September 26, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 76th 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.




Let's start with the fun guy, Stewart Zeebest Okra, pictured above, second from left.  Reader Bryan Treadway calls himself a "crazy gardener." He delights when he sees neighbors stop for a double-take at his "get you!" okra, with its "crazy cool" claw-like pods. Bryan has them growing between a fence and a sidewalk around other bushes so the claws "reach out." He's just praying it will keep producing until Halloween!
P.S. Bryan says they eat the new smaller pods right off the vine and wanted to add a thanks to the Harris County Master Gardeners who introduced this variety to him a few years ago.
Speaking of horticultural double-takes, are your usual fall bloomers flowering as much as they should?  Mine aren't.  Frustrating.  Our fence should be a mass of pink coral vine blooms. The lantana should be attracting migrating butterflies like crazy. All those hummingbird plants should be covered with tubular flowers for the little zippers that are such a delight at the feeders. 
What's going on?  I think it's our blessing of so much rain this summer.  We usually have such dry summers, with occasional heavy downpours.  So we've all switched to plants with very low water demands.  That's a good thing, but it's backfiring on me this year - with our heavier than usual rains - for one very good reason.
A decrease in blooms is the first symptom of overwatering a plant genetically programmed to function on very little water. The reason is simple.  The plant is used to sparse rainfall.  When it does rain, the plant puts all its efforts into storing and utililizing as much of that rare moisture as possible.  Focus turns not to flowers, but to ensuring the inner workings are taken care of first.
The solution is so simple, but not one that lazy gardeners tend to do.  Raise those beds. Give that plant a zone of soil that drains quickly and easily - which our gumbo soil does not do.  
The best part about selecting only very hardy plants is that no matter what nature throws at us - floods, droughts, insects - they'll bounce back even if temporarily knocked down. Where to find these?  At sales like the free Saturday (Sept. 27) Woodlands Landscaping Solutions. This one wasn't listed in my Greater Houston area plant sales wrap-up last week. If you missed that, click on the link. Or you might just miss some fantastic sales in your area.

Fun plants available at The Woodlands Landscape Solutions event will include, left to right, 
Lysimachia, Kangaroo Paw, Toad Lily and Clerodendron 'Musical Note.'
The Woodlands Landscape Solutions will give you a chance to meet with area experts, including lawn pro Bob Dailey, soil guru John Ferguson and natural landscaper Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources, Jason McKenzie of The Pineywoods Nursery & Landscaping and "Bulb Hunter" Chris Wiesinger. Doors open at 8 am with a plant preview program by Mark Bowen (limited seating). Booths open 9am-noon at Millennium Forest Gardens, 8203 Millennium Forest Drive in The Woodlands. 
The four floral delights pictured above will be among the offerings from the new nursery section at Nature's Way Resources at its Woodlands Landscape Solutions booth:
Lysimachia: creeping, low-growing, yellow flowers, prefers moist-well-drained-high organic matter soils. Partial shade or partial sun.
Kangaroo Paw: 1-3' tall on average, well-drained soils, drought-tolerant, a range of flower colors. Perennial
Toad Lily: 1-2', a very unique plant, orchid-like flowers, lush foliage, moist organic-rich soils. Tolerates bright shade.
Clerodendrum 'Musical Note': 3-4' tall, unique flower buds with soprano-range shaped, eighth-note appearance

Need more ideas for your garden?  Nature's Way Resources plant list with descriptions and growing advice is posted on the Lazy Gardener & Friends Newsletter website
P.S. I want that Coffee for Roses book John reviews below if anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas.

*  *  *
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  Sat., Oct. 11: 5TH Annual JANE LONG FESTIVAL, Fort Travis Seashore Park, Bolivar Peninsula, Tx. Details: 
*  *  *
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:


 Left, beautiful palms are growing in popularity in the Greater Houston area. 
                                                 Two good choices: center, Phoenix dactylifera- medjool and, right, Canary date palm

10 Important Things to Know When Growing Palm Trees
By Grant Stephenson
International Palm Society (
Horticultural Consultants Inc. Board
* Cold Tolerance - choose a palm tree that will live through our zone 9A winter (typically lows of 20-25 degrees).

* Plant Location -choose a planting location that will accommodate the tree when it matures to its full grown size. This especially can be a problem if planted too close to power lines or a home.

