Rock mulch

A few years ago I read that the cypress tree swamps were being clear cut for mulch. I haven’t purchased mulch since. In the areas under trees I let the leaves and pine needle accumulate. In the other areas I turned to rock.

A garden with out mulch in Houston is a doomed garden. With out mulch the summer sun will bake every thing to a crisp or a heave downpour will wash away your plants and soil.

Rock mulch builds up heat during the day, slowly releases it at night keeping the soil and plants at more moderate temperatures. It made a noticeable difference during the late frost we had in 2019.

It lets water run through to the soil under the plants and slows evaporation, prevents erosion and most important – it doesn’t need to be replaced every year.

Little did I know that the people on Easter Island used rocks to keep their gardens going as the environment deteriorated. The technical term is Lithic-Mulch, which translates to …. rock mulch.

There are many benefits to rock mulch, more so in dry areas. Previous cultures used it in New Mexico and Arizona. If you’ve live in Houston long you know we switch between decades of drought and decades of downpours. Rock mulch works for both.

Sometimes holes are dug, lined with rocks or small walls built around plants. This protects the plants from strong winds and provides a little shade. Another option is a layer of rocks is placed over the soil the same as is done with mulch.

A taller pile of rocks on the south side of a plant (Talus garlands) can protect young trees or shrubs. The pile of rocks provides shade, condenses water at night to add to soil, keeps weeds under control, keeps critters from digging and provides wind protection.

The Nature, History, and Distribution of Lithic Mulch Agriculture
Easter Islands Ancient Gardening Practices
Growing Fruit Trees in Drought Areas

Florescence: Time, April 16, 17, 2019

The Garden Club of Houston and River Oaks Garden Club presented the first Florescence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1995. Since then, Florescence has been held biennially in the spring at the Museum. Florescence is a Major Flower Show, accredited by The Garden Club of America, a status it was accorded at its inception in 1995. Every Florescence incorporates several classes of Floral Design, Botanical Arts, Horticultural Specimens, Horticultural Design, Photography and Needle Arts. Talented designers, gardeners and artists from The Garden Club of America member clubs may enter or exhibit at this show, and it is open to the public to enjoy. There are also special exhibits by invitation and a conservation exhibit that relates to the show theme.

Florescence: Time is scheduled for April 16-17, 2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

MCMGA Spring Plant Sale March 23, 2019

Looks like spring has arrived! The first blooms of the season can be seen all around our area from Red Bud trees and Dogwoods, plus the annual tree pollen has arrived. This year your friends at the Montgomery County Master Gardener Association have been working to bring you some beautiful plants, so don’t miss out.

The sale is Saturday, March 23rd, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon. Come early to hear the presale program at 8:00 am by Michael Potter, Horticulture Agent.

Regardless of our unpredictable Texas weather, you are sure to find everything you need to inspire you for that spring garden – whether you are planting vegetables, flowers, fruits and berries or trees. Come early for the best selection of your favorites, and be sure to look for several new plants being introduced.

The MCMGA Spring Plant Sale, more info and plant lists

Mercer March Mart 2019, March 15-16

March Mart 2019!
March 15 @ 8:00 am – March 16 @ 4:00 pm

Our spring plant extravaganza makes its annual appearance on Friday and Saturday, March 15 & 16, 2019. The VIP Preview Sale and Reception will take place Thursday evening, March 14, 2019. This is a must-attend event of the spring season …mark your calendars now, so you do not miss it. More details will unfold in this space in the months ahead. March Mart 2019.

See Mercer Society for more details

The Woodlands Arbor Day Tree GiveAway Jan 26, 2019

Many of the trees in our gardens came from previous ArborDay events

Calling all green thumb gardeners! Make plans to pick up your free tree seedlings when The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) hosts The Woodlands® Arbor Day Tree Pickup on Saturday, January 26 from 10 am until 2 pm at Hughes Landing, the dynamic mixed-use development on Lake Woodlands.

Since 1977, the developer has given away more than 1.5 million tree seedlings at Arbor Day. This year, more than 44,000 tree seedlings will be handed out, representing nine varieties including Bald Cypress, Laurel Oak, Live Oak, Loblolly Pine, Overcup Oak, River Birch, Sawtooth Oak , Silky Dogwood and Water Oak.

“We are pleased to continue the popular tradition of Arbor Day in The Woodlands, which enriches the natural beauty of the community. Residents and visitors are encouraged to collect their tree seedlings and plant them at their home or in reserves and forested preserves,” said Heath Melton, Vice President, Master Planned Communities, Residential for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Enjoy your Saturday visit to the pedestrian-friendly Hughes Landing even further with some shopping at retailers, lunch at Restaurant Row and indulgence of sweet treats.”

Hughes Landing
The Woodlands, TX