OCTOBER 9, 2017

Dear Friends,

Here is the 224th 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. . . .E mail your thoughts to: lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your interest.
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"A squirrel after a fig is an unstoppable force . . . not unlike a hurricane."


Coincidence strikes again. This came in from H. Olson who worried about his cedar elm too late for me to include it in the column that put squirrels in the spotlight, .

Squirrels are, he wrote, ". . . "(typically 3-4 at a time) seriously "de-leafing" the tree by chewing off branches (up to and including 1/4" diameter, but mostly 1/8" diameter), typically about 6"-8" long with many intact leaves which then drop to the ground. We've swept up/collected about 2-3 "trash can" amounts of leaves over the last couple of weeks. That's a lot of leaves, but most importantly, methinks, that is a lot of small branches separated from the tree with the leaves still attached, but now lying on the ground."

Squirrel problems are an ever-present challenge on the Gulf Coast. But others had also asked about accelerating attacks. Harvey-related? I turned to my favorite sources, county AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agents:
  • Harris County agent Robert (Skip) Richter, answered:
    • Not sure why the marauding vandals would be doing such severe damage. I've seen minor damage quite commonly ... it tends to come and go. There isn't an effective, practical, legal way to manage squirrels in the urban environment. That said, I don't think this pruning will threaten the life of the tree.
  • Fort Bend County agent Vince Manino:
    • Several people said that between the wind and pounding rain many acorns fell off prematurely. Perhaps the squirrels are hungry or mad. (I can share their anger, that's for sure!)
  • Galveston County agent Dr. William Johnson noted:
    • Probably the only solution (IF you can cover the tree) is netting available at garden centers.
  • Montgomery County: Agent Michael Potter says:
    •  y'all seem to be ok (squirrel-wise, anyway) up there. No more than usual hassles, I guess. 
In my experience, at least with our figs, a squirrel after a fig is an unstoppable force . . . not unlike a hurricane. Add to that, neighbors intentionally attract them (along with birds) with feeders. A losing battle.
H. Olson opted for the best solution. He's joined the "Who, me worry?" club. His cedar elm isn't totally denuded (yet). Maybe it will restore itself.
He also offered one observation might be of help to anyone planting trees with fruit or nuts they hope to harvest. Don't plant close to a springboard, like a handy roof or other canopy! Know tho, squirrels can leap 4+ feet upwards, and 10+ feet horizontally.  
Lest you're thinking of a more "lethal" solution, I'm here to tell you it doesn't work either. Just too many of them. They quickly learn to spot you leaving in a car, or maybe peek in the windows to see if anyone's home. Only then -- when they're sure you're gone -- will they drop in, like the smartest of burglars.
I'm sorry I'm no help at all on this issue. If anyone has an answer, DO SHARE!  (No recipes, please!)

NEW TO BULBS IN THIS AREA?    Sorry we missed last week's LG&F edition, but Harvey is still wreaking havoc on all of us.  Since the 2017 Bulb & Plant Mart Is getting closer (Oct. 12-14), didn't want to miss sharing the rest of the great advice Dodie Jackson started last week:

  • October: Allium, Anemone, Bletilla, Calla Lily, Crocus, Iris, Freesia, Ixia, Leucojum, Lycoris, Milla, Montbretia, Muscari, Ornithogalum, Oxalis, Ranunculus, Scilla, Sparaxis, Watsonia, Zephyranthes.
  • November: Allium, Amaryllis, Crocus, Daffodil, Freesia, Homeria, Ixia, Leucojum, Milla, Muscari, Narcissus, Ornithogalum, Sparaxis, Watsonia,
  • December: (Early) Allium, Amaryllis, Ixia, Sparaxis, Zephyranthes.
  • January: Plant refrigerated tulips every 2-to-3 weeks until mid-February to extend their blooming time.
 Note:  Tulips need to be refrigerated for a minimum of 6 weeks before planting

