idylwood News
August 2023
A publication of Idylwood Civic Club

For many, the Dog Days evoke those summer days so devastatingly hot that even dogs would lie around on the asphalt panting. Originally the phrase had nothing to do with dogs or even with the lazy days of summer. Instead, the Dog Days refer to Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, which means “big dog” in Latin and is said to represent one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

To the Greeks and Romans, the Dog Days occurred around the time Sirius appears to rise alongside the sun in late July in the Northern Hemisphere. They believed the combined heat from the two stars is what made these the hottest days of the year.

Since Sirius was known as the Dog Star, the Romans referred to this period as “dies caniculares” or Days of the Dog Star. As early as the 16th century, the English-speaking world adopted the concept calling the same sweltering summer period the Dog Days.

Good news? The Dog Days end on August 11th… although in Houston, you may not believe it!
President's Corner
Many thanks to the 44 residents who attended our July meeting at the home of Patricia Hattenbach, including 5 people who recently moved into the neighborhood. We also had updates from our local public contacts, including Precinct 6 and Senator Alvarado’s office (see the Open House invite below). 

Our August 15 meeting will be at the home of Bill and Monique Studak, 6720 Sylvan Rd., starting at 7:00 pm. Main topic will be the election of new Officers and one-half of our Board members. This year’s Officers have agreed to remain for the next term and 3 current Board members are running again (Irma Niño, Richard Vela, Patricia Hattenbach). Our Elections Committee recommended 2 new Board candidates: Tim Johnson on Wildwood Way and Danika Murphy on Rockbridge Lane. You may vote in person at the meeting or in advance by following the instructions at the link below.
Included in this month's Newsletter is the President’s Report required by Civic Club bylaws. We’ve had a great year, and I’m looking forward to more exciting developments in the upcoming year.

Many thanks to our hosts that allow our meetings to remain in the neighborhood. We are looking for hosts for the calendar year 2024. We are also looking for a volunteer to help with a new neighborhood directory who has skills for turning a word document into a format for publication. If you can help with either, please let me know at [email protected].

See you for our election night in August!

Early voting until August 12
Election Tuesday evening, August 15


Diane Schenke
Idylwood Civic Club
President's Report: FY 2023
01-Sep-2022 to 30-Aug-2023
This was our year to return to in-person Civic Club meetings and encourage neighbors’ participation in the meetings, community improvements, and social events. We had an amazing year on all fronts and here are some of the highlights.

Meetings in Neighbors’ Homes: We started in April and have continued our monthly meetings in various neighbors’ homes. We have 40-50 people attending, a vast improvement over meeting offsite!

Creating Committees to get work done and creating a budget to support their activities.
  • Deed Restrictions headed by Laura Manion. This committee pursued AirBNB hosts operating in violation of our deed restrictions, talked with homeowners involved in remodeling, and added a new policy related to perimeter fencing.
  • Social Events headed by Irma Niño. This committee sponsored the hugely popular parties for children at Halloween and Easter and designed a new Idylwood T-shirt.
  • Community Improvements headed by Amy Dinn. This committee has overseen the planting of close to 250 trees in the neighborhood, both through a tree give-away with Trees for Houston and Harris County Flood Control District’s planting of its properties adjacent to Brays Bayou. This committee also encouraged application for new sidewalks, several of which will be built this upcoming year. The committee has also kept us up to date on Wayside reconstruction plans.
  • Centennial Task Force overseen by Karen Giesen. This committee is starting to plan for Idylwood’s 100th birthday in 2028.

The Civic Club Board jointly decides a variety of administrative issues.
  • Signs announcing upcoming meetings will be on street corners by September.
  • Changes to the Fiscal Year to match the calendar year.
  • Dues will increase to $40 effective January 1, 2024; payments between September and December will count towards 2024 but are still at the $30 rate.
  • Updating the directory. We need help in converting a Word format into a publishing format and will have new printed directories available soon.
  • Creating a fully functional website to keep everyone informed about what is going on in the neighborhood.
  • Distributing a monthly newsletter that keeps our residents informed.
What’s Ahead for Next Year?

We are only as successful as your participation, and there are many ways to get engaged:
  • Come to meetings, meet your neighbors and enjoy the lovely homes of our hosts.
  • Pay your dues and consider extra support for activities you care about.
  • Volunteer to host a 2024 meeting.
  • Attend social events and volunteer to help with set-up or cleanup.
  • Become a block captain to distribute flyers.
  • Join a committee: committee meetings take place every other month at the Civic Club meetings.
  • Help with web page redesign.
  • Assist with directory design.
  • Take part in our next community cleanup event, scheduled in September. 

Any questions? Come to the August 15th meeting and/or send an email to [email protected]
Idylwood Centennial 1928-2028!
In five years, we will reach the 100-year anniversary of the completion of Idylwood's first homes and the beginning of our lovely neighborhood. It's time to start planning a BIG celebration. Current and former residents are invited to help plan and host.