* Light Requirements - select the right genus and species for the light requirements available at the chosen planting location. For example, many palms that are understory in forests will not live in full sun.  

* Soil Conditions - research where the plant grows naturally and what type of soil and temperature conditions it thrives in.  If it is heavy clay, plant the tree high. If it is sandy or loamy, plant the tree slightly
above grade.  Never plant too deep and provide drainage if necessary.  Palms from the South will tolerate wetter soil and humidity, palms from the desert will require planting higher for better drainage.

* Watering - Water new plantings weekly during their first year and in summer dry conditions.  Be careful not to overwater as it displaces the oxygen holding capacity and will cause the root system to suffocate and weaken. 

* Safety - take care in pruning palm trees with thorns - wear protective eye glasses, long sleeved shirt, and gloves.  

* Preventing Disease - when pruning always sterilize everything that comes in contact with the tree and root system in any way.

* Root Stabilization - secure the tree when first transplanted so the adventitious root structure can reestablish without being traumatized by heavy wind.

* Nature is Best - nature does everything better than Man.  Feed the natural biology with compost specific teas and organic compost.

* Most Importantly - sit back and watch your palm tree grow as you will learn its natural character and you will be better able to provide for its best needs.
The Houston Area Chapter of the International Palm Society will hold an open-to-the-public meeting Sat., Oct. 25, 2pm, at the Burhans home, 5607 Sanford Road. Bill and Kelley Burhans created a palm garden at nearby Meyer Library. Following the 2pm gathering will be a tour of the library palm garden 5005 West Bellfort. Details: Paul Norris,
















"Coffee for Roses and ... 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening"

by C.L. Fornari, St. Lynn's Press, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-9892688-3-7


I picked up this book the other day and became interested when reading the Introduction the author made a couple statements that caught my attention:


1st. -  We're also stubborn, disposed to thinking that we know best even when our opinions fly in the face of how Mother Nature has grown plants since the first cell photosynthesized.

2nd. - It became clear to me that gardeners over 100 years ago were in many ways much more in touch with natural processes and at peace with the necessity of a hands-on effort.


This was enough to stimulate my curiosity and get me to purchase the book. The book is divided into sections like Annuals & Perennials, Vegetables, Shrubs trees and Vines, etc. Each section has common "old wife's tales' listed and then goes into detail as to why or why not the statement is true or false.

It was fun to read and see the authors explanations and opinions of which I agree with most of them.  However, there were a couple that I disagreed with. For example the saying: "Passalong plants from neighbors or plant sales are a great way to plant a perennial garden".   After many paragraphs of examples and reasons why, the author concludes, "Passalong plants often become make-work plants".  

I strongly disagree with the author on this one for several reasons. First, I would never pass along an invasive or difficult plant (at least not without strong warnings and instructions. Secondly, I have dozens of great plants (many that are not available in commerce) that have been given to me by many folks from customers to other professionals or I have found at plant sales. Every year I swap plants with other gardeners, which to me is part of the fun of gardening.


Overall it was a light and fun read and would make a nice gift for the gardener in your life.



"The Informed Gardener Blooms Again", by Linda Chalker-Scott,

University of Washington Press, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-295-99001-9


After reading the book  "Coffee for Roses and ... 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening" I became curious as to what other garden writers might have to say.  So I jumped onto Amazon and ordered a couple more books on gardening folk lore.

The author explores a different set of gardening myths than Coffee for Roses. She breaks the material into sections that are generally educational in nature.  With chapter titles like "Evidence Based Gardening" or "Understanding How Plants Work" the folklore is sorted into these chapters.  After summarizing her response to each folklore the author lists a few references that she used on the subject.


As in the Coffee for Roses book there are a couple of glaring (in my opinion) errors.  She talks about compost tea and a lack of research on aerated teas.  I have over 100 articles from various professional journals and magazines on the subject not to mention a couple technical books with whole chapters dedicated to the subject and the benefits.  Another example is her opinion on kelp and seaweed not being very good for use in gardening and agriculture. Again the scientific literature tells a different story


Overall this was a good book that was fun to read and contains a lot of useful information for the gardener.




"The Truth About Garden Remedies- What Works, What Doesn't, and Why", by Jeff Gillman, Timber Press, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-88192-912-6


This is the third book on garden folklore that I have recently read. The chapters in this book are divided by subject matter; Fertilizers and Other Amendments, Biostimulants, Insecticides, and many more.  Within each category there are several gardening folklore that he explains in an easy to understand manner. Overall he does a good job of looking at many of the problems gardeners face.


