September 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 73rd 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.





Left, Fall sumac ideal for leaf wishing, but probably not in time for our Harvest Moon! Center and left, Glazier Senior Education Center folks know how to grow vegetables the right way.

Leaf-Wishing on the Harvest Moon  . . . Fall Vegetable Gardening
 . . . Tips on Growing Onions & Garlic
"Late at night I passed the verdant hills
And the mountain moon followed me home"
  ---" Late Night" by Li Po (as translated in "The Castlemain Murders" 
by Kerry Greenwood/Phryne Fisher series)
Start planning now and you can do justice to the upcoming Harvest Moon, which coincides with the Autumn Equinox (Sept. 23).  This moon is not so named by whim. It actually helps the harvest by providing more light at the right time than other full Moons do.
The Greater Houston area's unique subtropical environment's vegetable and herb planting times differ from colder climates. Ignore this fact and your plants may not produce like they should. Fall is the ideal time to plant vegetables such as beets, broccoli, bush beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, greens (collard, mustard, spinach, Swiss chard), cucumbers, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, tomatoes, turnips and winter squash. (Most late Sept. on. Get beans, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes in NOW.)
Not into vegetables?  Celebrate the Harvest Moon by standing an egg on its fat end. This is only possible, they say, on the two days a year when night and day are equal lengths, the Fall and Spring Equinoxes.
Not into balancing eggs? Ancients believed writing wishes on a fall color leave would make it come true: Red - wishes involving love, sex, passion, or health. Gold - money or finances. Orange - energy. Purple - healing. Yellow - confidence, attraction or persuasion. Green - fertility success or good luck.
Roll the leaf up, seal it with a kiss, and (using a white candle only), set the leaf on fire. As it burns, visualize your dream coming true. 
Old wives tales became old wives tales for good reason. They worked. Well, sometimes. Speaking of "old wives:
*  My anti-Alzheimer's pill, "Jeopardy," had a neat question the other day: "Economically-speaking, this plant family - with over 10,000 species - is the most important."  Answer at end.*
*  In our never-ending search for organic garden treatments, "Dirt Doctor" Howard Garrett's latest newsletter lists lots of such using hydrogen peroxide. I'm going to try his pond one as I can't seem to get rid of string algae. If you don't already subscribe to this free newsletter, you're missing some great advice.
Back to planting vegetables now: keys to success in this area:
1.    Plant only varieties of each recommended for the Greater Houston Area (usually best found in local advice).
2.    Plant at the right season. One of area's best planting guides: "Year round vegetables, fruits, and flowers from metro Houston" by Bob Randall, Ph.D.  
Enjoying their vegetables are folks from the 
Thomas A. Glazier Senior Education Center
For example, if you'd followed the example of folks at Thomas A. Glazier Senior Education Center, you should have at this moment an abundance of okra, Chinese beans, basil and cantaloupe. Butternut squash would be ripening on the vine and sweet potatoes almost ready to dig.
This Harris County Precinct 3 program garden did things right, with raised beds so plants didn't drown during our abnormally abundant rains this summer.  These also make harvesting a LOT easier. For details on this garden, log onto: or contact Lisa Rice, Director,  
Speaking of vegetables to plant now, growing medical evidence links onions to a healthy memory, with reds ranking slightly ahead of yellow and white onions. Since now is the perfect time to plant onions, in our "Spotlight on Local Experts" Galveston County Master Gardener Kenneth Steblein is kindly giving a preview of his free "Growing Onions and Garlic" tips program Sept. 13, 9-11am, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 4102-B Main (FM519) inside Carbide Park, La Marque. Register at 281-534-3431, ext. 12, or email
Notice more hummingbirds lately?  They're passing through. In case you missed Gary Clark's great Aug. 23 column in the Houston Chronicle: "Kleb Woods Is Perfect Location for a Hummingbird Festival,"  here's the info he shared on two upcoming area Hummingbird Festivals:
            * Sat., Sept. 13: 9am-3pm, Kleb Woods Nature Preserve, 20303 Draper, Tomball. Free. Details:
            * Sat., Sept. 13 & Sat. Sept. 20: Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravanganza Open House,8am-noon, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 103 Texas 332 W., Lake Jackson. Free.
Plant enthusiasts have a chance to rub elbows and learn from greenhouse and nursery growers, landscapers, retailers and collectors at the big Greater Houston Plant Conference Sat., Sept. 12, at the Harris County AgriLife Extension Center, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. in Bear Creek Park. You'll get an advance peek at new annuals and perennials, marketing trends, Texas A&M breeding programs & plant trials and can participate in a plant auction. $75. Registration: Details: Paul Winski, 281-855-5600,
L to r, onions & garlic as pictured on the Galveston County Master Gardener website; onion flowers and garlic flowers (which should be removed).  


