July 25, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 67th 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.



This week's Society Spotlights: Plumerias from Thailand and Australia, left, and incredible miniature orchids, right. 

By Brenda Beust Smith
Last week I promised to tell you about "The Mother of Gardens." But, first, let's give a "tip o' the trowel" to Galveston and to two spectacular "Society Spotlights."
Too bad you all can't read Laura Elder's great July 22 article, "Selling Seaweed" in the Galveston Daily News. Laura details how Galveston has turned the current seaweed influx from a headache almost into a highlight.  You can't even read it online unless you subscribe to GDN. So you'll have to settle for my capsulized kudos. 


But, first, a little indulgence for a brag, if you don't mind.  
The Lazy Gardener and Friends Newsletter's  article on Galveston's seaweed invasion on June 3 was the first area media focus on the benefits of sargassum (its official name) for gardeners, environment and wildlife on and far beyond our coastline. 
If you missed our article (which you CAN read in its entirety without being a subscriber), you might want to click on the link above and do so before continuing.
Back to Galveston, fears this year's abundant carpets of seaweed might seriously impact tourism are unfounded. Minor impact, yes. Major, no. However, next year might be another matter if word spreads.  So enterprising isle folks are turning this potential negative into a positive. 
When customers moan, savvy isle businessmen encourage visitors to "embrace" seaweed and are working hard to explain how important it is to our ecology, reports Laura's engrossing article:
*  Free distributions include "Seaweed Saves Galveston Beaches" bracelets and pamphlets explaining how sargassum (seaweed) prevents beach erosion and restores habitats. 
Volunteer Galveston Park Board's Bucket Brigades help tourists (especially children) discover all the fascinating marine life that lives in seaweed. 
* Live webcams (www.galvestonbeachinfo.com) report seaweed status on various beaches so tourists can "pick spots" more easily. 
High praise to the Isle for helping folks realize seaweed is truly a valuable natural resource, as our LG&F Newsletter detailed almost two months ago. They might want to also spread the word that seaweed discourages mosquitoes. It contains a natural larvacide and is being studied as a possible control for these pests.

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SPEAKING OF MOSQUITOES . . .  Tip o' the Trowel to Houston Audubon for helping folks to recognize and appreciate our Purple Martins.  On July 25 and August 8, they are hosting Purple Martin Migration Madness watches at Fountains Shopping Center in Stafford. On July 30 and Aug. 2, they will be in North Houston at the intersection of Hwy. 249 and West Gessner.  Watches start at 8pm. Bring your own chairs. www.houston audubon.org 
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KUDOS TO THE ARBOR GATE: The "Yard Crashers" TV Show visited The Arbor Gate recently and were so impressed with the turnout at a "yard makeover" clinic, they returned to film two local yards, which they "made over" into a "Charming Southern Retreat" and "An Eclectic Dining Space." The two episodes will air back to back Monday, July 28, at 9 & 9:30pm CST on the DIY Network. 

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Now, on to the pros - plumeria and orchid - and then across the pond to . . . China!
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An international array of plumerias is available at the Plumeria Society of America sale at Fort Bend County Fairgrounds in Rosenberg, including, l to r, 'Fruit Salad' from Australia and this beauty from Thailand, as well as perennial Houston-area favorites such as 'Jeannie Moragne,' Mardi Gras' and 'Aztec Gold.'


For new growers, a question is coming up earlier than usual: "What is that yellow stuff on my plant?" 
A fungus called RUST is caused from all the rain this year. It is not harmful to the plant but it can look bad and will cause leaves to wither and fall off. Simply pull the leaves off carefully, put them in a plastic bag and seal  it up to keep the spores from spreading. Throw away, don't put in a compost pile.
The Plumeria Society Show and Sale Saturday, July 26, at Fort Bend County Fair Grounds, 4310 1st Street in Rosenberg, is free and open 9:30am-3pm. Around 25 local members sell plants they have collected from all over the world. These include plants from Australia, Mexico, Thailand, and all over the U.S. At a bloom table are these different varieties and a list of sellers. 
Check out the Ask the Expert table if you have problems. (Take damaged leaves/flowers to diagnose in sealed plastic bags.) Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org.        
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TINY TREASURES: Broughtonia sanguinea, left, Jamaica native, forms clusters of pink flowers 
to about an inch across. The species has been hybridized with Cattleyas to form Cattleytonias. 
Center, Cattleytonia Why Not, the parent of Starrlyn 'Clown Alley' AM/AOS at right.

