Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Project for the Kids

Do you have some grandkids visiting for the holidays or would like to do something to enhance those boring vacant looking corners of you yard? Well here is an interesting simple project with results even the neighbors might enjoy.
Let there be seedballs

CLICK HERE  to find out what these are and what you can do with them.   Thanks to our friends at Texas Butterfly Ranch.

Ok, it might not look like this, but we do live in Houston.

Image result for wildflowers image

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cold Celebration

It is getting colder.. a bit earlier then might be expected.  Also, time to think about celebrating Christmas with some bright color.  The Norchester Garden club   Horticulture report has been published and it is on a Christmas favorite.. the poinsettia.
You may read, print, or download it at this link just by clicking:

And.. here is a link to the report on Christmas Cactus from December 2013..

And, since you may have forgotten, in January of this year the publication was a "Frost Special".. 

Various methods of protecting your plants were described along with other information that may be a good reminder.

We use frost cloth of different types, and in some cases small Christmas lights provide just enough additional warmth.  You will find this report by clicking:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Support for Garden Fundraisers

The Board Members of the Norchester Garden Club met today and in additional to their normal business, took time out to assemble a basket of butterfly items for a fundraiser of the Houston Federation of Garden Clubs.

And speaking of fundraisers, the Norchester Garden Club's annual "Rummage Sale" is a main source of their income.  The ladies put a lot of time and effort gathering, pricing, and selling these various treasures.  You might choose to stop by the Norchester Activity Center on this Friday or Saturday and see what surprises it has to offer. They have everything from toys to clothing. And you will certainly find plenty of "stocking stuffers." 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reward Update

In the Aug 4, 2015 post on this blog I provided information on how families can help support the Matzke Park Butterfly Garden by linking their Kroger Reward Card to ABCS, the charity that supports Matzke Park.  ABCS has been providing support to the garden for years, but the number of families has dwindled from dozens, to just 3 as of the end of the first quarter.  

I am aware that a few more have signed up in the past few months so things should be getting better. Kroger paid on a yearly basis a few years ago and the 2011 check was for $164.39, so the effort to sign up is quite worthwhile.  ABCS has always put these funds into the Butterfly Garden.

Kroger now pays out on a quarterly basis.  The last check from Kroger which was then donated to the Butterfly Garden was for $26.77 which included the first two quarters, as they only issue a check for more than $25.00   This was then given to the Norchester Garden Club Treasurer for use by the Butterfly Garden.  
I understand that in recent conversations there was a request to post the sign-up info again.  Here it is.

Link your Kroger Plus Card ABCS to support the Matzke Park Butterfly Garden. Purchases you make at Kroger (not the gas) increase what Kroger donates to a charity if a Kroger card is linked to it and used at check-out.  This does not impact accumulating your fuel points.   

If you currently have an on-line account with Kroger (for their coupons and specials) visit   to link your card.   The Butterfly Garden's number is 82607  and is listed under Association for Better Community Schools (ABCS). All Kroger Reward proceeds are sent to the Norchester Garden Club and designated for Garden maintenance and improvement.

If you do not have an on-line account, click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box. You will need to provide the number on your card.  If you use your phone number (instead of your card) at the register call 800-576-4377 and select option 4 to get your Plus Card number.

If you do not have a Kroger plus Card, they are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger. If you have problems signing in or creating an account please call Online Account Customer Service: 1-866-221-4141

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pruning Time

Mea Culpa...   Yes it is my fault.. I have been neglecting the blog of late.  But the ladies of the Norchester Garden Club have continued to improve the look and health of the Matzke Park Butterfly Garden with their thinning and pruning.  The Horticulture Chairperson has published the October report which is on pruning.  It offers some guidance on getting your yard plants ready for their winter rest. 

And.. the report leads off with information on "Oe." This is a protozoan parasite that plays heck with Monarch butterflies and infests some types of butterfly weed.  Oe, otherwise known as Ophryocystis elektroscirrha ,  is present in the Norchester area.

You may read, save, or download the October horticulture report.  Just click HERE for the report on dropbox. Close or ignore any messages for login, signup, etc.. nothing is required except patience for the PDF file to load. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Garden Helpers

The Norchester Garden Club ladies have been hard at work in the Butterfly Garden on several work days in the past few weeks.  With our rains, the garden quickly can become somewhat overgrown and weeds are a constant challenge

Thinning helps the looks as well as the health of the plants.

 We pile 'em up.. the Park guys haul'em off.

 For a task like this it is always nice to have some help.  Do you recognize these helpers ?

The September Horticulture Report has now been published, and these tools as well as others are featured.  You can view, print, or download the two page report by clicking HERE  It connects to a PDF file in DropBox.  Ignore any message to join, sign in, or to create an account.  None of that is required. Just give it a bit of time to download.  

Also.. under the "Useful Links We Like" section on the right side of this blog you can find the menu for past monthly reports.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

You May Be Shocked

You may be shocked to learn how many families had their Kroger Plus card linked to support the Butterfly Garden. I know I was shocked... the total number of families linked during this past year was 3.   Yes... THREE families, and ours was one of the THREE.  

In years past, money from the Kroger Program has provided, tools, plants, trees, and soil conditioner at various times.  This year the amount made was not enough to even have Kroger send a check.  Despite strong support in the 2007-2011 time frame, support now has been essentially NIL. 

It costs nothing to sign up and it does not detract from your Kroger Fuel Points.... but you do need to "RE-LINK" your card each year by going on-line.  It was this change that seemed to kill the important source of income for the garden.

And this is the month Butterfly Garden supporters can start RE-LINKING their Kroger Plus Card for the 2015/2016  program to continue supporting the garden. Just visit Kroger's secure website to link your Kroger plus Card.
   The Butterfly Garden's number is 82607  and is under Association for Better Community Schools

I If you have problems signing in or creating an account please call Online Account Customer Service: 1-866-221-4141

When you shop at Kroger using your Kroger Plus Card, you will be accumulating rewards toward the 2015-2016 program. Purchases will not count until you register online, once each year in August..

All supporters must have a registered Kroger Plus card account online to be able to link their card to the garden, whose number is 82607.   Do you use your phone number at the register? Call 800-576-4377 and select option 4 to get your Plus Card number. • If you do not have a Kroger plus Card, they are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger. 

Register online at If you are a new online customer, click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box to register. To sign up you will need to enter your zip code, click on favorite store, enter your email address, create a password, and agree to the terms and conditions. Once you are done entering your information you will get a message asking you to check your e-mail inbox and click on the link within the body of the e-mail that was sent.