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A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast

Since it was first published in 1929, more than eight decades ago, A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast has been the authoritative go-to book on gardening for Houstonians and Texas Gulf Coast residents.

This fifth revised edition, written and edited by Lynn M. Herbert, has been entirely updated, expanded, and colorfully redesigned. In the process, information in the book was reviewed by over 100 professionals in related fields and by knowledgeable resident gardeners, men and women who generously donated their efforts to make this an invaluable resource for seasoned gardeners as well as neophytes and newcomers to the region.

This edition, still in its handbook format, propels its content into the twenty-first century with a new emphasis on environmentally friendly gardening and native plants, including:

Exhaustive plant lists describing the newest varieties as well as old favorites, with essential designations of plants native to the Houston and Texas Gulf Coast area

Easy-to-read tables, full of details about caring for hundreds of local plants

User-friendly information about your soil and how to make it most productive

Chapters on major plant categories joined by additional chapters devoted to in-depth tips on azaleas, cacti and other succulents, camellias, ferns, and roses, along with the all-new “Grasses and Bamboos” and “Palms and Cycads” chapters

A new emphasis on “The Edible Garden” with expanded chapters covering “Herbs,” “Vegetables,” and “Fruit and Nut Trees”

Complete landscape instructions on how to plan and design your garden to fit your lot and your lifestyle, from a shaded setting to a fragrant garden, an oasis by the Gulf, a container garden, or plants to attract birds and butterflies

Updated ideas on drainage, pruning, watering, and lawns and lawn alternatives

A newly revised look at coping with “Weather Extremes” such as freezes, hurricanes, or droughts

An encyclopedic index that includes both botanical and common names

672 pages with 435 color photographs of flowers, plants, and gardens – the cream of the crop from the coastal area

Beloved and consulted for generations and called by many the bible of Houston gardening, A Garden Book is now even more indispensable. This latest edition reaffirms the commitment of the River Oaks Garden Club to preserving our environment, promoting sustainability, and planting with a purpose.

Gardening Information

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Soil

Healthy plants are a direct result of a healthy soil. It is that simple; feed the soil and it will feed the plant. Soil is alive. One cup of healthy soil contains more microbes than there are people on Earth. The microorganisms in the soil are an essential component of the web of life because plants depend on them for their survival, and we and other living creatures depend on plants.

Without plants we would have no food or oxygen; terrestrial life would cease. Plant roots release nutrients to the soil to nourish the billions of microorganisms that in turn will convert mineral and organic material into a form that the plant can absorb. These organisms also protect the plant from pathogens and pests.

Through the process of digesting and assimilating the remains of dead plants and animals, soil microbes release carbon back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide that plants need to conduct photosynthesis. This is an integral part of the life cycle. Synthetic chemicals, improper watering and compaction destroy microbes and macro organisms like earthworms, arthropods and mammals that all live in the soil, breaking the soil food web cycle. Read more to learn about the structure of soil, the organisms it contains, and the practices that can help or harm it.

Soil Amendments by Helen Grivich

Planting

Select the right plants for the location. For example, plants that thrive in dry, sunny conditions will not thrive in a damp, shady location. Plants native or adapted to your area are disease and pest resistant, drought tolerant, generally cold hardy and attract beneficial insects. Plant diversity attracts diverse wildlife and creates a healthier ecosystem. What steps should you take to plant trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables and grasses?

Deer Resistant Plants
Oak Wilt Underlines Need to Plant Biodiverse Trees by Mark Bowen

Maintenance of your Garden

Visit this website for a wealth of information on gardening without toxic chemicals. Short “How To” videos will educate you about numerous subjects ranging from how to make compost tea, to soil testing, to controlling weeds. http://www.safelawns.org

Once your garden is up and growing, it’s not so much digging in the dirt that’s going to keep you busy as much as the daily maintenance. Here are some helpful hints for maintaining your garden.

Irrigation: Over-watering weakens plants, increasing chances of disease and promoting runoff that pollutes our waterways. Conserve water whenever possible. Earth is 70% water with only 2.5% fit for human consumption. Much of that is threatened. When soil contains 4–5% organic matter, it holds more than 4 times the amount of water than soil with only 1½–2% organic matter, conserving water, thereby reducing erosion and runoff.

