In this Issue...
Features
«
2014 Zilker Garden Festival
«
A Guide to Flower Shows for Novices
«
Growing Irises
«
Caring for African Violets
«
Plant Division
«
A Brief History of The Garden Club of Austin
Club News and Announcements
«
President's Message
«
Spring Plant Shows and Sales
«
Spring Workshops
«
Austin Pond Society Goes Ice Fishing for Dell Childrens Medical Center
«
Travis County Master Gardeners - Inside Austin Gardens Tour
«
The First Austin African Violets Society
«
Austin Organic Gardeners - Garden Heroes
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
Zilker Botanical
Garden Home
Features
2014 Zilker Garden Festival
Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30, 10:00 to 5:00
$7 Adults, $3 Children (age5-12)
The 57th Annual
Zilker Garden Festival
For over 50 years, the annual Zilker Garden Festival has been a one-stop, garden shopping destination when spring arrives in Austin and Central Texas. A family-friendly event, the garden festival offers something for everyone:
  • Annual Flower Show in the Garden Center, featuring judged designs and an array of horticultural specimens.
  • Gardening Talks where novice and seasoned gardeners will enjoy talks from local gardening experts.
  • Vendors selling a variety of plants and garden-themed arts and crafts, ceramic pottery, custom jewelry, handmade artistic clothing, herbal products, garden hats.
  • City of Austin Information tables where you can learn about growing healthy, earth-friendly, sustainable gardens, caring for trees, and using environmentally safe pest management.
  • Live music from the Soundstage in the Rose Garden – with a variety of musical offerings both afternoons
  • Enjoy tasty food offerings at the Food Court in the Oak Grove on the Escarpment Trail
  • The always fun and interactive Kids' Corner in the Rose Garden – where kids can build a birdhouse, or bird feeder, make butterfly wings and masks, have their faces painted, and learn about plants from Master Gardeners.
  • There are many activities for the whole family to enjoy!
    Go to the Zilker Garden Festival web site for all the information on activities, schedules, list of vendors, parking information and more.
    A Guide to Flower Shows for Novices
    As Explained by Harriet Houston, Violet Crown Garden Club,
    to Steve Blackson, Austin Pond Society
    Editors Note: I have attended flower shows in the past, but never really knew what I was looking at. The flowers were all very pretty, and some of the exhibits were interesting, but I didn't understand why or who got which ribbon or what award.
    At last year's Zilker Garden Festival, Harriet Houston was gracious enought to take me on a guided tour of the Flower Show and explain to me what the flower show was about. I'm indebted to Harriet for all her help and explanations, and her patience for putting up with my questions. So here, I thought I might pass along to other flower show novices what I learned.
    ZGF Flower Show Awards
    ZGF Flower Show Awards
    Divisions
    The first thing to understand is that a flower show is divided into 2 Divisions: Design and Horticulture.
    Design Division
    The Design division is what a novice might consider to be flower 'arrangements', but it is much more involved than that. There are different sections and classes.
  • Sections are related to the size of the design.
  • Each section has classes for grouping similar designs, like an arrangement for a small tea party, or for a dinner table setting, or a floor design for a large, stand-alone plant.
  • (Note: At the end of this article are links for more information about the various sections and classes.)
    Place Setting
    Place Setting
    From my novice viewpoint, I learned that dinner table settings compete against dinner table settings, and tea party settings compete against tea party settings.
    Growing Irises
    by Nelda Moore, Iris Society of Austin
    Planting and Growing Bearded Iris
    Bearded irises — the beautiful flowers having three standards, three falls, and three beards that are like fuzzy caterpillars — are very easy to grow with a minimum of care as long as the rhizome or fleshy root has good drainage and the plant has plenty of sun.
    Bearded Iris
    Bearded Iris
    Any soil should be built up with the addition of compost, bone meal, and sand. If the soil is acidic, some agricultural lime can be beneficial. If using fertilizer, the mix should be higher in phosphorous for root growth, solid rhizomes, and strong bloomstalks, and low in nitrogen to prevent rot.
