Scion – April 2018

Volume 28, Issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                             April 2018



Spring is so busy for us personally as gardeners and together as Master Gardeners.

Over 80 members came to the meeting in March to learn about wine grapes and our new partnership with the Botanical Garden Culinary Garden. Over 40 signed the sheets to be included in the program — thanks so much!!  There’s more to come soon on this project…

Another new way to earn your hours is to participate in the 300 for 300 San Antonio Pollinator Habitat Challenge. The instructions follow in this Scion. Basically, the premise is to have 300 butterfly gardens for the (300th year) Tricentennial of San Antonio, and this will include all Master Gardeners who have or create a butterfly garden.  You will record hours under the Monarch Festival VMS project tab, so keep track until the information comes from the Monarch Festival coordinators to put your garden into the count!!!

Master Gardeners are also participating in the Spurs Team Challenge. We will finish at Rudder Middle School on April 21, and just started at Nimitz Middle School on March 28. VMS will have the times and days to help with the Nimitz Team Challenge.

There are many other varied opportunities for you this month:
— Schultze Cottage Project picks up again, beginning April 9.  See VMS.
— Tomato trials, April 10, with volunteer requirements.  See VMS.
— Texas Master Gardener Conference, College Station, April 4-7.

 More new opportunities will be coming soon, so please stay tuned.

Thanks for your support,

Grace Emery, President
Bexar County Master Gardeners



Challenges in Maintaining
the San Antonio Museum Reach

Hosted by the
Bexar County Master Gardeners

Thursday, April 19, 2018

at the
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office
3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208
San Antonio, TX 78230

Free and Open to the Public


The Museum Reach includes roughly three miles of pedestrian pathways, multiple water features, over 70,000 plants, and passes by landmarks that include the oldest VFW post in Texas, the San Antonio Museum of Art and Pearl, a private redevelopment of the former Pearl brewery. Join Peter Pierson as he describes the ever changing environment of the San Antonio River, Museum Reach and Park Reach and the unique challenges faced by those entrusted to keep it looking pristine.


Peter Pierson

Peter has over 30 years in the green industry (nursery, landscaping, irrigation, arboriculture).  Credentials include: Texas Master Certified Nursery Professional, Texas Certified Landscape Professional,International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture, Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, Texas Licensed Irrigator, and EPA Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor.  For the last 8 years, Peter has worked with the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) and has been involved in sustainable landscaping and low impact development projects and training.


Bexar County Master Gardener (BCMG) Educational Seminars/General Meetings are held on the afternoon of the third Thursday every other month at the
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, Suite 208.
For more information contact BCMG President: [email protected].
2 CEUs.  Code: 003.

MG Plant Propagation Training Workshop RESCHEDULED – 14 NEW SLOTS 
Apr. 12, Thursday:  9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Registration Deadline:  April 4, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Register here:

COST:  $25
WHERE:  TX A&M AgriLife Extension Office
Bring clippers. Refresh knowledge/learn new techniques.


TX A&M AgriLife Extension Has Its Own Bexar County “Super Star”


By Marybeth Parsons

Want to see David Rodriguez, Bexar County Extension Agent – Horticulture, positively beam?  Ask him about the 1200 WOAI radio Lawn and Garden Show he’s been doing for 13 years with co-host, Bill Rohde!

Did you know that…

–WOAI originally stood for “World of Agriculture Industries”, and all programming was primarily agricultural in focus? [1]

–WOAI is known as the “50,000 Watt Blowtorch” of South Texas, WOAI can be heard all over North and Central America after sunset. In the daytime WOAI covers most of central and south Texas.[2]

–Dr. Jerry Parsons set the early bar for the show, which has included other local experts over the years to include Malcolm Beck, Orlando Martinez, Bob Webster, and Manuel Flores.

–The show was originally aired both Saturday AND Sunday.

–The weekly broadcasts are archived as podcasts at: ?  (Click on Episodes at the top to access the most recent 2 years of shows.)

