October 3, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 77th issue of our weekly gardening newsletter for Houston, the Gulf Coast and beyond. This a project of The Lazy Gardener, Brenda Beust Smith, John Ferguson and Mark Bowen (both John and Mark are with Nature's Way Resources). We also have a great supporting cast of contributing writers and technical specialists who will chime in and tweak away regularly. We would love to keep receiving your input on this newsletter . . . . comments . . . . suggestions . . . . questions. . . .Email your thoughts to: lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your interest.
Please  or sign yourself up to receive this newsletter by clicking the "Join Our Mailing List" link just below. We will never sell or share our mailing list to protect the privacy of our subscribers.



Left to right, naked ladies (aka Lycoris), protecting stalks from string weeders, prairie-loving blazing star ((a.k.a. gayfeather) and an azalea bonsai, one of many bonsai drawing true aficionados to Houston.





Are naked ladies appearing in your yard?  If not, you're missing a true Houston treasure. Lycoris are known as naked ladies as their thin sword-like foliage appears in spring and disappears in summer.  In Fall, a single thin stalk shoots up and suddenly the most magnificent flowers appear . . . in myriads of colors. The fun part about naked ladies is that the bulbs appear to move around under the soil. You plant them one place. In a year or five, they suddenly bloom somewhere else. Houston's late Bulb Lady, Sally McQueen Squire, used to call them the "Greta Garbo" bulbs.  They "vant to be ALONE."  It's true.  They often do bloom best when planted off by themselves.

STRING WEEDERS REVISITED - In an earlier column I wrote about the damage that can be done by string weeders used too close to tree bark. ( http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs172/1112503958110/archive/1118177667008.html

Sometimes it's hard to control mowing done by others.  Angela Busceme of the Jane Long Society oversees the 'Jane Long' Oleander plantings at the new historical pavilion on Bolivar Peninsula. As with many other citizens who cooperate with governmental agencies on civic beautification projects, Angie is very grateful for Galveston County's maintenance and dedicated to making mowing as easy as possible. 

Her solution not only made mowing easier while protecting plant stalks, it prevents the loss of soil around the roots that inevitably results from string weeding. Angie used Windsor stone retaining wall bricks to create circular borders, 10 bricks each for the seven Jane Long oleanders and eight other plants. These bricks are thick enough to to sink a little below ground level, to stop grass from growing under the bricks into the inner circle.  Enough is above ground to create a "bowl" that holds water long enough for it to soak down to the roots.  

In gumbo soil, oleanders should be planted in raised beds or other extremely well drained sites. The sandy soil on Bolivar Peninsula eliminates that need. However, beach soil does tend to repel water when its totally dry, hence the added advantage of creating "bowls."  Thanks to the donation of bricks by Harold's Lawn & Landscaping in Crystal Beach, the Bolivar Peninsula Cultural Foundation (which oversees the Jane Long Pavilion) only had to purchase 70 extra bricks. The reduction in maintenance and protection of the plants from "death by weedeater" (as Angie describes it) are well worth the investment.

Those attending the free Jane Long Festival - 11am-4pm, Oct. 11 - will drive right past the Jane Long Pavilion on the way to the festivities at Fort Travis Seashore Park. Notice Jane's Red Petticoat Flag flying over the plantings.  Although the once-available supply of the beautiful Jane Long Oleander, above, has sold out, more are being propagated by the International Oleander Society for future sales.


