April 17, 2015

Dear Friends,

Here is the 103rd issue of our weekly gardening newsletter for Houston, the Gulf Coast and beyond. We really appreciate all of our readers hanging in there with us, sharing stories and inspring us in so may ways. 
Thanks so much!
This newsletter is 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.




This week, l to r: Earth Day tips, Kewpie-gone-International and
would you believe this is made from plants?
Today more from our local experts and less from me!   
    * I thought I knew so much about oleanders. But James Nicholas, guest speaker at the upcoming May 1 Oleander Festival Kickoff Luncheon, will give a global view. The International Oleander Society is based in Galveston (in case you didn't know that) and its big festival will be May 2-3 at Moody Gardens.www.oleander.org. Read about Austria's Oleander Haus below. 
    * Wednesday, Apr. 22, is Earth Day. 
Lots of public activities are planned around the area, but why not make this a special time in your own garden as well? Houston Arboretum's Amy Barton gives some ideas on giving a helping hand to butterflies.

Among the butterfly-attracting plants in Houston's Japanese Garden in Hermann Park (center) are agapanthus, left, and crape myrtles, right. 
SPEAKING OF BUTTERFLIES . . . Houston's Japanese Festival is Saturday (April 18) at the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park. 
The Japanese view butterflies as souls of the living and the dead. They are considered symbols of joy and longevity, the cycles of life.  many Japanese believe that following a butterfly will help unlock a mystery in life or solve a problem driving a person crazy.  Traced back to the (794-1185) when butterflies appeared on the crest of one of the most powerful samurai clans. few fossils, but know have been around at least 190 million years.  

Among the many activities at this weekend's Japanese Festival will be a Houston Bonsai Society tree display. If you've never seen these living works of art as created by true experts, you've missed a major treat.
Treat yourself to an incredible experience Tues.-Wed., April 28-29, at the Museum of Fine Arts' Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main. Regular museum entry fees apply.  
Florescence is a flower show that, overall, takes arranging, photography and botanical arts to unbelievable heights. Details: https://www.flohouston.org
Our special focus today is on the Botanical Arts division which, alone, will boggle your mind with seemingly frangible jewelry-like creations from plant materials.  Dodie Jackson describes this art form in greater detail below to perhaps inspire you to give it a try with plant parts right out of your own backyard.  
Of course, Dodie's specifications are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to criteria applied to Botanical Arts entries in this Garden Club of America show presented jointly by the Garden Club of Houston and River Oaks Garden Club. But all entries have to be "wearable." And her pointers will make it easier to try this at home.
* 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: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.  *  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.

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As hard as it might be to believe, all these examples of Botanical Art were created from plants or parts of plants: above, l to r, necklace, shoe, purse and cane. Below, l to r, bell,  bracelet and dragonfly.




Garden Club of Houston
Laurel Garden Club
Botanical Arts is creative fun whether it is for flower show competition or just a delightful personal project. There is a distinction to be made between Jewelry and Embellishments.  Jewelry is made from scratch.  An Embellishment is an object that is covered or partially covered with botanical materials, i.e. a decorative box, a shoe, or an egg would fall under Embellishments, a bracelet or earrings would be considered jewelry.
Remember to use the principles and elements of design when creating your piece: Line, Form, Space, Texture, Color, Proportion.
To be a true "Botanical Art," don't use anything with carved wood or manufactured materials, such as pasta and Popsicle sticks.  You cannot use clay, seashells, real or fake gems or glitter.  There are non-plant materials you can use for mechanics, such as cardboard, metal and twine, but they must be fully covered with botanical material.
All materials should be dried and stored in a dry box.  Do not store your materials in sealed plastic bags as they will degrade. Always get at least three pieces of plant material. Some flower shows will require one piece for the Sample Card. The second is for the piece itself and the third is for possible repairs.
From the kitchen: seeds like corriander, celery, coffee, dill, mustard, poppy, peppercorns, pumpkin, sesame, corn, most nuts, rice, dried beans, and dried split peas.
Leaves and Stems:  Most leaves will dry beautifully for use, but the following seem to be tried and true:  magnolia, pine, dogwood, ferns, grape vines, grasses of all kinds, wisteria, vinca, bamboo and boxwood.
Seed pods and berries:  daylily, hyacinth bean, nandina, pinecones, pine nuts, rose hip, sunflowers, squash, walnuts, pecans, acorns honey locust, poke berries.
Allium, astilbe, butterfly vine, moonflower, hibiscus, hydrangea, rudbeckia, viburnum, sedum, yew, yucca, cactus needles, sunflower petals and centers, tallow berries, thistle, poppy heads, button mums, inland sea oats, gourds, pea pods, lily pods, lavender stems,lambs ear, dusty miller, ferns and fern fronds.
***Note: dried mushrooms are NOT considered botanical material, as they are a fungus, but can be used when identified as such.