The Rodriguez-Rohde team fields from 25 to 44 calls per show in its 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday time slot.  A log of the calls by topic and answer, sex, caller’s location, and other identifiable characteristics is maintained.   Only about one-third are local, with the remainder coming from all over Texas, as well as from distant Texas military members who frequently stream the show from their duty location.  Because necessary breaks in the broadcast are frequent, some questions may even be answered during the break because callers don’t want to wait for their call to be answered on the air.

Asked about the most frequent questions, David notes that they’re mostly seasonal, with peak interest in the spring, and that he could easily list 20-30 FAQ’s.  Lawns and weeds in the lawn are a major topic, with sand burrs and brown patches being the heaviest volume in that category.  Other frequent queries include what to do about ball moss, insects, and plant diseases.  Sometimes, the team may need to probe to get a good, clear question from the caller.

Rohde recalls that David was hesitant at first about working on the show, but after a few weeks became more confident and comfortable on the air. “The thing that amazes me about David is his work ethic.  He is constantly busy:   the children’s garden, master gardeners training, seminars, plant trials, bees, working with teachers, 4H and FFA, plus doing the normal duties in his office.  When does he sleep???  ’A very knowledgeable, kind and caring man who I’m proud to know and work with each week.”

David smiles as he shares that host, Bill Rohde has been quoted to say “It’s hard to stump David!”, then acknowledges that, occasionally, he may actually not have an immediate answer, but may re-address the caller later in the show when he’s been able determine the appropriate reply.  He also adds that the most difficult questions, such as commercial agriculture or field production (not David’s area of expertise), are directed to the right person in the AgriLife Extension network for clarification by an expert later.

When call volume is slow, generally the first hour of the show, David may attempt to drive discussion by bringing up topics of interest like the San Antonio Children’s Garden, what’s currently in bloom, or other timely gardening issues.

Speaking about his co-host, Bill Rohde, David uses the term “mentor”.  Conversely, he notes that, in the beginning, Bill had no “green” knowledge, but has increased his gardening knowledge steadily over the years of their on-air collaboration.    Rohde, a broadcaster for 52 years, has helped teach David the need to develop advertising, of encouraging related businesses to sponsor the show in order for both parties to reap the benefits of these relationships.  Other helpful relationships developed over the years, in addition to the advertising clientele, include Texas Public Radio, for whom Rodriguez has done special shows, news broadcasters, and other gardening and horticulture producers and professionals.

David cites the success of his March 17 Spring Vegetable Seminar at Fanick’s Garden Center to showcase the potential value of the radio advertising relationships he has worked to develop over the years.  This seminar, promoted on the Garden and Lawn Show, broke records for Fanick’s, with 110 people in attendance.

David Rodriguez, Spring Vegetable Seminar, Fanick’s

Currently, there are three major gardening radio shows heard in the San Antonio area:  WOAI 1200 AM, Saturday morning (Bill Rodhe, David Rodriguez); KTSA 550 AM, weekends (Bob Webster); KLUP 930 AM, weekends (Dr. Jerry Parsons, Dr. Calvin Finch).  Local gardening experts may occasionally fill in for one another on the shows or do guest appearances on a timely “topic of the day”.

Make a date to hear Bill and David next Saturday morning…   Maybe you’ve even got a question for them!

THE WOAI LAWN & GARDEN SHOW airs Saturday 7:00-10:00 a.m. Call in: 210-737-1200 or 1-800-383-WOAI    Host:  Bill Rohde – Expert: David Rodriguez

1David Rodriguez

Master Gardener of the SPRING

Linda Sierra

By Ann Marie Caldwell


            Linda Sierra is a very appropriate choice for our Master Gardener for the Spring.  Spring is a time of renewal and growth and like the new plants that are pushing their heads up through the soil, Linda is a relatively new Master Gardener, having just graduated two years ago as part of Class 60.  Although Linda has only recently earned her certification, she is not new to gardening.  Gardening is an activity this San Antonio native has engaged in since she began gardening with her grandmother as a very young child. 

