August 22, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 71st 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: 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

Left to right: My wild nemeses - goldenrod,left, (with innocent sunflowers) and physostegia (obedient plant). Center and right: gardens that reflect the talents of Mercer Botanic Gardens' 40th Anniversary speakers: Juniper Level Botanic Garden (Tony Avent) and Missouri Botanical Garden (Dr. Peter Raven).
Yesterday when I was young 
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.
                                                                       -- Charles Aznavour 

"Yesterday When I Was Young," made famous by singer Roy Clark, was playing on the radio recently when Husband and I passed the corner of Aldine-Westfield and Ferrell Road in Northwest Harris County. We both had flashbacks to the days, early in our marriage back in the '60s, when he used to exercise his dog Bo, a pointer, in that field. 

Back then it had a border of trees enclosing a large open field filled with native plants (aka weeds).  As I followed Bill and Bo around, I watched these "weeds" bloom, turn to seed, then disappear to return again the next spring.  I date my love of wildflowers from those days when I followed their transformations, not out of any horticultural fascination, but just because they were there and I didn't have much else to do.

Right off the bat I decided these were my kind of flowers (translation: did their thing with no help from me).  But these weren't for sale back then.  I figured any plant blooming in a ditch was fair game. The county was going to mow them down anyway. A lot found their way into my garden.  However, I quit digging them up for for two reasons. 

1. Too many folks began asking Husband (then Aldine head football coach) what his wife was doing in the ditch on such-'n'-such Aldine area street? For some reason, that embarrassed him.

2. A good friend (later a national horticultural group president) was in a ditch digging wildflowers, slipped down, hurt her ankle and couldn't climb out. She had to stay there a long time before someone came along, spotted her and got her safely home. She made ME promise I'd stay out of ditches from that point on. 

There are other good reasons not to transplant wildflowers into your yard. They may become invasive. I'm still pulling out the goldenrod I thought was so beautiful in the fields. Ditto for obedient plant (Physostegia).

Most avid gardeners can date their first love of flowers and gardening to some particular person or period of life. Take a moment to remember yours. Isn't it nice that such a wonderful association can be passed on from generation to generation?

Speaking of folks who love gardening, three prime movers in the horticultural world will be in Houston this fall to help celebrate Mercer Botanic Gardens' 40th Anniversary.  All three are associated with major gardens of international import. 
Here, with pictures from their respective gardens - both well worth visits - are their schedules: 

Thurs., Sept. 4Tony Avent , founder and CEO of Juniper Level Botanic Garden, above, a 10-acre display garden containing over 21,000 taxa (unique plants). In his 6:30pm lecture at the Museum of Natural Science, Tony Avent will discuss "Exploration to Exploitation: The Road from Discovery to Market." The Juniper Level  garden not only functions as a display area for Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. (mail order), in Raleigh, NC, it doubles as a ex-situ conservation, research and development facility. Lecture ticket details:  713-639-4629 or

The next day, Fri., Sept. 5, Tony Avent will speak at 10am at Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble, on "Backyard Beauties - In Search of Overlooked and Exceptional Natives." Reservation details: 
281-443-8731(Note: in last week's column, the wrong lecture title was listed for this event. Sorry!)

Thurs., Sept. 25Dr. Peter RavenPresident Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden (above), will discuss ""Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World," at 6:30pm, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. One of the oldest botanical institutions in the nation, Missouri Botanical Garden boast specialty gardens too numerous to mention, including the nation's largest and most famous Japanese Garden. Dr. Raven, himself an international awardwinner, served as MBG President for over 40 years, seeing it honored as both a National Historic Landmark and  an internationally-recognized botanical research center. Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or

Thurs., Nov. 6: The current Director of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, will complete Mercer's 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series, with a 6:30pm lecture on
"Growing an Ark: The Expanding Role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservation." Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or
What I love most about such presentations is not only the way they broaden our horizons, but how they reinforce how much we are all alike. We grow many of the same plants and we have the same bug, disease, flood, heat, drought, cold problems - whether on a grand scale or in our own little backyards.  