    The best time to plant the rhizomes is during their semi-dormant period or during the fall, especially in September and October.
    They should set their roots before the first freeze in this area.
    Caring for African Violets
    by Glenda Williams, Vice-President, First Austin African Violets Society
    Light
    African violets require approximately 10-12 hours of bright, indirect light per day - one of the most important factors in bloom production.
    Natural light from windows facing east is an option as the morning light works well for your plants.
    Windows facing the other 3 directions may work as well but care should be taken to minimize direct sunlight as it can burn plant foliage.
    Amethyst
    Amethyst
    The most practical lighting for growing violets is artificial or fluorescent lights. Inexpensive fluorescent light fixtures are readily available at your local hardware or home improvement stores. Violets require approximately 600 foot-candles of light for 12-14 hours per day.
    Plant Division
    by Rachel Matthews, Heart of the Hills Garden Club
    The Long and Short of It - Plant Division
    Math teachers claim that 1=1 but gardeners know that 1 can equal 2 or 3 or 4 or more through plant division.
    Dividing plants is one way to propagate quickly and fairly easily, and it is beneficial for the plants as well.
  • Why divide plants?
  • Which plants can be divided?
  • When should I do it?
  • How do I do it?
  • Here are a few tips to help keep your plants healthy, happy, and prolific.
    Plant Division
    Plant Division
    Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the history of the Austin Area Garden Center and the clubs that comprise the Austin Area Garden Council. The Men's Garden Club of Austin was one of the original clubs who were instrumental in establishing the Garden Center and creating what we now know as Zilker Botanical Garden.
    A Brief History of the Garden Club of Austin
    From Wilburn and Annie Hackebeil, The Garden Club of Austin
    Founding as The Men's Garden Club of Austin
    The Garden Club of Austin
    The Garden Club of Austin was originally known as The Men’s Garden Club of Austin, which was founded in 1953 by more than 90 men. The first Club President was Dr. S. W. Bohls. In 2002 it changed its name to The Garden Club of Austin, opening up membership to anyone interested in gardening.
    Membership Milestones
    Some time following organization, the club membership dropped from 90 to 50 and had no real growth until 1969. A gradual increase became evident during the next five years:
  • Membership almost doubled in 1973 to nearly 200;
  • from 1974 to 1979, it remained above 200;
  • the eighties ushered in memberships of more than 300 from 1980 to 1984;
  • however, membership during the past five years has been below 100.
  • For several years the Austin Club had the largest membership of clubs in the country. It won the Woodson K. Jones Memorial Plaque (for outstanding club) six times; the last three years were 1983, 1984, and 1988. Thus it has been among the top clubs based on member recruitment, garden projects, and other related activities.
    Club News and Announcements
    President's Message
    from Marion Alsup, President, Austin Area Garden Center
    The Austin Area Garden Center - a 50 Year Legacy
    Marion Alsup
    Marion Alsup
    Let's remember 1964:
  • Gasoline cost 30 cents a gallon.
  • Bread cost 21 cents a loaf.
  • Average annual income in the U.S. was $6,000.
  • The average cost of a new home was $13,000.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial average closed the year at 874.
  • Funny Girl and Fiddler on the Roof premiered on Broadway.
  • Mary Poppins, Dr. Strangelove and Goldfinger were among the top movies of the year.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Newcomers on the scene were the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Supremes, joined by the Ford Mustang, BASIC computer language, IBM's System 360 computer, Pop Tarts,Lucky Charms cereal, Sharpie markers.
  • and… the Austin Area Garden Center opened its doors on Oct. 25!
  • 1964 was quite a year!
    Fifty years went flying by, and the Austin Area Garden Center is still going strong, with 30 affiliated garden clubs. Our clubs and their members are still sharing the joys of gardening after all these years! Our neighbors can learn about gardening and the environment through meetings, workshops, flower shows and the 57th annual Zilker Garden Festival, which will be held this year on March 29-30.
