October 25, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 80th 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.


By Brenda Beust Smith



Left, one of the neatest bottle trees around can be found near the famous herb gardens at  International Festival-Institute at Round Top. It utilizes a real-albeit-dead tree. Center, herb gardens can be major butterfly attractors with plants like native milkweed. Right, recognize this rose? If so, antique rose lovers want to hear from you!

Nothing draws the eye like beautiful stained glass windows in a church. To me, butterflies and bottle trees are like stained glass windows in the garden. They make me think beyond the here and now. 
It's been a long time since I've done anything on bottle trees.  Last time I did, I received a rather orgulous email from a reader.  Ms. Nose-in-the-Air said if I was going to promote bottle trees, why didn't I just . . .  
". . . put an ol' rusty car in your front yard and jam some rebar through the windows." 

Too bad I can't practice a bit of retrodiction and send back a snappy retort. I know more about bottle trees now than I did then.

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DID -  My first bottle tree, left above, was ordered out of a catalog. So cheap and flimsy, it didn't last and many of my first bottles broke. My friend Mary Jo and I got smart and went to Joshua's Native Plants where we bought truly sturdy bottle trees. That's MJ's tree with traditional "haint" blue bottles (center) and my multi-colored choice at right. Sturdiness is a must in a bottle tree.  When I can't find a color I want, I just spray a right-size bottle with that color Rust-Olem. Works fine and really lasts. 

Bottle trees have a proud heritage in Southern landscapes. Black American families brought the concept with them to our South.  Most lore says this tradition started in Africa as far back as the 9th Century. But Southern gardening treasure Felder Rushing's research shows hollow glass bottles and belief in their resident "spirits" date back even further, to the Egypt  region in 1600 B.C.  This is probably due to the sounds emitted when wind blows over the bottle opening. 

Eventually the spirits morphed from impish (Aladdin and his Magic Lamp) to bad - gloomy entities that preferred cimmerian atmospheres, shunning daylight. Thus followed the idea of turning the bottles upside down.  At dawn,  the spirits would be attracted to the bottles to hide during the day.  Hopefully the heat and light of the day sun would "bake" them dead. 
The idea spread. Felder says the Greeks believed sneezing expelled bad spirits and these too could be killed with bottles hung upside down in a sunny area. Folks started saying "Jupiter preserve you," imploring the god to make sure the spirits died.  Later, when pagan sayings became less acceptable, powers-that-be changed the sneeze saying to "God bless you," Felder adds.  Who else would tell you these things? (Besides Felder, of course.)
Even the famous Chelsea Flower Show often includes bottle trees. Can't get more "ok" than that. Although all bottle colors are used, the most popular is "haint" blue. Haint is an ancient word for bad spirit. This blue (cobalt blue) was a commonly used color from ancient times. 
I think the neat thing about multi-colored bottle trees is that no matter what the season, you always have some happy hues to brighten the garden!
You can learn more about bottle tree history from:
*  Dr. William C. (Bill) Welch and Greg Grant tell even more delightful stories about French, German, Spanish, Native American, and African-American contributions to our landscapes in their "The Southern Heirloom Garden  (Taylor). 
Nowhere does a bottle tree fit more perfectly than in an herb garden. Below, Karen Cottingham of the South Texas Unit, The Herb Society of America, gives some great tips on how to create an Herbal Butterfly Sanctuary. This is just a preview of the more extensive demonstration (and gift/craft/plant sale) at the big annual 2014 Herb Fair, Nov. 1.
But first, let's talk roses.


