Down the Garden Path, Zilker Botanical Garden

August 2012 Issue—

President's Message

Austin Cactus and Succulent Society Fall Show and Sale

News from the Iris Society of Austin

Texas Bamboo Society Festival

Zilker Botanical Garden Open House

Compost Tea 101

Western Trails Garden Club Celebrates 50 Years

U.S. Japanese Gardens — A Railroad Odyssey From Atlanta to San Francisco

Add Some Specimen Plants to Your Garden

Understanding Plant Names

Events at a Glance

Walk of Friends

President's Message

As we go to press with our August 2012 newsletter, the last measurable rainfall in Austin and Central Texas was Sunday, July 22nd....and hardly a drop in the last 3 weeks! Texas is still suffering from a prolonged drought — though currently not extreme (aka exceptional) like the summer of 2011. The Austin-American Statesman recently delivered the grim news: “July rain eased drought conditions, but August unlike to bring relief” (Texas in Drought…Hot, dry climate ends rainy spell, by Asher Price, Saturday, August 4, 2012, Metro & State). Add to that, the cover of the August issue of Texas Co-op Power magazine: Water for All? Wake Up, Texas: Our Water Crisis Demands Action NOW. And, the June 2012 issue of Texas Monthly, The Last Drop, Everything you Ever Wanted to Know about Water and Drought in Texas But Were Too Freaked Out, Discouraged, or Parched to Ask.

Whoa!! For now, give yourself a much-needed break from all those grim headlines, and take some time to read these delightful gardening articles in our August online newsletter….
Read more »

Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Fall Show & Sale

Cactus & SucculentsOn Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Austin Area Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden in Zilker Park (2220 Barton Springs Road), the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society will host its 2012 Fall Show and Sale. The event is free and open to the general public. There is, however, a paid admission to Zilker Botanical Garden ($2 adults, $1 children and seniors).

The show offers visitors a chance to see rare and beautiful cacti and succulent species from around the world. Vendors from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico will sell native and exotic cacti and succulents, and hand-made pottery at reasonable prices. View the flyer»

News from the Iris Society of Austin

Iris Don and Pat Freeman and Charlie and Sonja Hensley waltzed away with Silver and Bronze Medals respectively from the 23rd accredited Iris Society of Austin Show, "Dancing in an Iris Garden"...
Read more »

Iris Society of Austin Fall Rhizome Sale
Saturday, September 8th
Norris Conference Center
2525 West Anderson Lane
(at southend of Northcross Mall) 

Shop for new rhizomes of bearded irises and Louisianas.

Texas Bamboo Society FestivalOpen House

Texas Bamboo Society Hosts the
20th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival
   PLUS the
2012 Annual Meeting of the American Bamboo Society

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, September 28 and 29, 2012
Wyndham Garden Hotel, 3401 South IH 35, Austin, Texas

A gathering of bamboo enthusiasts come together in Austin, Texas to share their joys and experiences of growing and working with bamboo at the Annual Meeting of the American Bamboo Society and the 20th Annual Texas Bamboo Festival. There will be lectures and demonstrations about bamboo, along with vendors selling bamboo craft items.

View the flyer>>

Zilker Botanical Garden Open House

Friday, Sept 28, 2012
10 am to 1 pm

What's the best place to learn about Central Texas gardening? Zilker Botanical Garden! Austin Area Garden Council's 30 member garden clubs give numerous programs every month, most of which are free and open to the public. Some recent topics include water conservation, integrated pest management, and gardening with native plants. If you have questions such as how do I care for this orchid, how do I create bonsai, or WHAT IS EATING MY PLANT, you can find a program at the Garden Center. View the flyer»

Compost Tea 101

Saturday, September 29, 2012, 10:30am-12:30pm
Hampton Branch Library at Oakhill
5125 Convict Hill Rd.
Austin TX 78749

Compost Tea is a great fertilizer for your garden. This seminar will cover what you need to know for setting up a simple "do-it-yourself" compost tea brewer, what goes in it, how to avoid problems, and recipes for using compost tea in your garden!
This free class doesn’t require a reservation but if you want to ensure a seat, sign up online at: Please note that any empty reserved seats become open seating at 9:50 am. This seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For information, call (512)854-9600.

Western Trails Garden Club Celebrates 50 Years

Western Trails Garden Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary when members met for a delightful dinner and shared a beautiful white cake decorated with green butter-cream frosting representing the club’s colors.   Club members surrounded the cake after the May business meeting, toasting the club that was once affiliated with the National Council of State Garden Clubs in 1962.  Read more>>

U.S. Japanese Gardens —
A Railroad Odyssey From Atlanta to San Francisco

View from aniguchi GardenEnjoy the photos and observations of Bill F. Eger, who visited the Taniguchi Japanese Garden as part of a railroad odyssey of Japanese Gardens throughout the U.S.

Read "Taniguchi's Gift to the City of Austin".



Add Some Specimen Plants to Your Garden

specimen plantsSpecimen plant? What’s that?  It is any plant that is really different, enough so it catches the eye and draws attention to its uniqueness.  It’s one that stands out as if to tell the visitor to your garden, “bet you haven’t seen me before!”. Now why would you want to plant that?  Simply to add interest to your garden just as you might do if you had something whimsical or a unique piece of natural or man-made hardscaping.

There are so many possibilities for finding that unique or rare specimen plant but these criteria must first be met.  It must be a native or adaptive plant that will survive and grow well in our unique growing region.   Read more>>

Understanding Plant Names

Plants, like any other living organism, are given botanical names based on an internationally accepted system for naming each unique and distinct plant, whether natural or cultivated. This system, developed by the 18th century botanist Carl Linnaeus, identifies each plant kingdom, sub-kingdom, division, class, order, family, and species. Species are further broken down into two names, genus and species epithet. The latter names are always italicized or underlined and are called the botanical name for a plant. This provides people world-wide a way to refer to a distinctly identified and classified plant using the same accepted name. Every plant has its own unmistakable botanical name and identity. Sometimes botanists will reclassify plants based on scientific study thereby changing their botanical name. Read more>>

events at a glance

Now till Aug 31: Vote for your favorite flower!

Aug 11: Rainwater Harvesting in a Thirsty World

Aug 13: Austin Organic Gardeners Meeting

Sep 1 & 2: Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale

Sep 8: Iris Society of Austin Fall Rhizome Sale

Sep 28: ZBG Open House

Sep 28 & 29: Bamboo Festival

Sep 29: Compost Tea 101

Oct 12-14: ZBG closed for Austin City Limits Festival

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!