1. Information on the Montgomery County Master Gardener classes was inadvertently dropped from the last newsletter. It should have read:

* MONTGOMERY COUNTY. Spring 2015 class only. Mandatory orientation presentation for the Spring class will be Thurs., Sept. 18, 9am. The Spring classes will Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am-4pm, during January & February. Details: (Note: only those who attend this orientation will be accepted for spring class enrollment.)
Want to know why? 1. Gradually cooling temperatures. 2. Fewer bugs . . .  for more reasons, drop by and say hi!  On Sunday, Aug. 24, I'll be at The Woodlands Home & Garden Show with cuttings of (left to right, above), firespike, vitex, thryallis and other great autumn bloomers as part of my 11am presentation on "Fall is the Best Season for Lazy Gardener." After my Sunday talk, I'll be around  in a Q&A booth until 4pm.  
Three other great reasons to stop by The Woodlands show on Saturday:
* KTRH'S GARDENLINE (740AM) HOST RANDY LEMMON wil broadcast Saturday from the show (6-10am). If you haven't seen his latest newsletter, he lists his "Six Most Underused Barrier Shrubs."   

They are elageanus, Texas wax myrtle, Coppertone loquat, needlepint holly, natal plum and Japanese blueberry. Click on the link for Randy's reasons why. Randy's seminar runs 10:30-11:30am and he will be signing his book until 1pm


* Our newsletter's own John Ferguson and Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources are also on the Saturday agenda:

- John at 11:30am on "Organic Gardening: Making Your Yard Safe for Children and Pets."

- Mark at 3:30pm on "Fifty Fabulous Plants for Fall Planting"


*  *  *
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."






Organic Fertilizers and Nutrients - 11




For years many gardeners have used a product known as rock phosphate as a source of the element phosphorous (P) which is required by all life including plants. It is one of the big three we often see advertized on a bag of fertilizer as (N-P-K).


Most of the world's phosphate rock comes from sedimentary deposits (often limestone's or mudstones) that contain minerals with the element phosphorous these are called Phosphorites.  There are a few sources of phosphate rock from igneous sources and a few found around hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean that we will not discuss. In the United States the majority of rock phosphate comes from deposits in Florida and North Carolina and a small amount of rock phosphate comes from Idaho and Utah.


The amount of the element phosphorous in the deposits is usually small and varies greatly.  To provide a more cost effective product the raw deposits are mined and processed to concentrate the phosphorous and remove clay, sand, rocks, limestone, etc.   After processing it is sold as hard  rock phosphate or soft rock phosphate (or sometimes colloidal phosphate). The phosphorous is in the form of phosphorus oxide (P2O5). Larger particle sizes are referred to as hard rock phosphate and smaller sizes as soft rock phosphate.


To make artificial fertilizers like super phosphate, triple phosphate etc. the above phosphate minerals undergo additional processing. A natural by-product of phosphate processing occurs in the form of a water rich slime that goes to settling pits to dry out. After drying the product is easily ground into a powder that is also called soft rock phosphate and often used in gardening.  It contains 20-25%  phosphorus oxide (P2O5 ) and 25% lime and some other minerals. These minerals are not soluble in water hence it works best when mixed into the soil where microbes can release the phosphorous and other minerals. The phosphorous release rate with soft rock phosphate is typically 1-2% at any given time even though the total analysis is much higher.


Many gardeners like to add a tablespoon in the bottom of their transplant holes as many species of plants require more phosphorous when they are young.





Soft rock phosphate is a good way to improve soils low in phosphorous and supply plants with related nutrients.  One should only use IF a soil test shows it is needed.



- readily available

- natural source of phosphorous

- inexpensive




- may contain trace amounts of radionuclide's (Uranium, thorium, radium, etc.)

- may be slow to release in alkaline soils

- too much can cause other nutrients to be locked up

- mining cause some environmental damage

- requires a large transportation cost to get it to our area





 Gardening events only. Events listed are in Houston unless otherwise noted. 