However, there are a few areas that science has proven otherwise than what he states. For example he stick to the old school idea that plants only need 16 elements (nutrients). The human body has over 90 elements in it and they come from the plants we eat or the animals that ate the plants. If they are not in the soil then plants cannot absorb them and we do not get them.  Hundreds of health problems are linked or at least made worse by a lack of proper nutrients. Other studies have shown that plants are more insect and disease resistant when grown on mineral rich soils.  His treatment of fertilizers is also based on obsolete methods and theories. 


There is lots of useful information in this book, however new research has shown many of his ideas and suggestions are incorrect. It would be difficult for the backyard gardener to know the difference. As a result this book is not recommended for the average reader. 







 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., 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 27:  Brazoria County Master Gardener's Fall Plant Sale, 8 am-noon, Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Dr.& CR 171, Angleton. Details: 979-864-1558 x 110 or

Sat, Sept 27: Urban Harvest's Sustainable Living Through Permaculture, Class 1. 2-6pm. $40. Private Residence @ 610 West Loop/Stella Link.  Detais:  713-880-5540 or

Mon., Sept. 29: Starting Transplants for the Fall/Winter Garden by Dr. Joe Novak, 6-8pm, White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr. Near Northwest Management District Fall Gardening Workshop. $20. Registration/details: or 713-895-8021

Wed., Oct. 1: What to Plant Through October by Randy Lemmon, 9:30am, University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Dr. Free. Gardeners By The Bay event. Details: Marjorie, 281-474-5051. 


Thurs., Oct. 2: Garden Club of Houston Bulb and Plant Mart Early Bird Shopping and Party4:30-7:30, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. $20. Details: 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: (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. (Note new site)

Sat., Oct. 4: Montgomery County Master Gardeners Pre-Fall Plant Sale Presentation followed by Sale, 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., Oct. 4: Preparing Gardens for Fall Plantings by Fort Bend Master Gardeners, 9-11am, Demonstration Gardens, Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Details: 281-341-7068,


Sat., Oct. 4: Brunch Anyone??? by George Shackelford, 10am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


Sat., Oct. 4: Fall Landscape Displays, 10:15am, both Cornelius Nursery locations. Free.  

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,

Sun, Oct 5: Urban Harvest's Sustainable Living Through Permaculture, Class 2. 12:30-5:30pm. $50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106, Details: 713-880-5540  or


Mon., Oct. 6: Growing a Fall/Winter Vegetable Garden by Dr. Joe Novak, 6-8pm, White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr. Near Northwest Management District Fall Gardening Workshop. $20. Registration/details: or 713-895-8021  

Tues., Oct. 7: Native Bees by Dr. Jack Neff, 7pm, Museum of Natural Science Lower Level Conference Room, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. Free. Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (BEST) event.


Tues., Oct. 7: Orchids 101 by Bruce Cameron, noon, Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Harris County Master Gardener First Tuesday event. Details: 281-855-5600;

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


Wed., Oct. 8 :  Local Produce from Plant It Forward Farms (PIFF) by Kassy Rodriguez, Farm Share Manager, 10 a.m. Godwin Park Community Center, 5101 Rutherglenn.  Bouquettes Garden Club event. 


Thur., Oct. 9: "Soil Biology and Gardening", "Mulches and Compost","Backyard and Small Scale Composting" by John Ferguson, Mercer 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:


Thurs., Oct. 9: Peckerwood Garden "Taking Root" Luncheon featuring Thomas Woltz, 20571 FM 359 Rd, Hempstead. $125. Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation event. Reservations and details: Jennifer Cate at 713-206-5505 or


Fri.-Sat., Oct. 10-11: 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;

Sat, Oct 11: Urban Harvest's Designing a Wildscape for Pollinators. 9-11:30am. $50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540 or

Sat., Oct. 11: Galveston County Master Gardener Plant Sale, Preview:  8-8:50pm, Sale: 9am-1pm, Wayne Johnson Community Center, Carbide Park, 4102 Main St./FM519, Lamarque. Details: 


Sat., Oct. 11: Establishing Woody Ornamentals by Skip Richter, 10am; Premier Sharpening, 2-5pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


Sat., Oct. 11: Long Lasting Fall and Winter Color, 10:15am, both Cornelius Nursery locations. Free.    