Possible activities before and during 2028 include documenting Idylwood's history, hosting a home tour or backyard tour, contacting former residents, hosting parties, applying for a Texas Historical designation. Put on your thinking cap and join the fun!

To learn more or to help brainstorm ways to commemorate and celebrate, contact Karen Giesen at: [email protected]
Cool, Dark and Mysterious
The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern offers a serene respite on stifling summer days. 

New Moon Sound Healing Meditation
Wed, Aug. 16th from 6-6:45 pm

The moon cycle is a theme throughout the design of Buffalo Bayou Park, from the Lunar Cycle Lighting along the trails to the moon pattern-cut columns along the Jackson Street pedestrian bridge. Now, park visitors can observe monthly New Moon Meditations in the Buffalo Bayou Cistern.

The new moon is commonly known as a time to initiate beginnings. This sound healing meditation series will feature the use of singing bowls and wind chimes to encourage mindfulness and connectivity. Guests should bring their own cushion or mat. New Moon Meditation is led by Saumil Manek with Union is Creation.

Location: The Water Works, 105-B Sabine Street
District Office Open House
Saturday, August 19
1-3 pm
4450 Harrisburg Blvd.
Suite 436

Contact: 713-926-6257
Straight Down The Middle
Join the East End Community Coalition for the 5th Annual Gus Wortham Golf Tournament. This event will help support the completion of the historic renovations for the cart barn, pavilion and short-game practice area. Click on the image above for details.

Last year’s tournament sold out quickly, so act soon if your team wants to secure a spot for a good cause.

November 1, 2023 | 4-Person Scramble

Also: This year the Gus Wortham Park Golf Course will be the home of the Greater Houston City Amateur Championships from Sep 29 - Oct 1. The Senior Championships take place the following week from Oct 6 - Oct 8. Come out and cheer for your City Amateurs at these local events.
Fresh Is The Word
Mobile Farmers Market is an offshoot of the Urban Harvest Saturday Farmers Market bringing fresh local produce direct to neighborhoods.

Their goal is to give customers more choice, support healthy eating, and continue to help build a resilient local food community in Houston. Everything at the Mobile Market is sourced from local farms and producers and sold at cost to customers. 

Plaza Santa Clara
2nd Wednesday of every month
10am to 1pm
5616 Lawndale St.
August 9th

Lantrip Elementary
1st and 3rd Weds from 2-4 pm
100 Telephone Rd.
August 2nd & 16th
As a reminder, Section 2.3 of the Deed Restrictions describes Membership. Every Owner, as defined in Section 1.10, is deemed to be a Member of the Association. Section 2.4 describes Voting. Members are entitled to one (1) equal vote for each Residential Dwelling in which they hold the interest required for membership under Section 2.3 hereof.

Don't forget to vote at the general meeting this month.
For more details, download a copy of the deed restrictions here

We also have a new email address for reporting potential deed restriction variances:
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 2022-2023 Dues
Deed Restrictions
Idylwood Pet of the Month
Coming Soon...
Welcome New Pet Neighbor "McKee"
This is McKee in the Wildwood Way bluebonnet patch this Spring. She's a sweet girl that my wife, Ann Crivello, picked up off I-10 near McKee St. downtown last year in April. Little did we know that she was pregnant. She had eight puppies and they all found great homes. We bought the house at 6733 Wildwood and are excited to be moving to the neighborhood in the near future!

McKee loves the bayou walks!
Submitted by Justin Earnest
Neighbors: Submit your pet(s) to be featured in upcoming newsletters by sending 1-3 photos with a short story about your best friend(s) with the subject line "Pet(s) of the Month" to: [email protected]
Friendly Reminder From The Pets
For the health and safety of all neighborhood pets and people,
please scoop our poop!
Garden Club News
Please watch for email meeting updates from
Garden Club Upcoming Meeting Dates and Times

First Saturdays of the Month from 10 am-noon
(Possible exceptions for Labor Day and New Year's Weekends-then it's the 2nd Sat.)
New members are welcome to join us!!

June, July, August: Summer break!! Really?....We'll all be watering!!

Get Ready to Start The New "2023-2024" Garden Club Year!

Here is a preview of our upcoming calendar with some of the events. It's a work in progress, so more updates with special guest speakers will be in the September Newsletter.