Styrofoam block, good worktable with good light and a magnifier, needle nose pliers, pins of every kind, quilting, straight, T-pins, sewing scissors, plant clippers, cardboard, gesso, nail polishes in many colors, nail polish thinner, varnish, paint thinner, tweezers, glue dots
toothpicks, wax paper, sanding paper, very fine, paint brushes, masking tape, paints, acrylic and oil base, paper plates for mixing paints and glues, bead drillor a Dremell drill, clamps

Judges will look for the following:
* Is the piece clean with no glue showing, or glue strings?
* Does the piece have the elements of design?
* Does the piece look like a piece of fine jewelry?
* Does it look real?
* Does it fit with the Class Description?
* Choose a work space where you can come and go. There is a lot of time in drying paints and glues, make sure you have good ventilation.
 * Place an old white sheet under your work area, as it will help you find tiny pieces of plant material that may fall to the floor.
 * Work with a good light.  I use a Spectrum light, available at craft stores.
 * Make a template of what your piece will be displayed on.  That will ensure your piece is not too large or small for its space in the show.
 * Set extra pieces aside as you work. It will make it easier to assemble your sample card.
 * Buy a good sable paint brush, as sable does not shed.  It is so hard to pick those hairs out of wet paint!


TUES.-WED., APR. 28-29: FLORESCENCE ILLUSIONS FLOWER SHOW, 10am-5pm, Museum of Fine Arts' Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main. Regular museum admission. River Oaks Garden Club, The Garden Club of Houston and Museum of Fine Arts event. Details: https://www.flohouston.org/ .  Address questions to Dodie at 

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Celebrate Earth Day at Home by planting for butterflies, left to right, a freshly-hatched monarch, monarchs in the garden and one on the way!
There is nothing more calming and enjoyable than walking through a colorful garden enlivened by the silent beauty of a butterfly's delicate wings fluttering from flower to flower. Butterflies are beautiful, yes, but they are also beneficial pollinators who help propagate our flowers, trees, and crops. Like many species, butterflies are suffering with a loss of habitat and pesticide use. 

Here are five ways you can help the Earth by helping the butterflies!
1.       Feed them by planting nectar plants
Nectar plants provide food for adult butterflies. Nom nom! Flowering perennials offer nectar for bees, moths, hummingbirds, and butterflies alike.
2.       Give them a home by incorporating host plants
Host plants are special plants on which adult butterflies will lay their eggs and caterpillars will eat. Adult butterflies may visit many different nectar flowers in search of food, but their caterpillars are exceedingly particular when it comes to their host plants.
3.       Choose their favorite flavors with native plants
Butterflies have selected plants for good nectar production, but human plant breeders select for color or long bloom season and may inadvertently select out important butterfly requirements. Also choose native varieties of host plants as generations of caterpillars have taste-tested them.
4.       Don't be skimpy on the food
When you plant for caterpillars, you need to provide them with lots of food. They increase in size up to 1000 times from egg to final molt! If there isn't enough of the host plants, they will starve. Oh no!
5.      Pay attention to flower size and bloom time
Butterflies need a perch to sit on while they sip so we recommend using flowers with a broad platform like purple coneflower and gaillardia, or clusters of small flowers like those found on the goldenrod. Butterflies will be trickling in through spring to late summer so remember to plant nectar flowers that will bloom at different times so you always have something for them to eat.
You can get more butterfly gardening tips and get a full list of native nectar and host plants at the Houston Arboretum's Earth Day event on April 18th! Many of these nectar and host plants will be for sale at the Arboretum's Earth Day Native Plant Sale.
Good luck with your butterfly gardens! It may take some time for the butterflies to discover your sanctuary, but when they do they will appreciate your support.  