    Spring Plant Shows and Sales
    Many of our clubs hold plant shows and sales as fund raising projects in the spring. There will be a wide variety of different types of plants available, from cactus and succulents to orchids! Visit the club's web site for more information.
    March
    Austin Organic Gardeners Plant Sale
    Austin Organic Gardeners Plant Sale
    Saturday March 1, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
    http://www.austinorganicgardeners.org/
    Austin African Violets Show
    First Austin African Violet Society Show and Sale
    Saturday, March 15, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    Sunday, March 16, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm
    http://www.faavs.org/
    Heart of Texas Orchids Show
    Heart of Texas Orchid Society Show and Sale
    Saturday, March 22, and Sunday, March 23
    10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    http://www.hotos.org/
    April
    Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Show and Sale
    Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Show and Sale
    Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6
    10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    http://austincss.com/
    Iris Show
    Iris Society of Austin Show
    Saturday, April 12, 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
    http://www.kenfuchs42.net/isa_index.html
    May
    Iris Show
    Austin Bonsai Society Show and Sale
    Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18
    10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    http://www.austinbonsaisociety.com/
    Austin Daylily Society Show
    Austin Daylily Society Show
    Saturday, May 24, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    http://www.austindaylily.org/
    Spring Workshops
    In Addition to flower shows and sales, there are interesting gardening workshops scheduled. Visit the club's web site for more information.
    March
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG) Educational Workshop
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG) Educational Workshop
    Heirloom Plants in the Spring Garden
    Saturday, March 8, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    http:/www.tcmastergardeners.org

    Austin Pond Society Goes Ice Fishing for Dell Children's Medical Center
    by Linda Tinsley, 2013 President, Austin Pond Society
    Recently, one of my co-worker's 11-year old daughter, Makayla, was undergoing tests and treatment at Dell Children's Medical Center (DCMC) for some serious medical issues. During a visit to her and her mother while she was in the Medical Center, we stopped to admire the pond that is located in the courtyard of the main building.
    Dell Children's Medical Center and Pond
    Dell Children's Medical Center and Pond
    It was a beautiful water feature with large rocks and water falling around the boulders. But it was a pond with no fish! Makayla told her mother "This pond needs some fish!." Makayla's mother responded "I'm sure Ms Linda can get that done!"
    As President of the Austin Pond Society, I often receive calls from people with pond problems or fish issues. One Saturday morning, not long after my visit with Makayla and her mother at the medical center, I received a phone call that brought the Austin Pond Society's community involvement to a whole new level.
    Travis County Master Gardeners - Inside Austin Gardens Tour
    Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG)
    You are invited to the Inside Austin Gardens Tour featuring six gardens of exemplary quality and design. The tour is presented by Travis County Master Gardeners Association in cooperation with the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.
    The Inside Austin Gardens Tour includes gardens to explore, continuous one-on-one educational offerings, kids' activities, and book sales. The gardens are a unique expression of the gardener’s personality and interests. Here is a glimpse of what to expect at these gardens.
    Imagine a free-spirited modern artist had a fling with an introverted cottage gardener.
    The resulting love child garden excels in using tough, easy-care plants to achieve a lush and exuberant mix of textures and colors, tamed by the sculptural solidity of cactus, agave, and yucca.
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG)
    The First Austin African Violets Society
    by Glenda Williams, Vice-President, First African Violets Society
    In 2014 the First Austin African Violets Society
    will celebrate 50 years of violet history!
    The First Austin African Violet Society (FAAVS) was established in 1964 in Austin, Texas. The FAAVS is a member of the African Violet Society of America (AVSA), Lone Star African Violets Council (LSAVC), and the Austin Area Garden Council (AAGC).
    FAAVS goals are to:
  • Stimulate public interest in growing and showing African violets and other gesneriads;
  • Provide a convenient association for people interested in African violets;
  • Provide education about propagation, culture, and showing African violets and other gesneriads;
  • Promote distribution of all varieties and species among members and others interested in growing them; and
  • Publish reliable, practical information about the organization and African violets and other gesneriads.
