idylwood News
May 2022
A publication of Idylwood Civic Club

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. Instead, it commemorates a single battle - the Mexican army victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, success at the Battle of Puebla represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement.

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where General Ignacio Zaragoza’s unlikely victory occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Our next Civic Club meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30pm. Guest Speaker is Juan Sorto, Community Engagement Manager with Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

Meeting ID: 834 0901 4075
One tap mobile
(346) 248-7799, 83409014075# US (Houston)

We are evaluating a return to in-person civic club meetings. Unfortunately, our two previous locations are not available to us. St. Austin Center, the most conveniently located, requires us to hire a security guard because they no longer offer programming during the Tuesday evening hours. Magnolia Multi-Service Center is not allowing us in due to Covid; East Lawndale is having a one-off meeting there on request from the CM. The Mason Park Community Center is under construction for repairs. Please take the brief survey below so we can start a dialogue about this.

Thanks to Patricia Hattenbach and Jim McCallum for their contributions to the Garden Club and Yard Of The Month sections of the newsletter.

If you would like to contribute an article to the newsletter on a one-time or recurring basis, please contact me at [email protected].

Additionally, help us all stay connected. If you have a new neighbor, please encourage them to be added to the newsletter. They can send their email to [email protected] or pass it along to one of our board members or officers.


Laura Manion
Idylwood Civic Club

How would you like to have civic club meetings?
All In Person
All Virtual
Alternate In Person and Virtual
If in person, where would you be willing to travel for meetings?
Raul Martinez Annex - 1001 S Sergeant Macario Garcia Drive
Spurlock Park, weather permitting
Mason Park Gazebo
Magnolia Multi Service Center - likely not available until 2023
General Meeting Updates
Claire Bey, Director of Fund Development with the Houston Golf Association was the guest speaker. Gus Wortham Park Golf Course now has a fully functioning Grill/Restaurant with wraparound porch for outdoor seating. You don’t have to play golf to eat at the restaurant. Driveway and parking are now fully paved.

Before the renovation, Gus Wortham would do 18K rounds annually. They now are averaging 54k rounds annually proving the renovation was a resounding success. Inner City Golf Tournaments for high schools were hosted (pre-pandemic); they will get back to this in 2022. There is a First Tee Fund Raising Golf Tournament scheduled for June 15th.

Primary fund raising is completed to keep the course sustainable solely from green fees. The main fund project remaining is the golf cart storage/maintenance area. There is an on-going Personalized Brick/Paver Campaign at $250 each. Leave your mark on Gus Wortham by clicking on the image below:
Joaquin Martinez with CM Robert Gallegos' office (District I) announced the upcoming Joint CIP/Redistricting Committee meeting taking place May 10th from 6-8pm at the HCC SE Campus at 6815 Rustic Street. District I is the 2nd lowest populated district, so there will be some additions of our voting precincts (most likely gaining ground in the southern district boundary).

The new City budget begins in July, so this meeting will also discuss the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), where they will be seeking input from neighborhoods regarding improvements. Traffic Calming Device options can be considered part of this budget. There also should be an update on the Dog Park during this meeting.
Idylwood Green - Spring Clean
Thanks to all the neighbors (old and new) who came out last Saturday and volunteered to be part of the Idylwood Spring Clean. We had tree trimmers, trash pickers and dirt diggers making a difference in our little community. Litter was collected from the FEMA lot at the corner of Sylvan and N. MacGregor (not too bad compared to previous years), old growth and low hanging limbs were removed from trees facing N. MacGregor at Spurlock Park and on the FEMA lots between Park and Wildwood.

The Big Dig was started at the corner of Merry and N. MacGregor where years of Brays Bayou overflow has filled in the sidewalk and curb. A small crew has volunteered to continue working until the sidewalks are completely passable. If you know anyone interested in a large amount of rich soil, or if you are interested to volunteer on the Big Dig, drop us a line at [email protected]. All it takes is a couple of shovels, a few wheel barrows and some perspiration to get it done (and it’s cheaper than CrossFit!).

The turnout and effort was truly impressive, and the results look great. We are so lucky to have such an engaged community!
Upcoming in May
NEXT ELECTION: Saturday, May 07 - Local and Constitutional Amendments

Early Voting (thru May 3rd)
HCC Southeast College Bldg D – Room 108
6815 Rustic Street, 77087

BakerRipley Ripley House – Gym
4410 Navigation Boulevard, 77011

Election Day (May 7th, 7am to 7pm)
J P Henderson Elementary School – Main Hall
1800 Dismuke Street, 77023

Primary Runoff Election: Tuesday, May 24
Early Voting starts May 16 thru May 20
East End Day Trip
Many long-time Idylwood residents are familiar with The Orange Show, the folk-art monument built single handedly by the late Jeff McKissack on Munger Street, but what about the urban space next door filled with vibrant mosaics created by more than 300 folk artists?