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Left & center: olenders take a lot more work in Austria! Right, two beautiful watercolors of the 'Kewpie' oleander (pictured for real at top of column), named for the late Kewpie Gaido - Grande Dame of Galveston.



James Nicholas, the longtime "foreign correspondent" of the International Oleander Society, will be presenting "The Oleander in the Old World - An Impressive Heritage, A Stunning  Future" at the IOS Luncheon  on Friday, May 1 at Moody Gardens, Galveston.  Though Jim is from the Northeast, where oleanders can't survive the winter without protection, he has felt a mysterious connection with the plant since his teen years  (perhaps because his  Greek forebears saw the plant every day for millennia!)
Mr. Wilhelm "Willi" Hufnagl, the driving force behind the Oleanderhaus and Oleander Village of Rax, Austria (http://www.oleanderhaus.at/english), will also be participating.  The Austrian Oleander House is an association for oleander enthusiasts as well as a physical location with an oleander garden and an annual festival inspired by Galveston's.  Its mission is to provide information about the care, hybridization, propagation, and overwintering of oleanders.  Jim is attempting to build a closer relationship between the IOS and  the Oleander House, so that together they can become a super-clearinghouse of information. Willi also has the very ambitious goal of maintaining specimens of all the Galveston varieties in this Austrian "refuge", in order to insure the preservation of their genetic material.
As an international bridge-building gesture, Willi will be bringing messages and gifts  from  Austria, Greece, Japan, and Hungary.  In particular, a watercolor of the  oleander "Kewpie" (a much sought-after variety in Europe)  by the Austrian artist Sophia Brandtner  will be presented to one of Kewpie Gaido's grandchildren as a token of esteem from  the European oleander community.  The spectacular new hybrids by Mrs. Irmtraud Gotsis of Greece will be discussed, as well as the oleander as an emblem  of survival, hope, and renewal in places as far removed as Galveston and Hiroshima.
The oleander has been grown in containers for centuries in Europe, and is THE most popular container plant in Central Europe today.  The presentation will also focus on the astonishing new cultivars being  developed  in  Hungary, where hybridizing and raising plants from seed has become a national craze among amateur gardeners.
Luncheon reservation details: www.oleander.org. Honored at this luncheon will be Elizabeth (Betty) Head, an Oleander Society stalwart and prime mover for decades.








Ever year about this time we start receiving calls about various things  folks are seeing in their  mulch.  In the spring gardeners start digging in their flowerbeds and start planting. This year we have had a very wet spring which has created some additional items that are harmless but may worry some gardeners. 


When digging in a flowerbed, one of the first things a gardener might notice is long white colored stringy substances running all through their mulch.  This is a good fungus commonly known as white rot fungus.  It typically occurs from 1-3 inches below the surface of the mulch.  This fungus helps break down cellulose and lignin releasing the nutrients into the soil and creating the humus that gardeners desire. This fungus is also known to help suppress several types of soil dwelling pathogens. The fungal fibers are normally the size of a human hair a shown in the first photo, however if the soil is very healthy they can sometimes grow quite large as shown in the second photo below (The photo  was from a flowerbed at Nature's Way Resources).


