Gardener of the Week
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Trisha's 26-year association with Lake Austin Spa Resort has resulted in organic herb and vegetable gardens, an organic orchard, and a wealth of flowers to enhance the grounds and brighten the delicious low-fat dishes served in the dining room. Plantings are designed to be Texas tough, but beautiful. Despite the foraging deer, flowers are in evidence year round. Many of the gardens are designed to delight butterflies and hummingbirds, which are seen in abundance.
Crafts are another of Trisha's interests, and she teaches classes such as pressed flower designs, potpourri, painting pots and herbal swags to the guests at LASR. She has participated in the writing, editing and testing of two cookbooks for the resort and teaches cooking classes also.
Aromatherapy classes are one of the most popular at Lake Austin Spa Resort, and Trisha shares her ideas for incorporating essential oils into everyday lives. With 26 years of experience using aromatherapy, she gives tips for using it in the home, in beauty routines and even for pets.
Certified as a licensed pesticide applicator, Trisha manages pest problems on the grounds and in buildings with safe and effective natural pest control.
As guest host of the popular "Gardening Naturally" radio show on KLBJ-AM, Trisha assists Austin area gardeners with a variety of garden problems.
She served three terms on the Board of Directors of Eco-Fair Texas, a group that formed to support organic and sustainable agriculture for urban and rural communities. As President of the Eco-Fair Board of Directors, she played a key role in planning, organizing and facilitating the conferences, which were attended by thousands each year.
In 1998, Rodale Press published Great Garden Formulas, a recipe book for gardeners. Trisha wrote the chapter on fertilizers and contributed to other chapters as well.
Trisha has given presentations on organic gardening, herb gardening, native plants, wildflowers, xeriscaping, water gardens, vegetable gardening and natural pest control to garden clubs over the state of Texas as well as for schools, the Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture Extension Service, the National Xeriscape Convention, and Eco-fair Texas.
She was previously employed as the Grounds Manager for the Bauer House, the residence of the Chancellor of University of Texas Systems.
As a very young child, I remember being amazed by the stunning zinnias that came from a little packet of seeds. It seemed like magic and I was hooked for life. I always preferred working in the garden to any type of indoor chores. The book The Secret Garden became a favorite of mine and I developed many of my own “secret gardens” in the backyards of my homes when I was growing up.
Gardening still seems magical to me. To be able to plant things with color and fragrance and that attract beautiful butterflies and energetic hummingbirds is such a treat. Working at Lake Austin Spa Resort has enabled me to watch the gardens I have designed grow and flourish and to learn from my mistakes too.
One of my favorite things about my job is sharing my gardens with the guests. They take home seeds, cuttings and the excitement of gardening. Many guests tell me that they have planted herb and flower gardens after going home and now have the prettiest gardens on the block!
I am probably as much a plant collector as a gardener and I love planting new and different kinds of plants. Guests study plant combinations and learn which plants to use if deer are a problem in their home landscape.
Perhaps the most important aspect of gardening at Lake Austin Spa Resort for me is the ability to garden organically. We use only the safest natural products for pest control and fertilizing. Not only is it safer for my gardeners and me, it protects the beautiful lake that our property is on, and shows our guests that toxic chemicals are not necessary to have great gardens.