Last month I wrote about a visit I made to the Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. I have since discovered an olive tree growing nearby with olives on it. The tree is growing in the vacant lot in the 1600 block of S. Presa at Jacob Street. The owner of the lot happens to be a King William neighbor and told me that any newsletter reader was welcome to go by and pick as many olives as they like.

I found out during my tour of Sandy Oaks Orchard that you do not just pick an olive and eat it. Olives contain a bitter tasting compound and must be “cured” to make them palatable. I did a little internet research and found that at “Olives-Safe Methods for Home Pickling” there are directions for the curing process. If you are adventurous give it a try.

We are approaching fall and there are things to do to get ready for winter...

Read more: Out in the Garden: October 2016

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

Read more: Out in the Garden: September 2016

Walks can be more enjoyable if you have a destination.  Here are two.  On the west side of the river, just north of Caesar Chavez Blvd. toward town, is a Texas Naturalist Wildscape Demonstration Garden.  It has been there awhile, but with the good weather we’ve had, it is looking very good.  It contains many native and adaptive plants that do well in San Antonio and South Texas.  Many have tags giving the plant name and its growing habits.  Take paper and pen because you may see something you want to add to your garden.  The second destination is at 310 E. Arsenal between City St. and S. Main Ave.  The home is a new addition to the neighborhood and the front garden is signed as a “Pollinator Habitat.”  Here also the plants are native and drought tolerant with the added benefit of attracting visitors such as bees and hummingbirds.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: July 2016

It is 105 degrees as I write.  Summer is here.  HOT, HOT, HOT.  This will be an abbreviated article since it is too hot to do much in the garden other than to water to keep things alive. 

To save water, this is the time I discard many plants that I have enjoyed since spring but which are now too distressed from the heat to warrant keeping them.  These include begonias, impatiens, zinnias and other annuals.  You may want to do the same.

Read more: Out in the Garden: August 2016

Walks can be more enjoyable if you have a destination.  Here are two.  On the west side of the river, just north of Caesar Chavez Blvd. toward town, is a Texas Naturalist Wildscape Demonstration Garden.  It has been there awhile, but with the good weather we’ve had, it is looking very good.  It contains many native and adaptive plants that do well in San Antonio and South Texas.  Many have tags giving the plant name and its growing habits.  Take paper and pen because you may see something you want to add to your garden.  The second destination is at 310 E. Arsenal between City St. and S. Main Ave.  The home is a new addition to the neighborhood and the front garden is signed as a “Pollinator Habitat.”  Here also the plants are native and drought tolerant with the added benefit of attracting visitors such as bees and hummingbirds.  

Read more: Out in the Garden: June 2016