July 11, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 65th 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.




by Brenda Beust Smith
Memories . . . Reader Ken Dorman's question about a thriving dishplate hibiscus, left, reminded me of Houston nurseryman extraordinaire Dan Loep. An upcoming program on recycling greywater reminded me of my mother's and grandmother's hoses discharging the washer into the garden. Center, Dr. John McMurray in a slide from his and Audrey McMurray's upcoming "Recycling Greywater" talk, which includes the slide at right.

(This hortatory column comes with a caution: Before trying this, check with your civic club, 
POA, city officials and/or other municipal powers-that-be . . . some don't allow this form 
of reasonable, intelligent recycling. This column does NOT come with bail benefits.)

For those of you who live in enlightened (or who-cares) areas . . .  have you thought of using your greywater to save plants and lawns during our increasingly severe drought periods?

Greywater is defined as "the relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances."

When I was young, hoses from washing machines were always aimed at flowerbeds - usually the most beautiful flowerbeds in the yard. Even today, we're on a septic system and have a grease trap for the kitchen sink and dishwasher. I discourage Husband from cleaning it out. When it overflows, it does a lovely job of watering nearby plants. 

I'm not sure when or why recycling greywater was suddenly deemed unacceptable. But one major roadblock certainly surfaced when homes were no longer built on pier & beam and all pipes were under concrete. 

Fortunately, a growing number of new homes are being built with dual-pipe networks separating greywater from black water (sewage) so greywater can be recycled into systems that:

    1. provide moisture to gardens and lawns.
    2. return moisture to subsoils that are being drained by so much urban sprawl which ...
    3. will help prevent subsidence (sinkage that cracks driveways and walls, stops doors from closing tightly, etc.); and 
    4. will ensure long-term moisture for trees during extreme drought periods.

Unfortunately, In most existing modern houses, it's difficult, if not impossible, to re-route waste water from bathtubs and showers or kitchen and bath sinks and dishwashers. 

The irony is that although today's greywater is usually safe and, in fact, beneficial for many home landscapes, some of these same "good ingredients" turn negative when greywater is routed into our bayous. 

Keeping greywater in our home soils is a win-win for everyone.  

With a little creative thinking - provided it is legal in your area - it is relatively easy to route clean air conditioning condensation and washing machine greywater into the garden.

Need a little guidance? Dr. John McMurray will discuss and demonstrate how he and wife Audrey are rerouting their washing machine greywater into their gardens during the free Sat., July 19, Texas Rose Rustler Summer Meeting, 10am-3pm at Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield. 

The McMurray's PowerPoint program will detail their method of re-routing used washer water into a rainbarrel, large garbage can, or similar water-holding device, using a 1/2 inch hose bib and bib kit.

In the interest of complete disclosure: Audrey is my sister, and the washing machine greywater re-routing system she and John use was developed by my father, Walter Beust, and used for decades. The only change is an update from his barrel which has finally started to leak.

Also need to warn you that there is disagreement among experts about which laundry products you can and can't discharge into your gardens without harming your plants. I've never given it a second thought and my plants do just fine. Neither did my mother or grandmother.  

However! My sister Audrey has had some damaged roses, so she's very careful about what products she does, and doesn't, allow to discharge onto her "babies."

This topic is so popular right now, you can find suggestions galore by googling "greywater recycling." 
What about air conditioning condensation waterl?  Another good resource, those attending the Texas Rose Rustler program will discover from the featured speaker, arborist and certified native plant specialist, Russell Johnson of Gone Native Texas. Russell will show how to use air conditioner's condensation water in gardens. For help with rooting rose cuttings, Ray Ponton will demonstrate his misting box, and Robert Stiba will discuss his clay pot-in-a-clay-pot techniques.  Details: www.texasroserustlers.com.
'Kopper King hibiscus, so-named for its copper-colored foliage,  
is advertised as both attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds.


Another great memory popped up when Kenneth Dorman sent me a picture to identify. It was a dishplate hibiscus.  I had a sudden vision of the late Dan Loep, Houston nurseryman extraordinaire whose Covington Nursery on Airline was one of my main haunts back in the '70s and '80s. One day Dan took me to his back lot where literally thousands (it seems) of pots were sprouting little green shoots. 

They were, he said, dishplate hibiscus. His was one of the first nurseries in this area to wholesale these new-to-Houston plants, with their 10-inch-wide blooms. Awesome.  They became a staple in most area gardens. 