By Kenneth Steblein
Galveston County Master Gardeners
Texas coastal area is an excellent climate for growing many vegetables in the Allium family; the"secret to success with onions and garlic":
       Plant the right varieties, for onions we grow short day onions that adapt well in the southern states.  Garlics you look for soft necks of the artichoke and silver skin varieties.
       Amend your heavy compact clay and sandy loam soils with compost annually by working in the top 6" of soil.  If possible top dress with a 2" layer of light organic mulch to keep the soils cooler in the warm months and provide a weed barrier.
       Always remember to rotate your crops when planting.  If you like companion planting, remember peas and beans do not grow well near alliums.
       Planting at the right time is important; onion & leek seedlings in the fall and garlics (after spending October in the fridge) should be planted out in November.
       Proper spacing could give you an over the top crop at harvest time; onions should be planted 2" deep and 6" centers while garlic should be planted 4" deep on the 6" centers in blocks or rows a foot apart.  Only need a few plant your garlic, onion & leeks in containers.
       Alliums are lovers of the sun remember this when selecting locations with your crop rotations.
       Fertilize early with a well-balanced organic plant food, rarely you fertilize past March unless the alliums are in full growth.
       Regular watering is critical when the alliums are young and bulbing, no watering when the plants near maturity to allow the alliums to begin to cure.
       Leaves and scapes (flower stalks) of alliums are edible, take advantage of eating these healthy plant parts.
       When harvesting leave the roots and tops on, dry on racks under a covered roof for 2-3 weeks before trimming the roots, tops and outside skins.

 * * * 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!! Sat., Oct. 11: 5TH Annual JANE LONG FESTIVAL, Fort Travis Seashore Park, Bolivar Peninsula, Tx. Details: For a free info kit, email 

 * * * 

 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:  














"Outwitting Squirrels -101 Cunning Stratagems" by Bill Adler Jr., 3rd edition, Chicago Review Press, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-61374-941-8

A couple of the most rewarding aspects of gardening is growing our own food (vegetables, berries and fruits) and the other is attracting wildlife like birds which I love to watch. 

I do not know how many times I have watched avocados ripening on my tree anticipating the garden fresh guacamole I was going to make with them only to go out the next day and find all of them on the ground with a bite missing.  During the fall and winter I fill my feeders with bird seeds for our feathered friends that are such a delight to watch, only to look out the window and see that every feeder has a squirrel gorging themselves on the seed in it.

This book is about the authors experience in dealing with squirrels on his bird feeders and his attempts to prevent them from stealing the bird seed.  He describes his journey and everything he tried in a very humorous fashion that any gardener (or bird watcher) that has dealt with squirrels will appreciate. At the end he rates the top bird feeders at protecting the seed from squirrels and lastly gives the 101 methods for dealing with the critters.

This book was a fun read and would make a great gift for any gardener that has to deal with squirrels. 



"The Living Landscape - Designing for beauty and biodiversity in the landscape"

by Rick Darke and Douglass W. Tallamy, Timber Press, 2014,

ISBN: 978-1-60469-408-6


A few weeks ago I finished reading "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglass W. Tallamy and was pumped up with new ideas on landscaping with native plants.  Then during a OHBA board meeting we were discussing speakers for 2014 and Rick Darke was highly recommended as a speaker.  So I researched his name and found this new book by both Darke and Tallamy that had just been released hence I ordered it.


After reading it I have gone from pumped up to on fire with new ideas to try and things to do.  My wife and I had been talking about buying a few acres in the country for a retirement home.  I have now been motivated from talk to action as my little suburban lot is just too small (I need a new much larger canvas to work with).