The White Rot Fungus (over 1,400 species) that decomposes the dead wood (lignin and cellulose) also has the ability to clean up (digest) chemicals such as: pentachlorophenol (a wood preservative more toxic than CCA), dioxins, cyanides, DDT, TNT (explosive), creosote, and coal tar.  This is an extremely beneficial fungus. Bottom line is that this is a good thing to see in ones flower beds.  DO NOT kill it off with fungicides as one box store employee recently told a customer. Remember, if you spray your plants with a fungicide, when it rains or the sprinklers come on, the fungicide washes into the ground killing this good guy. Using fungicides now sets one up for soil disease problems later in the year as temperatures warm up.





Another person expressed concern about the grayish specs on some mulch pieces as they were digging in their beds to plant  some annual color.  Most likely this is a  chain forming bacteria called actinomycetes. This is a very good guy as this bacteria eats common fungal pathogens like Rhizoctonia, Pythium,  Phytophthora, Gaeumannomyces and many more.  It is the microbe found in good composts that controls brown patch and other turf diseases.  It is also the main ingredient of the biological fungicide called "Actinovate".  It may appear in slightly different forms as shown in the photos below. The first photo is from one of our compost piles and the second in an old dirty mulch pile.  This good bacteria is very salt sensitive hence if one uses an artificial fertilizer which are chemical salts then they lose this beneficial bacterial. The result is greatly increased chances of developing Brown Patch, Take-All, and St. Augustine decline.





A third type of fungus that often shows up in spring is called the "Dog Puke Fungus".  It grows on the surface of the mulch and may appear in slightly different forms as shown in the photos below.  This fungus is more common on mulches that have a high carbon: nitrogen ratio such as barks, dyed mulches, ashen mulches, etc. While it is not dangerous, it can block water and air from entering the soil that can create secondary problems.  It can grow into patches over 3 feet in diameter. If this fungus bother you, just take a garden rake and break it up and then blast it with the garden hose.





A forth type of fungus that often occurs in spring is the "Artillery Fungus" known for its ability to shoot spores dozens of feet that stick to walls and other surfaces creating ugly black spots.  The artillery fungus (Sphaerobolus stellatus) is also known as the shotgun fungus since it can blast its spores 10-15' into the air. These spores are brown to black and very sticky, hence they can discolor light colored surfaces by sticking to them (Bird's nest fungus will also shoot its spores but not as far). If discoloration does occur, a soap and water solution will help to loosen the fungal spores so they can be scrubbed off.  There are many species of Artillery fungus  however they all look similar to the photo below.  The second photo is of the spots and discoloration  they cause. This fungus prefers mulches that have a high carbon: nitrogen ratio such as those found in dyed mulches (e.g. red, black, other).




In addition to the above there may be many types of mushrooms and toadstools.  These are just the fruiting spores of many of the beneficial fungi. They come in literally thousands of  sizes, shapes and colors. 




If one wants to learn more about fungus there is an excellent and fascinating non-technical book on the subject:


Mycelium Running, How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, by Paul Staments, Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-1-58008-579-3  This book is a deeper look at fungus and how it affects the world around us from plants to humans. Note: The second edition was recently released.


The appearance of slime molds (another type of fungus) is distasteful to some people, however, the visible signs of this fungus is easily removed by periodically raking the mulch. These types of problems are much more common on mulch made from fresh or woody material liked dyed mulch rather than composted native mulch. They are also are more common in thicker mulch layers (4-6" deep).


Most visible signs of fungus will naturally disappear as the mulch continues to decay into humus.

Another question that came up this week from a customer that found termites in the mulch they had applied a few weeks earlier.  Theoretically, all mulches may attract termites but there are many factors to consider.   Termites eat the cellulose that is found in wood, both hardwood and softwoods.  However, research at LSU has found along the Gulf coast, termites prefer softwoods such as Pine trees as their food source. Termites only eat wood found in dead trees.  Since termites require cellulose as a food source we can apply this information to mulches. Cellulose has a very high C:N (carbon: nitrogen) ratio, hence mulches with a high C:N ratio would be more attractive to termites. The dyed mulches (red or black) require dry wood with very high C:N ratio (500:1) for the dyes to stick to them. To make the mulch producers grind up old pallets and construction wood which is most commonly made from Pine trees. Since the termites would have a good food source it would increase ones chances of having a swarm build a nest in their yard.