Among Heidi's favorite habitat plantings -- Creeping Yellow Tunera, Rosa's Blush Dwarf Blueberry,
Calico Pipe Vine, Dwarf Fairy Dusterbottlebrush shrub, Parrot's Beak 'Amazon Sunset' (Lotus maculatus)
and Heartleaf Hibiscus (H. martianus). More from Heidi Fri., Oct. 14, at 9:15am  
If more unusual habitat plants are your main interest, get there early enough -- 9:15, Fri., Oct. 14 -- for Treesearch Farm's Heidi Sheesley's Saturday morning presentation on her Bulb Mart offerings, including Creeping Yellow Tunera, Rosa's Blush Dwarf Blueberry, Calico Pipe Vine, Dwarf Fairy Duster, Parrot's Beak Vine and Heartleaf Hibiscus (see below).

Other special highlights at the Garden Club of Houston's 2017 Bulb & Plant Mart (Oct. 12-14) include:
  • All bulbs can be purchased individually at the Mart. Or, you can skip the often long lines by pre-ordering bulbs online through Sun., Oct. 8.
  • Mike Lowrey of Another Place in Time will be a guest expert in the "Plants That Merit Attention" booth always filled with unusual and hard-to-find treasures (booth open on Saturday only).
  • Landscape architect Lanson Jones will also speak and Saturday, 9am-2pm, Junior Gardeners will teach youngsters to make seed balls.
See calendar below for specific Mart details, dates & times.
Or log onto: gchouston.org

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We human gardeners seem to just now be tuning into a valuable resource squirrels and other wildlife have known all along. Desirable edibles can be found/grown almost everywhere. Proof? Planting edibles throughout the entire landscape is now a major trend.

We no longer require the vast amounts of produce once used to feed families throughout the year. Back then, long row gardens were the most efficient means of achieving the largest harvest with the least amount of effort and expense. Not efficient today.  What's more, here on the Gulf Coast, edible plantings can and do produce year-round.

The trick, of course, is getting them to look GOOD in the landscape. Want more proof of this trend? Many more people now smile rather than frown when they see edibles in a front yard garden. Soon, I predict, the remaining straight-laced HOAs will help residents with good advice, rather than prohibiting outright.

Achieving success, rather than a mishmash, does take a bit of planning and experimenting. Here comes Peckerwood Garden to the rescue, bringing in "foodscaping" expert Brie Arthur (above) on Oct. 28. If you've never been to this delightful horticultural site, this would be a good time.  Our Spotlight below offers a preview of the many tips Brie will offer during her 6:30 lecture. Oct. 28 is also an Open Garden Day at Peckerwood, with tours and other activities are planned.
Brie Is noted for her revolutionary leadership in the suburban Foodscape movement, earning her the recent honor of American Horticultural Society's very first "Emerging Horticultural Professional Award." Frequently seen on PBS's "Growing A Greener World," Brie's debut book, " The Foodscape Revolution" is an Amazon best seller. Her next book, "Gardening with Grains" will be published in 2011. 

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ANOTHER TREASURE LOST: CARTER TAYLOR. Condon Gardens has been a horticultural treasure trove for Houstonians since the early 1950s when it was started by Tom & Gertrude Condon.  In 1969, the Condons hired Carter Taylor, Condon Gardens expanded to include landscaping and their projects included the Junior League of Houston, Rienzi, Pennzoil and Saks Fifth Avenue. Carter and Cheryl Taylor became sole owners in 1996 when Tony retired. By the mid-90s, Carter was a leader in Houston's organic movement. I truly treasured working with Carter on gardening articles. He was fun, he was so knowledgeable and he was such a gentleman. He was truly a Houston treasure.

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CRYSTAL BEACH PLANT SALE  One more Harvey-interrupted plant sale has netted some good advice for those looking to replace wimps that can't survive hurricanes (better fill your yard with these). The Beach Bloomers Garden Club sale will now be Sat., Oct. 21, 10am-2pm, at Noble Carl Park Pavilion, 1750 Jane Long Highway (Hwy. 87) in Crystal Beach. One of the organizers, Ange Busceme, noted that although they lost so many sale plants (they're potting up more), the real survivors proved to be crinums and giant white spider lilies (Hymenocallis), both Bolivar Peninsula (and inland) natives.  Details: angelbus80@hotmail.com; 409-363-2107

And now ... "FOODSCAPING"!

