May 20th, 2016

Dear Friends,

Here is the 158th 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 many ways. 
Thanks so much!
This newsletter is a project of The Lazy Gardener, Brenda Beust Smith, John Ferguson and Mark Bowen (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.




Bromeliad lovers from across the globe will gather in the Bayou City June 14-19 for the World Bromeliad Conference XXII. Included will be both a show and plant sale at the Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 West Alabama. Our own Bromeliad Society/Houston will host this international event. Plan ahead at

Bromeliads are ideal plants for our climate, as
the Bromeliad Society/Houston's Rick and Carole Richtmyer explain in our Spotlight article below. Before we get to the Richtmyers' tips, however, want to give a tip o' the trowel to Donna Buchanan. 

Donna and I go back a long way. In a recent edition of her Buchanan's Native Plants, Donna, a
longtime Houston area nurseryman, recalls opening her nursery 30 years ago when very few of us were planting natives.
Actually, I was. But sorry to admit, not with any ecological intent. I was writing feature articles and about 10 years into the Lazy Gardener column for the Houston Chronicle. Who had time to actually garden?  
My secret to having gorgeous blooms in my landscape when company was coming was to roam the then-country roads around Aldine looking for wildflowers in bloom.  I'd dig them up and plant them in my gardens.  Presto! Instant beauty!
Lower those eyebrows. I only dug out of ditches.  
I figured these were fair game since county regularly mowed the ditches.  To my delight many of the native bloomers I transplanted grew.  Some multiplied . . . beyond all imagination.  Take it from me, never transplant goldenrod or obedient plants (physostegia) into your garden! 
Donna Buchanan -- and other great natives enthusiasts like Mike Anderson, Mike Lowrey and, our natives guru, Lynn Lowrey  -- helped expand my "natives" horizons (and kept me out of ditches . . . most of the time). Husband still got reports ("Hey, Coach Smith, I just saw your wife in the ditch over on . . . ") He was not amused.
Then a wonderful friend and fellow wildflower ditch digger, Nancy Thomas, gave me a lecture I never forgot.  She had been digging a wildflower in a rather deep ditch, slipped and twisted her ankle. Passing motorists couldn't see her. She did eventually get out, but warned me she'd better never catch me in another ditch! When Nancy Thomas speaks, Brenda listens.
Ditto for Donna. I totally agree with what she writes in a recent Buchanan's newsletter: "Just about everybody wants plants that (1) bloom or look good all the time, (2) don't die and (3) are low-maintenance. Native plants often meet all three.  Planting the right varieties* for the right conditions is important.  Additionally there are lots of great plants that have those three important traits that are not technically native, but they are close enough to be included as "almost natives".  In my book, it's totally OK -- even better -- to mix natives with "almost natives."
Here are the Top Ten Natives for Houston as compiled by Jackie D'Elia and listed in Buchanan's Newsletter.  Do you agree?  If not, do share your own successes.
1. Eastern Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).  2. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm').
3. Inland Sea Oats (
Chasmanthium latifolium). 4. Southern Wax Myrtle. 5. Pride of Houston Yaupon Holly
Ilex vomitoria; Elizabeth Barrow photo). 6. Texas Lantana (Lantana horrida / L. urticoides).
7 Red Turk's Cap (
Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummondii). 8. Texas Olive (Cordia boissieri).
9. Autumn Sage (
Salvia greggii). 10. Gulf Coast Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
1. MERCER NEEDS HELP: Mercer Botanic Gardens suffered a great deal of damage during the recent Cypress Creek flooding.  On Saturday, May 21, volunteers are needed to help flood cleanup on plants at the North Side Greenhouse, 3602 Hirschfield Rd., Spring (just across Cypress Creek from the main garden area).  It's a little late notice but I just got it.  Email Becky Mills, The Mercer Society's Greenhouse Grower, if you can help.

2. RAIN . . . ALWAYS TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE. Wouldn't it be smart to save some of this rainwater now for use later this summer when (maybe?) our common drought arrives? One approach is a rain barrel. For hands-on help learning to use one, Keep Bolivar Beautiful & Beach Bloomers Garden Club are co-sponsoring a Rain Barrel Workshop, 9:30am, Sat., June 11, at the Crystal Beach Fire Station, 930 Noble Carl Dr. on Bolivar Peninsula.

