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Saturday, March 29

Composting – Nature’s Recycling

Stewart Donley, Austin Resource Recovery

compostingCome early, learn how to get started composting. Class will be held in the compost demonstration area, across from the red barn blacksmith's shop in Zilker Botanical Garden. A great way to recycle your kitchen waste and yard trimmings, reduce your trash output and generate a free and rich soil conditioner for trees, herbs, vegetables, flowers and natives. Compost will improve the soil and make all of your plants healthier. Go home with a counter top compost collector and everything you need to know to about composting to reduce greenhouse gasses, save natural resources, and help Austin become a more sustainable city.


Natives Any HOA Will Love
Cheryl Harrison

A landscape designer and owner of Agarita Garden Design, Cheryl's foundation in design stems in part from a degree in art, with honors from the University of Texas. She also has several years of experience doing design for manufacturing and engineering with IBM and 3M. Cheryl has been a certified Master Gardener with the Travis County Master Gardeners Association since 2005. Also a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas, she has an extensive knowledge of native and adapted plants, and selects plants which will thrive in Central Texas and require less maintenance and resources. She is committed to sustainable gardening practices and provides coaching to her clients about plant care and maintenance. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, travel, and of course, puttering in the garden. www.agaritagardendesign.com


Hardscape in Landscape Design

Gregory Thomas

A talented design architect, Gregory Thomas utilizes his diverse background in architecture, structural engineering, and fine arts to create spirited, site-specific and climatically responsive homes. He designs outdoor living spaces and landscapes as well: several have been featured on KLRU’s Central Texas Gardener, in magazines and books.  Landscape watering is the greatest use of potable water. Many people are considering how to reduce lawn areas, especially, to save money and to do their part to protect our water resources. Reducing lawn areas to essential, functional areas can leave the rest of the landscape open for alternative uses, including planting areas (‘softscapes’) and structured areas, or ‘hardscapes.’ This talk will survey some of the available hardscape options.  A lifelong gardener, Gregory was certified in 2011 as a Travis County Master Gardener. Photo of Gregory’s design for an arroyo, taken by Steve Knetig.

Pruning For Healthier Trees

Jerry Naiser 

Involved in the "Green" industry for over 25 years, Jerry has seen varying attitudes, ideas, and processes that “ultimately made me a better person, both personally & professionally”. Educated at St. Edwards and Texas A&M, some would say he is a successful serial business owner. Early in life he worked two and three jobs, a work ethic inspired by his single mom who raised 4 children doing the same. At 53 he has been self-employed most of his adult life; he is currently President and CEO at Real Green Pest and Lawn, and President & CEO at Arbor Consulting. Jerry is a Water Stars Board Member at Texas A&M AgriLife. He is a Travis County Master Gardener, with additional Tree Care Specialist certification from TCMG. A Certified Arborist, he will share his vast experience and knowledge about keeping trees healthy by properly pruning them. “I enjoy the opportunity to share what I’ve learned and learn from others”, says Jerry. www.ArborDistributing.com

Filling In Landscapes With Fabulous Herbs
Gayle Engles

The Special Projects Director for the American Botanical Council (ABC) where she has worked since 1995, Gayle enjoys using her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Austin in a nontraditional educational setting. She currently manages the development and maintenance of ABC’s website, coordinates the development of content on special projects, writes for ABC’s publications, supervises its educational efforts, guides the development of its medicinal demonstration gardens, and gives presentations to educational groups and plant-oriented organizations, including tours of ABC’s gardens, demonstrations, study groups, and lectures on various aspects of herbs and plant-based medicine. Photo shows dill and borage blooming with aloe in a bed along the front porch at ABC.  www.herbalgram.org

Rainwater Harvesting

Ed Parken
A retired businessman/ mechanical engineer with BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University, Ed held technical and management positions with IBM, Lexus/Nexus and Scientific-Atlanta.  He retired in 2001 and moved back to Austin. Currently he is serving on the Austin Area Garden Council Board and the Zilker Botanical Garden Horticulture Committee. 
Ed became a Master Gardener in 2003, a rainwater harvesting (RWH) specialist in 2011 and has made a number of Master Gardener-sponsored presentations on how to plan and construct a rainwater harvesting system. He has been involved in the planning and construction of a number of rainwater harvesting systems, including two systems at Zilker Botanical Garden— a project spearheaded by his friend Bud Kane.