Fertilization: Remember healthy soil feeds the plant. Avoid artificial, high-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizers because they can harm the soil and the ground water with the salts that they leave behind. Large doses of soluble Nitrogen create succulent growth. The abnormally thin plant cell walls are easily penetrated by pathogens and become a magnet for insects. Root development is diminished and forced shoot growth raises water requirements. As Howard Garrett says,

“Feeding your plants nothing but nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K)…is like feeding your kids nothing but white bread.” Plants need at least 18–20 elements, not just three. Apply high quality compost, seaweed extracts, alfalfa meal, organic fertilizers like Microlife, rock powders and more. Sending your bags of leaves to the dump is equivalent to throwing fertilizer away. Leave grass clippings on your lawn. Deep feeding your trees does not make sense because the top 4″ of the soil contains the microbes that feed the tree.

Fall Organic Treatment for Turf and Beds in Houston
Rooting, Fertilization, Pests, Weeds, Trees
Organic Fertilizers Suggested

Disease, Pest and Weed Control: Stressed plants are disease prone and attract insects. Stress can be the result of poor plant selection, compaction, nutrient-deprived soil, poor irrigation practices, poor pruning, and poor mulching. The so-called bad bugs account for only 1–2% of all insects; the rest are the beneficial insects that will keep the bad bugs in balance. Artificial chemical pesticides don’t discriminate. They harm the good guys along with the bad and also kill other forms of wildlife that are essential to a balanced eco-system, such as lizards, frogs, turtles, birds. Often they are very unhealthy for humans as well. Controlling diseases and pests organically is not difficult or expensive. An application of high quality compost will solve many of your problems. Cornmeal is an excellent fungicide for diseases like brown patch. Weeds are messengers telling you that something is wrong with your soil. Vinegar is an effective herbicide.

Two Step Fire Ant Control

Mowing, Trimming, Pruning: Raise the cut of the grass to allow more root mass and deeper roots that consume less energy. Higher cutting creates a denser canopy that shades the soil and reduces soil temperature and moisture evaporation. Removing more than 1/3 of the grass blades during mowing can arrest root growth for more than a month. Prune trees in the winter while they are dormant. Pruning should preserve the natural character of a tree or shrub. Heavy thinning should be avoided because it will weaken the root system. Removal of lower limbs will stress the tree by making it less stable in high winds. When removing branches, avoid flush cuts and long stubs that slow healing. Preserve the small stub called the “branch collar.”

Mulch and Compost: All mulches and composts are not alike and names can be misleading. They should smell sweet, reminding you of the smell of a damp forest floor. Beware of mulches and composts that contain pieces of shredded pallets and chemicals that are often added to give them a black color. Composting turns the material into a dark chocolate brown; no dyes or chemical are required to achieve this color. When selecting a mulch, steer clear of those that contain bark, but be aware that almost any mulch is better than bare soil. Bark robs plants of nitrogen and creates nutrient tie-up problems. Consider adding an inch of finished compost before you add mulch because it contains a huge number of beneficial microbes.

An excellent choice of mulch for gardens, flower beds and potting mix is “Aged Native Hardwood Mulch” (Aged means composted – this is key). The feedstock for this wonderful mulch is “Native Hardwood Mulch” which consists of ground fresh green tree and brush material, not bark. Composting kills pathogens and weed seeds and allows the beneficial microbes to multiply. Native Hardwood Mulch that is not aged is used as a special purpose mulch to break up gumbo clay. It works well over a layer of compost and its lighter color is beneficial for some plants and can brighten shady areas. While Pine Bark is cheap, it is a poor choice because it contains turpentine that kills microbes, floats out of beds, attracts fire ants, and depletes nitrogen. “Hardwood Mulch” is made primarily from the bark of any hardwood tree like hickory, elm, pecan, mesquite, oak, etc. In the Houston area, Hardwood Mulch is usually oak bark. Hardwood barks contain tannic acid that kill microbes and attract termites.