The Galveston Bay Foundation presentation $35 registration fee
includes one barrel and kit. Advance registration required: this website too for other GBF Rain Barrel Workshops around the Greater Houston/Galveston area.

Avid rain barrel user Ange Buscheme Scheible, a Crystal Beach resident, notes that these not only make it possible for her to save some of our (currently abundant rain water), but her plants are just happier with this natural resource than with treated water. "Like back in the day when we had cisterns," she quips.

Another excellent resource:
"10 Steps to Rain Barrel Success" by Pam Allen & Nancy Schoepf &

TWO GREAT GARDENING IDEAS: Left, just a few of the winners in a Galveston Bay Foundation's decorate 
a rain barrel competition. (More GBF great winning rain barrel designs) Right: Ron Richter's Spiral Garden.

.  Ah, senior moments. I got Harris County Master Gardener Ron Richter confused with Harris County AgriLife Extension Horticulturist Robert "Skip" Richter (no relation) mixed up last week in the Spiral Garden segment. A common confusion, they assured me. Such gentlemanly treasures both men are. 
It's RON RICHTER, not Skip, who is the Spiral Garden expert and community speaker. Ron coordinates Glazier Senior Center and Memorial Drive Community Garden. For those of you who clicked on the link in the segment below and think nothing happened, know this is a PowerPoint presentation that downloads to your computer/device. No new page appears. Check your downloads. I'm repeating last week's segment with the right accreditation. 

Most gardens contain plants with a range of water requirements - very little to a lot - to reach their full potential. The Spiral Garden concept (above right) embraces these polar opposite requirements in a compact design, ideal for our shrinking gardening spaces. A raised top is great for most herbs and drought-tolerant natives. The bottom receives the most water.

In Ron Richter's own words: "If you are looking to add landscaping to your yard that provides great functionality and looks you may want to consider Spiral gardening which combines the art of Japanese rock gardens and vertical gardening. Other benefits are that it supports plants that require different Ph soil and water needs."

This is great for herb and flower gardens. This particular garden pictured above right is a tea garden. You can visit the demo garden at Memorial Drive Community Garden at 12211 Memorial Drive In Houston.

To download Ron Richter's "spiral-gardening.pptx" (PowerPoint) presentation on how to build your own spiral garden, use this link:
(Remember: It's a PDF download.)

A huge tip o' the trowel to Ron Richter for this concise, presentation that doesn't waste words telling you the same thing over and over -- which so many websites do -- ad nauseum.  He not only details Spiral Gardens, but Keystone Gardens and Vertical Gardens -- all excellent choices.  The latter two are especially great ideas for anyone with gardening challenges (bending, reaching, stamina, short attention spans and most lazy gardeners!).

Want your Spiral Garden questions personally answered? Drop by this event:
Thurs., June 2: "Spiral Gardens" by Ron Richter, 10:30am-12:30pm, Richard & Meg Weekley Community Center, 8440 Greenhouse Rd., Cypress. 713-274-3161;

*  *  * 
Email questions & comments to Brenda at
Brenda's column in the LG&F Newsletter is based on her 45+ years as the Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener.

*  *  *

 Bromeliads guaranteed to excite true afficiationados will be in the spotlight at World Bromeliad Conference XXII include; 1. Aechmea recurvata (in bloom) - small, cold-hardy plant. 2. Orthophytum burle-marxii (in habitat
in Brazil). 3. Dyckia brevifolia 'Yellow Glow' 4.. Tillandsia baileyi. 5. Cryptanthus 'Sahara.'
6. Hechtia stenopetala. 7. Orthophytum species.
Bromeliad Society /Houston