Brenda's column in the  free,weekly,emailed LAZY GARDENER & FRIENDS HOUSTON GARDEN
NEWSLETTER is based on her 45+ years as the Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener.  

Email Brenda at lazygardener@sbcglobal.net 
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  Think outside the box: l to r, onions, peanuts and potatoes (Photos courtesy of Brie Arthur)
By Brie Arthur
"Garden to Table" is the best way to describe my passion of Foodscaping. The idea is simple:  add purpose to landscapes in developed areas such as suburban neighborhoods, office parks, school campuses and retirement communities. With an education in design, an enthusiasm for ornamental horticulture, and a hunger for local, organically raised produce I see potential to grow food in every cultivated space. From simple crops like garlic to low maintenance cover crops and grains, open mulch space is an opportunity waiting to happen! 
Foodscaping isn't new in fact, this strategy for planting food crops in convenient locations goes back centuries! From cottage gardens and French potage to the edible landscapes described by Rosalind Creasy, Foodscaping is just a modern term for a logical and easy way to grow meaningful amounts of food.  
Start by thinking "outside the box." Lumber encased beds are NOT the only way to grow food. In fact, raised beds are generally the cause for the "no food in the front yard" mantra of suburban HOA restrictive covenants. Boxed beds can also cause decreased production due to over planting. This also can lead to insect and disease problems.  Additionally this method of containing edibles limits available square footage and creates monocultures. Did you know that only four plant families make up the lions share of the edibles grown home gardeners? 
L to r, edibles growing among ornaments: Arugula, basil and dwarf peppers

 Top 4 plant families for grown edibles
  • Amaranthaceae- beats, quinoa, spinach and Swiss chard 
  • Brassicaeae- cool season crops such a broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale 
  • Fabaceae- beans, peas and peanuts
  • Solanaceae- warm season crops like eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes  
By incorporating popular annual crops like tomatoes, peppers, kale and chard into the landscape you will add brilliant colors and textures that blend beauty and abundant harvest. The ornamental plants offer the biological diversity to attract beneficial insects.  Focus on developing the sunniest areas of your landscape, as most edibles prefer bright exposure.  
You can start Foodscaping by planting bed edges- you will be amazed by how much square footage is available. Bed edges are a great place to grow low maintenance plants such as garlic, arugula, lettuce, basil and peanuts. This location is easy to access for watering and harvesting and really makes a visual impact. I had a professor in college explain that any combination of plants could make sense with a tidy edge. That advice continues to inspire me as I look for strategies to increase local food production. 

Beautiful borders:  L to r, garlic and lettuce

My top picks for bed edge plantings include traditional southern agricultural crops like peanuts to hardy greens that self sow such as Arugula. Many edibles are effective at deterring grazing mammals so consider plants like Garlic which will help ward off moles and voles or 'Micrette' Basil which has a strong, bitter flavor that bunnies hate! Most importantly, be creative in your plantings and change them seasonally to they look beautiful year round. 
*I never say any plant is mammal resistant, but here are a few plants that can help reduce browsing damage from deer, rabbits, moles and voles. 
Cool season edge: Arugula, Garlic, Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes
  • Arugula- bitter flavor deters rabbits and 
  • Garlic- smelly bulb deters moles and voles deer
  • Lettuce- direct seeded and easy to harvest weekly
  • Onion- smelly bulb deters moles and voles  
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  • Contact Brie at: https://www.briegrows.com/brie-arthur/ 
  • Or meet Brie in person at Peckerwood Gardens:
    • SAT., OCT. 28: PECKERWOOD OPEN GARDEN DAY & TOURS, 10am-5:30pm, FOODSCAPING GARDEN TO TABLE  by BRIE ARTHUR, 6:30pm, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Register: peckerwoodgarden.org
MINERALS - The Elements and What They Do

Part 38

79) Gold (Au)

Gold is a member of the group of metals known as "Noble" metals. It derives its name from the Latin, aurum, meaning "glow of sunrise" and its chemical abbreviation Au. It is a soft yellow metal that is virtually unaffected by air, water, and most acids.