This book is for anyone whom has a yard or garden and loves nature and wildlife. The authors present a tremendous number of examples on how to build a magnificent garden using native plants. The photography and pictures were numerous and beautiful.

They start off with explaining how the layers in the landscape work and their ecological function in nature. They continue with the relationship between the layers and the wildlife and other living organisms. This is followed by explaining the ecological function of gardens and landscapes.


With the above basis they move into how to apply this information to the home garden. The ideas and concepts were clearly presented in an easy to read and understand format.  The pictures showing numerous examples of plants and wildlife were excellent and clarified the ideas presented in the text.


It is a fascinating account of the interactions between plants, wildlife, insects and the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed them. The text makes a case for using native plants for any garden setting from formal to wild in a compelling fashion.



Don't Eat Cancer - Take Control of Your Life By Eating Smarter", by Sean David Cohen, Koehler Books, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-9401922-4-6


Even though this is not a garden book directly, however many of our readers are concerned about their health, sustainability and the environment. This book is for anyone concerned about their health or that of their families. I read it last weekend in a couple of hours as it is only 136 pages and very easy to read.  It is a great summary of food and products that cause cancer and other health problems. It illustrates why we need to buy organically grown food whenever possible and use only organic methods in our gardens.







 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.-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. 


Mon, Sept. 8, 6:30 PM HUG (Houston Area Gardeners) meeting at Houston's Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. Mark Bowen: Organic by Design.


Mon., Sept. 11: What Judges Look For In Rose Show Blooms by Tommy Hebert, 7:30pm, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd, Houston. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details:


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  


Sat., Sept. 13: The Art of Rooting Cuttings by Gay Hammond, 10am, Arbor Gate Nursery, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Garden tool sharpening, 2-5pm. Fee. Details: 


Sat., Sept. 13: Growing Onions and Garlic by Ken Steblein, 9-11am, and Kitchen Gardening by Mary Demeny, 1-3:30pm, AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main St./FM 519, La Marque. Free. Galveston County Master Gardener events. Details, 281-534-3413, 

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.


Thurs., Sept. 18: Attracting Bluebirds to the Garden by Linda Crum, 10am, Arbor Gate Nursery 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. Details: 281-351-8851,


Sat., Sept. 20: Container Gardening, 6:30 p.m., Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: 

Sat., Sept. 20: Fall Plant Sale, 8am, Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details:

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


Sat., Sept. 20: Bulbs and Buddies by Heidi Sheesley and Chris Weisinger, 10am-3pm, Arbor Gate Nursery, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Details: 281-351-8851,


Sat., Sept. 20: Texas Tuff Landscape Plants by Sandra DeVall, 9-11am, free, and Grafting Workshop 1-3pm, AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main St./FM 519, La Marque. Grafting Workshop registration required. Galveston County Master Gardener events. Details, 281-534-3413, 

Sun., Sept. 21: Pollinators - Bee Forum by Angela Chandler and Dean Cook, 11am, Arbor Gate Nursery, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. Details281-351-8851, 


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 


Tues., 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)

Tues., Sept. 23: Irises for the Gulf Coast Garden by Monica Martens, 6:30-8pm, AgriLife Extension Office, Carbide Park, 4102 Main St./FM 519, La Marque. Free. Galveston County Master Gardener events. Details, 281-534-3413,  


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


Thurs., Sept. 25: Growing Bountiful Berries for Best Personal Health by Cynthia Graham, 10am, Arbor Gate Nursery, 15635 FM2920, Tomball. Free. Details: 281-351-8851, 

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. 27: Texas Tough Citrus by George Shackleford, 10am, Arbor Gate Nursery, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


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, Oct. 4: Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale, 9am-2pm, Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet, Nacogdoches. Free. Details: (936) 468-4404,

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:  

Thurs., Oct. 9: Pesticides: Innocent or Guilty by Dr. Donald Myers, 7:30pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. 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., Oct. 18, Conservation Conversation - Leaf Mulch Madness, 10:00 am at Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden, 4107 Evening Trail Drive, Spring, TX 77388, Free, Details and reservations


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


Sat. Nov. 1: 42nd annual Herb Society of America/South Texas Unit's Herb Fair, 9am-3pm, Multi-Service Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Details:  (note new site.)


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 Container 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: 09/21/14