Garden view: Inspiration for your green space


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is sponsoring two programs with Steven Chamblee, garden writer and horticulturist at Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas. Chamblee will be in the Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 9 and 10.

Chamblee, a native Texan, has nursed a love of plants since high school. Working full time as a gardener at Fort Worth Botanic Garden, he obtained an associate degree in horticulture from Tarrant County Junior College and a B. S. in Horticulture from Tarleton State University. He received a fellowship from the prestigious Longwood Gardens Graduate Program and earned his Master’s in Public Horticulture Administration from the University of Delaware.

Chamblee has been the horticulturist with Chandor Gardens since 2006, spearheading several major renovations and projects in this historic garden. He works to assure visitors will find Chandor gardens a “place of escape and peace, as well as, a garden filled with unexpected surprises and revelations.”

From 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, Chamblee will talk about Garden Harmony and how we can develop gardens that evolve naturally with our lives. He will discuss how we can re-establish priorities and alter traditional views of garden composition to create our garden vision.

He will also discuss how to develop a shade garden with seasonal color. This program will be at the Weslaco Texas A&M Extension and Research campus located at 2401 E. Business 83 on the corner of Highway 1015 South (Summers International) and Business 83. To register for this program, call (956) 361-8236. The cost is $10 per person if you register by Nov. 1.

On Friday, Nov. 10, Chamblee will provide a program from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Stillman House Museum, 1325 E. Washington Street in Brownsville, where he will discuss a butterfly garden project he did with an elementary school in Monterrey, Mexico, located on the Monarch migration route.

He will stress how important it is to develop a love of nature in children on both sides of the border. Chamblee will also provide a presentation on his travels to horticultural heavens in Texas and some of the botanical blunders and tender tales he has experienced. To register for this program, call the Brownsville Historical Museum at (956) 541-5560. . The cost is $10 per person if you register by Nov. 1.

Chamblee is an inspirational speaker and garden educator. He was once described by a staff member at Chandor as “an artist, mixing science with creativity in innovative and new ways.”

These programs are sponsored in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Brownsville Historical Association, the Brownsville Wellness Coalition and the Cameron County Master Gardeners, who are working together to provide affordable, high quality horticultural programming to members of the south Texas community.

You may also pick up information on these programs at the Growing Growers Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in Firemen’s Park at Town Lake located at 1st Street and Business 83 in McAllen. Check the welcome desk for gardening information, recipes for seasonal vegetables and fruits, and information on upcoming educational programs.

Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her garden program at 7 a.m. Saturdays on 710 KURV Radio, or e-mail her at