Gold is found in igneous rocks and sedimentary rocks at 0.004 ppm and very little in fresh or seawater.
Gold is probably the most famous and valued metal in history. Gold of all the metals is the only one that is both golden colored, and keeps its shine and beauty forever. In addition to its beauty, gold is extremely useful. It is an excellent conductor of electricity and it does not tarnish which makes it one of the best materials to use in electrical contacts.  It is also the most malleable and ductile of all the elements.

Some microbes can extract gold from the soil (Thiobacillus ferrooxidans) and accumulate it. Several plants (Sedum aceotatum, Phacelia sericea, and Artemisia sp.) accumulate gold and their tissue has been used in prospecting to find gold deposits and even veins of gold. Gold has a high degree of resistance to colonization by bacteria hence it is used in medical implants.

Gold is not known to provide any essential function in humans. However, recent research has used gold compound in drugs to that reduce the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis. 

Gardening and Landscaping Problems Associated with Gold (Au)

Gold is easily phytoavailable hence many plants can absorb it. Microorganisms often release gold atoms and make them soluble for plants to absorb.

Brown algae can accumulate gold. Some plants produce cyanide, which allows the plant to extract gold atoms and absorb them.

Gold accumulator plants like Artemisia persia, Prangos popularia, and Pinus laricio may contain up to 100 ppm of gold. Peat and algal mats near mining areas often accumulate high levels of gold

Too much gold in plant tissues causes necrosis and wilting due to loss of turgidity in the leaves.
Sources:  mineral sands of igneous rocks, coal, sewage sludge
80) Mercury (Hg)

Mercury is found in igneous rocks at 0.08 ppm, shale at 0.4 ppm, sandstone, and limestone at 0.03 ppm, and very little in fresh or seawater. Most soils only have 1 ppm of mercury. Soils normally have very little mercury, as it is easily leached or vaporized. Mercury is a shiny silvery metal that is liquid at room temperature.
Raw humus and organic materials have a great capacity to bind mercury and other heavy metals.

The most common electrical or valence state is +2 and in this valence state, it is very mobile in soils. It will then combine readily with chloride, hydroxide, sulfides, and soil organic matter. Soils that are acidic in nature have mercury that is more available. Some coals have 10 ppm of mercury, which is released when it is burned.

Mercury is easily combined with other metals and is used in many applications. One of the most common is in dental amalgams. It is used in electrical devices from thermostats to light switches. When used in batteries it created a very stable voltage output good for sensitive or scientific applications. 

Vermillion paint used mercury sulfide (HgS) as a pigment, and the mineral cinnabar is composed of mercury sulfide. Mercury vapor lights are highly efficient and produce a pleasant light.

Mercury accumulates in the fatty tissue of animals especially fish.

Mercury is found in Thimersol that is used in most vaccines which has been linked to many behavioral problems in children. Mercury is used in many fungicides and pesticides due to its toxicity.

Many microorganisms can methylate mercury, making it available in a form that can be absorbed by living organisms. Mercury is more toxic in this form than in its elemental form.

"Flu shots contain over 50,000 ppm of mercury which is about 25,000 times the amount allowed in drinking water." 

Food Forensics

Mercury is a hazardous pollutant, as it is easily bioaccumulated. Mercury affects the immune system, many enzymes, and damages the nervous system. The list of damage and health problems is very long.

Mercury is absorbed into the human body from food, medicine, vaccines, etc. and is excreted in our feces.

Gardening and Landscaping Problems Associated with Mercury (Hg)

Plants easily absorb mercury from the soil and the amount in plants increases as the amount in the soil increases and it tend to accumulate in the roots.

Plants like lettuce, spinach, and mushrooms take up more mercury than other species. They can also absorb mercury from the air. Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) has the ability to hyper-accumulate mercury from contaminated soil often reaching 1,000 ppm.