The development of Smither Park was long in coming, first realized at its ground-breaking on February 8, 2011. Visionary artist and builder Dan Phillips worked alongside the late Stephanie Smither to design Smither Park in the memory of her late husband, John H. Smither. John and Stephanie were long-time supporters and collectors of self-taught art, as well as board members of The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, and the park honors their memories.

Filled with structures steadily being covered with mosaics by devoted Houston artists, the whimsical park manages to pack an amphitheater, pavilion, swing sets, meditation garden, a 400-foot memorial wall on a mere half-acre lot. The 3D creations feature fanciful scenes with household objects and mosaic tiles transformed into colorful trees, armadillos, octopi, rocket ships, owls, mermaids, bulls, cats, hummingbirds, angels, serpents and so much more hiding in plain sight.

The park is a peaceful place to walk around. Bring a picnic to enjoy a lovely lunch outside or go on a Saturday to watch the artists at work. There are regular monthly events featured such as:
  • Tai Chi in the Barrio - Mondays at 7pm
  • Aruande Capoeira (Brazilian martial art & workout) - 1st Saturday from 10am-12pm
  • Beginner’s Mosaic Workshop - 3rd Saturday from 10am-12pm
  • The Kids are all Write: Writing & Poetry Workshop for Kids - 4th Saturday from 10-11:30am
Click on the image below for more details and how to sign up:

Smither Park is located within walking distance from Idylwood at 2441 Munger Street.
New in the Neighborhood
The Empty BOX 2022: Boombox
Saturday, May 7th, 7-10pm
Silent auction closes 9pm
Raffle drawing 9pm

BOX 13’s annual exhibition and fundraiser comes back this year as The Empty BOX: Boombox. They are celebrating their 14th year by bringing back the 80s with good beats, scrunchies and their best dance moves (the Electric Slide, anyone?).

BOX 13 remains one of the only 100% volunteer, artist-run spaces in Houston. Currently they provide affordable studio spaces to 17 local artists, and this season they are scheduled to exhibit solo, group and curated exhibitions in 4 gallery spaces for over 30 artists from across the country. At BOX 13 they are a community that supports one another – both artistic and professional. They rely on the group as a whole to maintain the space, programs, and execute exhibitions in order to continuously further their mission: to promote the creation and advancement of experimental contemporary art in Houston.

In order to support these initiatives and many more, each year they hold an exhibition and fundraiser, the Empty BOX! The fundraiser exists in two parts. They have the Silent Auction, which is an excellent way to add work from outstanding local, national, and international artists to your collection. They also host a Poor Man’s Raffle, offering the chance to win work by Box 13 Resident Artists.

For more details, click on the Boombox image below:
Kicking off a home improvement project or hiring a contractor for a remodel? Download a copy of the deed restrictions here so you know the Dos and Don'ts before you make a potentially expensive mistake.
Idylwood Community Exchange is now
Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
The former Idylwood Community Exchange is now being hosted on Google Groups as the Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange. To request an invitation for this group, please send a request to: [email protected]

Please note that like its predecessor, this group is privately maintained by a resident, and not managed by the ICC Board.
Keep in Touch with your Civic Club
Pay 2021-2022 Dues
Deed Restrictions
Historic Idylwood
Garden Club News

Please watch for email updates for the May meeting from

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The May Meeting:

On the road again...!!!

The May 7, 2022 meeting will be a well deserved fieldtrip for our members and neighbors! We are going via limo bus to the Messina Hof Bryan Estate Winery located in Bryan, Tx. And, Garden Club member, Monique Studak, an expert on everything "wine" related, will be providing us with a colorful history of the wine industry, plants in the vineyard, the winemaking process, and other fun facts on the two hour ride to the winery. Our day will include a tour of the estate, the vineyards, a multi-wine tasting, and lunch. Here's a snippet of Monique's road trip repartee:

 Five Fun Facts:

  1. Texas has over 6,400 acres of vineyards planted.
  2. Texas is the fifth largest producer of the wine in the US.
  3. There are 8 unique AVAs (link: American Viticutural Areas ) within Texas.
  4. Over 350 active wineries in the state. There are ~500 ‘on the books’, but not all are open commercially.
  5. Wine in Texas dates back to the 1600s when grapes were planted at the Ysleta Mission near El Paso.

