June 19, 2015

Dear Friends,

Here is the 112th 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: 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.





My sibs and I recently sent a birthday gift of kalanchoes to our uncle, who loves to garden.  Men, we have observed, seem to like kalanchoes.  He wrote back they arrived just in time to make a great centerpiece for a luncheon he was hosting. 
It's a shame women don't think of flowers or plants more often when buying gifts for men. Father's Day, June 21, is a good day to start.
In a recent Society of American Florists survey, over 60% of men surveyed said they like to receive flowers. Not only that, men are increasingly buying arrangements or plants for their own homes and offices. Keep this in mind as well.
If you're thinking of giving a man flowers, SAF offers these tips:
* The men surveyed tended to prefer bright powerful oranges, reds, purples, bright yellows and golds. 
* Avoid pastels or traditional "feminine" or fluffy designs unless you're certain your guy would like them. 
* Ideal might be a dish garden, blooming orchid plant, bonsai, lucky bamboo, cactus, bromeliad, peace lily, mother-in-law's tongue, ponytail palm, jade plant.
* If you're unsure, incorporate his favorite hobby into the design. Golfer? Include a box of golf balls. Into cars? Tuck in a car magazine. Or sweeten the "pot" with cookies, gourmet coffee, a gift certificate. 


Recommended for guys: above, l to r, kalanchoes, bonsai, orchids or bromeliads. Below, l to r,
peace lily, ponytail palm (note the neat base), lucky bamboo or anything with a braided trunk. 


One Texas Rose Rustler has her middle school students propagate antique roses for Mother's Day as part of a lesson on DNA expression. She says the boys usually pick the pure red, scented varieties like 'Dame de Coeur' and 'Maggie' or the pure white, scented ones like 'Puerto Rico.' 

Scent, it seems, is a "must" with young men and adult guys too, apparently. A fellow TRR member, Stephen Spears, says he too favors fragrant, repeat-blooming antique roses along with unusual or hard-to-find ones.

Antique (or old) rose enthusiasts will gather Sat., July 11, for Texas Rose Rustlers 2015 Summer Meeting. (free, 9:30am-3:30pm at Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble).  Gaye Hammond and Susan Kelly will give updates on M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's EarthKind trial gardens. Pam Greenewald of Angel Gardens (FL) will discuss myths and "musts" and her "rose" work with veterans. Details. 


Type of antique roses men seem to prefer, l to r: 'Dame de Coeur,' 'Puerto Rico' and 'Maggie'


Sometimes it's easier to turn men onto vegetables than flowers. I found this quote in "House and Garden" Vol. 4, 1922:
"Vegetables are deliberately named, pictured and baited to appeal to a man's inane habit of boasting, to his unblushing love of food, to his illogical method of judging the value of an object by its size . . ." 
Think of the names given even today to tomatoes: Big Boy, Bush Goliath, Sunny Goliath, Champion . . . maybe it's still being done!


Whether you're thinking of a Father's Day gift, or of putting in a fall vegetable gardening, Jean Fefer has all bases covered in today's Spotlight article. When Jean says now is the time to get ready, folks listen. A Harris County Master Gardener, Jean Fefer, Ph.D., is an Urban Harvest Organic Vegetable Specialist and a Master Gardener Plant Propagation Specialist. 
Jean starts her transplants in August, a good time too if you're starting seeds of her recommended varieties below right into the garden. If you're putting in plants, start about mid-September with the exception of lettuce.  Put lettuce plants in sometime in October. Usually it's too hot for already-started plants this early. 

My main advice on vegetable gardening - use only LOCAL source information. Our unique subtropical planting times are different and we often do best with particular hybrids that may not work as well even in areas as close as Dallas. Think LOCAL.


