May 29, 2015

Dear Friends,

Here is the 109th 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 inspiring 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: 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.





The beautiful garden above has now definitely been overwatered - with Braes Bayou. It belongs to my Houston hibiscus guru Pat Merritt and thank goodness at least she doesn't have to worry about these plants! (See below.)

I'm keeping an eye on my plants to see what will, and what won't, survive this now-one-monstrous-soaked-sponge our yard has become. Even the earthworms are protesting. We woke up after the heaviest of rains to find the carport a mass of squiggling bodies. Before Husband could make any obscene suggestions, I grabbed a broom and began sweeping them all back into the gardens.

If you're new to this area, hey, get used to it. Houston is one of the most beautiful cities when it comes to home gardens and is filled with plants that have survived both our periodic monsoons and prolonged droughts. It can be done ... if you pick the right plants!

Most of mine were here before the 2001 Allison Flood when they stayed under about 5 feet of water for a good 24 hours, and then in soaked soil for at least a week afterwards. Between then and now, we've had more than our share of droughts. And water rationing is going to become the norm.

Among those still going strong after these monsoons (and droughts that drop in regularly) are American beautyberry, amaryllis, canna lilies, daylilies, golden cestrum, crape myrtles, crinum lilies, firespikes, gingers, hymenocallis (giant white spider lilies), pink magnolia, narcissus, shrimp plants, swamp sunflower, turks cap and vitex.

Suzzanne Chapman at Mercer Botanic Garden says after the Allison (to which many have compared our recent floods), among the plants they saw come back were, in addition to those I've mentioned above: Texas star hibiscus, Virginia sweetspire, wood ferns and, in the Herb Garden, basil! Altho some of their salvias bit the dust, bog sage and Salvia coccinea went on as though nothing had happened.

The real problem isn't the water alone. It's the fact that when water overloads soil, oxygen gets pushed out. Roots need both water and oxygen to survive. The best solution is, of course, raised beds. One foot above ground level is good. Two feet is better. Three feet is best.

But that's not what you want to hear right now. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do but wait. What you DON'T want to do is stress roots more than they've already been stressed. If you have heavy mulch around plants, rake it to the back of the bed, so soil around the plant roots will dry out more quickly. Don't work in the soil or step on it. You'll only squeeze out whatever oxygen is still there.

Plants in pots should be lifted up so air circulation around the drain hole will help the soil dry out. Use pieces of wood, brick, etc., to create supports.

If some plants die, either raise the area before replanting or figure those aren't the best choices for that spot. Move them to a better-drained area. Or replace them with less picky varieties.

One thing that might happen down the line is a sudden explosion of flowers. Sometimes when plants are overwhelmingly stressed, they think they're going to die. So they focus on producing seed to continue the species. That means more flowers for us. Then they may die. Maybe not, but be prepared.

Even further down the line, trees may die for apparently no good reason. Trees die from the inside out. This means they will continue to put on new growth for, some say, up to five years after the inner workings are completely dead. If you start seeing peeling or odd looking bark, big black ants or other new undesirables, those may be signs the tree is dead inside.

I know it sounds contradictory that raising garden beds will help plants both during these monsoons and during our often prolonged, intensive droughts. But if, when you raise the beds, you use high quality soil, or mix the existing soil with compost, good mulch, leaves & pine needles, etc., all will improve the soil's organic content.

Organic matter can hold water in a way plant roots can easily access, without lowering the soil's oxygen content. That's simplifying a very complex natural process, of course. But plants do benefit from better drainage during our monsoons and from the moisture-holding ability of organic-rich soil during droughts.

My hat's really off to the folks at Mercer. We have this beautiful botanic because, quite frankly, Harris County couldn't use it for much else. It's a flood plain. Anytime we have horrible rains, Mercer gardens, at least some of them, are going to hold a lot of water for a long time. I really admire how they've use berms and other techniques to protect specific plants. But they've also made great plant choices for areas where rains will be most felt - a living library where we can all learn how to have beautiful landscapes in spite of our erratic subtropical climate.

Coming up will be a great opportunity to visit Mercer 
and see which plants bounced back on their own!

Summer Color Conference attendees will get first choice at Mercer's Plant Sale, which will include, left to right, common tree senna (cassia), arroyo sweetwood, red yucca and lanceleaf coreopsis. Then the public will be let in!

On Saturday, June 13, Mercer will host a Summer Color Conference & Plant Sale. The 8am-3pm symposium will focus on Low-Water/Drought-Tolerant/Xeriscape plants and landscaping techniques (quit smiling!), and a special treat, "The ReWilding of MD Anderson Cancer Center."

