



 


 
 
 
 
 
John's Corner  

 

 

 

Soil Amendments - Limestone and Dolomite

 

 

 

 

The past few weeks we have been discussing soil amendments of volcanic origins. This week I want to talk about soil amendments from sedimentary deposits. I often get asked how much lime should I apply to my soil? What the person is really asking is; how much calcium do I need?  Many people use the term "Lime" in a generic sense for all products that contain calcium (Ca).  Often the terms Lime, Limestone, Dolomite, etc. are mis-used and the person purchases the wrong product and gets disastrous results so I want to start with some definitions.

 

LIME - It is also referred to as Quicklime and is calcium oxide (CaO). It is sometimes found naturally in nature, where coal seams have burned or near volcanoes where there are limestone deposits that have been exposed to the high heat.  Lime is produced by crushing and heating limestone (calcium carbonate/CaCO3) to very high temperatures. The heating process drives off the carbon dioxide (CO2) leaving the calcium oxide.  It is often used to create very hard soils before concrete is poured to make a harder and stronger base. Lime is very reactive (extremely alkaline) and caustic and should not be used in horticulture especially gardening.

 

SLAKED LIME or HYDRATED LIME - is produced by adding some water to the Quick Lime (Ca(OH)2). This reduces the toxicity, but the product is still very alkaline and should not be used in gardening. This is the lime product used to make various kinds of mortar and it is often added to cement to make it harder. Imagine what it does for your soil!

 

Note: Lime or Hydrated Lime may cause severe skin irritation, chemical burns, lung damage and blindness.

 

AGRICULTURAL LIME - Available by many names, AgLime, biolime, garden lime, etc.  It is made by pulverizing limestone and sometimes chalk into a powder. 

 

DOLOMITIC LIME - Is a type of limestone that has magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) in the rock in addition to the calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

 

This discussion will be limited to Agricultural Lime and Dolomitic Lime which may have a use in agriculture and horticulture.

 

Limestone does not dissolve in water very easily. For agricultural lime to be effective it must be ground or screened into a powder. As the particle size gets smaller the total surface area of the particles increases. This allows for a much faster breakdown and release of the calcium (or magnesium) by microbes in the soil so the minerals will become available to plants and soil life. The "fineness" of the particle is usually described by mesh size. Mesh size is just the number of wires per inch that the screen is composed of. For example, an 8 mesh screen will have particles the size of BB's and a 60 mesh screen will have particles the size of face powder.  If the limestone is larger than 8 mesh it has little or no value in gardening as the calcium is not available to plants.  It costs a lot more to screen any material to smaller sizes hence the low priced products are a waste of money as they do not work.

 

Now that we have the basics out of the way, when and why should we use powdered limestone?  The practice of using ag-lime began when people used the toxic artificial fertilizers to provide plant nutrients. Many of these make the soil acidic as they breakdown hence one must spend additional money to correct the acidity problem.  

 

This practice of applying lime is sometimes referred to as sweetening the soil. One of the problems we face in gardening is that a pH test only tells us if the soil is acidic or alkaline, it does not tell us if we need calcium or magnesium much less about the health of our soil such as a microbial or other nutrient imbalance (In modern soil science the pH of a soil by itself is essentially worthless). 

 

Plants and soil life require far less magnesium than calcium. As a result, when we use a dolomitic lime the soils gets far too much magnesium. Sandy soils need about 7 parts calcium to one part magnesium and heavier clay soils need about a 10:1 ratio for most plants. Almost all limestone has some magnesium carbonate in it.  When the levels of magnesium carbonate are higher, geologists call it dolomite.  In some cases the calcium to magnesium ratio can reach 1:1.  The end result when people use a dolomitic lime is that they get far too much magnesium. Too much magnesium cause other nutrients to be locked up and not available to plants along with creating hardpan and compaction.

 

Soils, plants and microbes need calcium for creating good soil structure (it helps clay loosen up and become more friable).  Calcium can also replace sodium on the soil particles and on the humus helping to remediate a salt problem.

 

If a GOOD soil analysis indicates that ag-lime is required, then all one has to do is sprinkle it lightly over the surface of the soil (do not till as tilling does far more harm than good). If a good quality (fine screened) limestone is used the natural acidity of rainwater will quickly dissolve it and allow the nutrients to enter the soil.

 

Note: In organic rich soils full of microbes, if there is excess calcium, fungi will absorb it and form calcium oxalate crystals on their hyphae. This process removes it from the soil system and brings the chemistry of soils back into balance naturally. Fungi can do this for other nutrients, also preventing an excess from causing problems.