Sept. 9, 2023: at the home of Peggy Wallace on 6736 Sylvan.
Oct. 7, 2023: TBD
Nov. 4, 2023: at the home of Amy Dinn & Jake Goldstein on 6724 Sylvan.
Dec. 2, 2023: at the home of Patricia Hattenbach on 1404 N. MacGregor Way; this is our annual Holdiay Pot Luck Lunch and Fun Gift Exchange.
Jan. 6, 2024: at the home of Robin Raasch on 6655 Rockbridge Lane.
Feb. 3, 2024: at the home of Rosie Pesina & Hugo Banda on 6641 Fairfield.
March 2, 2024: Fieldtrip TBD
April 6, 2024: at the home of Diane Kopfensteiner at the Lamar Towers.
May 4, 2024: at the home of Sally Lehr on 1704 Idylwood.

For more information, contact the Garden Club President:
Patricia Hattenbach at [email protected] or at 713-724-9608
Beat The Heat With a Delicious Chilled Melon Soup !!
Whether you have grown your own melons or picked them up at the market, renowned Houston chef and cookbook author, Anita Jaisinghani, has the right and most delicous idea of keeping cool while enjoying the summer harvests! Think: honeydew, cantaloupes, watermelon, and more - whipped up into a delightful and refreshing chilled soup!

Her Houston Chronicle article on July 26, 2023 has the tips and recipes on how to quickly make a nutritious, simple, and elegant melon soup and simple fruit slices for dessert. Click on the link below:


Use Edible Camphor To Give Mosquitoes
The Nontoxic Brushoff!

Anita Jaisinghani also knows that certain flying insects, like mosquitoes, can be a real bother to humans, but are absoultely necessary to the natural order of pollinating and being a food source to other birds and sea creatures.

As gardeners we want to be outside working in the yard and maybe grilling some of our vegetables, but would prefer to not be bothered by mosquitoes. Over the years she has developed a nontoxic spray solution of edible camphor with essential oils to deter mosquitoes. She uses this spray at home and at her Houston restaurants. Find out how you can create this simple recipe to use as a natural spray to deter mosquitoes by reading her Houston Chronicle article on July 24, 2023. Click the link below to learn more!!

Houston Botanic Gardens - August Hot Pick

Achieve Garden Success
Saturday, August 19 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm $20
Let HBG gardening experts walk you through the basics of the home garden. They will share favorite tools and strategies for keeping your home garden productive.​ This month they'll focus on planning your fall garden. 
Non-member fee of $20 includes general admission to the Garden. 
Members can participate at no charge.

Be sure to check out ALL the August events by clicking the link below:
Visit these areas throughout the Botanic Garden:
The Island

Natural Ecosystems
South Gardens ~~ Community Garden

Ticket Window: 713.715.9675 ext. 100
Vegetable Garden Planting Dates Chart
Do you want to know exactly when to plant vegetables and herbs in your garden? Click here for Texas A&M University's yearly planting calendar for Harris County. You may want to print this out for future reference.

Tree Planting Guide For Houston
As our Idylwood trees age, succumb to disease and storm damage, and grow too close to our homes and power lines, we sadly see these marvelous companions disappear. Now is a good time to start researching the best trees for your yard to properly fit your needs, desires and space.

The Houston Area Urban Forestry Council has a fabulous planting guide for trees in the Houston area. This guide is packed with all the basic info you need when considering planting new trees.

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 

2023-2024 Officers:
President: Patricia Hattenbach
Vice President: Nicole Wood
Secretary: Amanda Cai
Treasurer: Peggy Wallace

Thanks again to Jim McCallum and Patricia Hattenbach for providing the Yard of the Month write-ups and photos. It's wonderful to learn more about our great neighbors!
Yard of the Month
August 2023
The Idylwood Garden Club’s Yard of the Month for
August 2023 goes to Sally Lehr at 1704 Idylwood.
Essay by Sally Lehr
After 29-years gardening in Idylwood, I have been surprised this summer by some cone flowers rescued from Lowe’s dying-plant carts last year. Revived by a decent soaking, the healthy green plants refused to bloom, then disappeared with the freeze, I thought. This year, up came dusty yellow, rusty red, salmon, pink, and even a few white cone flowers with large yellow-green centers. I think their name is “Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea.” These hybrids of our native echinacea have reinforced my pleasure in native plants that can handle unrelenting sun.
Other plants that have flowered despite the freeze and burning sun are the red and yellow Pride of Barbados (caesalpinia pulcherrima) and an orange orchid tree (bauhinia galpini); the former is from the Caribbean; the latter from Africa--which tells us why they are doing well.
My hummingbird bushes (hamilia patens) have sluggishly recovered from freezing to the ground; the oldest and largest is about to bloom. Many birds like to eat their black fruit, then drop it--with a little personal fertilizer--yielding new plants. Moved to other beds, they get taller by the minute. Swallowtail butterflies and many other pollinators seem to be attracted to a hamilia outside my living room window. Dick and Diane Schenke showed me the joy of having hummingbird bushes near a window so one can observe hummingbirds up close.
   I like hamilias so much that I bought a new cultivar last year that has yellow leaves edged with red—"Lime Sizzler Firebush”--a Southern Living plant. I despaired after they froze, but like the green hamilia, they slowly recovered. Though not yet tall enough to show their yellow leaves above the day lilies, they are said to reach 4-5 feet.

