Fall 2014
In this Issue...
Features
«
50th Anniversaryof the Austin Garden Center Celebration
«
The Story Behind Creating the Austin Garden Center
«
The History of the West Lake Hills Garden Club
«
The History of the Heart of the Hills Garden Club
«
Zilker Botanical Garden Long-Range Strategic Planning
Club News and Announcements
«
President's Message
«
Fall Plant Shows and Sales
«
Travis County Master Gardeners Fall Workshops
Zilker Botanical Garden
«
Events at a Glance
«
The Chrysalis Gift Shop at Zilker Botanical Garden
«
The Walk of Friends
«
City of Austin Newsletters KLRU's "Central Texas Gardener"
«
Yelp Reviews
Features
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary
of the Austin Garden Center
The Austin Area Garden Center cordially invites you
to our 50th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday and Sunday, October 18 - 19
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Overflow parking will be available on Stratford Drive all day on Saturday and Sunday.

The Story Behind Creating the Austin Garden Center
Compiled by Marion Alsup, President, Austin Area Garden Center
and Steve Blackson, AAGC VP-Publications
Early Planning
Records show that as early as October, 1954, two members of the Violet Crown Garden Club had approached Beverly Sheffield, the Director of the Austin Recreation Department, to ask for land. Sheffield was so impressed with the proposal that he suggested creating a group of all the existing garden clubs in the area who could utilize the facilities if it were built.
Reading from the minutes of the original organizational meeting in May, 1955, six garden clubs met to form the Austin Area Garden Council. Of the original six clubs, four still exist today:
  • The Violet Crown Garden Club
  • (The Violet Crown Garden Club was profiled in "Down the Garden Path" Winter 2013.)
  • The Men's Garden Club, now known as the Garden Club of Austin
  • (The Garden Club of Austin was profiled in "Down the Garden Path" Spring 2014.)
  • The Western Hills Garden Club, now known as the West Lake Hills Garden Club
  • (The West Lake Hills Garden Club is profiled below in this issue of "Down the Garden Path".)
  • The Heart of the Hills Garden Club
  • (The Heart of the Hills Garden Club is profiled below in this issue of "Down the Garden Path" .)
    Two of the original clubs no longer exist:
  • The Austin Women's Federation Garden Group
  • The Wilshire Area Garden Club
  • And what were the goals of their proposal? Where could such a Garden Center be built? What would be its purpose?
    The History of the West Lake Hills Garden Club
    Submitted by Edie Musgrove, West Lake Hills Garden Club
    The West Lake Hills Garden Club was founded in 1952 by the twelve members of a canasta group who shared a common interest in establishing new yards and gardens in the unique environment of the hills west of Austin.
    The club was originally called the Western Hills Garden Club and had a limited membership of twenty-five.
    When the name of the community changed in 1956, the name of the club became the West Lake Hills Garden Club and the club has grown to 44 members in 2014.
    West Lake Hills Garden Club association with the Austin Area Garden Center
    The West Lake Hills Garden Club is proud of the fact that in 1954 it was one of the original garden clubs to help plan and develop the Austin Area Garden Center at Zilker Park.
    The History of the Heart of the Hills Garden Club
    By Mary Lou Liston, Heart of the Hills Garden Club
    The Heart of the Hills Gardeners celebrated 50 years as a gardening club in 2002. It began in 1952 in the home of Mrs. Herbert C. Wilson, who lived in the Burnet Road area. She invited neighbors to join the club, who in turn invited others. Currently, the club has 16 members.
    At first the club met in the homes of its members. Many things were shared - growing tips, green thumb secrets, and a recipe or two. Over the years, these gardening friends showed off roses or the latest hibiscus from their own yards. Information about plants and flowers has been shared, along with seedlings, plant starters, laughter and smiles.
    Not only club members gave programs in those formative years. When the club moved to hold meetings at Zilker Botanical Garden in 1954, wonderful speakers shared their knowledge on topics like landscaping with rocks, heirloom roses, Texas wildflowers, and butterflies and bees. The club made crafts, including wreaths, angels, terrariums, dish gardens, and painted butterflies from butterfly vine flowers. Many were sold to donate money to Zilker Botanical Garden.
    Zilker Botanical Garden Long-Range Strategic Planning
    by Ed Parken, AAGC VP-Special Projects
    The AAGC Strategic Planning Group
    A small team of 3 members of the Austin Area Garden Council, President Marion Alsup, VP-Public Affairs Mary Ann Neely, VP-Special Projects Ed Parken, along with Margaret Russell (PARD Manager), have been working on a project to define a new organization to run Zilker Botanical Garden.
    Feasibility Study
    The Council hired a consultant from Seeds of Change and we have completed a feasibility study. A key part of the study was a 28-question survey. Over 700 folks responded to our online survey and over 500 folks took the print version of the survey. In addition we had in-person interviews with six high profile individuals that had interest in or were aware of the issues with the Botanical Garden.