Summer Workshop Co-Chair
Sure to be a star at the upcoming Houston Orchid Society's 35th Annual Summer Workshop is the petite Cattleytonia, a hybrid of the Jamaican native Broughtonia sanguinea and Cattleyas.
Usually found at low elevations near the south coast of the island, Broughtonia forms clusters of pink flowers to about an inch across. The flowers are very round perfect little Cattleya type with large lips.  
The most famous hybrid is Cattleytonia Why Not which is normally bright red with yellow center.  Cattleytonia Why Not 'Clown Alley'  is the parent of Starrlyn 'Clown Alley' AM/AOS. Starrlyn 'Clown Alley'. 
Broughtonia sanguinea Why Not and the related hybrids are great for Houston. They love our heat and humidity and bloom two or three times a year. 
They are a compact grower staying in small pots and are not too tall. They can be grown outdoors in almost full sun anytime it is above about 40 degrees.
HOS's prestigious 2014 Summer Workshop is Aug. 8-9 at a new location: St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. (at Westheimer). Discussion highlights will cover:
*  the Houston-loving Broughtonias developed by Claude Hamilton
*  "Northern Caribbean Species" and hybrids by Thomas Mirenda, and
*  Unique growing strategies developed by Todd Miller

Registration (Friday only, $10; Saturday only, $50, both days, $55): Fr. Ted Baenziger ejb@stthom.edu, and John Stubbings JDStubbings@comcast.net. Details: houstonorchidsociety.org  
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From China, the Mother of Gardens: left, a Nanjing Botanical Garden statue honors the famous herbalist Li Shizhen (1518-1593).  Many of our common garden flowers have been blooming in China for centuries, l to r, daylily, St. John's Wort and incredible hibiscus. Reprinted with permission -  Mike Peters / China Daily


Former Houston reporter/garden editor Mike Peters, now a China Daily News stalwart, has noted in print how so many plants now so common to our gardens have been treasured for centuries in China. 
And, no wonder. China has more plants than anywhere else in the temperate world, one-eighth the world's total and twice as many as in the U.S. No wonder this vast country is known as "The Mother of All Gardens."  
Peters points China gardens are now attracting internationally renowned plant collectors - including Texans - looking for "natural treasures for gardens, medicine cabinets and dinner tables." 
Want to read more?  Here are two of his great recent articles: 


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Houston area gardeners lost a true treasure recently with the passing of Kenneth Dorman. I always thought of Ken as my "tomato guru." As a Harris County Master Gardener, he shared so much with so many, one of the most generous, friendly, open-hearted men I've ever had the privilege of working with. I'm so glad he came into my life. He will be terribly missed.  

Memorial gift in remembrance of Kenneth may be sent to the Christian Community Service Center Garden at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer. Make checks payable to CCSC. Mail to CCSC, P.O. Box 27924, Houston, TX 77227.  Note on memo line "In Memory of Kenneth Dorman for CCSC Garden." 



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

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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


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*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
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Please read, and consider signing, the petition to establish a Houston Botanical Garden: 
















This week I want to talk about another great organic fertilizer known as Alfalfa. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a plant grown for many reasons as it is used in animal feed, for medicinal purposes, used as a cover crop, and to make mulch and organic fertilizers. The plant will grow to about 3 feet tall but can develop a root system that grows down over 45 feet!  Hence Alfalfa is very drought tolerant and the deep roots will collect minerals that have leached into the subsoil. Alfalfa is also a legume that fixes nitrogen into the plant and soil. Additionally, Alfalfa makes a great cover crop (living mulch) and has the highest feeding value of all the plants grown as hay.


The name Alfalfa came from Arab words that mean "the Father of All Grains" since it was so nutritionally rich. Alfalfa is commonly available in meal, pellets or as hay. To make the meal or pellets the alfalfa hay is harvested, dried and then chopped into fine pieces.  The fine pieces are sold as meal.  The pellets are made by taking the meal and adding a binder (usually molasses) and then pressing it into pellets of the desired size.  Alfalfa is a great animal food from horses to rabbits hence it is often found at feed stores in large bags (50 pound) and at better prices than some garden centers. The alfalfa is pressed into large pellets for horses and smaller pellets for rabbits.  Many gardeners find that the rabbit sized pellets work well in their gardens.


Alfalfa can range from a 5-2-1 to 3-2-1 fertilizer depending on the variety and is a good source of nitrogen (N), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), zinc (Zn), vitamins (A, D, B1, B6, E, K, U), niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and triconatol (a fatty acid growth stimulant). It also includes sugars, starches, proteins, fiber and 16 amino acids.