John Ferguson, owner of Nature’s Way Resources in Conroe, Texas, offers this ranking of different mulches: aged native mulch (excellent); pine straw (very good); aged leaves (good), but they should be shredded and partially composted and they can blow away; cedar flakes (good), but should be composted to break down growth suppressing oils; cypress bark (medium to good); shredded hardwood mulch (fair to good), but it can form a tight mat which is resistant to water; shredded pine bark (poor). Living mulches are low growing plants such as grasses, groundcovers and shrubs that keep the soil covered, shading and cooling it in summer and keeping it warm in winter. To mulch your trees correctly, extend the mulch to the drip line. Do not allow the mulch to touch to trunk of the tree. You should be able to see the root flare. When you apply mulch to other plants, leave a gap of 1–2″ from the trunks or crowns.

Further Reading on Mulch and Compost

  • Compost or “Black Gold”
  • Earthworms – The Benefits
  • Common Questions and Answers About Composting
  • Sources for Mulch and Compost in the Houston Area

Garden Design

A satisfactory plan is a realistic plan. Gardens don’t stand still as there are always shrubs to prune, grass to mow and leaves to rake. First, consider the purpose of your garden and the type of garden you want. Then study the these principles of landscaping:

1. Balance of shape, size and colors
2. Proportion and unity
3. Contrast of textures
4. Focus of views
5. Privacy
6. Beauty
7. Comfort
8. Safety and convenience
9. Ease of maintenance

Be sure to group your plants according to similar water needs.

Conservation

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Conservation and Environmental Information

Chemical Reaction: The Story of a True Green Revolution

Read about or order the Paul Tukey DVD, Chemical Reaction: The Story of a True Green Revolution at http://safelawns.org/chemical-reaction

Information for Houston and Native Texas Conservation

Environmentally Friendly Gardening Booklet
Environmentally Friendly Golf
Houston Farmers Markets – Times and Locations
Mosquito Misting Systems-Dangerous for the Environment and You
Organic Service Providers for Garden and Home
Partners for Plants
Voluntary Codes of Conduct for the Gardening Public
Landscapes For Life™

Garden Club of America (GCA) Position Papers

GCA Good Gardening Practices To Protect Your Environment
GCA Supports Clean Air
GCA Supports Clean Water
GCA Supports Environmentally Responsible Transportation Legislation
GCA Supports National Public Lands
GCA Supports Our National Parks System
Voluntary Codes of Conduct for the Gardening Public
GCA Supports Preservation of Native Plants
GCA Supports Responsible Waste Reduction
GCA Supports Strategies to Address Climate Change

ROGC Conservation Reports for Forum

Conserving Water and Cutting Your Water Bill
GCA Conservation Committee Report for ROGC
GCA Conservation Meeting in Washington
Keep Pesticides Off Lawns
Mercury Dangers
New Orleans Disaster
Removing Invasives
Rescue of State Parks
Toxic Cleanup

Texas Environmental Issues and Legislative Contact Information

House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Houston City Council
Office of the Governor
United States Representatives
United States Senate
State Senators
SEED Coalition
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Pesticide and Chemical Disposal Information

To dispose of pesticides and garden chemicals, deliver to the City of Houston’s Environmental Service Center, 11500 South Post Oak Road at South Main. The Center is open every Wednesday, noon to 6 pm, and the second Saturday of every month, 9 am to 1 pm. You must have proof of residency in Houston, i.e., your water bill. (Other household hazardous waste accepted at this site: paints, paint thinners, oils, fuels, and pool chemicals.)

Florescence

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Open to the Public

April
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonPlease check back at a later date for more details

Caroline Wiess Law Building
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum admission affords entry to Florescence, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

General Information

Florescence is one of the largest competitive national flower shows sanctioned by the Garden Club of America in the United States, presented by The Garden Club of Houston, River Oaks Garden Club, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Florescence will showcase floral and horticultural arrangements by garden club experts, renowned floral and garden designers, members of The Asia Society, Houston, and other noted personalities. Many of these flower arrangements will be interpretations of masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston´s permanent collection.

Other exhibits will include arrangements from The Asia Society, Federated Garden Clubs, Texas State Floral Association, and Lamar High School Floral Design students.

Florescence will be held April 16-17 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; building to be announced. Florescence is one of the largest competitive national flower shows sanctioned by The Garden Club of America. Presented by:

The River Oaks Garden Club, The Garden Club of Houston and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Florescence will showcase floral arrangements and horticultural specimens exhibited by Garden Club of America members from all over the country.