FLOWERS THAT LOOK LIKE SOMETHING ELSEIn response to the fun okra picture last week, a number of readers sent me this link to flowers that look like something else.  If you need a smile, click here: http://www.lifebuzz.com/similar-flowers/

HURRY IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN COMPOSTING - The City of Houston is hosting its first YardWise Master Composter Class. Certified Master Composters will condut the 20-hour (+ 20 hours of volunteer time) program at the Green Building Resource Center, 1002 Washington Ave. $40. Classes start Oct. 9, but you could get on the list for future classes. Details: Steve Stelzer, 832-394 9050;  steve.stelzer@houstontx.govwww.codegreenhouston.org 


* BONSAI - PRONOUNCE IT RIGHT! - Below are some neat pictures from the Sat., Oct. 11, Bonsai Show/Sale here at Mercer Botanic Garden.  They are among the ones that will pop the eyes of true bonsai experts. Before you go, however, take a tip from Houston Bonsai Society's Alan Raymond, who pointed out: "It's pronounced 'bone-sigh.' Long o." (Who else would share these things with you?)|

* OCTOBER IS PRAIRIE MONTHOur prairies have a lot to teach us home gardeners, and they really influenced me (Memories from Long Ago).  Also below is a great opportunity to learn to garden from this unique perspective written by Lan Shen. 

With just a little training, it's easy to collect seeds for home garden plantings of, left to right, prairie grasses such as Indian grass and wildflowers such as blue sage or gayfeather (liatris). 

by Lan Shen
Houston Chapter - Native Prairies Association of Texas
Gardeners love free plants, learning new gardening techniques, owning unusual plants... Prairie Month from October 8 - November 15 and on-going prairie volunteer activities, offer local gardeners all that and more.


Greater Houston was once predominantly coastal tallgrass prairie. Our local prairie grassses and wildflowers have been here for thousands of years, but are much less familiar to local gardeners than plants from Asia, Africa, Australia. Yet local plants are not only as beautiful and suitable for home gardens as foreign ones, they benefit local birds, butterflies, and bees more. To celebrate our prairie heritage, Prairie Month, promoted by Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP) and Native Prairies Association of Texas - Houston (HNPAT), highlights a dozen fun and informative activities in the Greater Houston area. These events allow participants to learn native prairie plant gardening by doing - by volunteering.


Plants are born from seeds. Seed Collecting at Nash Prairie is a leisurely activity where participants stroll the prairie and run their hands along seedheads of prairie grasses such as Indian grass and wildflowers such as blue sage or gayfeather to collect only ripe seeds, seeds that fall easily into their hands. Knowledgeable prairie enthusiasts will help novices identify the plants.  Participants may take seeds home. Other seed collecting events also welcome volunteers.


Prairie Month's first event is a visit to the UH Clear Lake greenhouse, where volunteer Tom Solomon grew over 30,000 sprigs from prairie seeds.  Tom will explain his technique, including his use of a styrofoam peanut at the bottom of each pot. His method is in the free online Growers Handbook, useful to Great Grow Out volunteers who request prairie seeds, grow out the plants, keep a few, and donate the rest for restorations. Seeds used include Texas Coneflower and American Basketflower.


Volunteers can join on-going workdays for hands-on transplanting seedlings or dividing rescued plants. At Prairie Month's Prairie Pandemonium (Armand Bayou) or Prairie Plant-a-thon (Sheldon Lake) or Prairie Restoration Day (Katy Prairie), gardeners and their families plant mature plants into the ground in restoration areas. The Urban Prairies by Light Rail Tour shows the result - restored pocket prairie landscapes.

Prairie Heritage Day and HNPAT Potluck offer fun, food, and free plants/seeds. Participation in Prairie Month allows gardeners to learn native prairie gardening from seed to prairie landscapes while enjoying the fellowship of prairie plant enthusiasts. Details: http://hnpat.wordpress.com/

*  *  * 
On Wed., Oct. 8 Tom Solomon will detail his greenhouse prairie growing operations during a tour sponsored by Armand Bayout Nature Center and Galveston Bayou Area Master Naturalist. Five tours will be offered during the day at the Bay Area Blvd. site. In 2013 alone, Tom, a volunteer, raised a staggering 30,000 prairie plants. Sign up:  near 2700 Bay Area Blvd. Free. Details/registration: http://prairiepartner.org/page/2014-prairie-month or HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org





The ancient art of bonsai will be in the spotlight Oct. 11 at Mercer Botanic Gardens' "A Day of Bonsai." Houston Bonsai Society exhibits will include, left to right, azalea, buttonwood and Neea Buxifolia specimens.