Conversely, mulches with a low C:N ratio is not a good food source for termites (compost or composted native mulch).  Termites would not be found in the processing piles at  a compost/mulch facility.  The high temperature of the piles (1700F) would kill any termite as well as the final screening which would tear them apart.  What may happen is that during the spring when swarming is occurring, a swarm may move into a pile of mulch to use as a motel to spend the night while they look for a permanent location to build a nest. Termites prefer to nest in the ground close to a food source. This year due to the excessive rain many soils are saturated hence the termites cannot live in them. As a result we are seeing a much higher amount of termite swarming this year than normal.  




TO SUBMIT EVENTS: Find a similar event in our calendar below and copy the format EXACTLY. 

Then you can add additional information. Email to lazy gardener@sbcglobal.net

Any other formatting will result in a delay in publication. Events will not be picked up from newsletters.


Sat., Apr. 18: Basic Irrigation & Rainwater Harvesting by Harris County Master Gardeners. 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy.  Free. Details: http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register 281-855-5600


Sat., Apr. 18: Colorful Sun & Shade Plants from Burpee Home Garden, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss Rd. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events  


Sat., Apr. 18 : Houston Rose Society Rose sale, 12:30 pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Details: www.houstonrose.org.


Sat., Apr. 18: Sat., Apr. 18: Earth Day Celebration and Native Plant Sale, 10am-2pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 (Woodway. Free. Details: houstonarboretum.org  


Sat., Apr. 18: Garden Conservancy's open days program garden tour/plant sale, 10am-4pm, 802 West Temple Street. $7. Details: https://www.gardenconservancy.org/events/all-events/houston-tx-open-day


SAT., APR. 18: GARDEN CONSERVANCY HOUSTON OPEN DAY. 6 private gardens. Details: https://www.gardenconservancy.org/events/all-events/houston-tx-open-day  


SAT., APRIL 18: MONTGOMERY COUNTY WATER CONSERVATION SYMPOSIUM, The Woodlands. 9 am - noon.  Speakers include state climatologist and water experts from around the state. Details: http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/waterconservation   


SUN., APR. 19: GALVESTON COUNTY SPRING PLANT SWAP, 2pm, Walter Hall Park, 807 Highway 3 N, League City

Free. Details: http://www.freewebs.com/gcplantswap/index.html


SUN. APR. 19: CITRUS TREE SELECTION BY DIANNE NORMAN, 1:30 p.m., Wabash Feed & Garden Store, 5701 Washington Ave. Free. Details: 713-863-8322, http://wabashfeed.com 


Mon., April 20: Open Garden Day with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu 


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


Tues., Apr. 21: Basic Irrigation & Rainwater Harvesting by Harris County Master Gardeners. 6:30-8:30pm. Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale. Free. Details: http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register 281-855-5600


WED., APR. 22: THE KATY PRAIRIE CONSERVATION GREAT GROW-OUT BY KATY PRAIRIE CONSERVANCY, 7:30pm, Metropolitan Multi-Services Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society event: http://hcsstex.org 

Thurs., Apr. 23: Plants of the Bible by Jean Fefer Ph.D.1-2pm, Thomas A. Glazier Senior Education Center, 16600 Pine Forest Lane. Details: 713-274-3250; www.pct3.hctx.net/senior/g laziersec.aspx 


Fri-Sun., Apr. 24-26: Heritage Gardeners Spring Garden Tour, Flower and Horticulture Show, Marie Workman Garden Center and Briscoe Gardens, 112 W. Spreading Oaks for details call 281 992-4438 or go to www.heritagegardener.org


Sat., Apr. 25: "Easy Care Flowers, Top Picks from Proven Winners,"10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss Rd. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events 


Sat., Apr. 25: Urban Harvest's Organic Pest Control, 9-11:30am. $45. University of St. Thomas, Welder Hall. Room TBD, 3800 Montrose Blvd. Details: 713-880-5540  or  www.urbanharvest.org.


