Here is a suggestion for how to spend a pleasant Saturday.  Take the short ride, about 30 minutes, to the Shady Oaks Olive Orchard near Elemendorf (sandyoaks. com).  I recently visited and thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

The tour, conducted by owner Sandy Windkur, takes you through the 10,000-tree orchard and explains the process and things made from olives.  Besides olive oil, there are creams, lotions, soaps and even tea.  The tour usually starts about 11:00 a.m., only on Saturday.  The orchard is open from

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at 25195 Mathis Road in Elemendorf.  Go out Highway 37 to exit 120, Hardy Road.  Take a left and go across the freeway about a quarter mile and turn left on Mathis Road.  Go another quarter mile and turn left through the iron gate with the orchard’s name on it. 

Take the guided tour, browse the gift shop, and have lunch in the “farm-to-table” restaurant.  Trees are also available to buy in the nursery.  Olives are hardy in South Texas and are long lived.  (To see what they look like, there are two trees growing along Stieren St. at the corner of Adams St.)

For another interesting destination, take the short trip to 711 Matagorda St. in the Lavaca neighborhood to see the front garden and perhaps get ideas for your garden.  It has been designated by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat, having the four basic habitat elements for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and places to raise young.  The plants are drought tolerant and native or adapted for our area.  For more information go to nwf.org.  

It was getting extremely dry because of several weeks of near or at 100 degrees plus and no substantial rain since early June.  Thankfully, mid-August rains and cooler temperatures have revived the soil.  Between August 13 and 15, I recorded 3 1/2 inches of rain in my gauge on Mission St.  

It is not too late to trim evergreen perennials and shrubs as needed.  New growth should harden off before the threat of freezing temperatures.  Day lilies and iris can be divided now.  Give any excess to a neighbor. -Alan Cash

From Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations: “There’s a good spot tucked away somewhere in everybody. You’ll be a long time finding it sometimes.”

Garden Note:  A garden is a place to plant your dreams.