 

Summary, ag-lime is rarely needed if biological (organic) methods are used in our gardens as there are better and more cost effective ways to provide calcium to soils than using ag-lime.

 

PROS:

- found all over the world in essentially unlimited quantities

- increases the pH of soils making them less acidic

- provides a source of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) if dolomitic limestone is used

- helps with water penetration in very acidic soils (low pH)

- improves the absorption of major plant nutrients in very acidic soils

- on pasture land it helps cows grow quicker and stronger and helps cows produce more milk

- may help loosen clay soils

- a few species of plants need extra calcium in the soil (many species from the Mediterranean (olives and many herbs), Texas Hill country plants like Salvia greggi, etc.

- for legumes it increase nitrogen fixation as bacteria prefer a slightly alkaline soil

- may help alleviate some plant diseases (ex. clubroot of brassicas and tomato end rot is often associated with a calcium deficiency) 

 

CONS:

- takes energy to crush, screen and ship to market

- rarely needed

- too much ag-lime leads to hardpan and compaction of our soils

- as in all mineral or rock dusts it may be a respiratory or eye irritant

- many products do not list if it is dolomitic lime or the calcium/magnesium ratios

- better sources of calcium (crushed egg shells, bone meal, crushed oyster shells). Gypsum provides calcium and sulphur and does not change the pH or create soil problems from too much magnesium

 

 

 

 

 


  
           WEEKLY EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS CALENDAR

 


 (Events in Houston unless otherwise noted) 

 

Fri.-Sun., Mar. 7-9: 79th Annual Azalea Trail, 11am-5pm, four homes and gardens, River Oaks and Tanglewood areas; River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics, 2503 Westheimer; Bayou Bend Gardens, 6003 Memorial Dr., and Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Dr. River Oaks Garden Club event. Ticket details  www.riveroaksgardenclub.org  or 713-523-2483

  

Sat., Mar. 8: Christopher Wiesinger Bulb Hunter, 10:30am; Tom LeRoy's Gardening Tips, 11:30am; Brenda Beust Smith's Lazy Gardening, 1pm; The Garden Hen, 2:30pm; and Baxter Williams' Rose Tips, Galveston Home & Garden Show, Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston. Details: www.galveston.com/homeandgardenshow/

  

Sat., Mar. 8: March Mart Preview. 10am-noon at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. PowerPoint presentation of plants March Mart, March 14-15. Free but reservations required: 281-443-8731 or www.hcp4.net/mercer   

  

Sat., Mar. 8: "How to Grow Orchids, Bromeliads and Other Air Plants" with  Zac Stayton, 9-11am, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr., Tickets $23. Details:  http://www.hmns.org/       

  

Sat., Mar. 8: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2's Annual Perennial, Herb and Tomato/Pepper Sale, 9am-1pm, 7600 Red Bluff Rd., Pasadena. 8am: "Plant Overview" by Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx     

 

Sat., Mar. 8: Montgomery County Master Gardeners' Spring Plant Sale, 9am-1pm, Montgomery County Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. 8am: Program. Details: 936-539-7824 or http://www.mcmga.com  
 

Sat., Mar. 8: Growing Citrus in Containers by John Panzarella, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens,  6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.  http://myenchanted.com/   

  

Sat., Mar. 8: Tasty, Organic Patio Vegetables Clinic, 10:15 a.m., Cornelius Nurseries, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss. Free. http://www.corneliusnurseries/clinics 

  

Sat., Mar. 8: Master Gardener Jan Brick, 11:30am; Chris Wiesinger on Bulbs, 12:30pm; Tom LeRoy's Gardening Tips, 1:30pm; Galveston Home & Garden Show, Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis, 5600 Seawall Blvd., Galveston. Details: www.galveston.com/homeandgardenshow/

 

Sat., Mar. 8: Spring Home & Garden Show, The Woodlands, Waterway Marriott, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive. Gardening programs by Randy Lemmon, John Ferguson and Mark Bowen.  http://www.woodlandsshows.com/speakers/ 


Sun., Mar. 9: Landscaping with Texas Native Plants by Joe Blanton, 2-5pm, $65, Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway, Houston. Reservations: 713-681-8433www.houstonarboretum.org 

  

Sun., Mar. 9: Introduction to Citrus Class by Dianne Norman, 1:30pm, Wabash Feed and Garden Store, 5701 Washington Ave. Free. 713-863-8322, http://wabashfeed.com or dianne@wabashfeed.com      

  

Mon., Mar. 10: 10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening by Brenda Beust Smith, 7pm, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 2929 Woodlands Hills Dr., Kingwood. Free. Lake Houston Gardeners event.   