If our planting schedules are new to you (or past vegetable gardens haven't been too successful), attend one of the Harris County Master Gardener classes listed at the end of Jean's article. Not in Harris County? Master Gardeners across this area will be holding similar classes in all the counties. Log on for details: BrazoriaChambersGalveston, GrimesFort Bend, HarrisLibertyMontgomery and Waller. To find Master Gardener groups in other counties, contact the local AgriLife Extension County Offices

*  *  *


A HUGE THANK YOU TO ROBERT NEWDING... The gorgeous new oleander hybrid suggested to be named for Kian, the African American young girl who came with the Mother of Texas, Jane Long, to Bolivar Peninsula, was developed by internationally-acclaimed oleander hybridizer Robert Newding, who also hybridized the stunning 'Jane Long' oleander. 
A Galveston native and historian, Robert has done a great deal of research on Kian and Jane Long, among others.  It was his suggestion that Kian be so honored and he is generously sharing his own hybrid cuttings to be propagated as he did with his hybrid 'Jane Long' oleander cuttings. 


On the same story . . .  a reader asked where she could meet Izola Collins, author of the Galveston historical book, "Island of Color: Where Juneteenth Started," quoted in last week's column. Mrs. Collins will speak in Galveston Sunday, June 10, at a  10am Juneteenth celebration at historic St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 1410 Jack Johnson (41st) and Ave. M1/2. Although St. Augustine now has an eclectic congregation, it ranks as the oldest African American Episcopal Church in Texas.  
*  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 gardener@sbcglobal.net


L to r: Verde de Taglio chard (also known as Perpetual Spinach), Redbor kale and Amazing
cauliflower. Below, l to r: Stonehead cabbage, White Vienna kohlrabi and Crawford self-seeding lettuce
Harris County Master Gardener 

The Fall vegetable garden is my favorite garden.  No rush to get my tomatoes in to win the earliest and the biggest.  No waiting for it to warm up enough to plant cucumbers, peppers and eggplant.  August is a busy planting time, but some varieties like broccoli have a wide window for planting. 

Q. What should you be doing now, in July? 
A. Get that garden ready for fall by rejuvenating the moisture, microbes and nutrients that have been taxed and used up with the spring and summer gardens.
* Check out the catalogs for some new possibilities
* There is still time to start your own transplants - Check out the Urban Harvest Propagation class - August 8
* Decide what to plant where, planning for rotation of plant families
* Get a soil test to see what your garden beds need
* Clean out all debris, add compost and fertilizer and water well about two * weeks before planting.
* Learn more about the vegetables you like and new ones you might want to try - attend one of the four Green Thumb lectures listed below.


What are the "cool" crops?  
* The main family with the most members is the Cole crop family(Brassicas): broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, kohlrabi, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Also arugula, turnips, mustards and radishes
* Beet (Chenopodiaceae) family that includes beets, chard and spinach
* Carrot family (Apiaceae) - carrots, celery, parsnips, cilantro, fennel and dill
* Beans & peas (legumes) - snap peas, snow peas, pole and bush beans, peanuts
* Lettuce family includes chicories, radicchio and endive
* Mint family perennials best planted in late fall, lemon balm, rosemary, oregano, culinary sage, savory & thyme all covered last month in the Green Thumb lecture series.  Many of these attract beneficials/pollinators.


Some favorites have emerged over the years.  
* Amazing Cauliflower is a gleaming white.  You only get one head, but it is worth the room it takes.  
* Premium Crop broccoli produces large delicious heads and lots of side shoots. 
* Touchon carrots are a must.  
* White lady turnips are so sweet you will eat them before you get to the kitchen. 
* Verde de Taglio chard is a winner.

Contact Jean at jfefer5@comcast.net

*  *  *
Harris County Master Gardeners will host a free Open Garden Day and Vegetable Gardening Seminar on Tues., July 28, 9-11:30am at the Harris County AgriLife Extension Center, 3033 Bear Creek Drive.
In addition, HCMGs will host four regional free Fall Vegetable Gardening Seminars. Details on all four: Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf  281-855-5600
* THURS, JULY 9: 6:30-8:30pm. Barbara Bush Library, 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring
* THURS., JULY 16: 6:30-8:30 pm. Freeman Branch Library, 16616 Diana Lane
* SAT, JULY 18: 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy
* TUES., JULY 21: 6:30-8:30pm, Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale  





FLOURIDE Update #2




A customer wrote in this week about removing chlorine and other chemicals for a community garden. Hence today's topic.