When many people think of bromeliads, they usually think of "airplants."  It's true, many are epiphytic and will grow with no soil (although they really do need nutrients and water they get from the air).  But the wonder of bromeliads is that there's so many different kinds that you can almost always find one that will grow where it suits you.
Epiphytic bromeliads attach themselves by holdfast roots to a structure to give themselves access to moisture and nutrients.  It might be a lush tree in the rainforest, a rock or a cactus, or even on the ground.  There is an incredible number of this type of bromeliad that we can grow in South Texas. Tillandsias are often epiphytes, but many other genera such as Neoregelias, Aechmeas, Vrieseas and more also will grow epiphytically mounted on wood or rock. 
In Texas, we're familiar with several Tillandsias that grow here naturally:  Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) and ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) in the Houston area. Spanish moss has very small greenish flowers that are pleasantly fragrant. Tillandsia baileyi is found in the vicinity of the King Ranch in South Texas.  You may be a bromeliad grower and not even know it, if they're growing in your yard!
Many other bromeliads are true terrestrials - they require a growing substrate of some kind to survive.  Cryptanthus, for example, are native to Brazil and grow there in habitats ranging from Atlantic rainforest to dry, rocky savanna.  They come in many different colors, shapes and patterns, and are not your typical green houseplant; in fact there are many varieties that will grow very happily next to houseplants like African Violets. 
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the mean, spiny but beautiful Hechtias and Dyckias, very popular with the serious bromeliad collector these days.  One Hechtia, H. texensis, actually grows here in Texas in the Big Bend area and another, H. glomerata, is found near the Rio Grande River in Zapata and Starr Counties, Texas. A surprising number of terrestrial bromeliads grow on solid rock outcrops or very rocky soil such as these Hechtias.
So, check out the many different varieties available and choose one (or more) that will adapt and do well in your growing conditions right here in South Texas.
*   *   *
Make your plans now to take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a global perspective on bromeliads:
TUES.-SUN., JUNE 14-19: WORLD BROMELIAD CONFERENCE XXII, Show and Plant Sale 9am-5pm Fri. & 9am-4pm Sat., 4th Floor, Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 West Alabama St.  Bromeliad Society/Houston, Inc./Bromeliad Society International event.      

Email questions & comments to Brenda at   
Brenda's column in the LG&F Newsletter is based on her 45+ years as the Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener.
News from the wonderful world of soil and plants

I received an e-mail this week from a reader with a few questions:
Hello, John.... We have had our backyard makeover and to avoid return of our "jungle" we want to spread a good layer of mulch. Talked with Bob D. couple of days ago and he recommends the twice (or double?) cut mulch....from you....I thought the really large pieces would be best. We have had a swamp here with all these rains and the soil is not allowing penetration. Got a good amount of compost and worm castings...both are full of worms....if I put them out before mulching, will the worms drown? Or is the mulch alone going to be enough to help absorb water? I know the worms help aerate the soil and facilitate somewhat better drainage.

I hope I am making some sense....
Please advise....also how thick a layer of mulch would you recommend?
Regards, I. H.

Worms can actually breathe under water so they should be okay. When we see worms on the surface after a rain, it is usually some dissolved chemical. A common example is artificial fertilizers (along with pesticides, herbicides, etc) dissolved in the water that are salts that make them leave the soil as it can kill them.

There are several things to consider:

1) If the mulch is for plants then 2-3 inches thick for most species. Azaleas prefer 4-6 inches and Blueberries 6-8 inches thick. The composted or also called aged Native Mulch screened course works well and looks good. The second choice is aged Double ground Native Mulch that costs a little less and still looks nice and works well.

2) If you just want to break down clay and increase soil structure to help with water infiltration then fresh double ground native mulch will work best and still look nice. It also costs less.

3) If the mulch is for weed prevention (not in flowerbeds) and soil improvement and appearance is not important then course ground native mulch will work and offers the lowest cost. In general, the thicker one puts it down the more soil improvement one gets.

Note: Canada's Department of Forestry has funded research at Lavelle University for decades. They have found that native mulch improves soil (sand or clay) more than any other amendment.

Microbes in the soil will use the native mulch as a food source and allow them to multiply to extremely high densities. The bacteria produce glues that bind soil particles together into pellets that are called "peds". Fungus will then tie these peds together creating the crumb structure that we as gardeners desire. If one wants good drainage, we must protect the microbes (e.g. organic gardening).

Note: My original soil was black clay that I have used native mulch on for many years. The clay has broken down over the years into a rich soil with excellent structure. The last 3 days I have received over 9 inches of rain at my house. After the rain, there were many puddles in the yard. However, in a couple hours all the water had soaked into the soil.