Many of these arrangements will be interpretations of masterpieces from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s permanent collection. Other competitive classes will include photography, botanical jewelry, and needle arts. A conservation exhibit will also be included in this prestigious show. Other non-judged exhibits will include floral arrangements from The Asia Society, Texas; Federated Garden Clubs; Texas State Florists’ Association and Lamar High School Floral Design students.

Florescence 2009

Florescence 2009

Florescence 2009

Calendar of Events

Flower Show General Exhibition:
Tuesday and Wednesday
April 16-17
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Museum members are free
Non-members $13 at door/$12 online (general museum admission)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Floral Demonstration and Tea:

Tuesday, April 16
2:30 pm
Reservation required
Cost: $TBD per person
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Cocktail Reception:

Tuesday, April 16
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Reservations required
Cost: $TBD per person
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Florescence Luncheon:

Wednesday, April 17
10:30 am
Seated Luncheon, Reservations required
Cost: $TBD per person
Lecture at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet
Luncheon following at TBD

All proceeds will benefit both Garden Clubs’ civic projects
and the museum’s operating budget.


Click here to see civic contributions.

Florescence 2009

Florescence 2009

Civic Projects

The Garden Club of Houston Supports:

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science (Cockrell Butterfly Center)
  • Houston Hospice and Palliative Care Center in the Texas Medical Center
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Rienzi (MFAH)
  • Texas Medical Center Park
  • Urban Harvest

The River Oaks Garden Club Supports:

  • Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens (MFAH)

In 2011 ROGC supported:

  • Buffalo Bayou Partnership
  • Camp for All
  • Student Conservation
  • Peckerwood Garden
  • Quentin Mease Hospital
  • The Harris School
  • Tanglewood Park
  • River Oaks Park

Florescence Photos

Florescence 2011 Photos

Past and Present Civic Contribution

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Civic Contributions of River Oaks Garden Club

2008–2019

  • Casa De Esperanza – Money given to help complete new parking area and beautify the entry
  • Trees for Houston – Donation to be used to plant and maintain 32 (15 gallon) trees in support of tree replacement after Hurricane Ike
  • Lamar High School – H.I.S.D. – In support of the continuing grounds improvement plan, money will be used for iron and masonry works on the school’s signage along Westheimer
  • SCA – Students Conserving America – Provides money for a local high school student to participate in the summer Houston Conservation Crew program

2007–2008

  • Students Conserving America – For a high school student to participate in the Houston Conservation Crew programs
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center – Toward a water line for the enhancement fo the front gate and drive
  • The Seniors Place – Toward the building of the garden at their new facility
  • Clayton Library Friends – Toward the creation of a Southern Heritage garden
  • Friends of Mandell Park – Toward electricity for the garden shed and security lighting
  • Camp for All – To help fund necessary improvements to accessible nature path
  • Buffalo Bayou Partnership – Toward the Coffee Building plaza landscaping

2006–2007

  • Brookwood Community – Greenhouse Patron – Assist in funding the teaching and training component of the functionally disabled adults
  • Museum of Health & Medicine – Sensory Garden renewal
  • Lamar High School – Assist in funding the Campus Grounds Master Plan
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Bayou Bend Visitor Center
  • Trees for Houston – Branching Out Project
  • Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum – Guardian of History

2005–2006

  • Buffalo Bayou Partnership – Purchase native trees and enough wildflower seeds for a one acre of prairie
  • Camp for All – Tree planting at the wetland ecology pond near the equestrian center
  • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center – To fund the renovation of one of the two Woodway fountains at entrance
  • Houston Public Library – Friends of Texas Room – Help produce a documentary video on historic photograph collections, including gardens and flower arrangements in early Houston homes
  • Kipp School – A public charter school. Provide 3-6 oak trees in front of the new KIPP Houston High School
  • Peckerwood Gardens – Funding a guide to the Quercus collection at Peckerwood Garden
  • Urban Harvest – Grant to help build a school garden at Farias Early Childhood Center
  • Washington on Westcott Roundabout Initiative – One pair (2) of benches to be placed in the native gardens that surround the roundabout