Sun, Oct 12: Urban Harvest's Designing Bountiful Gardens Through Permaculture (series of 6 classes). First class: 12:30-5pm. $404. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540 or


Mon., Oct. 13: Composting for the Home Garden by Dr. Joe Novak, 6-8pm, White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr. Near Northwest Management District Fall Gardening Workshop. $25. Registration/details: or 713-895-8021

Tues., Oct. 14: Trees,Choice & Maintenance, 6:30pm, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. A Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:


Tues., Oct. 14: Proper Care for Healthy Trees by John Warner, 10am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


Wed., Oct. 15: Fall Fertilization for the Landscape ,Ornamentals and Grasses  by Skip Richter.  10am,Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:

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


Thurs., Oct. 16: Herbs for Shade by Ann Wheeler, 10am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


Thurs., Oct. 16: Trees: Choice and Maintenance, 6:30pm, Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:


Thurs., Oct. 18, Conservation Conversation - Leaf Mulch Madness,10am, Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden, 4107 Evening Trail Drive, Spring. Free. Details and reservations:


Sat., Oct. 18: Trees: Choice and Maintenance, 10am, Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:


Sat, Oct 18: Urban Harvest's Fruit Tree Basics, 9-11:30am. $50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540 or 


Sat., Oct. 18: Celebrate Herb of the Year by Chef Chris Crowder and Ann Wheeler, 10am, Gunter's Heirloom Vegetables, 9am-1pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851, 


Sat., Oct. 18: Fall Gardening Day with Texas A&M Extension Agents and Harris County Master Gardeners, 9am-noon, Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. $15 before Oct. 3; $20 after. Details: 281-855-5600, 


Sat., Oct. 18: Earth-Kind Home Landscaping Class by Missouri City Green, Missouri City Parks & Recreation and Ft. Bend County Master Gardeners, 9:30-11:30am, Missouri City Community Center, 1522 Texas Parkway. Free. Details:  

Sun., Oct. 19: Ornamedibles by Angela Chandler, 11am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851, 


Mon., Oct. 20, Open Garden Day with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am: Educational Programs and Master Gardeners Q&A.Details: 


Mon., Oct. 20: Soil Management for the Home Garden by Dr. Joe Novak, 6-8pm, White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr. Near Northwest Management District Fall Gardening Workshop. $25. Registration/details: or 713-895-8021  


Tues., Oct. 21: Trees: Choice and Maintenance, 6:30pm, Recipe for Success, 4400 Yupon St. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:


Wed. Oct. 22: Succulents of Mpumalanga and Kwa Zuku-Natal by Jeff Pavlatt. 7:30pm, Metropolitan Multiservice Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society event.


Sat, Oct 25: Urban Harvest's Self-Watering Container Gardening. 9:-11:30am.$50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540  or 


Sat., Oct. 25: GardenLine Host Randy Lemmon, 10am-noon, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851,


Sat., Oct. 25: Palm Society Gathering and Meyer Library Palm Garden Visit, 2 pm, Bill and Kay Burhans residence, 5607 Sanford Road. Details: Paul Norris,

Tues., Oct. 28: Harris County Master Gardeners Open Garden Day, 9-11:30am; Trees: Choice and Maintenance: 10am adult workshop/children's activities. Free. AgrilLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details:


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

Fri.-Sat., Oct. 31-Nov. 1: 26th Annual Fall Festival of Roses, Antique Rose Emporium, Independence. Details: 

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.)

Tues., Nov. 4: Cover Crops by Jean Fefer, Ph.D., noon, AgriLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details:


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


Thurs.,Nov. 6, 2014: Perennials by Margaret Sinclair, 9:30am, Municipal Utility Building, 805 Hidden Canyon Drive, Katy.  Free.  Nottingham Country Garden Club event. Details: or 713-870-5915 or 979-885-6199


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: 

Tues., Nov. 25: Harris County Master Gardeners Open Garden Day, 9-11:30am; Protecting Plants in Winter: 10am adult workshop, children's activities. Free. AgrilLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details:


Tues., Dec. 2: Harris County Vegetable Trials and Texas SuperStars Update by Skip Richter, noon, County Extension Office auditorium, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Harris County Master Gardener 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 Herb 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: 10/19/14