Down the Garden Path, Zilker Botanical Garden

October 2011 Issue—

President's Message
Plant Drought Survival
YNN Out in the Garden Segments
Proven Winners
Docents of Zilker Botanical Garden
Iris Society of Austin
New Booklet — Broccoli to Butterflies
It's About Thyme...and then some!
Events at a Glance
Walk of Friends

President's Message
Surviving The Drought

Blooming FirebushLittle did I know that my message in our May 2011 issue – Water-wise Gardening: Making Better Choices – was foreshadowing the grim headlines ahead of us this summer. A story in The Statesman (Insight & Books, Sunday, August 28th) "Dry Season…the effects of the worst one-year drought on record in Texas…" said it all, with photos of parched farmland and dried-up lakes. And the bad news just kept coming – cattle sold off, crops dying, Stage 2 watering restrictions, raging wildfires – and barely a drop of rainfall.…Read more »

Plant Drought Survival

While we are hibernating in our air conditioned, climate controlled home environment when daily temperatures exceed 100 and one of our worst droughts is in progress, can we have a little sympathy for our outdoor plants who don't have such a luxury? A gardener's biggest stress is worrying about them when the forces of nature are being so cruel. I mean, we love our plants and do all we can to care for them, especially in their times of trial. So, what can we really do other than worry? First identify what their stresses are so we can act accordingly. A plant's greatest stresses during drought and heat is light intensity and excessive transpiration. Read more>>

YNN Out in the Garden Segments

YNN Out in the Garden SegmentsTime-Warner Cable's 24-Hour news channel, YNN (Your News Now), features Out in the Garden segments each Saturday. Donna Friedenreich, President of the Austin Area Garden Council, has been hosting these segments since July 2010.

If you are a TW Cable subscriber, you can watch the segments on Saturday (Channel 8 or 1508); they run 6 times, starting at 8:25 a.m. and every 3 hours through 11:25 p.m Read more>>

Proven Winners

There is a brand name for a plant collection called "Proven Winners" in the garden center trade that is based on testing in unknown locations under unknown conditions. The only true "proven winners" are those plants which perform well in your own garden conditions and micro-environments over a sustained period covering all seasons. So don't be fooled by marketing titles, but become your own expert on which plants are proven winners for your specific use and garden conditions. For example, in my yard, I have identified a variety of micro-environmental conditions which require very different plants and plant types. These growing conditions include drainage, amount of light, duration of light, soil depth and composition, and exposure to our severest seasonal climate conditions. So my definition of a "proven winner" is based on a plants performance in my own garden under the conditions that exist there. Therefore, a proven winner to me may not be the same for other gardeners. Read more>>

Docents of Zilker Botanical Garden

Docents of Zilker Botanical Garden continue to search for knowledge through educational opportunities that will enable them to keep the school children and adults on tours interested, educated and observant.

Marion Alsup, President of the Docents, has invited the public to most of the lectures as she did on August 20 when Jeff Pavlat, a garden designer who serves as president of the Austin Cacti and Succulent Society, presented a power point program to over 30 attendees. Gardeners have had a challenging year experiencing not only the bitter cold of last winter but also the brutal record-breaking temperatures of this long hot summer. Read more>>

Iris Society of Austin

Thornbird IrisThe 2011 Judged Iris Show held in the Austin Area Garden Center Auditorium produced a best specimen named "Thornbird", a beautiful tan, brown and purple bearded iris known as a Space Age Iris grown by Patricia Colacino. In the horticulture section Charlie and Sonja Hensley won the most blue ribbons, thus being awarded the Silver Award. Marney Abel received this year's Bronze Award.

The Iris Society of Austin will host the American Iris Society Region 17 Convention August 3 and 4, 2012 in the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark. The last regional meeting that was held in Austin was in 2004.

New Booklet — Broccoli to ButterfliesFree publication: Broccoli to Butterflies

Check out the informative new school gardening publication produced by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association—

Broccoli to Butterflies: School Garden Templates

Broccoli to Butterflies is a school gardening program that coincides with the September through May academic year. It is a long-term planting program using cool-season vegetables and herbs to attract and nourish bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

This publication is in Acrobat PDF format and can be downloaded free of charge.


Download the booklet>>

It's About Thyme...And then some!Its About Thyme

It's About Thyme logoThis South Austin nursery is a treasure – a thriving business for over 28 years. Chris Winslow and his wife, Diane, have turned the charming, old home on the property into a gift shop, classroom space for garden lectures, and offices for their friendly, loyal, garden-smart staff that stand ready to answer your plant questions. Promise you—pay It's About Thyme a visit and you will leave with a smile on your face—and some healthy plants for your garden!

Read more>>

events at a glance

Effective October 1, 2011 admission to Zilker Botanical Garden will be $2 for adults and $1 for children (ages 3-12).

Oct 1-2: Bromeliad Show & Sale

Oct 8-9: Standard Flower Show

Oct 22: Orchid Seminar

Oct 22: Central Texas Trees and Oak Wilt FAQ

Nov 6: Daylight Savings Time Ends - ZBG closing is 5:30pm

Nov 12: Porcelain Art Show & Sale

See the full calendar>>

Walk of Friends

Walk of FriendsDONATE A BRICK TODAY! Order forms are available at the Garden Center or can be downloaded from the web site at:, 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. For more information, contact Sandra Holt at 512-345-3164, or visit
Read more »

Sign up for 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

This weekly gardening show is a rich source of information for Austin and Central Texas gardeners. Check out their weekly show schedule for topics & air times, the "To Do List" for monthly gardening tasks, and much more...

Visit the CTG Blog

Yelp starsRead reviews from visitors to Zilker Botanical Garden on Yelp.com4 ½ stars out of 5 makes our garden sing!