Left, this (temporarily named) "Schulenberg Apricot," is an "unknown name" antique bloomer Texas Rose Rustlers would love to officially identify.  In the meantime, Rustlers and the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence invite others with unknown-name roses to bring blooms to the big Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Fall Festival of Roses for (hopefully) identification. Among the free cuttings given away at the rooting demonstrations will be, center, Souvenir de la Malmaison and, right, Marechal Niel
October is by far and away our best Rose Month and rose activities abound. 
Fri.-Sun., Oct. 31 & Nov. 2 - FALL FESTIVAL OF ROSES.  Antique rose aficionados will gather at "mecca" - the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX. Owner Mike Shoup was one of the original members of the Texas Rose Rustlers, an energetic group whose efforts have brought to the marketplace (and our gardens) an untold array of spectacularly blooming, super-hardy varieties that for centuries have thrived untended in our cemeteries, abandoned farmhouses, etc.
Rustlers will be on hand to help identify any old roses for you. They will also assist Mike as he demonstrates rooting free-to-attendees cuttings donated by the Emporium, super choices like 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' and 'Marecheal Neil.' Rustler Audrey McMurray quips that "Souvenir is so beautiful, God could have stopped there and I would have been happy."
As an added treat, rooted cuttings of "Peggy Martin" a rose with a great history (www.peggymartinrose.com) will be given to anyone who, at this Emporium event only, becomes a member of the Texas Rose Rustlers (as long as the rooted cuttings last).
An opportunity like this doesn't come along very often. For the full activity schedule, log onto www.antiqueroseemporium.com and click on "Calendar."
1:00-3:00 pm., South Main Baptist Church, 4300 East Sam Houston Pkwy, Pasadena. Free. Details: 
http://houstonrose.org/ Houston has the largest Rose Society in the nation. What you'll see here are the creme de la creme 
grown by some of the most experienced rosarians in the nation. Best of all, you'll learn which roses do best in the Greater Houston area from folks who really know. 
* Thurs., Nov. 13: Healthier Rose Bushes Produce  More Blooms by Ed Bradley, 7:30pm, St.
Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: http://houstonrose.org/

AN EVENT NOT TO BE MISSED:  The nation's oldest botanic garden, Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, is world renowned, not only for its incredible collections but also for its international leadership in the arena of plant conservation. We are so lucky to have Missouri Botanical Garden President   Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson in Houston Thurs., Nov. 6, to speak on "Growing an Ark: The Expanding Role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservations." This Mercer Botanic Garden's 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Ticket details: 713-639-4629 or www.hmns.org/lectures


*  *  *
*  Brenda's "Lazy Gardener's Guide" - a when-to-do-what in Greater Houston area gardens - is now available on CD only (pdf file). $20. Checks payable to Brenda B. Smith and mailed to: Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD, 14011 Greenranch Dr., Houston, TX 77039-2103. 
Many butterflies are attracted to, left to right, almond verbena, pineapple sage and yarrow - all great choices for the Butterfly Herb Haven that will be one focus of the 2014 Herbal Fair on Saturday, Nov. 1


A Butterfly Haven in Your Herb Garden 
by Karen Cottingham
Many common herbs are essential for successful reproduction of some of the exquisite butterflies that dart and swirl through Houston gardens.  Creating an herbal butterfly sanctuary will help sustain and prepare butterflies to meet their tremendous survival challenges.
You can learn about "Herbal Life Support for Butterflies" at the 42nd Annual Herb FairSat., Nov. 1, 9am-3pm, at the Metropolitan MultiService Center, 1475 W. Gray. This 12:30pm program for novice and experienced gardeners, children and all nature lovers will cover how to select the right combination of herbs to create a butterfly habitat so you can watch the entire life cycle unfold in your own garden.
A butterfly garden is an excellent introduction to backyard biology for children, and parents are particularly encouraged to attend.
A successful butterfly garden offers both:
*  Nectar plants with flowers that provide a sugary liquid for adult butterflies
*  Host plants that provide the massive amounts of leafy food for rapidly growing caterpillars. 
Some herbs can be both nectar and host at the same time. 
Most butterfly caterpillars are particular, if not inflexible, about food.  The female must locate and lay eggs on specific plants.  For example, Monarchs have evolved to lay eggs only on milkweed plants.  As they feed, the caterpillars assimilate toxic substances from the milkweed that make themselves unpalatable to birds both as caterpillars and adults.  No other host food is possible.  But wild milkweed has become scarce in recent years due to development and agricultural use of pesticides.  Thus, Monarchs depend more and more on gardener-created butterfly habitats in urban landscapes for their survival.

Left to right, dill, cilantro and fennel are sure to attract swallowtail butterflies. 


