THE FRAGRANT GARDEN: Local and national TV gardening shows – Austin American-Statesman

I just heard from TV producer Linda Lehmusvirta that the program filmed last fall at one of my designs, the Texas Quilt Museum “Grandmother’s Garden” in La Grange, will air on KLRU and affiliated stations on May 17. Linda produces the weekly (aired more often) TV show, Central Texas Gardener. We met not long after I returned to Texas from my 13-year hiatus in California and Oregon, and she has arranged for me to be a guest on CTG 3 different times now.

My first opportunity was as an “in studio” guest discussing the concept of period garden design, with the garden arranged to reflect in both layout and planting the time period of the home (or at least the style from the period in newly-constructed homes). One of my designs here in Smithville was shown, along with several I have done in Austin and nearby.

The second time I appeared on the show about two years ago, they came to interview me here in my Smithville garden, and you can still see that program from a link on the lower right corner of my website home page at The half- hour show begins with the in-studio interview, then changes to the featured garden of the week, and next offers a segment with Travis County Extension Agent Daphne Richards with answers to gardeners’ questions and discussion of a “plant of the week.” The final segment is with local experts on a variety of topics, including organic pest control, potting and planting techniques and much more. You can find the various times it will be shown by going to If you click on the tab across the top, “Schedule,” it will open a schedule for the next few hours and also offer daily, weekly and printable schedule as options, along with a search box for popular programs. If you click on popular programs and then choose Central Texas Gardener, it will take you to a page listing all the various times the show airs that week.

What I didn’t realize for a long time was that KLRU (our local PBS channel) actually has three different stations it supports. KLRU-1 (18-1 on Time Warner basic cable), KLRU-2/Create (18-2) and KLRU-3 (18-3), which shows recent reruns of the first channel and also many very interesting programs which have run over the years. Central Texas Gardener runs on both KLRU-1 and KLRU-3 each week, but the Create channel has many different shows that feature gardening information.

P. Allen Smith’s garden home is one of them. Smith is a landscape architect who lives and works in Arkansas, and his program offers much advice on rather traditional design concepts and plant suggestions for another “hot and humid” climate. The show is beautifully filmed and he also offers advice on how to bring the garden and its flowers/produce into the home itself.

Victory Garden is another good gardening program on Create TV. The host visits gardens all around the country and there is emphasis on edible landscapes, in particular. I used to watch this program many years ago with host James Underwood Crockett and enjoyed it very much.

If you go to the Create TV website ( ), a pop-up box will come up asking for your zip code and cable provider. You will then have the opportunity to search for programs on a variety of topics from links to the right of the home page. If you choose “GARDENING,” you can then see the line-up of programs available in your area and also the date/time showing.

There are three other programs available here on KLRU-2. “Garden Smart” visits fantastic garden locations across America to provide you with practical, helpful advice filled with “hands in the dirt” experience. “Growing a Greener World” features organic gardening, green living and farm-to-table cooking. “B Organic” with Michele Beschen focuses on organic gardening practices and related sustainable living concepts.

I still prefer actually working in the garden to watching gardening shows on TV, but you can learn a lot, especially from our own Central Texas Gardener program. I hope you will check out some of these options and also send me your suggestions for future topics in this column. If I don’t know it, I can Please address any questions or suggestions you might have for me by visiting my website and clicking on the “CONTACT” tab.”


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