The Soil Science Society of America has a paper on water infiltration at the following link: 
A few weeks ago, OHBA (Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance) brought in Dr. Thierry Vrain for a lecture at Rice University on glyphosate and all the health and environmental problems it causes. He has several lectures on this subject:
There is also an interview in the magazine with Dr. Vrain in Mother Earth News (courtesy of Dr. Bob Randall) that can be found at:

There has been a lot of news lately about the Zika virus. A study published in the Journal "Cell Host & Microbes" (May 4, 2016) has found that a bacterium called Wolbachia prevents the virus from being transmitted to humans and animals. This bacterium is naturally found in many insects and has previously been found to prevent the transmission of the dengue and chikungunya viruses. The researchers believe that introducing this bacterium into mosquitoes will be an effective control of this disease.
Another study published by the American Geophysical Union in the Journal Geophysical Research Letters (May 2016) has found that emissions from farms (artificial fertilizers and animal waste) outweighs all other sources of fine particulate air pollution. These emissions combine in the air with combustion by-products to form solid particles that are a major source of disease and death. A study in the Journal Nature found that these particles cause at least 3.3 million deaths each year globally. This is another good reason to use organic methods in our garden and purchase organic foods whenever possible. We are commanded in the Bible to "Love our neighbor as ourselves" - the obvious corollary is that we do anything to harm our neighbor. One good thing about all the rain we have been having is that it temporarily washes these particles out of the air.



                                                                    *   *   *

Events NOT submitted in the EXACT written format below may take two weeks or longer
to be reformatted/retyped. After that point, if your event does not appear, please email us.
Submit to: 
If we inspire you to attend any of these events, please let them know you heard about it in

SAT., MAY 21: FRIENDS OF PECKERWOOD GARDEN dAY, 2 & 5pm tours, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. $10. Garden Conservancy event.,  979-826-3232; 

SAT., MAY 21: HERB LORE WITH DANY MILIKIN OF EDIBLE EARTH RESOURCES, 10-11am, Buchanan's Native Plants, 611 E 11th. Free. 713-861-5702; 

SAT., MAY 21: TOMATO & SALSA CONTEST judged by BILL ADAMS , 10am, Enchanted Forest, 10611 FM 2759, Richmond; 2pm Enchanted Gardens, 6420 FM 359, Richmond.

SAT., MAY 21: SPACE CITY HIBISCUS CHAPTER SHOW & SALE, 1-4pm, Nessler Center, Wings of Heritage Room, 2010 5th Avenue, Texas City. 281-844-4296;

SAT, MAY 21; PLANTS OF THE BIBLE BY HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS.  10am-Noon.  Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. Free. Details: ;281-855-5600

SUN., MAY 22:  CELEBRATION OF DAYLILIES OPEN HOUSE, 9am-5 pm, Payne's in the Grass Daylily Farm, 2130 O'Day Road, Pearland, Free, 281-485-3821, cell 713-419-6661.

TUES., MAY 31: BAMBOO USES IN THE LANDSCAPE, by TISH REUSTLE, 6:30pm. AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Galveston County Master Gardener event. Free, but must preregister:;

THU., JUNE 2:  PEACH TREE PRUNING FOR THE HOME ORCHARD by HERMAN AUER & SUE JEFFCO, 10 & 11am.  Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden and Orchard in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, but register at;

SAT., JUNE 4: BUTTERFLY GARDEN WORKSHOP FOR KIDS, 10-11am, Buchanan's Native Plants, 611 E 11th. Free. 713-861-5702; 

SAT., JUNE 4: WATER-WISE GARDENING, 9:30-11:30am, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Moran Hall, 5555 Hermann Park Dr., $45. Urban Harvest event.
SAT., JUNE 4: PECKERWOOD INSIDER'S Tour, 10am, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Garden Conservancy event. $10. Register:,  979-826-3232;

Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Free.

TUES., JUNE 7: DRIP IRRIGATION, by Galveston County Master Gardener SUSAN ROTH, 6:30-8:00 pm; Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, but registration required:;

WED., JUNE 8: WATER-WISE GARDENING, 10am-noon, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Moran Hall, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. $45. Urban Harvest event.
WED., JUNE 8: ULTIMATE MOSQUITO PREDATORS: DAMSELFLIES & DRAGONFLIES, noon-2pm, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22308 Aldine-Westfield. Free but register: 713-274-4160.

Thurs., June 9: ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT FOR THE JOB? 7:30pm, Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free. Houston Rose Society event.

THURS., JUNE 9: WILDLIFE IN OUR AREA by MTT STRUSSER, 10am, Clear Lake Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway. Free. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event.