  • Austin Organic Gardeners - Garden Heroes
    by Catherine Robertson, Austin Organic Gardeners
    Jimi Chow
    I got to visit with Jimi Chow at the seed exchange at Milberg Farms. Jimi had brought Cherokee Tomato seeds she had grown and collected to bring to the exchange.
    Her enthusiasm was contagious as she instructed the group in various methods of growing the plants and she put everyone at ease.
    Jimi has been in the Austin Organic Garden Club for twenty years and professes to be self-taught in gardening.
    Jimi Chow
    Jimi Chow
    She is looking forward to volunteering at the plant sale and finds it fun meeting new people and helping others. We spent time discussing some new ideas she has for the club that left me inspired as well!
    Russell Kohlert
    Garden Hero... or should I say the man about Zilker Gardens.
    Russell belongs to eight clubs:
  • Austin Butterfly Forum
  • Austin Bonsai Society
  • Austin Cactus and Succulent Society
  • Austin Daylily Society
  • Austin Organic Gardeners
  • Austin Rose Society
  • Iris Society of Austin
  • and The Garden Club of Austin.
  • Russell Kohlert
    Russell Kohlert
    Oh, did I mention that he also used to be the night attendant for the Austin Area Garden Council for thirteen years. That is where most people got to know Russell as he walked they safely to their cars.
    Russell joined the Austin Organic Gardeners first in 1980 when John Dromgoole was speaker for the Ted Fisher summer school. We always see Russell cleaning up after meetings, selling soil amendments, and volunteering for any other duties clubs may need help with. His favorite volunteer job is with the Butterfly forum where kids play with caterpillars at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center.
    Russell also raises plants for our March First Organic Plant Sale at Zilker and claims to do so just for the fun of it. I for one don't know where we would be without Russell at Zilker.
    The Austin Organic Garden Club has shown their appreciation by awarding him a lifetime membership.
    by Catherine Robertson, Austin Organic Gardeners
    Zilker Botanical Garden
    Events at a Glance
    March 2014
    Saturday, March 1, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
    Austin Organic Gardeners' Plant Sale
    Sunday, March 2
    Kite Festival
    ZBG Open but No Parking
    Sunday, March 2, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, March 8, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Travis County Master Gardeners (TCMG) Educational Workshop
    Sunday, March 9
    Daylight Savings Times Begins
    ZBG hours: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Saturday, March 15, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
    Sunday, March 16, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm
    First Austin African Violet Society Show & Sale
    Sunday, March 16, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, March 22, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, March 23, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Heart of Texas Orchid Society Show & Sale
    Thursday, March 27, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
    ZBG Closes at 5:00 pm
    Zilker Garden Festival Setup
    Friday, March 28, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
    ZBG Closed to Public
    Zilker Garden Festival Setup
    Saturday, March 29, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Zilker Garden Festival
    Sunday, March 30, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Zilker Garden Festival
    April 2014
    Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Show and Sale
    Sunday, April 6, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, April 12, 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
    Iris Society of Austin Show (No Sale)
    Sunday, April 20, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    May 2014
    Sunday, May 4, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Austin Bonsai Society Show and Sale
    Sunday, May 18, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, May 24, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Austin Daylily Society Show
    June 2014
    Sunday, June 1, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, June 7, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday, June 8, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
    The Garden Club of Austin Show and Sale
    Sunday, June 15, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
    Afternoon in the Garden
    Saturday, June 21, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
    Travis County Master Gardeners Educational Workshop
    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/.
    Click on Support and then Walk of Friends.
    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

    Sign up for Austin Notes, the City's dynamic e-mail update system and get news about Austin neighborhoods, parks, road closures, and more.
    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 zilkergarden.org with comments or suggestions.
    ©2014 Austin Area Garden Council, Zilker Botanical Garden
    http://www.zilkergarden.org/