But after a few years, they started developing insect and disease problems. Then they disappeared.  (This happens with plants that are stressed because they're planted in areas where they're really not very happy.) 

Ken's picture also brought back memories of another awesome Houston horticulturist, the late Georgia Bost who, with husband Rick, was a pioneer in organic gardening certification in Texas. Georgia loved the native hibiscus found throughout the South and was a major force in bringing these to our local nurseries.

Ken emailed back even before I could respond to him. His, he learned, is 'Kopper King' hardy hibiscus, a hybridized  Hibiscus x moscheutos. This is a cold-hardy native hibiscus that loves wetlands. (Remember, Houston is built on a swamp). Cold-hardy means it dies back in winter, but the roots don't die, so it returns in spring. It can easily handle our monsoon spring and fall rains that often spell doom for other Texas natives unless they're planted in very well drained areas.

Ken's plants are five or six years old and going strong so maybe this new variety is better suited to our climate than the old ones. That would be great, because these flowers are truly spectacular. They are available locally at Joshua's Native Plants, RCW Nurseries and Enchanted Forest in Tomball. The Arbor Gate in Tomball carries them, but is out right now. Mike Hambleton of GreenLife Nursery in Crystal Beach notes that 'Peppermint Flare' (which he will carry soon) is a dishplate hibiscus that looks just like 'Kopper King.'  Check with your local nursery* or google for an online order. 

Dr. Jerry Parsons has written a great article on these hibiscus on the Texas A&M PlantAnswers website.  Don't know what this is? If you're gardening in this area, this should be earmarked as a must-consult resource!

(*Attn. Nurseries: Did you receive my query email regarding this plant? If not, you're probably not on my query list.  Send your email to lazygardener@sbcglobal.net and I'll add you as a resource to contact.)

*  *  *


* SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE -The Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance is accepting applicants for its five $1,500 Sustainability Scholarships through July 31, 2014. The scholarships are for students in Texas colleges for Fall 2014 or Spring 2015. OHBA Organic Educators focus on all things organic and sustainable, especially as they relate to horticulture, landscapes and the environment. For details, email Andrew Jobe, OHBA Scholarship Fund Chair, at Andrew.Jobe@thegroundup.com.

* MORE ACCCESSIBLE GARDENING TIPS! -The Arbor Gate's current newsletter features a great article by Angela Chandler on "Vertical Edibles - Managing the Space Hog."  (boy, am I jealous.  Wish I'd thought of the phrase "Space Hog.")  Angela goes into more detail than I was able to last week in "Getting High(er) with Gardening."  


Log on for some more great tips. For example, Angela uses rebar stakes or small, lightweight T-posts designed for rabbit fencing on her vertical garden supports to stop them from "sailing off" when heavy storms blow through - as we had recently. 




* * *
Sat., Oct. 11: 5TH Annual JANE LONG FESTIVAL, Fort Travis Seashore Park, Bolivar Peninsula, Tx. Details: www.janelongfestival.org.

*  *  *
Brenda Beust Smith's new column in the Lazy Gardener & Friends Houston Area Garden Newsletter is based on her 45-year Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener writings. for a copy of the latest newsletter (published by John Ferguson & Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources), emaillazygardenerandfriends.com
Brenda's group lectures include: "How to Reduce the Size of Your Front Lawn to Save Water Without Infuriating Your Neighbors," "Landscaping for Security," "10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening," and "What's Blooming in the Lazy Gardener's Garden." Details: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net


*  *  *
*Note: If you haven't seen your specialty plant group in our "Society Spotlight," it could be we do not have valid email address for you. To make sure your group is contacted, email us at lazygardener@sbcglobal.net
* * *
Please read, and consider signing, the petition to establish a Houston Botanical Garden: 
















This week I want to continue with specific organic fertilizers and look at fish based products. For centuries fish have been used as a natural fertilizer from the American Indians to the indigenous people of South America in making biochar.


The best fish products come from the ocean and contain all the nutrients and trace elements found in seawater.  However freshwater fish can be used with great results but they do not have the same levels of trace elements and are not as common in the market.


Most fish based products begin their life as a by-product of commercial fishing, whether it is remains of the filleting process or just excess waste that was previously dumped back into the ocean or into a landfill, thus it is a recycled product. Some brands may also use by-catch from shrimping or other fishing, rather than releasing the unwanted sea life but it is not as common. There are also species of fish that are harvested not for human food but as a protein source (ex. menhaden) to make other products that may be used.