Bonsai, a celebration of life through a story of survival
by Scott Barboza
Houston Bonsai Society


There is an ancient tree I know that lives in a pot in Washington D.C.  It was collected in Japan in 1625 - the year Charles I, King of England ascended to the throne.  Centuries passed, kings and countries came and went, and the tree lived on under the care of generations of owners.  In 1945 the tree lived in Hiroshima in the garden of Masaru Yamaki.  Although the bomb was dropped less than two miles from his home, Mr. Yamaki and the tree survived. The old gentlemen donated the tree to America in honor of the bicentennial celebration in 1976.  You can see it today in the National Bonsai Collection in the company of countless fascinating specimens.


And so it is with the living art of bonsai, a celebration of life through a story of survival, reflecting the natural world in miniature.  The artist sculpts the story of the tree by nurturing, careful pruning, and wiring.  It is a patient art performed in close partnership with the tree and is never really finished in a single lifetime.  Such an art demands a considered view over a casual glance to uncover the meaning hidden beneath the living branches.


The earliest depictions of bonsai are found in Chinese and Japanese murals from the 8th and 12th centuries.  After World War II the tradition became increasingly accessible to western cultures.  Now artists from around the world have adapted bonsai to their unique natural perspective.  The view of a grand old bald cypress, twisted and shorn by countless storms and hurricanes, is a uniquely Gulf Coast view of nature often reflected in the trees of local artists.


Houston's own community of bonsai growers will share some of their work on Sat., Oct. 11, "A Day of Bonsai" at Mercer Botanical Gardens open to the public.  Two of the most respected western artists, Boonyarat Manakitivipart and Pedro Morales, will lead demonstrations and workshops throughout the day.  Local artists will be available to help you learn to successfully grow these fascinating trees.  Come and view a bit of history and, perhaps, bring a piece of it home for yourself.


The Houston Bonsai Society meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00PM at the West Gray Activity Center, 1475 West Gray, Houston, TX 77019.  All are welcome.  www.houstonbonsai.com










                           Organic Fertilizers and Nutrients - 13





One of the major nutrients that plants require is potassium.  It is listed as the third number on a bag of fertilizer (N-P-K).  Potassium (K) is the soil cation required in the largest amount by plants and is very important. Large amounts of potassium are used by plants to regulate water movement, balance internal cation/anion ratios, in enzyme activation, photosynthate translocation, and protein synthesis.  Potassium increase a plants tolerance of stress from frost to drought and heat. It also helps plants reduce stress from insect and disease.


There are many sources of potassium available to home gardeners and today we are going to look at Potassium sulfate (KSO4) sometimes called potash. Gardeners have known for centuries the importance of potassium and created their own by taking wood ash (hardwoods work best) and boiling it in large iron pots.  The liquid was poured off and allowed to evaporate leaving the "potash" that was rich in potassium. 


There are two main sources of potassium sulfate today that are approved as an organic fertilizer.  The first comes from lakes like the Great Salt Lake or Dead Sea.  The mineral rich water is pumped into drying beds where the water evaporates leaving the minerals behind. This mineral cake is then washed with fresh water to remove the sodium (Na) and other impurities, and then processed for sale.


The second comes from ancient dried up ocean beds that form deposits known as "langbeinite" which have become buried under hundreds of feet of sediment. There is only a few locations around the world and one of the largest is near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The mineral is mined, washed and processed to remove sodium and then processed into various particle sizes for sale. Langbeinite is also sold as feed grade dietary source of potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and, sulfur (S) for animals and poultry. Chemically langbeinite is (K2SO4.2MgSO4) and is about 21-22%  K2O, 10-11% Mg, 21-22% S and is pH neutral.