    The printed survey was done at the Garden and included only adults and seniors that had paid admissions. The paper survey covered 7 consecutive days in mid-June. A group of AAGC volunteers did an outstanding job getting the visitors to take the survey and then they also put the survey data into electronic form.
    Survey Results
    Club News and Announcements
    President's Message
    from Marion Alsup, President, Austin Area Garden Council
    Marion Alsup
    Hangin' Out with the Flowers…
    Why do YOU think Zilker Botanical Garden is important?
    Why is it worthy of our support?
    We asked these questions in our June survey of visitors and supporters. Over 1,200 people responded online and in person, from 248 zip codes all across the United States and visitors from out of the country as well. Their answers were enlightening.
    One recurring theme was education:
  • "One of the best places in Austin, to relax, learn about different flowers, shrubs and trees. Truly is a 'jewel' in the cityscape."
  • "Important for a large city to have a garden such as Zilker—not only a beautiful and pleasurable experience for all ages but to provide educational experiences about plants, trees, flora that pertain to the geographic area."
  • "To promote the enjoyment of gardening."
  • Several people mentioned family outings:
    Fall Plant Shows and Sales
    October
    Violet Crown Garden Club
    The Violet Crown Flower Show
    Saturday, October 18, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, October 19, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Zilker Botanical Garden
    Plant Sale
    The Austin Area Garden Center 50th Anniversary Plant Sale
    Saturday, October 18, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, October 19, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Zilker Botanical Garden
    Participating clubs include:
  • Texas Bamboo Society
  • First Austin African Violet Society
  • Travis County Master Gardeners
  • Austin Herb Society
  • Austin Organic Gardeners
  • and Austin Daylily Society.
  • Travis County Master Gardeners Fall Workshops
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG) Educational Workshops
    The Travis County Master Gardeners, in association with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, holds many events throughout the year. You can visit their web site at: http:/www.tcmastergardeners.org for more information on their upcoming workshops.
    You can register online at: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty or by phone at: 979-845-2604.
    September
    Wednesday, September 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    "Vegetable Gardening"
    AgriLife Extension office: 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin.
    $10 for early registration and $15 for late or on-site registration.
    With its warm days and cooler nights, along with more stable weather patterns, Fall just may be the best season for vegetable gardening in Central Texas. In our second course on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and vegetable specialist Tommie Clayton will share her many years of experience in gardening, with details on planting schedules, proven varieties for our area and other helpful resources.
    Saturday, September 13, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
    "Backyard Food"
    Austin Community College South Campus
    1820 W Stassney Ln, Austin
    Registration: $25; ($30 late and onsite)
    Join AgriLife Extension Master Gardener volunteers and other community experts for this special workshop on all things backyard food. We'll cover the basics of growing fruits and vegetables, as well as garden recipes (basic canning and preserving how-to's) backyard chickens, and backyard bees.
    Wednesday, September 24, 9 am – 1:00 pm
    "Growing Fruit" with Monte Nesbitt, AgriLife Extension state-wide Fruit Specialist
    Travis County Health and Human Services
    502 E Highland Mall Blvd., Austin
    Registration: $30 by Sept 17; ($40 September 18 and onsite)
    Part of Travis County AgriLife Extension’s Forward Farming series and in partnership with the Office of Sustainability-City of Austin, this program will cover information appropriate for current and potential fruit producers, while also being useful and easy to understand for the backyard enthusiast.
    From site selection, soils, fertilization, and pruning to sustainable production practices and dealing with particular insects and diseases — we'll cover the production basics, as well as unique specifics. This workshop is only offered semi-annually and is not to be missed!
    October
    Thursday, October 2nd, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    "Integrated Pest Management"
    AgriLife Extension office: 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin.
    $10 for early registration and $15 for late or on-site registration.
    Wizzie Brown, Integrated Pest Management Specialist for the AgriLife Extension Service, will discuss natural pest control in the garden and landscape, as she teaches about pests and the damage they inflict at various times of the year. Learn to encourage the good guys and discourage the bad guys in your vegetable garden in this third class on Backyard Basics.
    November