Fish based products are available in four general types; fish meal, fish emulsion, amended fish emulsion and fish hydrolysate. 


Fish meal is produced by grinding up the fish feedstock, cooking it to remove the oils, then removing the protein for use in animal feed, then after drying the remaining material is sold as fish meal.


Fish emulsion is produced by grinding up the fish feedstock and cooking it to remove the oils. Fish oil is a valuable product (used in nutritional supplements to body lotion and creams, paints and cosmetics) hence it is often removed from the fish by some type of heating process, most often steaming or cooking.  The cooking process also destroys some of the amino acids and proteins, hormones, enzymes, vitamins, etc. that were originally present. The remaining material becomes fish emulsion. Since heat was applied to boil down the material killing any bacteria present, it does not require acid to stabilize the product and leaves the remaining product with a much higher nitrogen content than hydrolysate. Natural fish emulsion will have fertilizer values of 5-1-1.


Amended fish emulsion is produced by taking regular fish emulsion and adding Urea to boost the nitrogen levels even higher for marketing purposes. Hence it is not a true organic product and not as beneficial. Often sold in discount stores and big box stores as it is a lower quality product.


Fish hydrolysate is produced by using all parts of the fish (guts, bones, cartilage, scales, meat, etc.), grinding them up to very fine pieces, and then using enzymes to break down the fish. This is known as cold processing. This method retains the oils which contain the essential nutrients, complex proteins and carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, enzymes and hormones.  As a result fish hydrolysate works better with soil biology as it is a better quality food source for the microbes. This is why it is also used in making high quality compost teas. Since microbes like this type product, acids (phosphoric or sulfuric) are often used to stabilize the products which prevents bacteria from becoming active and creating gasses that can burst the container. Additionally, some fish species have strong odors (e.g. salmon) in which the enzyme process and acids greatly reduce.


Like all products the quality and value of fish products varies greatly. Wild caught fish from northern waters (higher oil content) work best. Farm raised fish tend to have antibiotics, heavy metals and other chemicals that wild caught fish does not.  If very large species of fish are used (e.g. tuna, mackerel, sword fish, etc.) there will be some heavy metals (e.g. mercury) present in the product not found in other brands that use smaller fish.  Note: The better brands test regularly to ensure there are no heavy metals while the cheaper ones do not.



Fish (emulsion or hydrolysate) are often used as root zone drench to provide nutrients to enrich the soil and stimulate microbial growth.


Many gardeners have found they both work very well as a foliar application to help feed and strengthen plants.


For actively aerated compost tea (AACT) fish hydrolysate works better as it feeds a greater range and diversity of beneficial microbes. Fish emulsion feeds mostly bacteria while fish hydrolysate has the fish oil as well as simpler proteins and feeds fungus and the bacteria. 

TIP: For a number of years I grew huge beautiful disease and pest free ferns that were planted in 100% Composted Native Mulch and fertilized with the Ocean Harvest brand.


A article in the Journal HortScience Vol. 48(6) June 2013 tested several types of organic fertilizers including hydrolyzed fish as compared to the same nutrients applied using synthetic fertilizers.  The researchers  found that plants (Amaranth, Celosia, Gboma, and Long Bean) had increased disease and insect resistance, the shelf life after harvest was increased, and greatly increased their anti-oxidant capacity. 


A article in the Journal HortScience Vol. 48(5) May 2013 tested several organic fertilizers against synthetic fertilizers on Marigolds. They found that Marigolds fertilized with liquid fish emulsion produced the highest quality plants.


Researchers at McGill University in Canada found that fish emulsion applied to soils infected with the verticillum fungus which attacks a broad range of plants, reduced the disease spores by 99% in only 6 days. They also found similar results on damping off, a pythium fungal disease on cucumbers. American  Phytopathological Society.


Other researchers have found that hydrolysate from salmon contain significant cancer growth inhibitors while those from sardines have gut health and anti-hypertension benefits. It would be interesting to see if the same health benefits can be obtained from eating fruits and vegetables fertilized with fish hydrolysate.