            Spring is also a season we associate with an array of flowering shrubs, trees, plants, and wildflowers that burst into color to let us know the drab days of winter are over.  While Linda dabbles in vegetable and herb gardening, her true passion is found in the flowers that adorn her yard.  As the new shoots begin to poke their flowers up through the winter pile of leaves, Linda feels renewed and revitalized. She is extremely pleased with the abundance of blue bonnets tangled in with rose bushes, iris’, and other flowers that create an array of Spring color in her yard.

            Both Linda and her late husband spent their years in San Antonio working together in their yard.  Linda prefers to escape the hustle and bustle of life by finding peace and serenity in her garden. While Linda worked at planting and caring for their flowers, her husband’s specialty was vegetable gardening.  When he retired after 36 years of teaching math and computer science, her husband began to encourage Linda to retire from her job at AT&T.  She listened to his pleas and they were able to enjoy five years of retirement together before his untimely death.  Gardening helped Linda through the grief and heartache she experienced after losing her husband.

            Linda is blessed to have three children and six grandchildren who all live in San Antonio.  She is fortunate to have a son and daughter who share in her passion for gardening.  In fact, Linda and her daughter Jennifer completed the Master Gardener class together.  Her son, Scott, and her often share gardening tidbits with one another. Now Linda volunteers with the children’s gardening program at SAISD’s Advanced Learning Academy (ALA) where two of her grandchildren attend school.  Linda also volunteers by assisting her daughter at her job teaching gardening to pre-k children and senior citizens at various locations.   One of Linda’s greatest pleasures is to help her granddaughter Paloma learn the art of gardening during her after school gardening club at ALA.

            Since becoming certified, Linda has been active in many different Master Gardener volunteer activities.  She loves helping with the Food Bank plant trials.  In February, Linda and her daughter were co-chairs for the Home and Garden Show.  Linda was amazed at all the hard work that occurs behind-the-scenes resulting in the success of the Home and Garden Show. This mother/daughter duo also helped with the recent Cultivate event held at the University of the Incarnate Word.  Each year, with her passion for flowers, Linda looks forward to volunteering for the Fall Festival of Flowers.  She also helped with the County Commissioners Rodeo Breakfast despite the dreary, cold, and rainy weather. Linda would like to volunteer to answer questions for the Master Gardener Hotline, but she has not yet mustered the confidence to man those phones.  One of the many joys Linda has found in being a Master Gardener is the great group of fellow gardeners she has met. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to expand her gardening knowledge by learning from all the high-powered gardeners we have in our organization.  Linda knows a great deal about gardening but her journey as a Master Gardener has shown her how much more there is for her to explore. She would like to select a specialization but there are so many fascinating areas that she has yet to decide on one.   Linda is an eclectic person who loves everything about gardening, although she does look forward to one day becoming a Specialist in Texas Superstars.

            Linda’s advice to all gardeners is to get outside and spend their free time taking in the wonders of the natural world.  Her fondest memories of her working years were the times that she left the confines of her office and then passed through the confines of her home, pausing briefly for a glass of wine before bursting through the doors leading out to the delights awaiting in her wonderful backyard.  For Linda, this beauty brings immeasurable peace and contentment into her life.



Awards for the Achievements of our Fellow Master Gardeners

Congratulations to this month’s Bexar County Master Gardeners who have earned their 2018 certification and the Alamo 300 pin!  They have completed at least 30 volunteer hours and 6 CEU hours, of which 3 hours  must come from attending the monthly meetings.*  The pins are available from Susan Noonan at the monthly meetings or can be picked up at the Master Gardener office during the Office Manager business hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For other delivery options, please contact Susan Noonan, [email protected].


