Austin Pond Society February 2017 Meeting.

dsc_4930The Austin Pond Society held its February 2017 meeting at the usual place, the Zilker Botanical Garden clubhouse this past Monday. It was well attended with close to 50 members and guests showing up.

The meal served was Pizza provided by Jet’s Pizza who has also opted to become a sponsor for the Society. Thank you Jet’s Pizza and incidentally, the pizza was pretty darn good. It was hard to not keep going back for more. Desert’s were provided by the members and we can always use more at any of the meetings.

After the delicious meal, the speaker for the evening, Linda Wall, was introduced by Barb Lenhardt, Program Director. Linda is from the Natural Gardener located at 8648 Old Bee Caves Road, Austin and her subject was New Ideas and Designs for your Bog.
Here is her introduction, “I’m expanding the talk to native Texas bog plants and marginals, many of which we sell. I’ll be bringing the ones we have in stock for a bit of “show and tell” along with some non-natives that we sell that do well in bogs, things like mint and gotu kola (one y’all may not have heard of! Fun!).”

Her talk was very interesting and she introduced us to a whole bunch of new plants that do well in our bog, some we have never even heard of and others that we did not realize we could use in and around out ponds and bogs. Hers was a show and tell as she had brought many plants with her to accompany her slide show. Below is a video of her presentation.

APS Meeting Feb 2017 Linda Wall from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Following Linda, Jeannie stepped up to the mic to conduct the small amount of business that we had to take care of. One by one, the Board Members gave their spiel on the given subjects. Jack Marshall, our new Treasurer presented the budget for the year, Margaret Boeneke, our new Librarian pointed out that there are several books out on loan, some of which for more than a couple of years and she asked for the members to get them turned back in, Barb Lenhardt, Publicity discussed the speakers for the upcoming meetings, I talked about the Marketplace on the website, xxxxx filling in for Rodney Lewis who is recovering from surgery, discussed the number of registered members, Ted Paone, Pond Tour Director talked about the upcoming Tour and the fact that he needs another 8 ponds to fill out this year’s Tour and last but not least, our most favorite and popular Board Member, Steven Monfrini, Hospitality pleaded for us to “Eat more Pizza”. We all wish Rodney our best wishes and to “Get Well Soon.”

The meeting closed following the drawing for the door prizes. The next meeting is on March 20 at the same place with the Speaker to be announced.

Below is a video of the Business part of the meeting.

APS Meeting Feb 2017 Business. from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The Natural Gardener

The Natural Gardener

The Natural Gardener (Photo credit: Today’s Garden Center)

Just up the road from where I live, on the other side of Highway 71, there is located The Natural Gardener and as the name implies, it specializes in a more natural way of gardening. Not to say that they don’t also follow the standard methods of yard maintenance as they do. So I visited the place back in July of 2012 this time taking my camera with me.

This has to be one of the larger Garden Centers in Austin covering 8 acres in all as not only do they have a large shop that sells all different kinds of gardening items from tools to seeds to knick knacks but they also have a large soils yard that deals in either bulk or bucketful depending on the customer. Surrounding the shop are different areas with both native and exotic plants and flowers, a large rose area, a different area for shrubs and bushes, a very large Cacti area and on and on.

They do not restrict themselves to plants as they also carry garden ornaments and have a large supply of urns and pottery. They have an especially large number of the colored metal statues. The place is laid out so that the public can see much of the growth in the ground as they have several different areas such as the Butterfly Garden, Herb Garden, and the Experimental Plant Area.

Not content with displaying all of their plants and such, they also have three separate water features, one of which is very dramatic as the water flows swiftly down the hill and disappears into the ground. The other two are of the rock variety with waterfalls both very pleasing to the eye.

Tucked up in the back is an area that contains two donkeys, Chico and Kiko, goats and chickens and is a big attraction to the younger folks who visit the Center. The Natural Gardener holds teaching seminars on most Saturday mornings which are free to the public and people can learn about planting and growing roses, caring for grapes, Organic Gardening and a multitude of other garden related subjects.

The owner is a gentleman by the name of John Dromgoole who is also well-known for his Saturday morning organic gardening radio show on KLBJ-AM at 590. He also appears on TV and I had the pleasure of him filming my ponds and interviewing me a couple of years ago.

This is such a wonderful place to shop if you are anything of a gardener at all and even if you end up not buying anything which is doubtful, it is so much fun to walk the grounds or just sit and observe. I cannot do justice to this beautiful place so I encourage you to go on-line for more information and then pay them a visit.

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