2004–2005

  • Bo’s Place – landscaping for its Memory Garden
  • Cedar Brook Elementary – landscaping for its bus drop entry
  • Houston Center for Contemporary Craft – Craft Garden
  • Urban Harvest – Emergency Garden Fund

2003–2004

  • Camp for All – To add landscaping to the existing grounds
  • Houston Zoo – To build a landscaped area in front of the Bear Habitat
  • University of Houston – To create a rose garden in front of The Moores School
    of Music
  • Seniors Place – To provide a garden at the Day Care Center for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Buffalo Bayou Partnership – To plant 3 acres of wild flowers and to restore
    a key tributary in an area originally designed by Charles Tapley
  • Hope Center for the Retarded – To build a herb garden
  • Park People – To fund the Tree Registry program

2002–2003

The Brookwood Community
Casa de Esperanza
The Chinquapin School
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Friends of Hermann Park
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
Park People
Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation
Student Conservation Association, Inc.
Trees for Houston
University of Houston
Upper Kirby District Foundation

2001–2002

Friends of Hermann Park
Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Park People
Peckerwood Gardens
Student Conservation Association, Inc.
Trees for Houston
University of Houston
Upper Kirby District

2000–2001

Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Camp for All
Houston Arboretum Nature Center
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas
Peckerwood Garden Foundation
Brookwood Community
The Children’s Museum of Houston
Student Conservation Association, Inc.

1999–2000

Houston Museum of Natural Science
Upper Kirby District
Student Conservation Association, Inc.
The Woman’s Home
Star of Hope
Camp for All
Friends of River oaks Park
The Senior’s Place
Houston Heights Association
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Museum of Fine Arts – Rienzi
Casa de Esperanza
The Park People

1998–1999

The Brookwood Community
Camp for All
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Nature Conservancy of Texas
Rienzi
Trees for Houston
Student Conservation Association, Inc.

1997–1998

The Brookwood Community
Casa de Esperanza
Lamar High School
River Oaks Park
National Wildflower Research Center
GCA Project 2000
Nature Conservancy of Texas
Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center
Student Conservation Association, Inc.

1996–1997

Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Casa de Esperanza
Contemporary Arts Museum
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas
Ronald McDonald House
Star of Hope
The Women’s Home
Student Conservation Association, Inc.

1995–1996

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Houston Audobon Center
National Wildflower Research Center
Neuhaus Educational Center
River Oaks Elementary
Student Conservation Association, Inc.
Trees for Houston
Upper Kirby District Foundation

1994–1995

Armand Bayou Nature Center
Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Heritage Society/ Jack Yates House
Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Mercer Arboretum
Nehemiah Neighborhood Center
The Women’s Home
San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park
Student Conservation Association, Inc.
Trees for Houston for Gallegos Elementary School
Urban Harvest

Civic Contributions

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Alzheimer’s Association :

They have been gifted a portion of the steel PATH train rail that ran underneath the World Trade Center. The PATH train saved many lives on 9/11 and they would like to incorporate it in a significant way in their existing Memory Garden. ROGC has twice funded updates to the garden.

Avenue Community Development Corporation :

Their mission is to strengthen communities with homebuyer education programs while building affordable homes for a diverse population. The proposed project is the development of a Butterfly Pocket Park from a vacant 17,000 square foot lot located on Fulton between Hammock and Panama Streets, directly across the street from a light rail station.

The Brookwood Community :

They provides an educational environment that creates jobs, meaning and purpose for its 115 residential citizens and 111 workday citizens with special needs. Funds are needed for a new Dramm Hydra Sprayer to replace the old one and to purchase 7 shipping carts.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership :

They are transforming and revitalizing Buffalo Bayou. Funds are needed to acquire a .54 acre property along Japhet Creek.

Chinquapin Preparatory School :

A private non-profit college preparatory school that serves 163 economically disadvantaged youth in grades 6-12 needs funds to provide landscaping for the new girl’s dormitory and lunchroom.

Houston Arboretum :

They are committed to restoring the landscape to make the Arboretum more beautiful and resilient based on conservation and education. They are requesting funds to support the master plan implementation, specifically the Landscape Project: Creating six restoration Test Plots.

