July 18, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 66th 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.




Left to right, esperanza (Tecoma stans), thryallis, alamanda and rudbeckia (black-eyed susans) immediately draw the eye.

By Brenda Beust Smith
Last week's column on "Greywater and Dishplates" brought back memories of so many Houston gardening greats, I have to add one of my favorites. I think about her now every time I sit out in our yard in the evening.
Alice Hodges was, for years, the Chronicle's garden writer. When she retired, Managing Editor Don Pickels came back to our office asking if anyone could temporarily write the gardening column until he could hire another "real horticulturist."  I was a reporter/newlywed/new homeowner growing monkey grass, elephant ears and day lilies. 
"I know how to garden," I piped up. "I'll do it." It would be a great way to write humor (a la Erma Bombeck). I named my "temporary" column the Lazy Gardener, so no one would take me seriously. 

Decades passed and I became a Master Gardener (best time/$$$ investment I ever made!). The column continued. One day before heading out to visit Alice - then 101 years old - I called to see what kind of flowers I could bring her. 

"Yellow," she said. 
"Yellow what?" I asked. 
"Just yellow," she said.  "That's the only color I can see now."
Now, in evening's soft light, when I look out and first see the beautiful yellow-blooming esperanza and various rudbeckias, I think of Alice and how right she was. 
Two yellow flowers now absolutely spectacular in public and private plantings all over this area are the esperanza (large shrubs) and yellow lantana (lower growing shrubs).  
Yellow absolutely pops and immediately draws the eye at any time, but especially in the softening light at the end of day when other colors start to fade. Remember this if you're bringing flowers to, or planting flowers for, anyone with visual challenges.  Or if you're trying to attract the eye of passing motorists (potential homebuyers?) Or win "Yard of the Month."
Yellow is also recommended for planting along uneven pathways, to draw the eyes downward. Consider stonecrop and other yellow sedum, wedelia, tunera, coreopsis, low-growing black-eyed susans, yellow oxalis. Can you recommend any others? 

Color impacts us in very specific ways, so it pays to do a bit of research before scattering them around: "A Color Conspectus."  
MORE YELLOW IDEAS: Thanks to Lynn at Cornelius Nursery on Voss for letting me wander through and 
shoot these pictures of yellow flowers - l to r, celosia, Dahlberg daisies, melampodium and yellow shrimps. These are not actually shrimps (Justicia brandegeeana) but rather the similar-looking Pachystachys lutea
Yellow will be in the spotlight, along with flowers of all colors, during the plant sale that will be held with the Mercer Botanic Garden's big Summer Color Conference on Saturday, July 26. Conference attendees will have first shot at sale plants, which will then be offered to the public starting at 11 am. For Conference registration, call 281-443-8731Details: www.hcp4.net/mercer
Among the yellow flowers Mercer will have for sale are, above, left to right, yellow sundrops (Calylophus serrulatus), chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata), Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy,' and yarrow. Many of the yellow flowers listed earlier will also be available at the sale along with very special offerings such as the late Barry Schleuter's 'Mellow Yellow' hibiscus, Julia Child rose and Hamelia cuprea and, of course, bloomers of all colors.

Remember the word: Pollinators. 
You'll be hearing this a LOT in the future and it has already become a major lecture topic around the country. Altho this word covers a lot of insects, the movement is focusing on the steadily increasing bee threats which is contributing to an even wider spread of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) than originally anticipated. 

As Howard Garrett points out in his latest newsletter, CCD was just the beginning of disaster for our bees and the future is scary.  To read more about this from someone I highly respect, log onto: 
If you don't already subscribe to Howard's totally organic, free emailed Texas garden newsletter, The Dirt Doctor, you should: DirtDoctor.com.
NEXT WEEK: Do you know where the "Mother of Gardens" is?  
* * *
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), email lazygardenerandfriends.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
*  *  *

Bill Welch's Oct. 10-11 lecture in will focus, in part, on newly-available, 
great-for-us camellias, crinums, phlox, crape myrtles, among others.
Brenda's note: Our gardens contribute so much more than the benefits they bring to our immediate worlds. We are all part of a Southern garden heritage as, in ecology, we here on the Upper Texas Gulf Coast are far more closely related to Southern Louisiana than to any other part of Texas. The 26th annual Southern Garden Symposium will be Oct. 10-11, in St. Francisville, LA (which is a pure gracious delight in itself). On the agenda are two of our favorite horticulturists, Dr. William C. (Bill) Welch and Greg Grant.  Bill explains this focus so much better than I can. 


on his upcoming lecture "Something Old, Something New - Plant & Design Choices for Today's Landscapes"
It is our wealth of southern gardening heritage---a wealth both stimulating and challenging to today's garden designers and makers---that inspire these presentations at this year's Southern Garden Symposium.  We will celebrate both cultures and plants as we look at how these came together to create memorable gardens whether they be small swept plots or large formal landscapes.  
By examining our gardening heritage we will be better equipped to create distinctive new gardens and "sense of place" interpretations that truly reflect our region and its people.  New additions to the plantscape include recently available camellias, tea plants, crinums, phlox, crape myrtles and many others.  We are freshly inspired to create more resource efficient landscapes and recognize that many of our southern heirloom plants are a perfect fit for today's choices. 
Registration details:  www.southerngardensymposium.org
More from Dr. Bill Welch on Southern Gardens:
* * *
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: 















Cotton seed meal has been used as a natural fertilizer for decades with great results and is the preferred fertilizer by many gardeners.   As you might have guessed cottonseed meal is a by-product of the cotton farming industry. After the cotton has been picked and the cotton fiber removed we have the seeds left over.  These seeds are crushed and the  oil is extracted.  The remaining material is called cottonseed meal.  This meal can be used as a fertilizer or as animal feed (however it is toxic to some animals).