The trip back will probably be a bit quieter as we relax (catnap?) and reflect on the lovely afternoon. (Should I bring sleep masks for all?) Many thanks go out to our dedicated members and neighbors who have contributed in so many ways to another successful year! Click here for a more in-depth look at the winery. Click on the following link:


Meet Monique Studak-
a Garden Club Member with a
"Thirst For Knowledge"

Monique shared her bio that gives us a look into her unique career path that keeps on evolving! Thanks for suggesting this great field trip as our meeting!!

"Wine, People, Travel and Adventure…..Active ingredients in my life. I have been lucky enough to have spent over 25 years in the wine business. Much of that time has been spent focusing on the On-Premise channel, specializing in hotel, catering and national accounts. Helping develop wine and training programs for the trade and educating the public. I began my career in the Texas Wine Industry at Messina Hof, before spending 16 years with the E&J Gallo Family of Wines and 7 years with Pernod Ricard.

I recently stepped away from the corporate side of the industry to create Thirst for Knowledge. This will give me the opportunity to follow my passions for education and training as it pertains to wine and the art of selling to both business and the public.

I am a regular speaker on a local and national level, from small groups to professional organizations, always with an eye on creating ‘Ah ha’ moments. Helping people discover wine for the first time, dig deeper into their appreciation or gain confidence in their ability to sell tableside or business to business creates great satisfaction within me.

I am a connector of people, I am an active generator of ideas and a creative problem solver. And, I love to celebrate the successes of life both big or small."

To see more information about Monique's accomplishments in the industry and opportunities for others, click on this link: Thirst For Knowledge.

And, she has a buddy on this wonderful journey---
"My sweet husband Bill, a Rocket Scientist at NASA, and I share a passion for travel and entertaining. We often drag our friends along on these adventures, both internationally and at home, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new wine civilizations. And, if no one wants to go, we go alone."


It's Lights Out!!

Chronicle staff writer Monique Welch gives great tips on how help save the lives of migrating birds. All it takes is a flip of a switch at night during the peak migration season. You will also enjoy seeing a few of the birds that will be passing through thanks to photographer Kathy Adams Clark. To learn more about what environmentalists know about how our night lights impact migrating birds, click on the following link:  Lights out to help the birds


Summer Break for the Garden Club

Well, it's that time again when we take a break to enjoy sleeping late on the first Saturday mornings of the month. Or you might be considering taking some vacation time to: hike or ride along our bayou trails, tour our Texas Parks, chill in the Frio River, sail the waters of St. Vincent and The Grenadines, escape to exotic lands like Tahiti and Taha'a, hike in El Yunque, meander in magical
Madagascar ......!!! Oh, you better wake up from this day dream or you'll need a few more credits cards!! Just click on the names and enjoy the sites from the comfort of your favorite chair with your feet propped up!! It may not be as much fun but at least it's easier on the budget!!

In other words, the Garden Club will not have Saturday meetings in June, July and August. We will resume September 10, 2022 - the second Saturday since Labor Day weekend falls on the first Saturday. Have a happy, fun, and safe summer!!! See you in September and tell us your summer tales!!

A Reminder To Homeowners
That Received New Sidewalks And Curbs:
Please Water The New Grass

Along with the new sidewalks and curbs, the installations included new St. Augustine sod to replace the grass that was removed during construction. In talking with one of the supervisors of the project, he explained that it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to water the new grass. It has been fairly dry lately and the showers we have had were light and not much help. To give your grass a chance to settle in and thrive, give it a good soaking at least once a week. If it gets too stressed, it may not survive. The Garden Club has been watering the new grass at the corner of Idylwood and Park by the Spurlock Park sign. Hopefully, we will get weekly spring showers and your new sod will do just fine!


YOM Recognition

Let's welcome our YOM neighbors at our meetings. This year we will award a free 2021-2022 membership to each YOM recipient! Thanks to you all for helping keep Idylwood beautiful!!