Herman Park Conservancy :

Funds are needed to maintain and improve the Japanese Garden as the Park gears up for the Japanese Garden’s 25th Anniversary in 2017, specifically for a new Nakai-designed West Gate Entrance and ladscape improvements for the entrance.

Including Kids, Inc. :

This is a school providing research based behavioral intervention and instruction for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They hope to cultivate student’s learning and social skills for inclusion in the community. Funds are needed for an outdoor green space and walkway along the perimeter of their new facility to be used for students who need a break from the school routine for quiet reflection.

Memorial Park Conservancy :

MPC preserves, restores and enhances Memorial Park for the enjoyment of all Houstonians. Requests funds to continue the planting, and improving the area known as Bush Grove, dedicated in honor of Barbara and George Bush, as part of Memorial Park Conservancy’s Ecological Restoration Program.

Nature Discovery Center :

Funds are needed for a Park irrigation system throughout Russ Pittman Park.

The Parish School :

Funds are needed to break ground on the Little Acorn Park, to provide a multi-sensory opportunity for Parish School students who have communication delays and learning differences.

Nature Discovery Center :

Funds are needed for a Park irrigation system throughout Russ Pittman Park.

The Parish School :

Funds are needed to break ground on the Little Acorn Park, to provide a multi-sensory opportunity for Parish School students who have communication delays and learning differences.

Student Conservation Association (SCA) :

Funds are needed for the SCA Community conservation programs which provide opportunities for local, underserved youth to help Houston-area non-profit organizations and resource managers complete high-priority projects in Houston’s parks and bayous.

Urban Harvest :

Is a non-profit organization that encourages community, good nutrition and sustainability through the teaching and support of organic gardening. Funds are needed to fund seasonal community garden classes.

Workshop Houston :

The mission is to provide at risk middle and high school students with creative, technical and educational resources so they are able to expand their opportunities and have a new definition of success. They are seeking funds for the beautification of their new campus in the Third Ward, which should be break ground by the end of the year.

Sadie Gwin Blackburn Environmental Seminar

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Sadie Gwin Blackburn is a native Texan and has resided in Houston since 1939. She attended Sweet Briar College and the University of Texas and she received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in History from Rice University.

Sadie Gwin’s community involvement reaches beyond the River Oaks Garden Club. She has served as President of the Garden Club of America, Vice Chairman of the National Parks Conservation Association and has been a member of the Mercer Arboretum Advisory Council, Armand Bayou Advisory Board, Memorial Park Conservancy, Hermann Park Conservancy, Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Houston Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Sadie Gwin is a former president of the Board of the San Jacinto Museum of History and directed a special project to prepare a master plan for the San Jacinto Battlefield State Park. She also was a founding member of Asia Society Texas Center and secretary of its board.

Sadie Gwin has been honored with many awards including a Resolution of Appreciation by the San Jacinto Museum of History Board of Trustees, a Leadership Award from the Park People, and has been recognized for “dedication to beauty, nature, and gardening” by Friends of Hermann Park Board and as Houston’s “Scenic Visionary” by Scenic Houston. Sadie Gwin Blackburn, an outstanding Houstonian devoted to conservation, preservation and environmental issues, is truly a Texas Treasure.

The Sadie Gwin Blackburn Conservation Fund was created to provide exceptional speakers for the annual Environmental Seminar. Please send contributions to:

Sadie Gwin Blackburn Conservation Fund

Cynthia Blackburn, Bobby Blackburn, Sadie Gwin Blackburn and David Bamberger, 2012 seminar speaker and founder of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve, Selah

Cynthia Blackburn, Bobby Blackburn, Sadie Gwin Blackburn and David Bamberger,
2012 seminar speaker and founder of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve, Selah

The 23 Annual Sadie Gwin Blackburn Environmental Seminar
will be Thursday

Pink Elephant Sale

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HI! I’m Petunia!
My Pink Elephant Friends and I invite you to the

ANNUAL PINK ELEPHANT SALE

Houston’s Oldest Rummage Sale!

DATES & TIMES LOCATION ADMISSION
October 17-18, 2008

Oct 17 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oct 18 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hornberger Conference Center
2151 West Holcombe
This is a new location!!!!
Houston, Texas
FREE
HI! I'm Petunia!