Mercury inhibits the synthesis of proteins in plant leaves and disrupts other metabolic processes. Symptoms of too much mercury are; stunting of seedling growth, poor root development, and inhibition of photosynthesis.

The plant Arabidopsis thaliana  has the ability to convert the toxic mercury (Hg+2) into the relatively inert form (Hg0).

Sources:  mineral sands of igneous rocks, sewage sludge, fly ash from burning of coal
81) Thallium (Ti)

Thallium is a soft silvery grey metal that tarnishes easily. It is 10X more common than silver. It is found in igneous rocks at 0.45 ppm, shale, and limestone at 0.8-1.4 ppm, and soils at 0.1 ppm.

Its main electrical or oxidation state is +1 and often behaves chemically like potassium (K), hence, it can replace potassium in many biological functions.

Thallium is the first acutely toxic element discovered; and it was commonly used to kill someone. The major source of thallium in the environment comes from the burning of coal and cement manufacture.

Thallium can be complexed by organic matter and methylated, forming volatile compounds. In this form, thallium is toxic to microorganisms and prevents nitrate formation, which hurts plant growth.

Thallium sulfate (Ti2SO4) is an odorless and tasteless compound, which is used as a rat and ant poison. For years, thallium was used in pesticides, but the law no longer allows it.

There is no known biological role for thallium. Some marine organisms can concentrate thallium in their tissues.

Gardening and Landscaping Problems Associated with Thallium (Ti)

Thallium concentration in plants is directly related to the amount found in the soil.

Kale tends to concentrate thallium, as does Kohlrabi. In some plants, levels of thallium can reach 100 ppm. The plant Iberis intermedia can contain 4,000 ppm of thallium. Thallium levels in some flowers have been measured at 17,000 ppm (1.7%).

Tobacco plants are sensitive to thallium. As little as 150 ppm of thallium sulfate (Ti2SO4) will kill collards and wheat plants.

High thallium levels hinders seed germination and affects both photosynthesis and transpiration. It also results in visual leaf chlorosis.

Sources:  mineral sands of igneous rocks
82) Lead (Pb)

Lead is a soft weak ductile grey metal that tarnishes easily. Lead is found in igneous rocks at 12.5 ppm, shale at 20 ppm, sandstone at 7 ppm, and limestone at 9 ppm. Very little is found in fresh or seawater. A few granites may have 25 ppm and most soils naturally range from 18-27 ppm. However, with widespread pollution some soils now have 349 ppm. This is often a large problem in urban areas, where people are trying to establish vegetable gardens and orchards.

Coal can vary between 10-1,900 ppm of lead, and fly ash from the burning of coal to 50 ppm. Lead has a strong affinity for organic matter, which increase its mobility in soils. Some modern soils now have 10,000 ppm due to pollution.

The most common electrical or valence state of lead is +2 and it combines readily with other elements. The common mineral galena which is lead sulfide (PbS) is an example.

For decades, lead was added to gasoline as an anti-knock compound but is now illegal in most countries. Lead is famous for its use in shielding us from radioactive particles. Lead is used in lead bullets, one of the metals in common solder, and once was used to make pipes as it was easy to mold. Lead glass can contain 20% lead and still be totally transparent. Lead is used to make fishing weights, commonly used in paints, and is used to make batteries like the lead-acid batteries used to start our cars

Human and animal health problems caused by exposure to lead are well known from  intellectual impairment to direct poisoning. Children are the most sensitive to lead exposure.

Gardening and Landscaping Problems Associated with Lead (Pb)

There is no known benefit of lead to plants. However, lead is easily absorbed by plants and is taken up into the roots where it is stored. Plants can also absorb lead via atmospheric deposition through their foliage.

Some microorganisms like (Rhizopus arrhizus) can accumulate lead. Many sunflowers are hyper-accumulators of lead as is the plant Amorpha canescens.

Lead salts like lead nitrate Pb(NO3)2 has been shown to stimulate the growth of some plants.