Our graceful Eastern Black Swallowtail requires herbs from the Apiaceae family: parsley, dill, fennel, cilantro, and the less-known but lovely herbs chervil and lovage.  Other butterflies that use herbs to survive and flourish in the Houston area will also be discussed in the presentation at the Herb Fair.
Adult butterflies are less particular about nectar sources.  They can visit virtually any of the following flowering herbs in your garden for quick, high-energy nectar: almond verbena, basil, bee balm, borage, butterfly weed, calendula, catnip, chives, cilantro, dill, echinacea, fennel, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mints, oregano, parsley, pinks, rosemary, sage (particularly pineapple sage), savory, thyme, and yarrow.  These are all wonderful choices for a fragrant, varied herbal butterfly garden that will be a haven for you, too, as it attracts and supports one of nature's most dazzling creations.
An extensive collection of herbal butterfly-supporting plants will be available for purchase at the Nov. 1 Herb Fair. The Herb Society of America members will gladly share expertise with novice gardeners. Details www.herbsociety-stu.org.










A while back I was talking to a customer about Microlife organic fertilizer. He was looking at the ingredients on the bag and asked, "What is wheat Middling's"?   Since wheat middling's are not as common along the gulf coast as in other areas of the state (but are a common ingredient in many organic fertilizers), I thought it was time to cover the topic.


Wheat middling's are also known as millfeed, wheat mill run, or just wheat mids. Depending on the processor or types of wheat, these terms may have slightly different meanings.  For use in fertilizers they are often just lumped together as they are similar.


Wheat middling's are the by-product or waste produced by milling of the wheat kernel or grain to make white flour.  It generally includes screenings, bran, germ and flour residuals that can contain 14-18% protein by dry weight. They are also high in phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) along with minor nutrients including copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), and selenium (Se).


To make white flour, the richest and most nutritious part of the wheat grain is removed (80-90% of the nutrition) and ends up in the waste products we call wheat middling's. This is why it is used in organic fertilizers and in animal feed. I remember reading that the reason children often eat Elmer's glue or paste is that it has 10-15 times the nutrients of white bread. (Note: When one eats white bread all they get are calories that make them fat, often leading to diabetes).




Wheat middling's are available in bags as loose meal or pellets in some areas, however it is not a balanced fertilizer. This material is relatively nutrient dense, hence it makes a good ingredient that is found in the better organic fertilizers where mixed with other ingredients it can make a balanced plant food.  





- good source of protein and minor elements

- inexpensive and readily available in some areas

- easily digested by soil microbes to make nutrients available

- good feedstock for earthworms





- low in calcium

- nutrient content and density varies

- may be dusty

- very limited availability along the gulf coast







This new column is inspired by the dogs we love, 
their gardens and our readers.

At Nature's Way Resources, we just hosted our first gardening class in our new nursery. Our company foster dog Chastity (pictured below) helped host the event. As Mary Bowen put it, "she was certainly the hostess with the mostest." She enjoyed visiting with everyone and sniffing all the plants. She also could not pass up tasting a couple dianthus flowers, which encouraged me to remind everyone this is a great time to plant edible flowers such as calendulas, dianthus, nasturtiums and violas. 

Consider planting them with or near some purple mustard, kale and chard as well as some arugula, red oak leaf lettuce and romaine. You will soon be ready to harvest some edible flowers, lettuce and mixed greens that will make a beautiful and super tasty salad. Bon appetit!

From one of our readers:

My Welsh Terrier Morgan loved to be wherever I was so he spent many a day sunning himself along with the tomatoes. Or found himself a cool spot under the trellis holding the cucumbers. Here he is napping amongst the spider and day lilies. Morgan crossed over the rainbow bridge this past August and is forever enjoying the sunlight and gardens on the other side. RIP dear Morgie.
Thank you for the reason to stop and reflect.
Brenda K. Tortorice
Rosharon, Tx


For more information about Lance or other animals needing a home, visit the Montgomery County Animal Shelter website http://www.mcaspets.org/ or their physical location: 8535 Highway 242, Conroe TX.

Feel free to share your dog related gardening photos, stories or questions by dropping a line to lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Write "Garden Tails" in the subject line.




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

Events must be written in the format used below, specifically earmarked for publication  

in the 'Lazy Gardener & Friends Newsletter." Email to lazy gardener@sbcglobal.net




Sat., Oct. 25: City of Conroe's Water Conservation & Irrigation System Evaluation Symposium. Speakers: Doug Goodwin, Leslie Keen, and John Ferguson. 10a.m.-noon. 401 Sgt. Holcomb Blvd. South, Conroe. Free. http://www.cityofconroe.org/departments/water-conservation or 936-522-3148.