Submit events written in the format used below, specifically earmarked for publication in the

 'Lazy Gardener & Friends Newsletter." Email to lazy

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, Door Prizes, 

Sat., Aug. 23: " Fifty Fabulous Plants For Fall Planting," Woodlands Home and Garden Show, Mark Bowen, 3:30 pm. Woodlands Marriott Hotel, Door Prizes,
Sat, Aug 23,: Urban Harvest's Low Volume Irrigation. 9-11:30am. $36. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Roy Cullen Hall #104, Houston 77004. For more info: 713-880-5540 or


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:


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:  


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      


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:


Tues., Aug. 26: Attracting Wildlife to Your Yard by Glenn Olsen, 2-3pm, Sugar Land Branch Library, 550 Eldridge, Sugar Land. Free Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: 

Tues., Aug. 26: Fall Gardening by Tom LeRoy, 6-8:30pm, site to be announced. $10. Waller County Master Gardeners event. First United Methodist Church, 1010-7th St., Hempstead. $10 by Aug. 25; $15 on site. Reservations: 979-826-7651.     

Wed. Aug. 27: Landscaping with Cactus & Succulents. Houston Cactus & Succulents Society event. Metropolitan Multiservices Center, 1475 West Gray. 7:30 pm. Free.

Wed., Sept. 3: Mulch and Compost by John Ferguson, 9am, University Baptist Church, (second floor), 16106 Middlebrook Drive. Gardeners by the Bay Garden Club event.  Details: Marjorie, 409-877-9784

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:  or 713-870-5915.


Thurs., Sept.4: Mercer Botanic Garden 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture: Tony Avent on "Exploration to Exploitation: the Road from Plant Discovery to Market," 6:30pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive.  Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or visit

Fri., Sept. 5: Mercer Botanic Gardens 40th Anniversary Special Lecture: Tony Avant on "Backyard Beauties - In Search of Overlooked and Exceptional Natives," 10am, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble. Reservations: 281-443-8731. 

Sat, Sept 6: Urban Harvest's Rainwater Harvesting, Rain Barrels & More. 9-11:00am.  $36. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Bldg & Room TBA, Houston 77004. Details: 713-880-5540 or 


Sat., Sept. 6: Preparing for Fall with Fort Bend Master Gardeners, 9-11am, Vegetable and Ornamental Demonstration Gardens, Agricultural Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Free. Details: 281-341-7068,


Sat.-Sun., Sept. 6-7: The Galveston Bay Orchid Society Show & Sale, Sat. 8am-5pm, Sun. 9am-4pm, South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City, TX. Free. Details:


Sat-Sun, Sept. 6-7: Houston Cactus & Succulents Society Show and Sale. Metropolitan Multiservices Center, 1475 West Gray. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Many interesting and rare plants. Free. 


Mon., Sept. 8: Biblical Gardening by John Ferguson, 10am, Amergy Bank Building, 28201 Hwy 249 Business, Second Floor, Tomball. Tomball Garden Club event. 

Fri. Sept 12: Greater Houston Plant Conference. 8am-4pm Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details:; 979-845-2604

Sat, Sept 13: Urban Harvest's Constructing the Home Vegetable & Fruit Garden. 9-11:30am.  $36. Location TBA, Houston. Details:  713-880-5540 or

Sat., Sept. 13:  Wildscapes Workshop & Native Plant Sale and lecture: Douglas Tallamy, Ph.D., on "Bringing Nature Home," 8:30am - 3:30pm, Houston Zoo Brown Education Center, 6200 Hermann Park Drive. $40, $50 after Aug. 29. Native Plant Society of Texas/Houston Chapter event. Details: 832-859-9252 or  


Sat., Sept. 13: Fall Lawn Care-What To Do When, 10:15am, at both Cornelius Nursery locations, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss. http://www.corneliusnurseries/events

Tues., Sept. 16: Sugar Land Garden Club Plant Sale Preview by Heidi Sheesley, 9:30am, KC Hall, 703 Burney Road, Sugar Land. Free. Details: 

Thurs., Sept. 18:  Green Roofs by Dustin Brackney, Houston Zoo Horticulture Supervisor: 7:30-9 pm, Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas/Houston Chapter event. Details:

Thurs., Sept. 18: Mandatory Orientation Class for Montgomery County Spring Master Gardener Course, 9am, AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe. Spring course: Tuesdays/Thursdays 9am-4pm, January -February, 2015. Details:; 936-539-7824. 