Martha R.



chloramine question 


John, I was reading your article in LAZY GARDENER on fluoride and then found your PDF on using a small amount of liquid humic acid to neutralize? the chloramine in tap water. Our community garden would benefit from the de-chlorinated tap water. Is there any reaction time required? Once deactivated, will it store that way for a few days (as in a 55gal drum)? Any way to test the water for efficacy? Thank you. Martha 


Martha, There are three toxic ingredients found in municipal water in Texas that have the potential to harm plants and soils; chlorine, fluoride and chloramine.  Each has a different method of removal:

chlorine - This chemical will escape to the air over night if water is allowed to just sit out in a barrel or something. There are many products on the market to remove it quickly. These can be found at almost any aquarium supply house/pet store.  Running the water through a zinc filter can remove the chlorine almost instantly.

fluoride - This can be removed by allowing the water to sit for a few days or just stir in some form of powdered calcium (only takes a ounce per 100 gallons or even less).  Lime (Calcium Oxide will work best, even though limestone will work, just slower).

chloramine - liquid humic acid will work best and should only take 1-2 ounces per 100 gallons of water.  I do not know how fast it will take but it should be fairly quick, just stir it in and let sit for a couple hours.  If you use granular humates then is should at least sit over night and use 2-3 ounces per 100 gallons. There are special filters available to remove chloramine quickly.

Once the water is treated it will store as long as you need as the chemicals have been removed or rendered inert.

There are several labs that can test water for these chemicals but probably not worth the effort.

There are combination filters now available that remove all chemicals at once as water passes through them. The nursery "Sweet Organic Solutions" in Pearland may carry some or all of the required products. Ask for Donna Fay.

Regards, John



Since I wrote about the issues with fluoride a few weeks ago I have read over a dozen papers on the problems with fluoride for both gardeners and human health.


Fluoride has been found to be an enzyme poison that prevents enzymes from proper functioning.  From the microbes in the soil to all our plants there are literally thousands of enzymes required for proper health and growth.  The more we water our yard with fluoride treated water we greatly increase our chance of insect and disease problems and other complications that we do not even understand or even aware of.


From the website below I found a list of plants harmed by fluorine.


  • Cordyline fruticosa is sort of famous for developing burnt tips and margins from fluoride; this, combined with its susceptibility to spider mites, probably accounts for why it's not a more commonly grown indoor plant.
  • Chlorophytum comosum will get tip burn from fluoride, sodium, or boron.
  • The entire Dracaena clan, except possibly for D. surculosa, gets terrible tip burn when fluoride levels are high; this is a difficult problem to deal with, as Dracaenas are often sold as large, floor-sized specimens which are hard to drag to a water source to flush out.
  • Calathea and Maranta spp. (e.g. Calathea ornata, Maranta leuconeura erythroneura) also develop tip and margin burn, especially on the oldest leaves, often with a yellowish halo at the edge of the burn.
  • Asparagus spp. don't seem to be that picky about fluoride in water, but fluoride in the air (which sometimes happens following volcanic eruptions, or near incinerators) can cause sudden, massive leaf drop.
  • The kentia palm, Howea forsterana, is also sensitive to atmospheric fluoride, and is slightly sensitive to fluoride in the soil.
  • Chamaedorea species (elegans, metallica, seifrizii, etc.) get tip burn, as will many other palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, Rhapis excelsa).
  • Yucca guatemalensis can experience fluoride toxicity, but it tends to be slow in developing and fairly easy to fix with a soil flush.
  • Aspidistra spp. (elatior, lurida) and Tradescantia spp. (zebrina, pallida) are also somewhat, though not extremely, touchy about fluoride.


This list is from the Oregon State University website.

Table 1. Plants sensitive to fluoride.*

Common Name

Scientific Name



Prunus armeniaca

Some cultivars are intermediate insensitivity.

Box Elder

Acer negundo


Vaccinium corymbosum

Sweet corn

Zea mays


Pseudotsuga menziesii


Gladiolus sp.

Bract and leaf injury.


Vitis vinifera

V. labrusca is intermediate.

Oregon Grape

Mahonia aquifolium

Western Larch

Larix occidentalis


Prunus persica

Soft suture or red suture disease of the fruit.


Pinus sp.