  

Tues., Mar. 11: "Irrigation," 6:30pm, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 

  

Wed., Mar. 12: Gardening Daze (working in gardens), 8:30-10:30am, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Details: 281-446-8588 or www.hcp4.net/jones

  

Thurs., Mar. 13: Giants in Your Garden - Climbers and Shrubs by Frank Wells, 7:30 pm, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free Houston Rose Society event.   www.houstonrose.org or Facebook.

 

Fri.-Sat., Mar. 14-15: March Mart, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Friday: 8am-4pm.; Saturday: 8am-3pm. Cultivation and care info available. Details: 281-443-8731 or www.hcp4.net/mercer 

  

Sat., Mar. 15: The Grass is Always Greener-Organic Lawn Care by Mike Serant, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2 pm, Enchanted Gardens,  6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.   http://myenchanted.com/

 

Sat.-Sun., Mar. 15-16: Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Spring Native Plant Sale, 9am-5pm,  4501 Woodway. Details: 713-681-8433 or  www.houstonarboretum.org 

  

Sun., Mar. 16: Invasives Beware (volunteer removal), 2-4pm, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Details: 281-446-8588 or www.hcp4.net/jones

  

Mon., Mar. 17: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2's Open Garden Day, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am: "Pruning and Garden Cleanup" program. Master Gardeners Q&A. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 

  

Tues., Mar. 18:  Honey Honey! - Where's the Bee? by Nancy Hentschel, Master Naturalist and beekeeper.  10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. Free. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: www.sugarlandgardenclub.org       

  

Wed., Mar. 19: "How to Grow Peppers in the Southeast Region" by Gene Spiller, 10am, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 

  

Wed., Mar. 19: Gardening Daze, 8:30-10:30am, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Details: 281-446-8588 or www.hcp4.net/jones

 

Wed., Mar. 19: Plans for Memorial Park by Jay Daniel, Houston Parks Dept., 7pm, Judson Robinson Community Center, 2020 Hermann Dr., 713-284-1997. South Texas Unit of The Herb Society of America event. Details: www.herbsociety-stu.org

 

Sat., Mar. 22: "Planting" Porches and Patios, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens,  6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.    http://myenchanted.com/

 

Sat., Mar. 22: 13th Annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail Symposium, 8am-3pm, Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Stephen F. Austin State University's Pineywoods Native Plant Center in Nacogdoches. Includes Heat-Tolerant Maples for the South by Matt and Tim Nichols. $40. Details: 936-564-7351,  info@visitnacogdoches.org or sfagardens@sfasu.edu 

  

Sat., Mar. 22: Backyard Basics - Vegetable Production by Master Gardener Vegetable Specialists, 8:30-11am, Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Rd, Rosenberg. $15 ($25 couple). Details: 281-342-3034 or brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu, http://fortbendagrilife.org or www.fbmg.com  

  

Sat.-Sun, Mar. 22-23: Peckerwood Gardens 2014 Open Week, 20571 FM 359, Peckerwood (near Hempstead).  $10, no reservations required. Plant sale noon-5pm, guided tours at 1pm and 3pm. 979-826-3232 http://peckerwoodgarden.org/events  or 979-826-3232 

  

Wed., Mar. 26: Gardening Daze, 8:30-10:30am, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Details: 281-446-8588 or www.hcp4.net/jones

 

Wed., Mar. 26: Gardening Daze, 8:30-10:30am, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Details: 281-446-8588 or www.hcp4.net/jones   

 

Mar. 29: Nottingham Country Garden Club Plant Sale, 9am-1pm, Villagio Center, Westheimer Parkway at Peek, Katy, TX. Free admission. Details:  281-579-7017281-578-5558  or  www.nottinghamgardenclub.org 

 

Sat., Mar. 29: "Planting a Butterfly Garden" with Soni Holladay, 9-11am, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr., Tickets $23, Members $17. Details: http://www.hmns.org/ 

  

Sat., Mar. 29: Spring Fairy Garden Workshop, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.   Free but reservations required. www.myenchanted.com 

 

Sat., Mar. 29: Plant and Garden Accessories Sale, 9am-1pm, Garden Villas Paetk Community Center, 6720 S. Haywood. Free. Details:  bburns50@aol.com or 713-545-2926

  

Sat., Mar. 29: Harris County Master Gardeners Spring Gardening Seminar, 9-11am, Texas AgriLife Extension gardens, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. $15. Reservations/details: harris.agrilife.org/program-areas/hort, 281-855-5600 or www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyMasterGardeners      

  

Sat., Mar. 29: Texas Invasives Citizen Scientist Training, 9am-4pm, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature, 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. Reservations/details: http://www.texasinvasives.org/invaders/workshop_results.php     
 