SAT., JUNE 11: PLUMERIA SOCIETY OF AMERICA SHOW & SALE, 9:30am-3pm, Bay Area Community Center 5002 Nasa Road One Seabrook. Free. 

SAT., JUNE 11: EDIBLE LANDSCAPING WITH DANY MILIKIN OF EDIBLE EARTH RESOURCES, 10-11am, Buchanan's Native Plants, 611 E 11th. Free. 713-861-5702; 

SAT., JUNE 11: T-BUD GRAFTING OF CITRUS AND FRUIT TREES (presentation & hands-on workshop), by Galveston County Master Gardener SUE JEFFCO, 9:00-11:30 am, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, class size limited; pre-registration required:;
SAT., JUNE 11:  PLANNING FOR YOUR SUCCESSFUL FRUIT TREE ORCHARD, by HERMANN AUER, 1 & 3pm, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, but register at;

SAT., JUNE 11: COMPOSTING & SOIL PREPARATION FOR GARDENING, 9-11am, Montgomery County AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe. $5. Master Gardener class., 936-539-7824
TUES.-SUN., JUNE 14-19: WORLD BROMELIAD CONFERENCE XXII, Show and Plant Sale 9am-5pm Fri. & 9am-4pm Sat., 4th Floor, Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama. Bromeliad Society/Houston, Inc. & Bromeliad Society International event.                  
THUR. JUNE 16: TOXIC HORTICULTURE CHEMICALS AND YOUR HEALTH by John Ferguson, 10am, Bay Area Welcome Neighbors Club, Bay Oaks Country Club, Clear Lake, Bay Oaks Dr.  713-823-6980

SAT., JUNE 18:  DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR LANDSCAPES, by Galveston County Master Gardener KAREN LEHR, 9:00-11:00 am, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, but registration required:;
TUE., JUNE 21: GROWING CUCURBITS by HERMANN AUER, 6:30 & 8:30pm, Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St. (Hwy 519), La Marque.  Free, but register:;
SAT., JUNE 18: FAMILY/KIDS DAY IN THE GARDENS, 9-11am, Montgomery County AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd., Conroe. $5/family. Master Gardener event.; 936-539-7824 
SAT., JUNE 18: SUMMER COLOR SALE, 9am-3pm (free), ALL ABOUT BEGONIAS INDOORS & OUT WORKSHOP, 10:30am ($10), & EASY CARE OF ORCHIDS WORKSHOP, noon ($10). Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22308 Aldine-Westfield. Workshops register: 713-274-4166.
MON., JUNE 20: CELEBRATE POLLINATORS GARDEN TOURS, 9:15am & 10:45am, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22308 Aldine-Westfield. Free but register: 713-274-4160.

SAT., JULY 23: PLUMERIA SOCIETY OF AMERICA SHOW & SALE, 9:30am-3pm, Fort Bend Country Fairgrounds 4310 Texas Highway 36, Rosenberg.

SAT., AUG. 6 : PECKERWOOD INSIDER'S Tour, 10am, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Garden Conservancy event. $10. Register:,  979-826-3232; info@peckerwoodgarden.orgMON. AUGUST 22, ORGANIC METHODS IN GARDENING- THE SOIL FOOD WEB, by John Ferguson, South Montgomery County Friends of The Library (SMCFOL), 2 PM, Mitchell Library, 8125 Ashland Way, The Woodlands, Sari Harris, 281-681-0470

SAT, SEPT 24: HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS FALL LANDSCAPE PLANTS, PERENNIALS & VEGETABLES SALE. Overview 8am; sale: 9am-1pm. 3033 Bear Creek Drive. Free.; 281-855-5600     

TUES., OCT. 11: GROWING PLUMERIAS, 7:30pm, Cherie Flores Garden Pavillion, Hermann Park Conservancy, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free. Plumeria Society of America event. 

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

Events NOT submitted in the EXACT written format below may take two weeks or longer
to be reformatted/retyped. After that point, if your event does not appear, please email us.
Submit to:  

Green Job Opportunities at Nature's Way Resources

Inside Sales: duties include providing customer service, gardening advice and sales assistance. This is a part time position.

For more information please email



                                                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 theBayou 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. 50% off pomegranates, apples, asian pears and selected antique roses. 
 (Offer good for retail purchases of this product (101 Sherbrook Circle, Conroe TX). Expires 05/31/16.