Attendees will have first choice at the accompanying sale of some 6,000 plants (representing (250 varieties). The $65 fee includes lunch. Registration deadline is June 5. The plant sale opens to the public at 10:15am.

On Friday, June 12, Mercer will host a VIP Plant Sale Preview with experts on hand to answer questions. Details and all reservations: Tami Benton, 281-443-8731 or

Here are some more samples of great plants available at the Symposium sale.
L to r: Common tree senna (cassia), arroyo sweetwood, red yucca, rock rose (parvonia) and lance-leaf coreopsis.
*   *  *

Can't wait that long to pick up some new-to-you (I hope not replacement) plants? Here's a great sale a little closer on the calendar: the Sun., June 7, American Hibiscus Society/Lone Star Chapter Show & Plant Sale, Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 South Rice, in Bellaire, 9:30 am-3pm, Free. Details:; 713-686-8539).
Left, Pat Merritt's hibiscus before being inundated by Braes Bayou. Center to right, coveted hybrids that will be available at the big Hibiscus Show and Plant Sale: 'Cheeky Fellow,' 'Red Velvet Cake' and 'Sparkling Water'

This is an Every Gardener opportunity. The pool garden shot, above left, is the personal garden of AHS/LSC's Pat Merritt who, with her late husband Roz (both are internationally-known hibiscus hybridizers), has been my own hibiscus gurus for as long as I can remember. 
In this pretty setting are four "garden variety" (that's a legitimate description) hibiscus plants she bought this past March at Kroger's. They've doubled in size and bloom every day. Mixed in are prized hybrids, or "exotic" hibiscus - and both types will be available at the June 7 show.

Among the sale exotics sure to draw more sophisticated hibiscus growers will be the tree sh'Cheeky Fellow,' 'Red Velvet Cake' and 'Sparkling Water.' What makes these even more fun is knowing who hybridized them. For example, 'Red Velvet Cake' is the creation of the late Barry Schlueter, long one of our best known hibiscus experts. And 'Cheeky Fellow' was hybridized by a Jesuit priest at Loyola U. in New Orleans. How neat is that?

* * *

This just came in from Pat, who lives in Southwest Houston: "Brenda, you should see my hibiscus and how happy they are. I had nearly a foot of water in my house from Braes Bayou leaving its banks early Tuesday morning. My pool is now filled with bayou water (horrible). When I looked out back and could see by the lightning flashes, the pots were nearly submerged in dirty water and debris. I rinsed them off with clean water and they are happily blooming away."

I asked her how folks could help now "overwatered!" hibiscus. She says, "In ground plants should do just fine if they are well-drained. Let them dry out completely before watering again.

Note: My heart goes out to everyone in this predicament. This has nothing to do with plants, but if you know someone who is in this condition, I can speak from experience. I know it sounds strange but, one thing we greatly appreciated from folks who wanted to help were deviled eggs. They don't require utensils, they're full of filling protein and they don't even need refrigeration because - trust me - they are eaten immediately.


A tip o' the trowel to Corbin Adkin (center above with his sister Charis). 10-year-old Corbin won the Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center's Photo Competition Grand Prize with the shot, above left, of two mating Gulf fritillary butterflies. Corbin was riding through the park with his family when, through the car window, he took this shot with his Sony Cyber-Shot camera.

* MILKWEED/BUTTERFLYWEED CONFUSION? Several readers have emailed lately, asking about butterflyweed/milkweed plants, OE and monarchs. It's terribly confusing, I know. One place to learn more will be at the Tues., June 2 "Milkweed Plants and the Monarch Butterfly" program presented by the Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (BEST), 7:30pm, Cockrell Butterfly Center lower floor, Museum of Natural Science, Hermann Park. Details:

* 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. For a free page of this month's TO-DO list, email Brenda at lazy








Have you ever wondered why it took so long for the government to regulate tobacco or prohibit insecticides like DDT? These issues are addressed in a fascinating book I read a couple years ago.

Merchants of DOUBT: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from Tobacco smoke to global warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Bloomsbury Press, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-59691-610-4




Scientists for years, long before our government took any action talked about issues like tobacco smoke causing health problems, the dangers of pesticides like DDT, acid rain destroying lakes in the Northeast from the burning of coal, the destruction of the ozone layer that led to the hole in the ozone layer from CFC's and the latest issue global warming.


This book is written by two scientific historians about a handful of scientists whom have sold their souls to companies that created these problems.  Over the years they have been proven wrong every time. I suspect their actions have resulted in millions of extra deaths as well as a loss of the quality of life for the rest of us, not to mention the trillions of dollars lost from our economy.


