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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

Express-News Weekly Article
Saturday, May 14, 2005

By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Conservation Director, and Horticulturist


Festival of Flowers

            The Festival of Flowers is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at the Alzafar Shrine Temple from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.  This event is always great fun and unlike the many home and garden shows that visit San Antonio every year, Festival of Flowers is exclusively a landscape and garden show.  There will be no hot tubs, pots and pans, combination windows or vacuum cleaners exhibited.  There will be plants for sale, a plant exchange, landscape exhibits and garden supplies.  There will also be educational programs.  The theme will be Gardening San Antonio Style.  I will host a panel on landscape options.  Bob Webster will moderate a panel on organic gardening.  Howard Garret will be a featured speaker.  Howard does radio and media in Dallas, Texas, on organic gardening.  He has authored several books on the topic including Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening and The Texas Bug Book with our own Malcolm Beck. 

            One of the best parts of the Festival of Flowers in 2005 is the Potty-O Gardening Contest.  You can participate and several celebrities will also plant a special garden for this competition.  Potty-O Gardening, as the name implies, is gardening in recycled commodes.  Milton Glueck of KLUP’s Gardening South Texas named the art form and he is organizing the competition.  You can see examples of potty gardens at Milberger’s Nursery.  To be part of this special contest, fill the bowl and tank of an old commode and plant it in a manner that will attract the judges’ admiration for its imagination, theme, color and artistic merit.  Photograph the results and send a digital photo to  Regular photos can be delivered to Milberger’s by May 23, 2005.  The gardener with the best potty gardens will be invited to bring their work of art to the Festival where the “best of the best” will be selected.  All invited winners will receive a $25 gift certificate from Milberger's Nursery.  The top three winners will receive a $100, $75 and $50 gift certificate respectively to their favorite retail nursery or horticultural supply store from SAWS. 

            You may ask, “Who is expert enough to judge potty gardens?”  Master of Potty-O Gardens Glueck has assembled a select team including Jerry Persons that will be led by Felder Rushing.  Junk Gardeners know Felder as the foremost expert trash gardener in the world.  He is the author of several books on the topic:  Can’t Miss Container Gardening, Gardening Southern Style, Passalong Plants, and Scarecrow:  Making Harvest Figures and Other Yard Folks.  As you might expect, horticulturist Rushing is from Mississippi.  In addition to leading the toilet garden judging team, he will speak on the topic at the Festival.

            You may ask, “Where does one find old toilets in which to garden?”  There should be plenty in San Antonio because SAWS customers change out over 25,000 old/high flow toilets for the more efficient low-flow appliances every year, but just incase you are having trouble finding one, the contest is open for gardens in any discarded item.  Bottle trees, old tires, sinks, and wagons came to mind, but remember, you must be able to transport the garden to the Festival of Flowers to have it considered for the prizes.

            In fact, if you want to have a free new toilet from SAWS and change out your high flow water waste, there is still time if you move fast.  Call SAWS Conservation at (210) 704-7527, tell them your address, and ask them if you are eligible.  If you are eligible, they will send you a voucher in a few days and you can visit one of the seven Hughes Plumbing Supply Outlets to pick up your free commode.  Change it out quickly to be able to enter the contest!  Not only will you have a more efficient toilet that will save you at least $2 per month on your water bill, you will have a toilet to recycle as a garden and enter in the Festival of Flowers Potty-O Garden Contest.