Master Gardeners: Learn how to create beautiful landscapes | Home And Garden

Has the summer heat and drought frazzled both you and your landscape?

Do you enjoy the butterflies that visit your zinnias and wish you had native or well-adapted plants to attract them?

Or do you simply need to have your gardening energy rejuvenated after the challenging season that the summer of 2022 has brought?

If so, then “Smart Gardening for South Texas,” a 2022 Fall Symposium hosted by Victoria County Master Gardener Association might be just the tonic for you.

The Symposium will be a fun day of presentations by four knowledgeable speakers on a variety of topics to appeal to the home landscaper, including container gardening, herb gardening, incorporating native plants in an appealing home landscape, and principles of landscape design. In addition to the excellent presentations, attendees will enjoy their selection of a box lunch from Fossati’s Delicatessen, featuring three of their popular sandwiches. Multiple drawings for door prizes will be held throughout the day.

“Smart Gardening for South Texas” will begin at 9 am Sept. 10. Cost of admission is $55 and includes all presentations, door prizes and lunch. The registration deadline is Aug. 31, but because seating is limited, it is recommended that you register as soon as possible to ensure yourself a spot.

Every effort will be made to allow as much social distancing as possible. VCMGA has added additional screens and speakers to the pavilion to improve your video and audio enjoyment.

Victoria’s own Lon West, co-owner of West Farms Artisanal Grower and Nursery, will start the day with “The Art of Container Gardening.” Always a lively and informative speaker, West will demonstrate how to plant an effective and beautiful container garden. Along the way, he will discuss principles and tips for creating containers yourself. Although the focus will be on outdoor containers, the advice that Lon gives will work equally well for indoor container plantings.

Cindy Meredith, the second speaker, is owner of the Herb Cottage in Lavaca County and creator of and its accompanying newsletter on herbs and succulents. Meredith’s presentation is titled “Herbs for Pollinators.” Herbs are not only wonderful additions to our gardens and kitchens, but they can also be good for our pollinator friends. Come hear Cindy’s discussion on which herbs to use in your landscape that will attract and benefit pollinators.

Ernie Schertz, the third speaker, is a former county extension agent, a master naturalist, a master gardener, and a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas. She brings all those experiences together in her presentation on “Creating Native Landscapes.” Schertz describes her program as taking “the mystery out of creating a native landscape that gives birds, butterflies and other wildlife an attractive haven.” Come learn how to incorporate native plants into your own landscape.

The final presentation will be “Elements of Landscape Design” by Carol Brouwer, who holds a BS in horticulture, an MS in agriculture and Extension education, and a Ph.D. in horticulture. Attendees will be able to reflect upon what they learned from earlier presentations as they listen to Brouwer discuss how to create a successful landscape design for yourself.

So, don’t just look at pretty pictures in magazines and online, dreaming of a pretty landscape. Put your dreams into action. Bring a friend and come out to the Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive, on Sept. 10 to enjoy a great day of learning and fun. It’s time to rejuvenate our landscapes and ourselves after this long, hot summer.

The Gardeners’ Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, PO Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or, or comment on this column at


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