Sat., Mar. 29: Garden Villas Garden Club Annual Plant and Garden Accessories Sale, 9am-1pm, Garden Villas Paetk Community Center, 6720 S. Haywood. Free. Details:  bburns50@aol.com or 713-545-2926

  

Sat., Mar. 29:  Memorial Northwest Ladybugs Garden Club Annual Garage and Plant Sale, 8:30am-2:30pm, Memorial Northwest Community Center, 17440 Theiss Mail Route Rd., Spring

  

Sat. Mar. 29: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days tour of six private Houston gardens (18 West Lane; 3640 and 3965 Del Monte Dr; 2109 Quenby St; 1 West 11th Place; 1202 Milford St; 1236 Studewood St.), 10am-4pm. $7 per garden; $35 all six; age 12 & under free. Details: www.opendaysprogram.org or 1-888-842-2442

  

Sat., Mar. 29:  Brazoria County Master Gardeners, Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 South Downing, Angleton. 8-9am, Heidi Shesley lecture; 9am-1pm, sale. Details: 979-864-1558 x110 or txmg.org/brazoria 

 
Sat., Apr. 5: Cockrell Butterfly Center Spring Plant Sale, 9am - noon (or sold out!), Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr., 7th level of the parking garage, Details: http://www.hmns.org 

  

Sat., Apr. 5: Easy Care Roses by Robbi Will, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.    http://myenchanted.com/


Sat., Apr. 5: Fort Bend County Master Gardener Open Demonstration Gardens, 9-11am, Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Rd., Rosenberg. Details: 281-341-7068 or http://www.fbmg.com 

  

Tues., April 8: Landscape Maintenance/Lawns, 6:30pm, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:  https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx  

   

Thurs., April 10: "Hybridizing - A Simple Experiment for the Garden Owner" by Houston Rose Society President Mary Fulgham, 7:30 pm, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free Houston Rose Society event.  www.houstonrose.org or Facebook.

  

Sat., Apr. 12: Attracting Hummingbirds by Mark Klym, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.   http://myenchanted.com/

  

Mon., Apr. 14: Grand Prizes for Small Sizes flower show, 1:30-3:30 pm; Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 West Gray St. Free Far Corners Garden Study Club event. 

  

April 15:  I Love a Rainy Night - Water Collection, Conservation and Gardening for Drought by Boone Halladay, 10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. Free. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: www.sugarlandgardenclub.org   

Wed., April 16: Crazy Ants by Extension Specialist Paul Nester, 10am, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 NasaParkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 

  

Wed., Apr. 16: Herbal Skin Magic by Karen Cottingham, 7pm, Judson Robinson Community Center, 2020 Hermann Dr., 713-284-1997. South Texas Unit of The Herb Society of America event. Details: www.herbsociety-stu.org

 

Mon., April 21: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 Open Garden Day, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am: Educational Program. Master Gardeners Q&A. Free. Details:  https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 

 
Sat., Apr. 26: Choosing the Right Vine by Margaret Sinclair, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens,   6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.   http://myenchanted.com 

Sat., April 26: Backyard Basics - Fruit Production by Deborah Birge, 8:30-11am, Fort Bend County Extension Office,  1402  Band Rd, Rosenberg. $15 ($25 couple). Details: brandyrader@ag.tamu.edu, 281-342-3034, www.fortbend.agrilife.org or www.fbmg.com.

Sat.-Sun., Apr. 26-27
:  "Through the Garden Gate" Heritage Gardeners of Friendswood Spring Garden TourSat. 12-4pmSun. 1-5pm, five gardens in Friendswood, 112 W. Spreading Oaks; tickets $10. Details: 281-992-4438 or www.heritagegardener.org
  

Sat., May 3: Know Your Enemy (garden bugs), 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.   www.myenchanted.com 

 

Fri.-Sat., May 3-4: Houston Pond Society and Lone Star Koi Club, 2014 Water Garden and Pond Tour, 10am-6pm. Self-guided tour. Tickets $10 available at 30 water gardens and (starting April 26) at Nelson Water Gardens in Katy (http://nelsonwatergardens.com/).  Details: http://houstonpondsociety.org/,  http://lonestarkoi.com/

or 713-822-5515.      