Due to its richness, Alfalfa meal or pellets is a favorite organic fertilizer by many rose growers. For roses 1-2 cupfuls per large rose bush is a common usage.  Typical use in most gardens is 20-30 pounds per 1,000 square feet.


A study from Italy found that plants fertilized with Alfalfa meal had reduced pest nematode populations as compared to the control that used artificial fertilizers.


One study found that plants fertilized with alfalfa meal had increased cold tolerance when compared with artificial fertilizers.


Note: Several studies have found that plants fertilized with organic fertilizers are healthier and healthier plants are naturally more tolerant of cold, heat or drought or other environmental stress.


In another study researchers found that growing alfalfa on soils contaminated with toluene and phenol, the increased respiratory activity in the soil-plant-microbe system quickly biodegraded the chemicals.


Another benefit of growing Alfalfa is that it is a great place for beneficial insects to live. As a result it is often used as a companion crop planted between the rows of the main crop. This allows the beneficial insects to control the pests in the main crop.


Many gardeners like to use Alfalfa tea to water and fertilize their plants. Alfalfa tea is another good way to get the nutrients from Alfalfa into the soil and into the plant. A method published by The American Rose Society is to take a 30 gallon plastic garbage can and fill with water. Then take 8-10 cups of Alfalfa meal or pellets and mix in.  Cover the container and let bake in the sun for 3 days stirring it at least once each day. Eventually the liquid will take on an orange color and the organic material will settle to the bottom of the container. It is now ready to use. Some gardeners may add fish emulsion, seaweed or other ingredients to spike the tea even more before applying to plants.


Another recipe is just putting a cup of meal into a 5 gallon bucket and let it sit for several days. It will become stronger and more odiferous the longer you brew it. Strain the tea to remove the fibers then you can use it as a foliar spray or as a soil drench. The left over fibers can be used as mulch or in your compost bin.

Other folks claims the alfalfa tea works even better if a handful of good soil or compost is added with the meal when starting the tea. I suspect there is some truth to this, as the microbes from the soil or compost will start eating the alfalfa and start releasing the nutrients in a plant available form, allowing plants to absorb them quicker.


Note: One report stated that the stronger and more powerful the smell the better the tea works.

When food crops (tomatoes to apples) are grown with fertilization from alfalfa they will tend to be higher in nutrients than those grown with artificial fertilizers, since alfalfa has a bigger variety of nutrients.

When using alfalfa one MUST be careful that it is not a GMO Alfalfa (Roundup Ready).  A problem for gardeners is that many farmer are growing genetically modified Alfalfa varieties. These plants can tolerate very high levels of Roundup hence the hay or pellets may contain enough herbicide residues to kill your plants.  Only buy organic or at least non-GMO Alfalfa.


TIP: As in any hay or grain based product it may attract rodents or other animals that eat grain or grass. It is best to store unused portions in a metal trash can.


SUMMARY:  Alfalfa meal or pellets is a great organic fertilizer and soil amendment. The main negative is that it must be transported a long way to get it to us which requires fossil fuels.  For the nutrient density received there are less costly alternatives.




- contains major plant nutrients

- contains many minor and trace elements

- hormones to stimulate plant growth

- builds organic matter in your soil

- feeds the beneficial microbes

- does not burn plants

- reduces populations of harmful nematodes

- helps the soil to hold moisture

- some brands are enhanced with rock minerals

- easily available

- safe for children and pets




- some sources may be GMO (genetically modified varieties)

- may contain herbicide residuals (especially GMO varieties)

- slower acting than other types of organic fertilizers

- slightly alkaline and should not be used on acid loving plants too often

- may be dusty

- may attract rodents or other animals

- must be transported from out of state areas









A temporary ban on all citrus plants in Harris and other Texas counties issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture has been triggered by discovery of citrus greening disease at a Webster area nursery, according to a Kathy Huber article in the Houston Chronicle

Symptoms include misshapen, irregularly-colored, bitter fruit and yellow/clear veins on leathery leaves.  There is no cure for this disease, also known as Huanglongbing or yellow dragon disease. The fruit is safe to eat, no threat to humans, but CGD has already wiped out millions of acres of citrus crops across the nation. Kathy advises home gardeners to immediately report suspicious plants to SaveOurCitrus.orgtexasagriculture.gov or call 800-835-5831. Don't move the plant until experts contact you. 



 (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 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