Scion – May 2018

Volume 28, Issue 5                                                                                                                                             May 2018



Over 65 members came to the meeting in May to hear Paul Pierson speak about the San Antonio River’s Museum Reach!

Next month on May 19, Luis Valdez will be speaking on the care of Orchids and this ties in well with the Orchid Sales delivery.  Good timing!

We have all our programs set for the next 6 months and I’m excited about the many unique, informative sessions!

The Leaflet will be published weekly now so the members will have access to the most current volunteer opportunities and CEU seminars every week without having to look at VMS.

The TMGA conference was successful, with 15 Bexas members attending. I was very impressed with the quality of speakers and topics. Of course, there was a fire alarm and evacuation of the awards luncheon, but we went back in with an all clear and all continued normally. My favorite topic was “Organic Gardening 101”, presented by Skip Richter.   He gave an easy-to-follow discussion with helpful hints and products to help the backyard urban gardener.

My highlights were many, but as a new Master Gardener, I was most impressed by David Gibby, who spoke on the birth of the Master Gardener Program. He informed us that he was throwing out 250 phone messages weekly because he was unable to handle the volume. It was then that he realized he could train volunteers to be Master Gardeners to assist him with this volume and many other educational opportunities for his state. Greg Grant did an exceptional program on the plants he has introduced and the stories behind them.

My number one highlight was the expression on the face of Lynn Cox when she was handed the award for Master Gardener of the Year. She was up against over 1000 members and Bexar County Master Gardeners should be proud.

New opportunities will be in the Leaflet every week, so please stay tuned.

Thanks for your support,

Grace Emery, President
Bexar County Master Gardeners



Attention Members

We have had a resignation from the Board in the position of Member at Large.
We need to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

Job Description is  simple: Members at Large perform duties as assigned by the Board of Directors. If you are interested in a leadership role, please send an email to [email protected] to start the process.
Thank you from the Bexar County Master Gardener Board.




Growing Orchids in San Antonio

Hosted by the
Bexar County Master Gardeners

Thursday, May 17, 2018
6:00 – 8:30 pm

at the

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

Free and Open to the Public


Speaker:  Luis Valdez

Mr. Valdez was on the Board of Directors for the Alamo Orchid Society for three years and is presently serving as President.  He was also Vice-President for 2 years. He has been the volunteer Greenhouse Director at the San Antonio Botanical Garden for 2 years, and is a graduate of St. Mary’s University.

He grew up with a plant-loving Mother, learning from her everything about citrus trees, banana trees, cacti, roses and herbs. From 1993 -1997 he served in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Japan. There, he grew no plants, but admired plants the local horticulture of Japan and other countries, especially, Bonsai trees, which he pursued growing for the next three years. In 2013, he attended his first Orchid Show, caught the “bug”, and has been passionately growing Orchids ever since.

Note: Mr. Valdez encourages members with orchid problems to bring them.


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.



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].

*Hours submitted through April 23, 2018



Hello Fellow Master Gardeners,

This month I’m highlighting a really special keynote speaker from this year’s Texas Master Gardener Conference. Dr. David Gibby, the original founder of the Master Gardener Program, was the opening Keynote speaker.

Dr. Gibby began his career as an agriculture and horticulture extension agent in the state of Washington for King and Pierce counties in the early 1970’s.  Dr. Gibby found himself overwhelmed with phone calls and requests for horticultural help from the residents of these counties and he was truly upset that he could not answer all of the questions. After a presentation to a garden club, he met several club members who knew a significant amount about the native and popular plants for the area. This experience sparked an idea to have volunteers help him answer the thousands of horticulture- related questions that were going unanswered. With the help of his colleague, William Scheer, a program to train volunteers on the various topics needed was developed to enable the volunteers to answer questions from the public. They understood that a title for these volunteers would also be necessary. Both men had spent time in Germany, where the title for the most proficient level of horticulture knowledge was “Gardenmeister”. The men translated this to “Master Gardener”.

This new Master Gardener program spread across the U.S., and into Texas when Dr. Sam Cotner reported the success the program had in Washington.  Montgomery County started the first Texas program in 1979.  Bexar County came on board in 1989. Since then, the Texas Master Gardener program has grown to 82 counties with over 7,000 Master Gardener volunteers who help with educating the public using the unbiased, research-based, locally relevant information from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Nationwide, there are active Master Gardener programs in all 50 states with more than 95,000 volunteers providing over 5,000,000 volunteer service hours to their local communities. That’s a remarkable increase in less than 50 years.

The original intent was to augment educational outreach for the extension offices.  That remains the current mission.  We can all be proud of what we do for our communities as part of this national educational program.

Thanks for all you do as a Texas Master Gardener.

Conservationally yours,

Anna Vogler
Water Conservation Coordinator





Palo alto college plant sale flyer




Doug Smith, Dwight Dare, Jeff (Dwight’s friend and a great worker), lee Zinn, John Maldonado, Robert Padilla, Jim Couch, Jack Downey and Art Vasquez take a break from moving 100 cubic yards of compost, donated by New Earth Compost, at the Schultze House!

Art Vasquez, Lee Zinn and Jim Couch, members of Intern Class 62, helping at the Schultze House.












Tomato Trial, Von Ormy: Volunteers hand-planted 36 varieties this year.

Tomato Trial, San Antonio Food Bank.

Tomato Trial, San Antonio Food Bank: Manuel Longoria (friend), Andrew Waring, Reuben Rodriguez, Timothy Sneed (friend).

Tomato Trial: Flood irrigation

Tomato Trial: Andrew Waring laying plastic to block weeds, hold moisture.





























Photos by:  Jack Downey, Schultze House;
Rob DeRocher, Tomato Trials