The 1992 report by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development evaluated the mineral content of the worlds farm and rangeland soil. They found dramatic reduction in minerals on every continent and in North America between 1892 and 1992 we lost 85% of our minerals!  This lack of minerals is behind many plant, animal and human health problems. Fish emulsion and hydrolysate are tools to help re-mineralize our soils. 


There are many good brands on the market, however a few I am familiar with are:

Neptune's Harvest - good product from North Atlantic cod fish, been around for years with great results


PacificGro - made with processed salmon waste from North Pacific and loved by many AACT folks. Available in 55 gallon drums.


Ocean Harvest - from San Jacinto Environmental and part of the MicrolifeTM line of organic fertilizers. It is my personal favorite that I use regularly. In addition to the fish hydrolysate, it mixes in seaweed, molasses and humic acid to make a more well rounded product.




Every day more and more research is appearing that prove organic fertilizers just work better, save money, prevent problems and are far safer that synthetic. Fish emulsion and fish hydrolysate are part of this family of organic fertilizers and are great tools in a gardeners nutritional toolbox.




- fish products are fast acting when used as a foliar application

- contain many minor and trace elements

- hydrolysate contains beneficial hormones

- stimulates the rapid growth of good microbes in the soil

- contain some carbon as an energy source for the microbes

- increase microbial diversity

- strengthen a plants natural immune system

- encourage beneficial microbes that suppress pathogens

- nitrogen and other nutrients are in a readily available form for plants and microbes

- great for use in making compost teas




- usually a liquid concentrate that has to be mixed before use

- some brands have a distinct smell that some find odorous

- possible PCB's in farm raised fish from other countries found in the cheaper brands

- cheaper brands often contain heavy metals



NOTE: In going through my library of journal articles on fish emulsion I found one that had been miss-filed that was on seaweed. Researchers from The University of Florida found that citrus (Sweet Orange) treated with seaweed greatly increased drought tolerance in container grown plants. HortScience Vol. 46(4) April 2011






Symphony of the Soil


This is an excellent introduction to soil and its importance to life on earth for all gardeners.  The DVD is well done with some fabulous photography and music to introduce the importance of soils from their formation to the microbes in them, from stopping erosion to recharging aquifers, from livestock to crops and flowers. 


It covers the importance of organic matter and how organic gardening and organic farming are transforming and restoring the soil. Additionally, it show how these modern methods save time and money, give better results and help reduce health problems. Interviews with experts from all over the world illustrate the basic concepts and how we can all work together to protect and restore our soil.


This is a great DVD for garden clubs, church groups, water conservation or anyone that wants to learn more.  It retails for only $20 and can be ordered at http://www.symphonyofthesoil.com/ Deborah Koons Garcia, Lily Films 2012.







The original question: "Some of the algae that live on the surface of the soil have shown the ability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, IF there is a certain nutrient (element) present. What is that nutrient? 


Hint: It is used as a catalyst in the process. 


Congratulations to Linda Crum for the correct answer, Molybdenum (Mo).  For years biological soil scientists have known that bacteria and other microbes use molybdenum as a catalyst in over 50 enzymes. Several folks got close and mentioned members of the enzyme group known as nitrogenases (However, they are complex molecules not an element). These enzymes are used to break the nitrogen bond (N2) and fix nitrogen by several bacterial groups. A few years ago microbiologists discovered that some types of algae, which live on the surface of soils, also use molybdenum in their enzymes and had the ability to fix nitrogen.





 (Events in Houston unless otherwise noted. No events picked up from other newsletters or media releases.  Submit written in the format below, specifically earmarked for publication in the Lazy Gardener & Friends Newsletter.) 






Sat., July 12: Bird Friendly Backyard, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 1200 Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss. Free.

Wed., July 16: 7:30pm. "Soil Food Web, How Organic Gardening Works", by John Ferguson, Cross Creek Ranch Community Room, Fulshear.  


Wed., July 16: Fall Vegetable Gardening, 6:30pm, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Free. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu, 281-855-5600


Wed., July 16: Foods from the Americas by Sally Luna, 7 pm, Metropolitan Multi Service Center, 1475 West Gray. South Texas Unit Herb Society of America event. Free. Details: herbsociety-stu.org  


Wed., July 16: Sustainable Gardening Rainwater Harvesting, Composting and Organic Gardening by Mary Karish, 10am, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Free. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu, 281-855-5600


Thurs., July 17: Gardening for Bees is Conservation for Everyone by Michael Eckenfels, 7-9pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas Houston Chapter event. Details: www.npsot.org/houston 


 Thurs., July 17:  View Native Prairie Plants Growing in Nature & Tips for Using Them in Your Garden by Native Plant Society of Texas-Houston and Native Prairies Assn. of Texas Houston Chapter, 6pm, Memorial Park parking lot. Map.  Free. Details: HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org or http://HNPAT.wordpress.com .