Meeting Dates for 2021-2022
Saturdays from 10 am-noon

September 18,2021: First Meeting Back- a "Maskerade"! Wear a fun mask!
October 2, 2021: 1704 Idylwood- Sally Lehr's yard; Speaker TBD;
Annual Poinsettia Fundraiser:Oct.1-24; only $10 each
November 6, 2021: 6724 Sylvan-Amy Dinn's and Jake Goldstein's yard;
Speakers: Amy and Jake
December 4, 2021: 1404 N MacGregor Way- Patricia Hattenbach's yard;
Annual Holiday Lunch and Fun Gift Exchange ($15 or less)
January 8, 2022: Cancelled due to Covid!! Sorry....
February 5, 2022: Cancelled due to the very cold weather!! 6740 Meadowlawn- Karen and Barney Giesen's front yard; Speaker: Mr. Marroquin- Landscaper for many Idylwood residents!
March 5, 2022: 1404 N MacGregor Way- Patricia Hattenbach's back yard patio; Speaker: Master Gardener Hedy Wolpa- "Insight Into Insects"
April 2, 2022: 6740 Meadowlawn- Karen and Barney Giesen's front yard; Speaker: Mr. Alfredo Marroquin- with Marroquin Landscaping and Las Brisas Wholesale Nursery. He is also the landscaper for many Idylwood residents!
May 7, 2022:Field trip to the Messina Hof Bryan Estate Winery in Bryan,Tx; Limo bus drive presentation by member Monique Studak; winery and vineyard tour, tasting, lunch, and exploration of the estate!

For more information, contact the Garden Club President:
Patricia Hattenbach, at [email protected] or at 713-724-9608. 


Vegetable Garden Planting Dates Chart

Do you want to know exactly when to plant vegetables and herbs in your garden? Check out the web link to Texas A&M University's yearly planting calendar for Harris County below! You may want to print this out for future use. Select:
“Vegetable Garden Planting Dates for Harris County"

Happy gardening!

Remember: COH Tree Trash Gets Turned Into Mulch
When Picked Up on The First Tuesdays of Odd # Months!
Keep in mind that trimmings from trees, shrubs and bushes can be placed on your curb for the city's Tree Trash pick-up on the first Tuesday of odd months.

Thanks for your membership and love of nature! 
Let's keep Idylwood beautiful and safe!
Kind regards,
Patricia Hattenbach 

Welcome the 2021-2022 Officers:
President: Patricia Hattenbach
Vice President: Hugo Banda
Secretary: Richard Vela
Treasurer: Nicole Wood

Thanks again to Jim McCallum for providing the Yard of the Month write-ups and photos. It's wonderful to learn more about our great neighbors!
The April 2nd, 2022 Garden Club Meeting Recap
Excerpts from meeting notes by Richard Vela

The April 2nd "back yard" Garden Club meeting was actually hosted in the "front yard" of Barney and Karen Giesen and featuring guest speaker Alfredo Marroquin who designed and installed their new patio seating area featuring a beautiful walkway and plant garden.
Garden Club President Patricia Hattenbach opened the meeting by welcoming our tremendous attendance! 
Karen Giesen gave a brief background introduction of Mr. Marroquin to the group. He began by explaining the process of landscape design with a new client. His presentation included selecting plants to provide a balance of color and height to the landscape. His knowledge of irrigation/watering, benefits of specific types of fertilizer and the difference in mulch selection was greatly appreciated by the group. An interesting concern by the group was the disappearance of azaleas in Idylwood and he made a strong recommendation of Formosa azaleas as a hearty replacement for quick growth and an abundance of colorful blooms.
May 2022 Yard of the Month
The Idylwood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month for May 2022 goes to Joshua Espinedo and Nathan Reedy at 6670 Meadowlawn St. for their third, repeat performance as Yard of the Month.
Nathan and Josh moved into Idylwood in September of 2017. While Josh is a third generation Houstonian from Houston’s East End and a University of Houston graduate (which is easy to see from his U of H flag on the Idylwood side of their home), Nathan moved to Houston from New York in 2011.

Good friends who also live in Idylwood were one of the main reason the two moved to our neighborhood, but Idylwood’s interesting topography, its walkability, and their home’s hilltop location and secluded backyard were also major factors. 
Heirloom Bulb
Since their last Yard of the Month award Nathan and Josh have continued to enhance their outdoor courtyard space with its fountain and antique stone benches into an ‘al fresco’ dining area.  

Josh is the gardener in the household and has a knack for growing spectacular Amaryllis in the front planting beds that line the sidewalk to the front door. Josh says he has “planted about 35 to 50 Heirloom Bulb Amaryllis that have taken off nicely” as can be seen from our photographs. Last year Josh replaced his Knockout roses on the Idylwood side of the house with beautiful Cinco de Mayo Floribunda Tea Roses that greatly complement the home’s bricks. Lovely, properly pruned Crepe Myrtles line the Meadowlawn front of their home and the lawn itself is very lush and green already this season.

click link above for for access to the website

May Gardening Tips

  • Continue to plant container gardens, use larger containers and SoilMoist to allow for less frequent watering.
  • Plant summer blooming perennials and annuals. Choose heat-tolerant plants like purslane and bougainvillea for hanging baskets in full sun
  • Plant okra, cucumbers, pumpkins, basil, garlic chives, peppers and sunflowers from seed. Container veggie transplants from the nursery in larger pots are okay to plant during May

Spring migration continues into mid-May. Clean birdbaths often and keep feeders full, and clean them after rainstorms to prevent soggy spoiled seed. Even non-birders can keep fresh water and food out at this time (and also during fall migration) to help our feathered friends.