Sat. April. 25: Spring Sale by Harris County Master Gardeners. 9am-1pm, County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details: http://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubSales.aspx 


Sat. Apr. 25: 32nd Annual Herb Day by The Herb Society of America, South Texas Unit, 9am-2pm, Fondren Hall, St. Paul's Methodist Church, 5501 Main St. at Bissonnett. $45 (box lunch). Registration deadline: April 15. Details: www.herbsociety-stu.org  


Tues., Apr. 28: Harris County Master Gardener Open Garden Day and Irrigation and Rainwater Harvesting Workshop, 9-11:30am, 3033 Bear Creek Drive. Free. Details: harris.agrilife.org/hort; 281-855-5600   


Tues.-Wed., Apr. 28-29: Florescence Illusions Flower Show, 10am-5pm, Museum of Fine Arts' Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main. Regular museum admission. River Oaks Garden Club, The Garden Club of Houston and Museum of Fine Arts event. Regular museum entry fees apply. Details: www.flohouston.org/ 


Fri., May 1: "The Oleander in the Old World - An Impressive Heritage, An Exciting Future" By JAMES NICHOLAS, Oleander Festival Kick-Off Luncheon, Moody Gardens. Reservation details: www.oleander.org.


Sat., May 2: Spring Garden Tour, 9am-3pm, Venetian Estates; rain date May 9;Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details:sugarlandgardenclub.org 


SAT., MAY 2: NATIVE PLANTS FOR TEXAS GARDENS, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events/


SAT-SUN., MAY 2-3: 2015 OLEANDER FESTIVAL, MOODY GARDENS. Free. Details: www.oleander.com.


Sat., May 9: Cypress Creek Daylily Club Flower Show.1-4pm. Mercer Arboretum & Botanical Barden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield Rd., Humble.  Free. Details. 281-356-2543 billyandjeanlewis@sbcglobal.net


SAT., MAY 9: WORM COMPOSTING WORKSHOP, 9:30-11:30am, Missouri City Recreation and Tennis Center, 2701 Cypress Point Drive. $15/family. Limited space: registration details: www.missouricitygreen.org or info@missouricitygreen.org 


SAT., MAY 9: BEAUTIFUL & PRACTICAL GROUNDCOVERS 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events/


SAT., MAY 9: MONTGOMERY COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN GARDEN, 9-11am, Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe. Free. Details: 936-539-7824.


SUN., MAY 10: OPEN DAYS AT PECKERWOOD GARDENS, Hempstead. Garden Conservancy event. Tours 11am & 1pm. $10. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org, 979-826-3232; info@peckerwoodgarden.org 

Tues., May 12: Plumeria Society of America quarterly meet, 7pm, Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive in Hermann Park. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


Thurs., May 14: Basic Pest Control for Gardeners by Harris County Master Gardeners. 6:30-8:30pm. Barbara Bush Library, 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring. Free. Details: http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register 281-855-5600


Thurs., May 14-Sun, May 17: Master Composter Program, City of Houston Green Building Resource Center, 1002 Washington Ave. $40. Details: http://www.greenhoustontx.gov/gbrceducation-2015spring.pdf 


Fri.- Sun., May 15-17 Bromeliad Society/Houston 44th Annual Standard Show & Sale, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble. Hours and details:  www.bromeliadsocietyhouston.org. 713-858-3047


Sat., May 16: Basic Pest Control for Gardeners by Harris County Master Gardeners. 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy.  Free. Details: http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register 281-855-5600


SAT., MAY 16: THE ART OF LANDSCAPE DESIGN, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events/


SAT., MAY 16: TEXAS ROSE RUSTLERS' SPRING SYMPOSIUM. 9:30am-4+pm, Nature's Way Resources,101 Sherbrook Cir, Conroe. Details: www.texasroserustlers.com 