Lorene Adkins                        Mike Lyle

Shirley Conrad                       Tera Marshall

Jamie Daily                            Marybeth Parsons

Mary Duffy                             Mary Quandt

Judie Frisch                            Ted Ritchie

Barbara Lutz


Congratulations, Barbara Linick,
on completion of 48 hours of training for your
Landscape Design Steward designation!!!!
College Station, TX, February 27, 2018





Web Wonders

 As Master Gardeners, our mission is to provide unbiased, researched-based, locally relevant gardening information to the community.  The BCMG Gardening Library and your Texas Master Gardener Handbook should be the first places you go to provide this information.

The Gardening Library is full of links to research-based publications and websites. Therefore, when these publications and websites update information based on new research our Library automatically reflects these changes.

Using the Gardening Library when working with the public allows you to

  • Access current information
  • Provide the public with the assurance that our information is from credible sources
  • Teach the public how to access this information and more through our Gardening Library.

BCMG has two iPads with connecting hotspots to allow you internet access at many of our events.

If you use other websites/publications from researched-based sources that are currently not in our library please consider letting me know about them for possible inclusion to the Library. You can reach me at [email protected].

Thank you to all the Master Gardeners who are out there working with the public!




I’m the BCMG Website Butterfly. Join me in the journey to discover the website’s treasures. Did you find me in March? I was visiting the Master Gardener Stars page learning about the new Tri-centennial pin and who had earned it!

See if you can find me on the website in April as I fly to another location!


Orchid Flyer






Earl Bullock, Ted Ritchie assisted at Fanick’s Spring Vegetable Seminar

David shares gardening products information at Spring Vegetable Seminar.

Youth Educator Training: Rain Barrels with Lou Kellog


Youth Educator Training – Lunchtime!

Youth Educator Training – Information Anyone?

Youth Educator Training, MORE Volunteers!




Youth Educator Training – Plant-Ready

A great audience at David R.’s Spring Vegetable Seminar!

Photos by:    Spring Vegetable Seminar – Jack Downey
Youth Educator Training – Barbara Lutz




*NOW:   San Antonio Pollinator Habitat Challenge – 300 for 300
Start earning hours in the Challenge with YOUR pollinator habitat!
INFO here:
Sign up here:

Log hours in VMS, code 612d.

*Apr. 4 – 6, Wed. – Fri.:  TMGA 2018 Conference, Celebrating 40 Years

*Apr. 4 – 9, Mon. – Fri.:   Schultze House, Hemisfair Park, 9 a.m. – noon
Spread compost to prep planting beds. VMS code 405.

*Apr. 12, Thursday:  *Plant Propagation Training Workshop, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
*Rescheduled.  14 NEW slots – Registration Deadline:  April 4, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
TX A&M AgriLife Extension Office
Bring clippers. Refresh knowledge/learn new techniques.
Register here:
Cost:  $25.  CEUs: 3 Code: 002

 *Apr. 12, Thursday:  Spring Tomato Trial Planting, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
             SA Food Bank Urban Farm. Bring gloves, grubbing hoe, hand spade, knee pads.
             VMS sign up.  Extra help welcome.

*Apr. 19, Thursday.:  BCMG April Meeting, 1p.m. – 3 p.m.
            “Challenges in Maintaining the San Antonio Museum Reach”
            TX A&M AgriLife Extension Office (See “Need to Know” for details.)  2 CEUs

*Apr. 21, Saturday:  Cultivating Communities Landscape Fair, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Encino Park Community Center, VMS sign up.


From the Editor:    This is the first SCION published from our new BCMG website blog!  Your feedback and input are appreciated as I, and the supporting Communication Team, learn to use the new tool to its best advantage.  We want it to be readable and relevant to YOU, our readership.  Thank you for patience, and for your helpful suggestions as to how we develop a newsletter that you can’t wait for, and can’t put down without reading it end-to-end the first time you open it each month.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday, a sunny, green spring, and a healing, abundant garden and landscape.

Marybeth Parsons