Eastern white pine, lodgepole, scotch, Mugho, ponderosa


Prunus domestica

Flowering plums are resistant.

Blue Spruce

Pice pungens


Tulipa sp.

Corn plant

Dracaena sp.

Most species and cultivars.


Yucca sp.

Spider plant

Chlorophytum comosum

Tahitian Bridal Veil

Gibasis pellucida


Lilium spp.


SUMMARY of other papers on FLOURIDE:


One paper was published in the journal Toxicology by researchers from the University of Zaragoza in Spain.  They found that at levels recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) it caused calcification of arteries in the animal studies.


Another study by the Natural News Forensic Labs found that the sodium fluoride added to U.S. water supplies is contaminated with the toxic elements lead, tungsten and aluminum all that have been linked to health problems from Alzheimer's disease to behavior issues in children.  The EPA requires testing of water for heavy metals however they test before the fluoride compounds are added to the water.  In some of the samples they also found uranium and strontium.


A few years ago researchers at Tulane University found that teeth treated with a coco extract (from the same cacao bean as used to make chocolate) worked better and made teeth more resilient than fluoride. Another reason to eat quality chocolate?


Other studies have shown that fluoride will accumulate in the brain and thyroid gland. This leads to low thyroid function (due to fluoride toxicity) which can cause fatigue, apathy, weakness, tiredness, and a permanent lowering of IQ within a developing fetus. Natural News, May, 2013.


Research at both the Harvard School of Public Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai published in the medical journal "Lancet", found that fluoride in public water systems contributes directly to mental and behavioral disorders in children.  They found that fluoride obstructs proper brain development and can lead to autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, ADHA and other health problems.


Another study published in the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives (July 2012) conducted by Harvard University found that children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ's than those in low fluoride areas. Note: There are over 34 studies that have found the same pattern.


In 2006 the National Research Council (NRC) published a study showing that regular exposure to fluoride in water can lead to brittle bones, pre-clinical skeletal fluorosis, and arthritis.


Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that the fluorosilicates added to drinking water are industrial wastes and are not found in nature. They often contaminated with arsenic and radio-active particles that cause cancer.


The Fluoride Action Network (FAN), through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) investigation found that the government new as far back as 1962 that our black community was at far greater risk for dental fluorosis and they did nothing except cover it up. Reports found at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2005 showed the same pattern. Additional information can be found at:

www.fluorideaction.net or www.fluoridealert.org


Many gardeners also like to cook and it has been found that chloramine will kill yeast (a species of fungus) when trying to bake bread using city water with chloramine in it. The water must be filtered in order for the bread to rise correctly.  Similarly, if one is making compost tea the water must be filtered to remove these toxic chemicals if one wants good results. If the chemicals in the city water are killing those required microbes you have just made the tea somewhat ineffective defeating its purpose.






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

Not using our format will result in a delay in publication.   

Events will not be picked up from newsletters.




SAT., JUNE 20: LOW VOLUME IRRIGATION, 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 www.urbanharvest.org

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Dr., Humble. Details: 281-446-8588; Teri MacArthur, Montgomery County Master Naturalist Program, tmacarthur@hcp4.net, www.hcp4.net/jones


SAT, JUNE 20: GROWING & USING HERBS BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf, 281-855-5600


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

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


TUES., JUNE 23: HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN GARDEN DAY AND GROWING & USING HERBS WORKSHOP, 9-11:30am, 3033 Bear Creek Drive. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf, 281-855-5600 


WED., JUNE 24: PHOTOSYNTHESIS: FROM SEA TO SHINING SUCCULENT BY ELLEN STRUPP, 7:30pm, Metropolitan Multi-Services Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society, http://www.hcsstex.org/ ;

Wallace Ward wtw3arb@aol.com


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


MON., JULY 6: OPEN GARDEN DAY AND PLANT SALE WITH HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS AT PRECINCT 2, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu  


WED., JULY 8: MONARCHS & MILKWEEDS, noon, Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731; http://www.hcp4.net/community/parks/mercer 

THURS, JULY 9; FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30pm. Barbara Bush Library, 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf  281-855-5600


THURS., JULY 9: ANNUAL ICE CREAM SOCIAL, 7:30pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


