Sunday, July 18, 2010

Learn how to take stunning garden photographs

Ever wished you could capture the beauty of a flower on camera as well as it looks in person?  Want to improve your garden photography or just getting started?

Better Photography in the Garden

Saturday, July 24, 2010
Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin TX 

This class will help you capture the beauty of nature with your camera.  Learn tips on capturing plants and insects in the garden to get the most impact.  Discussion will include how lighting, focal length and aperture interact in composing photographs and how to use your camera's programs (landscape, portrait, etc.) effectively.  After the presentation, we'll go out into the Botanical Garden to practice our new skills.  Participants must bring their own camera, and have an understanding of how to work it. All types of cameras are welcome.  

Prerequisite: study the owner's manual on your camera.  Bring your camera for some practical exercises.

This seminar is free and open to the public.  It is co-sponsored by the Docents of Zilker Botanical Garden and the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Designing Your Landscape seminar

Does your garden need a remodel?  Or do you need a landscape design but don’t know where to start?  

Designing Your Landscape
Saturday, July 10, 10am-noon
Zilker Botanical Garden

In this second landscape design seminar, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating a landscape plan.  We will discuss the creation of drawings from site analysis through concept to a final planting plan.  Learn how to measure your yard and draw a base plan to scale.  This seminar will introduce the tools you need to create the garden you have always wanted.  No need to have attended the first landscape design seminar in order to attend this one.

This seminar is free and open to the public.  It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Extension office damaged in recent rains

On Tuesday, June 29, during a very heavy rainstorm, a section of the roof at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Travis County (1600-B Smith Rd) collapsed under the weight of all the water on the building's flat roof. I have been told that our area received over 3 inches of rain in about an hour.

Luckily, no one was hurt; however, the office was badly damaged in the ensuing flood, and is closed for the foreseeable future. Travis County is looking for alternate office space for Extension, but we are not aware of those arrangements just yet. Our phone and email services are currently unavailable, but we are working to fix those issues. We are hoping to have our calls re-routed to another county facility in the next few days, so you should be able to reach us by phone (512-854-9600) very soon.

Some services will be temporarily interrupted. Most notably our gardening hotline, manned by Master Gardeners. Also, emails to all Extension accounts, including the Master Gardener account, which is available for gardening questions, are currently not accessible. Our IT professionals are working to resolve issues with our servers and get our email accounts back up and running. If you have sent emails to us, those messages should be in our mailboxes waiting and we should be able to retrieve them, once our server is back online. If you have a pressing horticultural question, I would suggest that you contact the Extension offices in Hays or Williamson County. Agents and Master Gardeners in those counties will be happy to assist you until Travis County is once again fully functional.

If you have been trying to reach the Extension office in the last week and have not been able to get anyone, please call back in a few days. I'm hopeful that we will have at least limited ability to communicate in the very near future.

In the meantime, all Extension programs being held at locations other than the Extension office, including all upcoming horticulture presentations by the Travis County Master Gardeners, will continue as planned and on schedule.

If you have an upcoming interview for the 2010 Master Gardener program, please report to the Extension office (1600 Smith Rd) on your scheduled date and time. You will be given directions to an alternate location, across the street, for your interview.

Thank you all for your patience, as we try to get back to normal day-to-day operations. I will send out an update on the status of the office as soon as I know more.