Fertilizers made from dried sewage sludge (Milorganite, Hou-Actinite, etc.) often have high levels of lead.
Sources:  mineral sands of igneous rocks, combustion of coal, incineration of wastes, sewage sludge
83) Bismuth (Bi)

Bismuth is the last known stable element (has such an extremely long half-life that it is considered stable for all practical purposes).

Bismuth is found in igneous rocks 0.17 ppm, and shale at 1 ppm. There is very little in fresh or seawater and very little in animals. Soil organic matter tends to bind to bismuth.

It is a semi-metallic element and can become a super conductor at five ten-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. Combined with other elements in can make powerful magnets.

Phosphorous fertilizers often have high levels of bismuth associated with them.

A lack of bismuth in an animal's diet often results in ulcers from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The active ingredient in the stomach medicine Pepto-Bismol that is 57% bismuth by weight (bismuth subsalicylate) and along with antibiotics will cure ulcers.

Compounds of bismuth are used in several medical applications.

The role of bismuth in humans and animals is relatively unknown and appears to be a benign heavy element.

Gardening and Landscaping Problems Associated with Bismuth (Bi)

Not much is known about the role of bismuth in plants. Plants grown in soils with higher levels of bismuth will have higher levels in their tissue. Some trees will accumulate bismuth to 800 ppm.

Sources:  mineral sands of igneous rocks, coal combustion, sewage sludge, artificial fertilizers

NOTE: This is the last of the stable elements one is likely to encounter or need. The remaining elements are rare and radioactive and will not be covered at this time.



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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. 
Sorry, no children's programs.
Submit to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net 

TUES., OCT. 10: GROWING PLUMERIAS, 7:30pm, Cherie Flores Garden Pavillion, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free. Plumeria Society of America event. theplumeriasociety.org; 281-438-3653

TUES., OCT. 10: HOLIDAY IDEAS by TONY HUFFMAN, 9am, Shenandoah Municipal Complex, 29955 I-45N, Shenandoah. Free. The Woodlands Garden Club event. woodlandsgardenclub.org

Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St, Nacogdoches.  936-468-4404 or sullivanfa@sfasu.edu

THURS,.Oct.12: OLD ROSE TREASURES OF NEW ORLEANS - SURVIVING HEAT FLOODS AND HURRICANES by LEO WATERMEIER, 7:30pm, Cherie Flores Garden Pavillon, 1500 Hermann Dr. Houston Rose Society event. Free. houstonrose.org

THURS. OCT. 12: INDOOR PLANT PURIFIERS by LINDA GAY, 10-11:30am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Register: hcmga.tamu.edu

THURS., OCT. 12: 2017 BULB & PLANT MART'S EARLY BIRD SHOPPING PARTY 4:30-7pm, St. John the Divine Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. $20. Garden Club of Houston. gchouston.org 

FRI., OCT. 13: ALL ABOUT SUCCULENTS: by VERONICA LEWANDOWSKI, 10am, White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine, Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event: houstonfederationgardenclubs.org
FRI.-SAT., OCT. 13-14: 2017 BULB & PLANT MART, 9am-5pm Fri., 9am-2pm Sat., Guest speakers Saturday include Heidi Sheesley and Lanson Jones. St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. Free admission/ tax free shopping. Garden Club of Houston event.  gchouston.org

SAT., OCT. 14: MONTGOMERY COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS FALL PLANT SALE.  AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd, Conroe. 8am free presentation; 9am-noon sale. 936-539-7824; mcmga.com   

SAT., OCT. 14: GALVESTON COUNTY MASTER GARDENER ANNUAL FALL PLANT SALE, 9 am-1pm. Galveston County Fair Grounds, Jack Brooks Park - Rodeo Arena, Hwy. 6 @ Jack Brooks Rd., Hitchcock.
SAT., OCT. 14: WILD BOUNTY by DR. MARK VORDERBRUGGEN, 6:30-8:30pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center 4501 Woodway. $65. Register: 713-681-8433, houstonarboretum.org.