Sun., May 17: Payne's in the Grass Daylily Farm Open Garden, 9am-5pm, 2130 O'Day Road, Pearland.  Free. Details: 281-485-3821, 713-419-6661,paynesinthegrassdaylilyfarm.com 


Sun., May 17: Shimek's Open Daylily Gardens, 8am-6pm, 3122 Country Road 237, Alvin. Details: 281-331-4395 or 832-489-4395; www.cityscope.net/~neshimek (under Open Gardens)


TUES., MAY 19: BASIC PEST CONTROL FOR GARDENERS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30pm, Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale. Free.  Details: http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register: 281-855-5600


Thur., May 21: Basic Pest Control for Gardeners by Harris County Master Gardeners. 6:30-8:30pm. Freeman Branch Library, 16616 Diana Lane. Free. Details:  http://harris.agrilife.org/hort. Register 281-855-5600


THURS., MAY 21: THE CREATION OF A SCHOOL GARDEN BY AHLENE SHONG & JAMIE SCOTT, 7-9pm, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4505 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society o America- Houston Chapter event. Details: http://npsot.org/wp/houston/activities/monthly-meeting

THURS., MAY 21: WILDFLOWER WALK WITH LAN SHEN, 6-7pm. Start: pedestrian bridge parking lot, 7575 N. Picnic Lane. Native Plant Society of Texas-Houston Chapter & Native Prairies Association of Texas event. Details:  http://npsot.org/wp/houston/activities/monthly-meetings/ Free. Details: HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org   


Sat., May 23: Open Days at Peckerwood Gardens, Hempstead. Garden Conservancy event. Tours 11am & 1pm. $10. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org, 979-826-3232; info@peckerwoodgarden.org 

SAT., MAY 23: JUST IN TIME, DRIP IRRIGATION, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events/

Sat., Mar. 28: Documenting Peckerwood Garden Plants by Sue Howard, noon, Peckerwood Gardens, 20559 FM 359, Hempstead. Free but reservations required: info@peckerwoodgarden.org; peckerwoodgarden.org, 979-826-3232

SAT., MAY 30: DESIGN STYLISH CONTAINER GARDENS FOR POOLSIDE AND PATIO, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss. Free. Details: www.corneliusnurseries.com/events/

Sat., June 13: Plumeria Society of America Sale, 9:30am-3pm, Bay Area Community Center, 5002 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Details: theplumeriasociety.org 


Tues., July 14: Plumeria Society of America quarterly meet, 7pm, Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive in Hermann Park. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


Sat., July 25: Plumeria Society of America Sale, 9:30am-3pm, Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Richmond.  Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


Tues., Oct. 13: Plumeria Society of America quarterly meet, 7pm, Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive in Hermann Park. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 



If we inspire you to attend any of these events, please let them know you heard about it in





TO SUBMIT EVENTS: Find a similar event in our calendar below and copy the format EXACTLY.

Then you can add additional information. Email to lazy gardener@sbcglobal.net

Any other formatting will result in a delay in publication. Events will not be picked up from newsletters.



The Adoptable Dog Of The Week

Please help us find a forever home for King. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/MCASTX/photo or come see King this Sunday at the Magnolia/FM 1488 Petsmart http://www.mcaspets.org/event-calendar.html this Sunday from noon- 4pm.

As part of Nature Way Resources' in kind sponsorship of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, we help promote adoptions and donate mulch for their dog park as needed. 



                                                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 periodic 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. 


Mary is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United and an avid volunteer with the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and MCASociety

With respect to the newsletter, Mary contributes the adoptable dog of the week write-ups and makes other periodic writing contributions relating to gardeners and their dogs.
COUPON: Nature's Way Resources. 20% off Herb Soil Mix. http://natureswayresources.com/products.html 
. (Offer good for retail purchases of this product by the cubic yard at Nature's Way Resources (101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX). Expires 04/26/15.