FEATURING

  • The Boutique
  • Priceless Treasures
  • Designer Clothing
  • Antiques & Collectibles
  • Our Famous Plant Booth – Plants from Bayou Bend Gardens, local nurseries and other gardens
  • Clothing – Men’s, Women’s, Children’s
  • Bric-a-Brac
  • Accessories
  • Shoes

CASH or CHECK ONLY…..SORRY, NO CREDIT CARDS

DONATIONS

We are happy to accept any donations you can make for the Pink Elephant Sale!

The forerunner of this fantastic sale was known as the River Oaks Green Market. It was started during WWII to make “bundles for Britain,” to sell produce from victory gardens, and to resell hard-to-find items. From these modest beginnings, the sale has grown into an annual event that draws customers from all over Houston and surrounding areas.

Proceeds from the Pink Elephant Sale benefit the Houston community through education, conservation, environmental programs, beautification projects and scholarships

Pink Elephant

The forerunner of this fantastic sale was known as the River Oaks Green Market. It was started during WWII to make “bundles for Britain,” to sell produce from victory gardens, and to resell hard-to-find items. From these modest beginnings, the sale has grown into an annual event that draws customers from all over Houston and surrounding areas.
Proceeds from the Pink Elephant Sale benefit the Houston community through education, conservation, environmental programs, beautification projects and scholarships.

Bayou Bend

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Come Join Us

Explore the 14 acre gardens, part of the American Decorative Arts Wing (Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston).

The heavily wooded 14 acres along Buffalo Bayou include eight formal gardens. Each is unique in its own way. Three of these are named for a statue of a goddess and muse that presides over their area, Clio, Diana and Euturpe. The other gardens are named White, East, Butterfly and Carla.

The gardens are noted for rare Duchess De Caze Pink Camellias that are no longer available in nurseries, along with varieties of Azalea, Gardenias, Antique Roses and seasonal plantings that keep the gardens blooming all year.

River Oaks Garden Club and Bart Brechter, curator of the gardens, have worked together to transform Bayou Bend Gardens into the state’s only formal organic public garden.

The Gardens of Bayou Bend are the vision of Houston philanthropist, collector and garden enthusiast, Miss Ima Hogg, the only daughter of James Stephen Hogg, Texas’ first native born governor. Miss Hogg studied architecture, landscape architecture and garden design, which she adapted to a domestic scale and to the Houston Gulf Coast climate. Her creation of a total environment encompassing her house and garden is evident as the garden becomes an extension of the house.

Audio tours are available that emphasize the creation of the gardens and Miss Hogg’s evolving taste as they developed from 1929 until her death in 1975.

Bayou Bend Collection…The home of Miss Hogg houses a collection of one of the nation’s premier holdings of American art and antiques displayed in a 28-room setting that traces the evolution of style in American furnishings from the colonial period to the nineteenth century.

River Oaks Garden Club

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The purpose of River Oaks Garden Club is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications, and to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.

Bayou Bend Gardens

In 1926, Miss Ima Hogg and her brothers chose this 14-acre site for their home. Gardens are maintained by ROGC.

Read more…

The Forum

Forum of Civics Building and Gardens, 2503 Westheimer is available for special functions.

Read more…

The Azalea Trail

Spectacular flowering shrubs that bloom each spring in Houston. Tour will be Friday-Sunday, Mar 6 – 8, 2015.

Read more…

Pink Elephant Sale

Hi! I’m Petunia! My Pink Elephant Friends and I invite you to Houston’s Oldest Rummage Sale! Friday, October 17 and Saturday October 18, 2014 at Bayou City Event Center, 9401 Knight Road, 77054.

Read more…

Sadie Gwin Blackburn Environmental Seminar

The 2015 Sadie Gwin Environmental Seminar will be held Thursday, January 15, 2015. Please check back at a later date for more information on our program.

Read more…

Florescence

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet. The Biannual Show will be held April 28 & 29, 2015. Please click the Florescence logo for more information.

Florescence Plant Database
Click the links below for plant botanical and common names.
Botanical Name – Common Name Plant Database
Common Name – Botanical Name Plant Database

Civic Contributions

Contributions to the Houston community in the areas of conservation, horticulture and civic beautification.

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