    Thursday, November 6th, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    "Backyard Chickens"
    AgriLife Extension office: 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin.
    $10 for early registration and $15 for late or on-site registration.
    For our final class on Backyard Basics, Master Gardener and blogger Ally Stresing will share her love of backyard chickens in this informative talk on the care and maintenance of the home flock. From constructing a predator-proof coop, to choosing proper feed, to handling boredom and the pecking order, Ally will guide you through the ins and outs of caring for happy, healthy hens.
    For more information on any of the workshops above, you can email Daphne Richards at drichards@ag.tamu.edu or by phone at: 979-854-9600.
    Submitted by Mikala McFerren Travis County Master Gardeners
    Zilker Botanical Garden
    Zilker Botanical Garden Adult Austin Resident $2 Children (3-12) $1
    Admissions: Adult Austin Non-Resident $3 Seniors (age 62+) $1
    Special Event
    Monarch Appreciation Day
    Saturday, September 13, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    We depend on pollinators to produce one out of three bites of the food we consume. Over the last few years, studies show a rapid and significant decline in the number of pollinators. Come learn what you can do to provide food and habitat for these important members of our food web and ecosystem!
    Family Friendly. Free with regular admission.
    Events at a Glance
    September 2014
    Sunday, September 7, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Sunday, September 21, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    October 2014
    Friday through Sunday, October 3 -5
    Austin City Limits Festival
    Zilker Botanical Garden Closed
    Friday through Sunday, October 10 -12
    Austin City Limits Festival
    Zilker Botanical Garden Closed
    Saturday, October 18, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, October 19, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Violet Crown Garden Club Flower Show
    Saturday, October 18, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, October 19, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    The Austin Area Garden Center 50th Anniversary Plant Sale
    Sunday, October 19, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    November 2014
    Sunday, November 2
    Daylight Savings Time Ends.
    Zilker Botanical Garden Hours 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
    Sunday, November 2, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Sunday, November 16, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    November 22 - January 3,2015
    Holiday Tree Display in Greene Room
    November 27
    ZBG closed for Thanksgiving holiday.
    Events scheduled at the Zilker Botanical Garden-Austin Area Garden Center are always posted, and kept updated, on the Calendar of Events page on the web site.
    The Chrysalis Gift Shop at Zilker Botanical Garden
    Where can a visitor purchase post cards, cookbooks, jewelry,
    puzzles, Gatorade, framed prints, and unique gifts?
    Drive to Zilker Botanical Garden and shop at The Chrysalis Gift Shop, where your shopping experience will be satisfied with such great gifts as Remarkable Plants of Texas, The Garden Guide, Food by Design from the Violet Crown Garden Club, New Braunfels Garden Club Cookbook, books about trees, butterflies, snakes, or dragonflies.
    The Chrysalis Gift Shop
    Then there are cool towels, shopping bags that can be stuffed inside themselves to form a ball that can be attached to a purse, tee shirts, very special Austin gifts for the person who has everything, beautiful jewelry, night lights of nature, boxes that look like flowers.
    Bring your birthday child along and let him shop for himself in the children's section for wooden snakes, dinosaurs, puzzles, books, cardinals that sing their song, or perhaps he will purchase a framed nature print for his room. It is all there and some of the items are fashioned here in Austin by Austin artists
    For more information, please visit the The Chrysalis Gift Shop web site...
    Top Of Page

    The Walk of Friends
    DONATE A BRICK TODAY!
    Order forms are available at the Garden Center or downloaded from http://www.zilkergarden.org/ .
    It's easy! Select the size of brick you would like, choose your message and return the form with your payment.
    Contact Sandra Holt at 512-345-3164 for more information, or visit:
    http//www.zilkergarden.org/support/friends.html .
    The Walk of Friends
    Austin Notes

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    Read More...

    KLRU's "Central Texas Gardener"

    KLRU's "Central Texas Gardener"
    This weekly gardening show is a rich source of information for all Austin and Central Texas gardeners.
    Check out their weekly show schedule for topics and air times, the "To Do List"for monthly gardening tasks, and much more...
    Go to the Central Texas Gardener Blog
    Read reviews from visitors to Zilker Botanical Garden on Yelp.com.
    4½ stars out of 5 makes our garden sing!

    "Down the Garden Path" is a publication of the Austin Area Garden Council, Zilker Botanical Garden.
    Contact us at news@zilkergarden.org with comments or suggestions.
    ©2014 Austin Area Garden Council, Zilker Botanical Garden
    http://www.zilkergarden.org/