SAT., OCT. 14: BASIC FRUIT TREE CARE & PLANTING, 9:30-11:30am, Houston Museum of Natural Science, classroom, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. $30. Urban Harvest event. 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org

SAT., OCT. 14: ANCIENT ART OF FERMENTATION, 8:30-10:30am (3 20-min demos). Free. Urban Harvest Farmer's Market, 3000 Richmond Ave. Free. Urban Harvest event. 713-880-5540, urbanharvest.org.

SAT., OCT. 14: DIG INTO FALL GARDENING AT THE CULTIVATED CLASSROOM, 9am-noon, Gregory Lincoln Education Center, 1101 Taft St. $20. Urban Harvest event. 713-880-5540, urba¬≠¬≠nharvest.org.

SUN., OCT 15: NATURAL HISTORY OF FERN GAMETOPHYTES by JERALD PINSON, 2pm, Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center, 2020 Hermann Dr.  Free. Texas Gulf Coast Fern Society event.  tgcfernsoc.org 

MON., OCT. 16: HARRIS COUNTY MASTER GARDENER PREC. 2 OPEN GARDEN DAY, 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. Free. hcmga.tamu.edu

TUE., OCT. 17: BROMELIADS FROM WILDERNESS TO GREENHOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE by DENNIS CATHCART, 7:30pm, West Gray Multi-Service Center, 1475 W Gray.  Free. Bromeliad Society / Houston event. bromeliadsocietyhouston.org

WED., OCT. 18: 10 EASY TO GROW HERBS FOR FALL by SUSAN WOOD, 7pm, Cherie Flores Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free. Herb Society of America/South Texas Unit event. Free. herbsociety-stu.org

THURS., OCT. 19: BAYOU STEWARDSHIP: FROM AWARENESS TO ACTION, United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Dr. Bayou Preservation Association 2017 Annual Symposium. bpa@bayoupreservation.org

SAT., OCT 21: IN SEARCH OF THE RARER OAKS OF TEXAS by ADAM BLACK, 7pm (tour 5pm), Peckerwood Garden, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. $10 lecture, $10 Tour.  Must register: eventregistration@peckerwoodgarden.org.  peckerwoodgarden.org,  979-826-3232

SAT., OCT. 21: BEACH BLOOMERS GARDEN CLUB PLANT SALE, 10am-2pm, at Noble Carl Park Pavilion, 1750 Jane Long Highway (Hwy. 87), Crystal Beach. angelbus80@hotmail.com; 409-363-2107

AgriLife Extension Bldg, Carbide Park, 4102 Main (Hwy 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Free. Register: galvcountymgs@gmail.com , 281-534-3413,  aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston

WED., OCT. 25:  "PAC HYPODIUMS I HAVE KNOWN" by RICHARD STAMPER, 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Multi-Services Center, 1475 West Gray. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society event. Free. hcsstx.org .

SAT., OCT. 28: REBUILD THE HEALTH OF YOUR LAWN &  GARDEN AFTER HARVEY by JOHN FERGUSON, 11:30am, Woodlands Fall Home & Garden Show, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive.

SAT., OCT. 28: PECKERWOOD OPEN GARDEN DAY & TOURS, 10am-5:30pm, FOODSCAPING GARDEN TO TABLE  by BRIE ARTHUR, 6:30pm, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Register: peckerwoodgarden.org

SUN., OCT. 29: REBUILDING THE HEALTH OF YOUR LAWN AND GARDEN AFTER HARVEY by JOHN FERGUSON, 11:30am, Woodlands Fall Home and Garden Show, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive.
SAT., NOV 4: HEAT TOLERANT CONIFERS OF PECKERWOOD GARDEN, 10am, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. $15. Must register: eventregistration@peckerwoodgarden.org.  peckerwoodgarden.org,  979-826-3232

SAT., NOV. 4: OPEN GARDENS DAY.  AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Rd, Conroe.  9-1 a.m. Free. 936-539-7824; mcmga.com

SAT., NOV.  4:  THE WOODLANDS GARDEN CLUB PLANT AND CRAFT SALE, 10am-2pm, 2017 Woodlands Wildflower Festival, Hughes Landing, The Woodlands.  thewoodlandsgardenclub.org