Sat., July 19: Texas Rose Rustlers Meeting, 10am-3pm, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Free, open to public. Details:  www.texasroserustlers.com or 281-443-8731.    (Note date change from previously published)

Sat., July 19: Growing Palms in the South Texas, noon, Rosenberg area. South Texas Rose Society event. Reservations required: eladd@grandecom.net or 361-854-8719.


Sat., July 19: A homeowner's Guide to Weed Control by Anna Wygrys, 9-11:30am, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 4102-B Main St. (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Details: 281-534-3413.


Mon., July 21: Open Garden Day with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, 8:30-11am, Genoa-Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Free. 9am program for adults, children. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu, 281-855-5600


Sat, July 26 : The Plumeria Society of America Show & Plant Sale, 9 to 3pm, Ft. Bend County Fairgrounds, 4310 1st Street, Rosenberg. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


Sat., July 26: Mercer Botanic Gardens' Summer Color Plant Sale and Conference, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Conference, 8am-3pm. $65. 11am-Plant Sale opens to public. Conference registration: 281-443-8731. Details: www.hcp4.net/mercer  


Sat., Aug 2: Fall Vegetable Gardening by Fort Bend Master Gardeners, 9-11am Q&A with MGs, 10am program, Agricultural Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Details: 281-341-7068 or www.fbmg.com


Tues., Aug. 5: Popular Perennials by Cheryl Lennert , noon, (11:30am-Hamburger Lunch $5), Harris County Extension Office auditorium, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public

Wed., Aug. 6: Gardening Daze in native flower beds with Teri MacArthur, 8:30am-noon, and in vegetable gardens with Doug Ebeling, 9:30am, Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Dr., Humble. Free. Details: 281-446-8588; www.hcp4.net/Jones
Fri.-Sat., Aug.8-9: Houston Orchid Society 35th Annual Summer Workshop, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. "Northern Caribbean Species and Hybrids" by Claude Hamilton; "Mysteries of Orchid Pollination" by Thomas Mirenda; "Orchid Growing in Texas" by Todd Miller. Fees and details:



Tues., Aug. 12: Texas Super Stars by Master Gardener Ginia Keen-Mattern, 6:30pm, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. A Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx    


Tues., Aug. 12: Water Star Gardens and Great Houston Plants, 6:30 pm, Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Pkwy., Seabrook. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


 Wed., Aug. 13: Orchid Growing 101 by Bruce Cameron, noon-2pm,  Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble. 8am-3pm. Free. Details: www.hcp4.net/mercer  


Thurs., Aug.14: Companion Plants for Roses by Margaret Sinclair, 7:30pm., St. Andrew's Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


Sat., Aug. 16: Successful Fall Vegetable Gardening by Luke Stripling, 9-11:30am, Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardeners event. Reservations: 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or GALV3@wt.net

Sat., Aug. 16: Vermicomposting - Raising Worms & Harvesting Castings for Fertilizer by Fort Bend Master Gardeners, 9 am, County Extension Office, 1402 Band Rd, Rosenberg. $15 ($25 couple). Details: 281-342-3034, brandy.rader@ag.tamu.edu; http://fortbendagrilife.org; www.fbmg.com 


Sat., Aug. 16: Water Star Gardens and Great Houston Plants, 10 am, Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


Mon., Aug. 18: Open Garden Day, with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am-Fall Vegetable Gardening (adults); make a bird feeder/bath (children). Free. Gardens open, plant sale every Monday, May - October.  Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx 


Tues., Aug. 19: Gardening by the Square Foot by John Jons, Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardeners event. Reservations: 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or  GALV3@wt.net      


Tues., Aug. 19: Water Star Gardens and Great Houston Plants, 6:30 pm, Recipe for Success, 4400 Yupon St. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


Wed., Aug. 20: Aquaponics by Jim Bundscho, 10am, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway,  Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx  


Thur., Aug. 21: Water Star Gardens and Great Houston Plants, 6:30 pm, Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