Sunday, March 30

Harvesting Fresh Herbs for the Kitchen

Cindy Meredith
Owner of The Herb Cottage, a rural nursery in Lavaca County Texas, in business since 1998, Cindy has a wide range of knowledge about gardening with herbs as well as using herbs in the kitchen and landscape. She makes her own potting mix and grows most of her plants from seeds or cuttings using organic practices. She focuses on herbs of all kinds, seasonal vegetables, and a great variety of succulents and cacti. Her monthly newsletter and blog are full of information about herb growing, cooking and canning and using herbs in everyday living. Plant lovers find them a handy source for growing information for Texans and other folks who live in hot, humid climates like ours.  theherbcottage.com


In the Garden with Children AND Butterflies, Birds, Bugs & Worms!
Denise Harrelson
Getting children involved in your garden can provide a wonderful learning experience for the entire family. Whether you're planting a vegetable garden or simply beautifying your landscape with perennials, there are a number of creative ways to actively engage your children to learn about garden ecosystems. Schools across the country are using gardening as a means of teaching science, nutrition, and even math. At home, when harvested vegetables and herbs are incorporated into family meals, nutrition and healthy eating habits also become a part of the child’s learning experience. The physical activity and cooperative nature of gardening can have a positive lifelong influence on your children. Denise provides garden coaching to help home gardeners with raised bed gardening, native plant selection, and transforming waster scapes into beautiful, drought-tolerant landscapes. She is also a Travis County Master Gardener involved in a variety of gardening and garden education activities in the greater Austin area. 


Installing Drip Irrigation
Joe Posern

A retired Veterinarian from Houston, and graduate of Texas A&M, Joe became a Harris County Master Gardener in 2007, then transferred to Travis County after moving to Austin the same year. Through the Texas Master Gardeners Association and AgriLife Extension he has expanded his knowledge by taking specialty classes in entomology, and vegetable growing. After the numerous fires two years ago, Joe took Firewise specialty class and often shares the details of that program. He currently serves as the President of Travis County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA). He is also a member of the logistics team for Zilker Garden Festival.
Joe installed his first drip irrigation system at his Houston home in 1999, and then converted the sprinkler system at his new home in Austin to a drip irrigation system. In 2011, Joe and Mary put their home on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour and the Austin Pond Society Tour.


2:30 pm
Texas Superstar Perennials
Reeve Hobbie

Reeve Hobbie was born and raised in New Jersey; he began gardening in his early teens and has been doing so ever since. After college he spent two years in England and three years in Minnesota. He and his family moved to northwest Austin 30 years ago. He retired six years ago, and almost immediately attended and completed Master Gardener training in Travis County. He particularly enjoys perennial gardening with daylilies and bearded iris among his favorites. The Superstar perennials come highly recommended by Texas A&M AgriLife for their superstar performance in the Texas landscape. Through this award-winning presentation you'll learn about each plant's characteristic -- blooming time and colors; plant size and growing habits; water, nutrient and sun requirements. His collection of colorful slides will inspire you to get out and plant these strong and stunning superstars right away.

Rain Harvesting Made Easy

Jason Roucloux

An Austin resident for over 30 years, Jason became involved in rain harvesting about 2 ½ years ago when he joined the team at Tanks For Less. He studied rain harvesting, the best practices for collection, storage and filtration to maximize the use of the water. Working directly with the installers and the customers he has helped several individuals design their systems, he also installed a collection system at his home. Jason has researched the various products available on the market and can help prevent homeowners from making sometimes costly mistakes. He has a very good understanding of the weather here and what people should do to protect their rainwater systems from becoming a stinky fly attracting mess.  www.tank-depot.com



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Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd
Austin TX 78746