Sat, Sept 20: Urban Harvest's Fall Vegetable Gardening: What to Plant Now. 9-11:30am.  $36. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Bldg & Room TBA, Houston 77004. Details: 713-880-5540 or 

Wed., Sept. 20: Native Plants for Your Landscape by Montgomery County Master Gardeners, 9am-3:30pm, Texas AgriLife Extension office  Association, 9020 FM 1484 Rd, Conroe. $15. Preregister at or 936-539-7824.

Sat., Sept. 20: Colorful Fall Colors, 10:15am, at both Cornelius Nursery locations, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss.  http://www.corneliusnurseries/events


Mon., Sept. 22: Fort Bend County Master Gardener Registration Deadline. Course runs Tuesdays/thursdays, Oct. 9-Nov. 6, AgriLife Extension Service Office, 1402 Band Rd. $200/$353 couple + 50 hours volunteer service.  Details:  http://fbmg.com281-633-7033 or the AgriLife office


Thurs., Sept. 23: Outstanding Plants - Texas Gulf Coast Gardener - Tier-2, 9-week course begins, Tuesdays, 9am-3pm, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Details/reservations: 281-443-8731. (Tier 1 starts Sept. 25. Need not attend #I to attend #2)

Thurs., Sept.25: Mercer Botanic Gardens 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Peter Raven on "Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World," 6:30pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or


Thurs., Sept. 25: Principles of Gardening - Texas Gulf Coast Gardener Tier-1, 9-week course begins, Thursdays, 9am-3pm, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Details/reservations: 281-443-8731. (Tier 2 starts Sept. 23)


Thurs., Sept.25: Mercer Botanic Gardens 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Peter Raven on "Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World," 6:30pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or

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


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:; Diana Miller, 713-724-3113,

Sat., Sept. 27: Gorgeous Autumn Color in Containers, 10:15am, at both Cornelius Nursery locations, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss. http://www.corneliusnurseries/events


Sat, Sept 28: Urban Harvest's Sustainable Living Through Permaculture, Class 1. 2-6pm. $40. Private Residence @ 610 West Loop/Stella Link.  Detais:  713-880-5540 or 


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: 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. new site)

Sat., Oct. 4: Montgomery County Master Gardeners Pre-Fall Plant Sale Presentation (sale is Oct. 4), 8am-9am, Agrilife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Free. Details:

Sat., Oct. 4: Mercer Botanic Gardens Autumn Plant Sale and Market/Houston Orchid Society workshops & displays, 8am-3pm, 22036 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Free. Details: 281-443-8731

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,


Wed., Oct. 8:  Winter Vegetable Gardens by Darnell Schreiber, Lunch Bunch, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Free. Details 281-443-8731. 

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:  


Fri.-Sat., Oct. 10-11: The Southern Garden Symposium, St. Francisville, LA.      

Sat., Oct. 11: A Day of Bonsai Fall Show, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Details: 281-443-8731


Sat., Oct. 11: Cockrell Butterfly Center Fall Plant Sale, 9am-noon, Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Free. Details: 713-639-4751;


Thurs., Oct. 16:  Plant Propagation by Randy Johnson, Horticultural Consultant- Randy Johnson Organics: 7:30-9 pm, Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas/Houston Chapter event. Details:    


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.

Fri., Oct. 31: 3rd Annual Sustainable Landscapes Conference, 8am-3pm, Big Stone Lodge, Dennis Johnson Park, 709 Riley Fuzzell Road, Spring. Details/reservations: 281-443-8731

Thurs., Nov. 6: Mercer Botanic Gardens 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson on "Growing an Ark: The Expanding Role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservation." 6:30 pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Ticket details 713-639-4629 or

Wed., Nov.12: Herb Gardening for Home Use by Marilyn O'Connor, noon-2pm, Lunch Bunch, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Details/reservations: 281-443-8731

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:

Thurs., Nov. 20:  Native Seed & Plant Swap and Social,7:30-9 pm, Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas/Houston Chapter event. Details:


Mon., April 21: What's Blooming in the Lazy Gardener's Garden by Brenda Beust Smith, 10am, Walden on Lake Houston Club House.  Lake Houston Ladies Club event. Non-member reservations required:Carol Dandeneau. #832-671-4475








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: 


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:
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: 20% Off Our Tropical Soil Mix At Nature's Way Resources
. (Offer good for retaill purchases of bulk material only at Nature's Way Resources (101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX).
Offer Expires: 08/29/14