Express-News Weekly Article
Saturday, May 14, 2005
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD,
SAWS Conservation Director, and Horticulturist
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 www.plantanswers.com. 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
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
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.