Fall Landscaping Symposium Sept. 11 in San Angelo

The Concho Valley Master Gardeners will be holding their 10th Annual Fall Landscaping Symposium on September 11th.

Wildflowers and plants that thrive in the Concho Valley will be part of the September 11th discussion. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Susan Himes)

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., with registrations starting at 8:00 a.m., at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 7887 NUS Highway 87, San Angelo.

The cost is $ 30 and includes refreshments and lunch. Participants must register online using a credit card on the sales page at http://cvmg.square.site by September 8, or by dropping cash or a check with a registration form at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Tom Green County, 113 W. Beauregard. For more information, call 325-659-6522 or visit txmg.org/conchovalley.

“The Master Gardeners are excited to host a full symposium again this year after moving to an online platform last year,” said Allison Watkins, gardener at AgriLife Extension in San Angelo. “This year we will meet again in person and are proud to host some top-class and entertaining speakers.”

There will also be an optional plant swap; Interested participants should bring a plant to receive a plant.

Working with wildflowers

Speaker John Thomas, founder and owner of Wildseed Farms, Fredericksburg, will present “Growing Wildflowers in Texas”. Wildseed Farms is the largest active wildflower farm in the United States and welcomes 300,000 visitors annually.

Participants will learn what, where, and how to plant wildflowers in Texas. Thomas has been speaking at Master Gardener and Garden Club events for over 30 years.

“John Thomas’ talk on growing wildflowers is the perfect time to plant some beautiful bluebonnets and other native wildflowers this fall,” said Watkins. “He will share his experience in wild flower growing and commercial planting. Our participants will find his lecture easy to understand and enriching. “

Thomas is considered the foremost expert in wildflower growing and also works as a consultant to State Highway Departments, commercial developers, parks, resorts and homeowners in the continental United States

Water and your landscape

The topics “Water Efficient Landscapes for West Texas” and “What Water are you Choosing for Your Landscape” will be presented by Beckly Bowling, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension Urban Water Specialist, Dallas.

Watkins said that bowling will present some very helpful information on how to have beautiful, green, and colorful landscapes while conserving water and protecting our natural resources.

The rain garden at the Tom Green County 4-H Center in San Angelo.  The garden is maintained by Concho Valley Master Gardeners.West Texas-friendly landscaping, like this rain garden at the Tom Green County 4-H Center, is covered during the Master Gardener Fall Symposium. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Susan Himes)

“We’re going to go over some of the best options for different parts of your landscape, from lawn grasses to ornamental plants and trees, with color photos and simple tips to make them work for you,” said Watkins. “In addition, Dr. Bowling present helpful tools for a more water-efficient plant selection from the Earth-Kind Plant Selector from Texas A&M AgriLife on the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. “

The second half of the bowling presentation will cover a checklist of basic practices that can be implemented in the lawn and landscape to improve water use efficiency. Topics include hydrozoning, basic irrigation tips, soil management recommendations, and more.

Maverick Gardens

AgriLife Extension’s author and retired gardener, Felder Rushing, will present Maverick Gardeners: Keepers of the Flame.

“Felder will come up with a fun and entertaining program based on his new book,” said Watkins. “In his two-part presentation he will deal with plants, processes and people – what he calls the ‘three chords’ of gardening.”

Watkins said Rushing will highlight why each chord is crucial.

Rushing will discuss non-traditional gardeners who “color outside the box” and why she and her loosely connected web of universally shared plants and down-to-earth wisdom are so important to all of us. He will also cover the importance of gardening to mental health and highlight the psychology of the gardeners who do it best.

Rushing is a board member of the American Horticulture Society and a member of the Royal Horticulture Society. He also moderates the podcast “The Gestalt Gardener” from NPR.


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