As a plant species, cotton is a member of the genus Gossypium of which several varieties are grown commercially for the fiber. The most common variety is Gossypium hirsutum an upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida. This species is responsible for 90% of the worlds cotton production. Cotton as a plant species is a heavy feeder of minerals and nutrients from the soil which become concentrated in its seeds. After processing cottonseed meal will have a 6-2-2 NPK ratio plus many minor nutrients. It also contains many carbon compounds that are food for the beneficial microbes, hence it stimulates growth of these desirable species.


Cotton seed meal is a natural acidifier hence it is often the preferred fertilizer on azaleas, camellias, blueberries and other acid loving plants.


For most plants from turf grass to roses, one typically uses 8-10 pounds per 100 square feet.  However this is not critical as it does not leach out or burn plants.


Like many other organic fertilizers studies have shown that cotton seed meal promotes better root development than same amount of nutrients in synthetic form (artificial fertilizers).


A problem with cottonseed meal is that some types may contain high levels of arsenic.  For decades arsenic based chemicals were used as a defoliant before harvesting the cotton bolls. Arsenic based pesticides were also used to control boll weevils. As a result, these arsenic compounds built up in the soil after years of use, to high levels. They are no longer used but the arsenic remains in the soil.  As a result each new crop of cotton absorbs some of the arsenic which ends up in the meal.   Arsenic is a known carcinogen and heavy metal that is linked to many health problems.  When animals are fed cottonseed meal the arsenic builds up in their tissues  and in us when we eat the meat. Numerous studies have linked arsenic to health problems from dementia to many forms of cancer to behavioral problems in children.


Note: The arsenic level in cottonseed meal is often far less than what is found in many artificial fertilizers.

Another new problem has emerged as more farmers (50%) grow GE (genetically engineered) cotton that produces the BT (bacillus thuringiensis) toxin in all parts of the plant. Hence the meal is also contaminated and can kill many good insects and microbes.


The good news is that more and more consumers are demanding organically raised cotton hence organic cotton meal is becoming available.





Cotton seed meal can be a great organic fertilizer IF it is from organically grown cotton.  If the meal is not organic it can still be beneficial, however I would not use it on food crops and limit its usage to flowers and other perennials. It would also be a good idea to rotate cottonseed meal with other organic fertilizers to ensure the soil is getting a balance of nutrients.






- contains major and minor elements

- stimulates the rapid growth of good microbes in the soil

- contains some carbon as an energy source for the microbes

- increases microbial diversity

- does not burn plants as toxic chemical fertilizers

- natural acidifier of soil

- aerates heavy tight clay soils

- helps light sandy soils hold moisture

- increases soil organic matter

- naturally low in salts

- does not contain toxic fillers

- recycles a waste product to beneficial use

- does not leach creating water pollution




- may contain some arsenic

- may contain pesticides residues

- may contain BT poison from genetically modified varieties

- not approved for organic production


COMMENT:  I often mention the dangers of arsenic and heavy metals in various products.  However, the single largest sources of heavy metals is from artificial fertilizers where heavy metals are often added as fillers.  If one buys a 10-10-10 synthetic fertilizer have you ever wondered what is in the other 70%!  The following book is about the usage of heavy metals in artificial fertilizers, its discovery and the government attempts to cover it up.

Fateful Harvest by Duff Wilson, 2001, Harper Collins Publisher, ISBN 0-06-019369-7, A history of how hazardous waste is disposed of in synthetic fertilizers and ends up contaminating the food supply. Wilson was an investigative reporter for the Seattle Times Newspaper and published a series of articles from 1997-1999.






 (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 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


Thurs., July 24: Prairie Moths & Other Night Insects by Katy Emde, 6:30-8:30pm, 3015 Richmond Ave. Free. Houston - Native Prairies Association of Texas event. Details: HNPAT.wordpress.com


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., July 26: Prairie Moths & Other Night Insects field trip by Katy Emde, 8-10pm, at Deer Park Prairie,1222 E. Purdue. Native Prairies Association of Texas event. Free. Registration:  HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org or NationalMothWeek.org


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: houstonorchidsociety.org  


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


Thurs., Aug. 14: Green Roofs, Green Walls, the South Carolina Way by Ethan Kauffmann, 7pm, Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. Free. Details: 936-468-1832


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, 9-11:30am, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office Demonstration Gardens, 3033 Bear Creek Dr.. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: hcmga.tamu.edu/public


Thurs., Sept. 4: Terrariums 191 by Ann Wegenhof, 10am, Municipal Utility Building #81, 805 Hidden Canyon Dr., Katy. Free. Nottingham Country Garden Club event. Details: www.nottinghamgardenclub.org or 713-870-5915.


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