SAT., JULY 11: TEXAS ROSE RUSTLERS ANNUAL MEETING. 9:30am-4pm, Mercer Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine-Westfield. Free. Details: 281-443-8731; http://www.hcp4.net/community/parks/mercer 


SAT. JULY 11: LEARN TO COMPOST BY JARED MCNABB, DANIELA OCHOA AND JOHN FERGUSON, 9:30am-noon, A Moveable Feast, 9341 Katy Freeway. Details: Texas Campaign for the Environment, Melanie Scruggs, melanie@texasenvironment.org


TUES., JULY 14: PLUMERIA SOCIETY OF AMERICA QUARTERLY MEETING, 7pm, Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive in Hermann Park. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


MON., JULY 14-16: MERCER BOTANIC GARDENS CHILDREN'S SUMMER CAMPS BEGIN. Details: 281-443-8731; http://www.hcp4.net/community/parks/mercer


WED., JULY 15: HIBISCUS BY MARTI GRAVES, 10am, Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 NASA Parkway,Seabrook.  Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu 


THURS., JUL. 16: ARTIST BOAT: THE PRESERVATION OF COASTAL MARGINS THROUGH SCIENCE AND ART BY KARLA KLAY. 7-9pm. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4505 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter event. Details: npsot.org/wp/houston/activities/monthly-meetings/


THURS., JULY 16; FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30 pm. Freeman Branch Library, 16616 Diana Lane.Free. https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf  281-855-5600 


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

SAT, JULY 18; FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 10am-Noon. Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf  281-855-5600

MON., JULY 20: OPEN GARDEN DAY AND PLANT SALE WITH HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS AT PRECINCT 2, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu 

TUES., JULY 21; FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS. 6:30-8:30pm, Spring Branch Memorial Library, 930 Corbindale. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-green-thumb.pdf  281-855-5600


SAT., JULY 25: PLUMERIA SOCIETY OF AMERICA SALE, 9:30am-3pm, Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Richmond.  Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org 


SAT., JULY 25: URBAN HARVEST'S FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING CLASS, 9am-11:30am.  $45. Location TBA. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org.


SAT., JULY 25: A HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE TO WEED CONTROL BY ANNA WYGRYS,9-11am, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Free. Email reservations: galv3@wt.net. Details: www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston; 281-534-3413


TUES., JULY 28: HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS OPEN GARDEN DAY AND SEMINAR: FALL VEGETABLE GARDENING, 9-11:30am, 3033 Bear Creek Drive. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/docs/2015-open-garden-days.pdf  281-855-5600


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


TUES., AUG. 11: SOIL FOOD WEB - LATEST ADVANCES IN SOIL BIOLOGY BY ELAINE INGHAM, Ph.D., 8am-4pm, Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle. Organic Horticultural Benefit Alliance (OHBA) event. Fee, Register at: www.ohbaonline.org

THURS., AUG. 20: PLANTING FOR THE HOUSTON TOAD AND OTHER LOCAL AMPHIBIANS BY Dr. CASSIDY JOHNSON. 7-9pm. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4505 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter event. Details: npsot.org/wp/houston/activities/monthly-meetings/

TUES., OCT. 13: PLUMERIA SOCIETY OF AMERICA QUARTERLY MEET, 7pm, Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Drive in Hermann Park. Details: www.theplumeriasociety.org

THURS., SEPT. 17: PREVIEW OF UPCOMING WILDSCAPES WORKSHOP PLANT SALE BY JOE BLANTON. 7-9pm. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4505 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter event. Details: npsot.org/wp/houston/activities/monthly-meetings/ 

THUR.-SUN., OCT. 15-18:  MASTER COMPOSTER PROGRAM, Green Building Resource Center, 1002 Washington Ave. Details: Steve Stelzer, 832-394-9050, steve.stelzer@houstontx.gov


SAT., OCT. 24: ROSEAPALOOZA, 10am educational program. Afternoon Rose Show. Bear Creek. Houston Rose Society Event. Details: www.houstonrose.org.





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 gardener@sbcglobal.net

Not using our format will result in a delay in publication.   

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 Native 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 06/28/15.