  

Sat., May 10:  Sugar Land Garden Club Annual Spring Garden Tour, East New Territory Subdivision, Sugar Land. 9am-3pm. Map and details: http://sugarlandgardenclub.org/  

  

Sat., May 17: Creating a Backyard Wildscape by Tricia Bradbury, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.  http://myenchanted.com/    

 

Sun., May 18:  Celebration of Daylilies, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Payne's in the Grass Daylily Farm, 2130 O'Day Road, Pearland, Texas  77581.  Details:  281-419-6661, 281-485-3821,   http://paynesinthegrassdaylilyfarm.com  

 

Sat., May 24: Enjoy a Night Blooming Garden, 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond. Details: 281-937-9449. Repeated: 2pm, Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond. Details: 281-341-1206.    http://myenchanted.com/

 
NOTE: PLEASE SUBMIT EVENT NOTICES - IN THE EXACT FORMAT LISTED ABOVE - TO: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net

Need speakers for your group?  Or tips on getting more publicity for events?
Brenda has two free booklets that might help:  "Lazy Gardener's Speakers List"
of area horticultural/environmental experts, and "Lazy Gardener's Publicity Booklet"

(based on her 40+ years of her Houston Chronicle "Lazy Gardener" coverage of area events)
Both are available free for the asking. Email specific requests to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.
Please help us grow by informing all your membership of this weekly newsletter! 
                                             


                                                ABOUT US



 
BRENDA BEUST SMITH
 
WE KNOW HER BEST AS THE LAZY GARDENER . . . 

. . . but Brenda Beust Smith is also:

   * a national award-winning writer & editor
   * a nationally-published writer & photographer 
   * a national horticultural speaker
   * a former Houston Chronicle reporter
   
When the Chronicle discontinued Brenda's 45-year-old Lazy Gardener" print column a couple of years ago, it ranked as the longest-running, continuously-published local newspaper column in the Greater Houston area.

Brenda's gradual sideways step from Chronicle reporter into gardening writing led first to an 18-year series of when-to-do-what Lazy Gardener Calendars, then to her Lazy Gardener's Guide book and now to her Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD (which retails for $20. However, $5 of every sale is returned to the sponsoring group at her speaking engagements).

A Harris County Master Gardener, Brenda has served on the boards of many Greater Houston area horticulture organizations and has hosted local radio and TV shows, most notably a 10+-year Lazy Gardener run on HoustonPBS (Ch. 8) and her call-in "EcoGardening" show on KPFT-FM. 

In addition to her position as Production Editor on the Garden Club of America's magazine and her freelance writing career, Brenda's latest venture is "THE LAZY GARDENER'S & FRIENDS HOUSTON GARDEN NEWSLETTER" with John Ferguson and Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources. 

A native of New Orleans and graduate of St. Agnes Academy and the University of Houston, Brenda lives in Aldine and is married to the now retired Aldine High School Coach Bill Smith. They have one son, Blake.

Regarding this newsletter, Brenda is the lead writer, originator of it and the daily inspiration for it. We so appreciate the way she has made gardening such a fun way to celebrate life together for such a long time.
 
 
JOHN FERGUSON
 
John is a native Houstonian and has over 27 years of business experience. He owns Nature's Way Resources, a composting company that specializes in high quality compost, mulch, and soil mixes. He holds a MS degree in Physics and Geology and is a licensed Soil Scientist in Texas. 
 
John has won many awards in horticulture and environmental issues. He represents the composting industry on the Houston-Galveston Area Council for solid waste. His personal garden has been featured in several horticultural books and "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine. His business has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal for the quality and value of their products. He is a member of the Physics Honor Society and many other professional societies.  John is is the co-author of the book Organic Management for the Professional. 
 
For this newsletter, John contributes articles regularly and is responsible for publishing it.


MARK BOWEN
 
Mark is a native Houstonian, a horticulturist and organic specialist with a background in garden design, land restoration and organic project management. He is currently the general manager of Nature's Way Resources. Mark is also the co-author of the book Habitat Gardening for Houston and Southeast Texas, the author of the book Naturalistic Landscaping for the Gulf Coast, co-author of the Bayou Planting Guide and contributing landscape designer for the book Landscaping Homes: Texas. 
 
With respect to this newsletter, Mark serves as a coordinator and occasional article contributor.


PABLO HERNANDEZ
 
Pablo Hernandez is the special projects coordinator for Nature's Way Resources. His realm of responsibilities include: serving as a webmaster, IT support, technical problem solving/troubleshooting, metrics management, quality control, and he is a certified compost facility operator.
 
Pablo helps this newsletter happen from a technical support standpoint. 
 
 
 
 
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Save 20%: Redeem this coupon for a big discount on Nature's Way Resources "Tropical Mix" ( http://natureswayresources.com/ ). Please note: this offer is for bagged or bulk material purchases by retail customers only at Nature's Way Resources, located at 101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX.
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Offer Expires: 03/16/14