The Lazy Gardener Goes Totally Digital
I wanted to take the opportunity in this week’s email tip to help Brenda Beust Smith, The Lazy Gardener columnist at the Houston Chronicle, announce a sort of change in her weekly column. For starters, her Lazy Gardener weekly missives will no longer be in the "published" form. She is continuing to do it in a blog-form at the Chronicle’s gardening webpages, and the submissions are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
This is sort of sad for folks like me, who actually look forward to reading a physical newspaper on Saturday mornings. It also points to the future of newspapers in general, if you think about it. But I want to help her get the word out about the change because her "Lazy Gardener" tenets are so perfect for any newbie to Houston gardening. As a personal aside to the editors and publishers of the Chronicle, as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is quoted as saying "Big mistake… HUGE!"
I’ve known Brenda since the day I stepped in around 1995 to fill Bill Zak’s shoes on The GardenLine, and I have probably read 90% of her columns in the past 14 years. And she’s been a guest on my program many times in the past. I’ve even been quoted in her column a time or two. But what caught me by surprise was just how many years she has been submitting for The Chronicle – nearly 40 years!
With that said, I simply couldn’t let the opportunity slip by without honoring that kind of commitment and accomplishment. Remember, it will still be a blog on the Chronicle’s gardening related webpages, it just won’t be seen in the physical newspaper any more. So, in honor of said accomplishment, I asked Brenda to give us a little history of The Lazy Gardener Column.
"I started writing the column sometime in the early 1970s, when longtime Chronicle garden writer Alice Hodges left. The editor wanted someone to fill in temporarily while he looked for a "real" horticulturist to take over. I had a new house, was growing daylilies and elephant ears and monkey grass. I said I know all there is to know about gardening, I'll do it.
Then the time came to actually DO it. I panicked. I asked him if I could call it "The Lazy Gardener" so NO ONE would take me seriously and I could be the "Erma Bombeck of Gardening." That's where the name came from.
I wrote it like any other newspaper article. I interviewed local experts. Eventually I did become a Master Gardener. It's been a great run in print and I've been told it is (now was) the longest running print newspaper column in Houston.
I'll miss the print column terribly. Blogs just aren't the same, since I'm still pretty cyber-challenged. But one has to change with the times, eh?
Now what I need is help spreading the word to area gardeners that new Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener blogs will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://blogs.chron.com/lazygardener." Brenda Beust Smith
Good Luck Brenda! I will be reading on-line from time to time, but I admit I will personally miss the physical weekly readings of The Lazy Gardener column early, early Saturday mornings before I start my gardening radio show.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that if you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet Brenda in person, or just get to talk to her, you would have to admit that she is truly one of the nicest people you will ever know in our great city of Houston. She has a heart of gold, and the passion to share incredibly practical gardening advice to the gardening novices out there – which often times includes me.
Finally, if you’ve never had the privilege of reading much of what Brenda has written in the past, you can order a CD version of her writings "THE LAZY GARDENER'S GUIDE ON CD" - a gardening book on CD offers gardening tips plus 12 pre-designed gardens for butterflies, hummers, sun, shade and more. Plus, there are monthly what-to-do reminders for Greater Houston/Gulf Coast gardens. They are $20 each. Make checks payable to Brenda B. Smith & mail to:
Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD,
Houston, TX 77039-2103.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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