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


Sat., Oct. 25: Spring Bulbs - Fall Planting, 10:15 am, both Cornelius Nurseries. Details:  www.corneliusnurseries/events 


Sat., Oct. 25: Brazoria County Master Gardeners Fall Open House, 9am-11am, Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Drive & CR 171, Angleton. Details: http://brazoria.agrilife.org  


Sat., Oct. 25: Brazoria County Master Gardeners Fall Open House, 9-11am, Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Drive & CR 171, Angleton. Details: http://brazoria.agrilife.org 


Sat.-Sun., Oct. 25-26:  Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and Sale (Texas & Louisiana, DoubleTree Hotel Houston Airport, 15747 JFK Blvd. Sale: 9am-5pm Sat.;10am-3pm Sun. Show: 2pm-5pm Sat.; 10am-3pm Sun. Free. Details: Gene Powers, 281-633-9036.

Tues., 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.-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.)


Sat., Nov. 1, "Fall Vegetable Gardening" by Fort Bend Master Gardeners Vegetable Specialists, 10am, Demonstration Vegetable Garden, Agricultural Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Free. Details: 281-341-7068 or www.fbmg.com.


Sat., Nov. 1: Creating a Bird Friendly Backyard, 10:15 am,both Cornelius Nurseries. Details: www.corneliusnurseries/events 


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


Wed., Nov. 5.  Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds by Corrie Ten-Have, 9am, University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Dr.  Free.  Gardeners By The Bay Autumn event.  Details: Marjorie 281-474-5051.


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


Thurs., Nov. 6: Forcing Bulbs for the Holiday by Patricia Martin, 930am, Marie Workman Garden Center, 112 West Spreading Oaks, Friendswood. Free. Heritage Gardeners in Friendswood event. Details: 281-992-4438

Thurs, Nov 6: Starting a Community or School Garden, Class 1. 6:30-9pm. $36. Urban Harvest, 2311 Canal St # 124. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org


Sat, Nov 8: Urban Harvest's High Density Orchard. 9-11:30am. $36.  UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org


Sat., Nov. 8: Fall Rose Show, 1:00-3:00pm, South Main Baptist Church, 4300 East Sam Houston Pkwy, Pasadena. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


Sat.-Sun, Nov. 8- 9: Peckerwood Garden Open Weekend, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Guided tours 10am & 1pm. (No children under 12). $10. 
Plant sale 10am-3pm. Free. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org
Sun., Nov. 9: Tree ID for the Novice, 2pm- 5pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $45. Details:www.houstonarboretum.org.


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

Thurs., Nov. 13: Healthier Rose Bushes Produce  More Blooms by Ed Bradley, 7:30pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


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

Sat, Nov 15: Urban Harvest's Fruit Tree Care. 9-11:30am. $36.  UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Oberholtzer Hall.  Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org

Sun., Nov. 16: Living Witnesses: Historic Trees of Texas by Ralph Yznaga, noon,  Moody Mansion,2618 Broadway St, Galveston. Moody Mansion Galveston Island Tree Conservancy Arbor Day Celebration Brunch. Tickets: galvestonislandtreeconservancy.org/sponsor-arbor-day-2014/ 

 Mon., Nov. 17, 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/ MG Q&A. Open garden/plant sale every Monday May-Oct. Free. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu 


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   


Thurs, Nov 20: Starting a Community or School Garden, Class 2. 6:30 - 9:00pm. 6:30-9pm. $36. Urban Harvest, 2311 Canal St # 124. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org

Sat.-Sun., Nov. 22-23: Heritage Gardeners in Friendswood 48th Annual Christmas Home Tour, 1-5pm. $10 pre-tour; $15 tour day. One starting point: Marie Workman Garden Center, 112 West Spreading Oaks. Details: heritagegardener.org or 713-534-7662.

Sat.-Sun, Nov. 22:23: Peckerwood Garden Open Weekend, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Guided tours 10am & 1pm. (No children under 12). $10.  Plant sale 10am-3pm. Free. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org


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 2015: 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


Events submitted in the exact format used above will receive priority in inclusion in the calendar.
Events NOT submitted in our format 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, certified permaculturist 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 article contributor.


Mary is a realtor with Coldwell Banker and an avid volunteer with the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. 

With respect to the newsletter, Mary came up with the idea for the Garden Tails column and co-writes it. Mary is the newest addition to our group of contributors. We will expand her bio as we go.

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: 11/09/14