SAT., NOV. 4: 45th ANNUAL HERB FAIR, 9am-2pm, Judson Robinson Community Center, 2020 Hermann Dr. South Texas Unit/The Herb Society of America event. herbsociety-stu.org/

THURS, NOV. 9: DESIGNING YOUR LANDSCAPE WITH ROSES  by GAYE HAMMMOND, 7:30pm, Cherie Flores Garden Pavillon, 1500 Hermann Dr. Free. Houston Rose Society event

THURS., NOV. 9: MAGNOLIAS: QUEEN OF THE GARDEN by ANDREW BUNTING, 7pm, Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St, Nacogdoches.  936-468-4404 or sullivanfa@sfasu.edu
THURS., NOV. 9:  CITRUS TREES by MARY KHAZEN KARISH 10 am , MUD Building, 805 Hidden Canyon Dr, Katy. Free, Nottingham Country Garden Club event. ncgctx.org
FRI., NOV.10: "I DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP MY GARDEN! - GARDENING FOR THE CHALLENGED LIFESTYLE: DR. JOE NOVAK. 10am, White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine. Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event. houstonfederationgardenclubs.org.

SAT. NOV 18:  SOIL HEALTH & EVALUATION by JIM GILLIAM, 1-2:30 pm; Galveston County AgriLife Extension Bldg, Carbide Park, 4102 Main (Hwy 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Free, but reservations requested: galvcountymgs@gmail.com , 281-534-3413, for additional details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston

SAT., NOV. 18: PECAN CELEBRATION, 10am-noon Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. $35. Register: 713-681-8433, houstonarboretum.org

WED., NOV. 29: SOIL FOOD WEB - HOW AND WHY ORGANIC METHODS WORK TO SAVE TIME & MONEY by DANIEL MILLIKIN, 6pm, McGovern Centennial Gardens, Hermann Park Conservancy, 1700 Hermann Drive. 713-360-1469

FRI., DEC. 8: 'HOLLY JOLLY' LUNCHEON GALA. SPEAKER: BILL MCKINLEY. 9 am, White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine. Tickets $30. Houston Federation of Garden clubs event. houstonfederationgardenclubs.org.

THURS., DEC. 14: THE YEAR IN REVIEW by DAVID CREECH, 7pm, Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St, Nacogdoches.  936-468-4404 or sullivanfa@sfasu.edu

FRI., JAN. 12: A CAMELIA COLLECTION - RESTORING IMA HOGG'S CAMELIA COLLECTION AT BAYOU BEND by BART BRECHTER. 10 am. White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine, Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event. houstonfederationgardenclubs.org.
MON., FEB. 26: SOIL FOOD WEB & COMPOST AND MULCHES, 9am-noon, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Texas Gulf Coast Gardener program. Register: Jennifer L. Garrison, 713-274-4160

FRI., MAR.9: THOSE ADDORABLE HUMMERS by SUE HEATH. 10 am. White Oak Convention Center., 7603 Antoine. Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event. houstonfederationgardenclubs.org
SUN., MAR. 25: STEWARDSHIP OF THE SOIL by JOHN FERGUSON, 6pm, Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation Webinar, Lisa Brenskelle, brenskelle@aol.com

FRI., APRIL 13: THE WORLD OF SEED by ANGELA CHANDLER. 10am., White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine, Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event. houstonfederationgardenclubs.org.
MON., MAY 14: INTRODUCTION TO THE SOIL FOOD WEB by JOHN FERGUSON, 6:30pm, University of Houston at Clear Lake, Forest Room on East of Bayou Building. Native Plant Society of Texas at Clear Lake Martha Richeson, 713-962-7747

FRI. MAY 11: HONEY BEES - JAMES AND CHARI OF BLUEBONNET BEEKEEPERS. 10am. White Oak Convention Center, 7603 Antoine. Free. Houston Federation of Garden Clubs event. houstonfederationgardencllubs.org.

If we inspire you to attend any of these, please let them know you heard about it in . . .  
& please patronize our Newsletter & Calendar sponsors below! 
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.
Sorry, no children's programs. - Submit to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net 


                                                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.