Variegated-leaf plants give color even when nothing is blooming. I love them.

This year, my special garden treat was putting in beds along the creek, which you can see from the front fence. Their scalloped curves are planted with both giant elephant ears (colocasia) and giant purple-leaf crinums (crinum asiaticum).
Right now, neither is as “giant” as they will become with time. Other plants like sun coleus (various variegated solenostemon) and blue shade ruellia (ruellia squarrosa) fill in around them. I relish watching the new beds grow and am studying which plants do well. Right now, the beds and plants are mostly in shade, but as the sun shifts to the south during the winter, they will glow.
We have year-round gardening in Houston, but the climate changes are challenging me. Why am I paying astonishing water bills to keep St. Augustine grass alive when wedelia, a native flowering plant with yellow daisy-like flowers, does well with no water.  I have it in many beds already but am considering sprigging the lawn with it. Stay tuned. –-Sally Lehr
Photos by Jim McCallum

click link above for access to their website

August Gardening Tips

Hummingbirds are here!! Migrating hummingbirds can be found at your feeders and natural nectar sources. Keeping feeders clean, filled and in a shady area will encourage visitors. Check out our ‘Hummingbird Book’ in the Bungalow for useful information and identification.

Recipe for Nectar: • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of granulated sugar, stir until dissolved. • Allow to cool, fill feeders. Keep excess sealed in refrigerator.

Natural nectar sources for hummingbirds include turk’s cap, hamelia, shrimp plant, firespike, salvia, lobelia (cardinal flower), Pride of Barbados, anisacanthus, and cigar plants. These are all hummer magnets.

Plant transplants for tomatoes and peppers now. Keep young plants protected from intense midday heat by placing cages over plants and clothes pinning newspaper or cardboard at the second rung level. This temporary shade device can be removed once plants reach height of the cardboard; they are established.

Seeds to plant now include cucumbers, calendula, snapdragon and alyssum. Plan for the fall vegetable garden and choose seeds for planting next month. Shop for Botanical Interests seeds in the racks at the outside checkout.

Fertilizing & Mulching
Mulch, mulch, mulch. Mulching keeps plant roots cooler and weed seeds at bay. Apply 3” deep around trees and shrubs. The Ground Up Native Hardwood Mulch is our favorite.  Add compost around annuals, herbs, and vegetables. Remember: never pile mulch against the base of a plant.

For preparing fall gardens, top dress with 2-4” of organic matter: compost like Happy Frog Soil Conditioner and Nature’s Way Leaf Mold Compost are great choices.  A layer of pine straw will keep weeds at bay until seeds or transplants have been placed.

Feed the soil. Medina Plus and MicroLife Humates Plus actually feed the micro-organisms in the soil which improves soil quality and reduces compaction, in turn increase water holding capabilities. Healthy plants start with healthy soil.

Use seaweed spray such as Microlife Seaweed to boost the immune system of plants. A healthy plant is more resistant to insect infestations and fungal problems. A spray-down every two weeks that covers the entire surface of all leaves will do the job.

Continue slow, deep watering to encourage proper root growth and prevent runoff. Watering longer and less often encourages deep root growth and healthier plants. Soaker hoses or a regular hose turned on to a slow drip are good ways to do this.

Keep an eye on lawns to spot problems early and treat accordingly. Insects such as chinch bugs (treat with EcoSmart granules or diatomaceous earth) and fungi such as grey leaf spot (treat with MicroGro Granule) are two things to watch out for. All of these organic products can be found in our plant care shed.
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
  • 08/01/2023: Heavy Trash
  • 08/07/2023: Recycling
  • 08/11/2023: Dog Days officially end!
  • 08/15/2023: Idylwood Civic Club Meeting: 7:00pm @ The Studak's house, 6720 Sylvan Rd.
  • 08/21/2023: Recycling
  • 08/28/2023: HISD 1st Day of School
  • 09/05/2023: Recycling
  • 09/05/2023: Tree Limbs & Yard Waste
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].
If you have something you would like to see published in the Newsletter, drop us a line. Comments or concerns?
Let us know how we're doing.
Idylwood Officers and Directors 2022-2023
PRESIDENT: Diane Schenke (Fairfield)
VICE PRESIDENT: Keith McCarthy (Merry)
TREASURER: Nicole Wood (Idylwood)
SECRETARY: Monique Studak (Sylvan)
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 2024):
Beth Barrette (Meadowlawn); Amy Dinn (Sylvan); Joshua Espinedo (Meadowlawn);
Jeff Klemm (Merry); Paul Leggett (Merry); Laura Manion (Meadowlawn)
Post Office Box 9225
Houston, TX 77261-9225