Continue to water between rain events, apply molasses or compost to ensure healthy soil for healthy turf roots.

Keep an eye out for pests as well as beneficial insects in your vegetable garden. Pick off pests by hand, check for slugs and snails early in the morning or in the evenings when they are active. Check your garden regularly; we have a broad range of organic pesticides to help your garden out. Ladybugs are excellent for aphid control.

Deep root watering on trees, lawns, and shrubs is best. It encourages roots to move down into the soil where they will be less susceptible to moisture changes. Avoid short periods of shallow watering, use a tree gator or soaker hose to aid in slow, deep watering.

Fertilize flower beds and vegetable gardens with slow-release organic fertilizers like Happy Frog Fruit & Flower or Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable, containers can be fertilized with water-soluble Hasta Gro Plant food.

Pruning – Pinch tips of coleus to prevent flowering and encourage bushier, fuller plants. Remove spent blooms on spring and summer annuals to promote new blooms.

Be vigilant about pulling weeds early, make sure areas are mulched properly to prevent future weeds from germinating and help to retain moisture.

Keep eyes out for your neighbors!
If going out of town, tell your neighbors but do not post on social media. Please keep an eye out for unusual activity and report to HPD (911) and (713) 884-3131 and the Constable's office (713) 274-3400. Please keep your home and cars locked at all times. Report any incidents to ALL authorities;
more reports = more patrols.

HPD is moving to a National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). To view crimes reported to HPD from Jan-Mar 2022, please go to HPD's website and download the excel file here and sort by zip code or beat. Our beat is 11H10, which includes several zip codes.

A screenshot of last month's crime map is below. To interact with this map, including date ranges and area, go to Community Crime Map.
Jake Goldstein and Steve Palmer co-chair our patrol group and report the group’s collective 30 patrol hours per month to HPD. Please contact Jake if you are interested in volunteering with our citizens patrol group.

Having a patrol presence in the neighborhood is a crime deterrent and a great way to give back to our community.

Please join us! More information on HPD's Volunteer Citizen Patrol is available here.
Upcoming Dates to Remember
  • 05/01/2022: Recycling
  • 05/02/2022: Tree Limbs & Yard Waste
  • 05/07/2022: Garden Club
  • 05/07/2022: Local & Constitutional Amendment Election
  • 05/15/2022: Recycling
  • 05/17/2022: Idylwood Civic Club Meeting: 7:30pm on ZOOM
  • 05/24/2022: Primary Runoff Election
  • 05/29/2022: Recycling
  • 06/06/2022: Heavy Trash
Stay Informed!
Check out info about the neighborhood, including downloading a copy of the deed restrictions here.

Report a pothole, get your trash bin repaired or replaced, report a problem with a traffic signal, missed trash pickup, and more.

Call the East End District at 713.928.9916 during business hours with the tagged address, intersection, and colors.

Stay Connected!
Great way to connect with East End residents. It’s a great place to report or look for a missing pet, announce a garage sales, put out a crime alert, etc. This site is endorsed and its use encouraged by HPD. Sign up here


Google Email Group - Idylwood Neighborhood Exchange
If you are not currently a member and would like to join, please send an invitation request to [email protected].
Post Office Box 9225
Houston, TX 77261-9225
If you have notes about Idylwood that you would like to submit for the newsletter, please submit to [email protected].
Idylwood Officers and Directors 2021-2022
PRESIDENT: Laura Manion (Meadowlawn)
VICE PRESIDENT: Doug Lawson (Merry)
TREASURER: Nicole Wood (Idylwood)
SECRETARY: Kimberly Vincent (Park)
Directors: Class A (two-year terms ending in August 2023):
Keith Hamm (Meadowlawn); Patricia Hattenbach (North MacGregor Way);
Irma Niño (Meadowlawn); Charlie Storer (Fairfield); Richard Vela (Lindy)
Directors: Class B (two-year terms ending in August 2022):
Lawrence Curry (Meadowlawn); Amy Dinn (Sylvan); Joshua Espinedo (Meadowlawn);
Jeff Klemm (Merry); Paul Leggett (Merry); Jennifer Silva (Sylvan)