Sat., Aug. 23: "Organic Gardening, Making your Yard Safe for Children and Pets", Woodlands Home and Garden show, John Ferguson, 11:30 am, Woodlands Marriott Hotel  


Sat.-Sun., Aug. 23-24: 12th Annual Fall Home & Garden Show, 9am-7pm Sat., 10am-6pm Sun., The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, 1601 Lake Robbins Dr. Garden speakers Mark Bowen, John Ferguson, Randy Lemmon & Brenda Beust Smith. Details: www.woodlandsshows.com


Sun., Aug. 24: "Q&A with the Lazy Gardener" by Brenda Beust Smith, 11:30am on stage with cuttings give-away, noon-4pm in booth, Woodlands Home & Garden Show

The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, 1601 Lake Robbins Dr. Details: www.woodlandsshows.com  


Tues., Aug. 26: Backyard Series: Strawberries by Robert Marshall, 6:30-8pm, Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardeners event. Reservations: 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or  GALV3@wt.net      


Tues. Aug. 26: Open Garden Day/Water Star Gardens and Great Houston Plants, tours, workshops, presentation 9:00-11:30 am, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office Demonstration Gardens, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Houston. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


Sat., Sept. 27: Texas Rose Rustlers 2014 Fall Cutting Exchange, 10am, Brookwood Community, Brookshire. To request cuttings of specific antique roses, email: thetexasroserustlers@texasroserustlers.com. Details: texasroserustlers.com


Sat., Sept. 27:  Sugar Land Garden Club Fall Festival and Plant Sale, 8:30am-1pm, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land (new location).  Details: www.SugarLandGardenClub.org; Diana Miller, 713-724-3113,  dmiller@realtor.com 


Thurs., Oct. 2: Garden Club of Houston Bulb and Plant Mart Early Bird Shopping and Party,
4:30-7:30, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. $20. Details: 
(Note new site)


Fri., Oct. 3: Garden Club of Houston Bulb and Plant Mart, 9am-5pm; St. John the Divine Episcopal Church 2450 River Oaks Blvd. Free. Details: Details: www.gchouston.org/BulbPlantMart.aspx(Note new site)


Sat., Oct. 4: Garden Club of Houston Bulb and Plant Mart, 9am- 2pm, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church 2450 River Oaks Blvd. Free. www.gchouston.org/BulbPlantMart.aspx(Note new site)


Sat.-Sun., Oct. 4-5: Spring Branch African Violet Club Annual Fall Sale, 10am-4pm Sat., 10am-3pm Sun, Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center, 2020 Hermann Dr. Free. Details: Karla Ross, 281-748-8417, kjwross@yahoo.com


Thur., Oct. 9: "Soil Biology and Gardening", "Mulches and Compost","Backyard and Small Scale Composting" by John FergusonMercer Arboretum, 9am - 3 pm, Texas Gulf Coast Gardeners Class. Details: http://www.hcp4.net  


Fri.-Sat., Oct. 10-11: The Southern Garden Symposium, St. Francisville, LA. http://www.southerngardensymposium.org  


 Sat.-Sun., Oct. 25-26:  Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and Sale (Texas & Louisiana), DoubleTree Hotel Houston Airport, 15747 JFK Blvd. Sale: 9am-5pm Sat.;10am-3pm Sun. Show: 2pm-5pm Sat.; 10am-3pm Sun. Free. Details: Gene Powers, 281-633-9036.


Tues., Nov. 18: "Ten Commandments of Lazy Gardening" by Brenda Beust Smith, 10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: sugarlandgardenclub.org



To ensure rapid publication, submit events in the exact STRAIGHT LINE  format used above so they can be copied and pasted right in. Events NOT submitted in our format will take longer to get published as someone has to reformat and retype them. Email to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net 


Need speakers for your group?  Or tips on getting more publicity for events? Brenda's 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)  Email specific requests to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.
Please help us grow by informing all your membership of this weekly newsletter! 


                                                ABOUT US


. . . 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. 

Brenda recently ended her decades-long stint as Production Manager of the Garden Club of America's BULLETIN magazine. Although still an active horticulture lecturer and broad-based freelance writer,  Brenda's main focus now is  THE LAZY GARDENER & 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 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 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 co-editor and occasional article contributor.

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. 
COUPON: Buy three antique roses and get one free at Nature's Way Resources www.natureswayresources.com .
Offer Expires: 07/31/14