Their goal is to create the impression of scientific controversy where there has not been one.  As one writer put it "they are science speaking mercenaries" hired by corporations to create culturally induced ignorance (doubt). Most trade magazines and newspapers do not want to lose advertizing dollars from the corporations hence they promote these controversies to keep their corporate sponsors happy.


Millions of dollars have been spent by Exxon Mobil alone funding groups actively involved in promoting climate change denial and doubt.  When one adds in the funding by other large petroleum companies, coal mining companies, generating plants using coal, chemical companies, etc., it is tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars spent every year to create doubt and ignorance. 

I remember the old marketing adage, "If you say something enough times then people will begin to believe it."


It has been said that, "Very small numbers of people can have large negative impacts, especially if they are organized, determined and have access to power and money."

I copied the following review from the Amazon website for your reference:


The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.

Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly--some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.


Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.


Thousands of scientists from all over the world have been studying this issue and the evidence of global warming has become overwhelming. Global warming is occurring and the only question left open to debate is how much is from natural causes and how much is from mankind.

A reader responded to last week's article:


Thanks for your newsletter.  In Mr. Ferguson's article global warming and melting glaciers are mentioned which are not occurring.  Please expand your reading research beyond what Al Gore, Obama, etc. are putting out.  Years ago it was global cooling, and when proven wrong it became global warming.  Now it is climate change - all based on a political agenda.  Please don't contribute to that compost pile.

-- M.D.


When I was in college we studied glaciers and their effects.  At that time glaciers would retreat a few feet in the summer and grow during the winter months, hence  there was very little change for decades. A few years ago I was in Alaska and visited several glaciers, two by air and one we drove to near the base of another and then walked in.  As a result I was able to see the melting and retreat of the glaciers first hand confirming the rapid melting and retreat we have been hearing about. 

Below are a few pictures that I took that illustrate the problem.


In the picture below one can clearly see that the glacier has retreated down the valley miles from where it was when I was in college.





In the next picture we were flying up a valley where a glacier used to be as it had retreated many miles! One can clearly see the scouring produced by the ice on the rock and the boulders and ice chunks that were left behind as it melted.




We landed on the glacier and I was able to explore it to some degree. 






The next photo shows how vast chasms hundreds of feet deep have developed in the ice and how surface melt is flowing into the chasm (bottom of picture) creating underground rivers. The glacier was melting from above and below (getting thiner) as well as from its face.










Find a similar event in our calendar below and copy the format EXACTLY. 

Then you can add additional information. Email to lazy

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SAT., MAY 30: FRIENDS OF PECKERWOOD GARDEN DAY, Hempstead. Garden Conservancy event. Tours  at 2pm. $10. Pre-registration required at 979-826-3232;,    

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

SAT. -SUN., MAY 30-31: HOUSTON CACTUS AND SUCCULENT SOCIETY'S SPRING SALE, 9-5, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024. Free. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society event:

MON., JUNE 1: OPEN GARDEN DAY WITH HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS AT PRECINCT 2 & PLANT SALE, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa-Red Bluff Rd. Reservations/details:; 979-826-3232.


TUES., JUNE 2: TOMATO EVALUATION AND TESTING WITH TERRY CUCLIS, 6:30-9pm, Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Free. Details:


THURS., JUNE 4: FROM GOLF COURSE TO CONSERVATION EASEMENT: CLEAR LAKE'S EXPLORATION GREEN BY JERRY HAMBY, 6:30-8:30, Judson Robinson Community Center, 2020 Hermann Drive. Free. Gulf Coast Chapter Texas Master Naturalists event. Details: 


SAT., JUN 6: TOMATO CONTEST, 10am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball.  Free.  Details: or 281-351-8851



SAT., JUNE 6: CREATING GARDENS FOR BEAUTIFUL BIRDS, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss Rd. Free. Details:



SAT., JUNE 6: FABULOUS FRAGRANT GRANGIPANI BY LORETTA OSTEEN, 9-11am, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Free. Details/reservations; Ph 281-534-3413;, 


SAT., JUNE 6: CULTURE & CARE OF PALMS BY O. J. MILLER, 1-3pm, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Free. Details/reservations; Ph 281-534-3413;, 


SAT.-SUN., JUNE 6-7: CLEAN GALVESTON BACKYARD GARDEN TOUR and BETTY HEAD OLEANDER GARDEN PARK, 27th at Sealy, Galveston.  Free. Details: 409-762-3363