In agriculture where crops are harvested and removed the potassium that was in them must be replaced.  In most of our gardens where we grow ornamentals or turf grass there is not the same need to replace the potassium as in agriculture.  Also good mulches (i.e. native mulch) or compost can run between 1-2% potassium and as they decay they naturally provide this nutrient without the need for additional fertilizers.  For example, according to the USDA, one cubic yard of an average compost will contain over 9 pounds of potassium!



One should not apply potash unless a chemical soil test report indicates that it is needed.

Smaller particle sizes are more water soluble and available to plants but cost more to produce.

Potassium chloride (KCl) is sometimes marketed as potash, however it is not certified as organic and the chloride portion is often toxic to plants and microbes.



Potassium sulfate can be a good organic fertilizer if it is certified as "Organic" and used only when needed.  Best use is in an organic fertilizer where it is blended with other ingredients to make a more balanced and complete product. Other products are a far more cost effective method of adding potassium than potassium sulfate.




- pH neutral hence does not affect soil acidity

- does not burn root systems

- used in better quality organic fertilizers

- relatively inexpensive

- works well ONLY IF REQUIRED

- several natural sources




- some types are slowly water soluble

- too much can cause other nutrients to be locked up and unavailable

- must be transported a long way to the gulf coast

- rarely needed in local gardens as compared to agriculture

- many other local sources of K (compost, greensand, granite sand, etc.)









 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 gardener@sbcglobal.net


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., 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: http://www.mcmga.com

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, www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu

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, http://www.fbmg.com

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

Sat., Oct. 4: Fall Landscape Displays, 10:15am, both Cornelius Nursery locations. Free. http://www.corneliusnurseries.com/events  

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


Sat.-Sun., Oct. 4-5: Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Fall Native Plant Sale, 9am-4pm, 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org

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 www.urbanharvest.org

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: www.nnmd.org 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;  www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyMasterGardeners.

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: http://www.hcp4.net

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: www.houstonrose.org

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 www.peckerwoodgarden.org

Sun., Nov. 9: Tree ID for the Novice, 2pm- 5pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $45. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.

Fri.-Sat., Oct. 10-11: Southern Garden Symposium, St. Francisville, LA. http://www.southerngardensymposium.org

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; www.hmns.org

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 www.urbanharvest.org

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: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston 

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, www.arborgate.com

Sat., Oct. 11: Long Lasting Fall and Winter Color, 10:15am, both Cornelius Nursery locations. Free. http://www.corneliusnurseries.com/events    

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 www.urbanharvest.org

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: www.nnmd.org 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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu

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

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:https://hcmga.tamu.edu

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: www.npsot.org/houston    

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

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


Thurs., Oct. 18, Conservation Conversation - Leaf Mulch Madness,10am, Cypresswood Water Conservation Garden, 4107 Evening Trail Drive, Spring. Free. Details and reservations: bpapp@wcid132.com

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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu


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, www.arborgate.com 


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, www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyMasterGardeners 


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: www.missouricityreen.org  

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


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: www.nnmd.org 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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu

Tues., Oct. 21:  Succulents: Picky, Picky, Picky by Elizabeth Barrow, 10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land.  Free. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: www.sugarlandgardenclub.org

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. http://hcsstex.org/


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  www.urbanharvest.org 


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

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, poollovers@comcast.net

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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu


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: www.herbsociety-stu.org.  (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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu


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 www.hmns.org/lectures.


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: nottinghamgardenclub.org 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

Sat., Nov. 15: Edible Wild Plants, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $65. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.

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

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: www.npsot.org/houston 

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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu

Sun., Nov 30: Landscaping with Texas Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines, 2pm-5pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $45. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.


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: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx


Sat.-Sun., Dec 13-14: Winter Native Plant Sale, 9am-4pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.


Sat., Dec. 20: Edible Wild Plants, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston. $65. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.

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: 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 TWO OLD GARDEN ROSES & GET A THIRD FREE At Nature's Way Resources www.natureswayresources.com
. (Offer good for retail purchases at Nature's Way Resources (101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX).
Offer Expires: 10/12/14