SUN., JUNE 7: AMERICAN HIBISCUS SOCIETY/LONE STAR CHAPTER SHOW & PLANT SALE, 9:30AM-3PM, Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 South Rice, in Bellaire. Free. Details: 713 686-8539

MON., JUNE 8: OUR FOOD SYSTEM BY SCOTT HOWARD AND LIBBY KENNEDY, 6:30pm, Moody Park Community Center, 3725 Fulton St. Free. Houston Urban Gardeners (HUG) event. Details: 713-528-1104,

WED., JUNE 10: STARTING A WORM COMPOSTING BIN, noon, Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731;


THURS, JUNE 11: GROWING & USING HERBS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30pm. Barbara Bush Library, 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring. Free. Details: 281-855-5600


THURS., JUNE 11: GULF COAST MASTER NATURALISTS NATIVE PLANT PROPAGATION WORKDAY second Thursday every month. Volunteers needed. Pavilion near 6520 Almeda (between N. MacGregor & Holcombe).   Details: 



THURS., JUNE 11: CHILLI THRIPS - SCOURGE OF THE ROSES  , 7:30pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details:

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

SAT., JUNE 13: PREMIER SHARPENING - TOOL SHARPENING, 2pm-5pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball.  Free.  Details: or 281-351-8851

SAT., JUNE 13: TOP BAR BEEKEEPING, 9-11am, University of St. Thomas,  Welder Hall, Room 115, 3812 Yoakum Blvd. $45. Urban Harvest class. Details: 713-880-5540 or

SAT., JUNE 13: SUMMER COLOR CONFERENCE & PLANT SALE, 8am-3pm, , Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731; 


SAT., JUNE 13: HEALTHY GREEN SUMMER LAWNS, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss Rd. Free. Details: 

MON., JUNE 15: OPEN GARDEN DAY WITH HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS AT PRECINCT 2 & PLANT SALE, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa-Red Bluff Rd. Details:

WED., JUNE 15: WETLANDS AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION BY ANDREW SIPOCZ, 10am, Clear Lake Park meeting room, 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Free. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Details:   

TUES., JUNE 16: GROWING & USING HERBS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30pm, Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale. Free. Details:, 281-855-5600

WED., JUNE 17: FUN GARDEN STEPPING STONES (children), 9am-12:30pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball.  Free.  Details:, 281-351-8851

THURS., JUNE 18: GROWING & USING HERBS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30 pm. Freeman Branch Library, 16616 Diana Lane.Free.,281-855-5600

SAT, JUNE 20: GROWING & USING HERBS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Details:, 281-855-5600

SAT., JUNE 20: HEAT-THRIVING AND COLORFUL PLANTS, 10:15am, Cornelius Nursery, 2233 S. Voss Rd. Free. Details:

SAT., JUNE 20: EDIBLE WILD PLANTS BY DR. MARK VORDERBRUGGEN, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr. $65. Details: 713-681-8433; 


TUES., JUNE 23: HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN GARDEN DAY AND GROWING & USING HERBS WORKSHOP, 9-11:30am, 3033 Bear Creek Drive. Free. Details:, 281-855-5600 

9am - 11:30am. $30 members. $45 non-members. University of St. Thomas, Welder Hall, Room 115, 3812 Yoakum Blvd. Urban Harvest event. Details: 713-880-5540 or

SAT., JUNE 30: EDIBLE WILD PLANTS BY DR. MARK VORDERBRUGGEN, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr. $65. Details: 713-681-8433; 


WED., JULY 8: MONARCHS & MILKWEEDS, noon, Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731; 

SAT., JULY 11: TEXAS ROSE RUSTLERS ANNUAL MEETING. 9am-4pm, Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731; 

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



FRI., JULY 17: WHIMSICAL WIND ART (children), 9am-12:30pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball.  Free.  Details: or 281-351-8851

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


Sat, July 25. Urban Harvest's Fall Vegetable Gardening.  9am - 11:30am.  $45. Location TBA. Details: 713-880-5540 or


TUES., AUG 4: ALL ABOUT HUMMINGBIRDS (children), 9am-12:30pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball.  Free.  Details: or 281-351-8851

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


If we inspire you to attend any of these events, please let them know  





Find a similar event in our calendar below and copy the format EXACTLY. 

Then you can add additional information. Email to lazy

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Events will not be picked up from newsletters.




                                                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. 

COUPON: Nature's Way Resources. 20% off our Tropical Soil Mix. 
. (Offer good for retail purchases of this product by the cubic yard at Nature's Way Resources (101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX). Expires 06/7/15.