I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t gardening.  It started with helping my dad in our big vegetable garden and my mom in her flower gardens when I was growing up in Coldwater, Kansas.  In my early teens I was introduced to an 80 year old German woman named Elzora Butcher who maintained her fierce independence in spite of her being almost completely blind.  She lived alone, walked to the grocery store and did all of her shopping and kept up her yard and greenhouse.  When I visited her I never knew what task she’d ask me help her with. It could be anything from cooking mud on the stove for her potting mix (just heat up the dirt to kill seeds and bugs and throw in some vermiculite), find her cat, Dumb A** who was usually hiding silently in plain site,  or read stories to her from her stack of Reader’s Digests.

Now I’m 47 years old and gardening has always been my passion and my interest in it only seems to be growing over time.  I hope you will find something interesting here.

13 Responses to “About”


  1. Hi Randy, enjoyed the A&M trip, great to meet you. Looking forward to tipping a few one of these days.
    Tom

  2. Pam/Digging Says:

    Tres cool new site, Randy. But where is your RSS info? I can only keep up with all my blog reading by subscribing to feeds. Thanks!

  3. horselips Says:

    I’m still figuring out this site Pam. I was hoping to get some pointers from you. How do I get my photo on there in the right column like you have?

  4. Bob Butcher Says:

    Hey, Horselips: I was so pleased to stumble upon your blog and discover the reference to my grandmother, Elzora Butcher. Should not surprise you that my home and yard are FULL of plants, borrowed, clipped, given to me from friends and family and started from seeds. I have many Iris from Gram’s garden and have carried, planted and left others in Illinois, Montana and a few things in Florida (not great for the bulbs). If it is green and should grow I can make that happen. And, yes, I get that from my family and specifically Gram Butcher. My cousin, not raised in Kansas, is a master gardner like you and lives outside Chicago. With only one exception all of Gram’s grandchildren are gardeners.

    I have just started this years seedinglings including flowers, herbs, tomatos and the like. Where I live in Virginia most plants aren’t set out until May.

    Gram founded the first florist/flower shop in Coldwater and eventually sold it to Ralph Barnhart who eventually sold to Town and Country Florists.

    One little correction about Gram, her maiden name is McDaneld and she is 13 of a family of 13 children. Her father, Hiram Reeves McDaneld, is mostly Irish with Native American and English mixed in.

    Enjoyed the photos. Well done. Gram, Elzora Faye McDaneld Butcher is pleased and so am I.

  5. Bob Butcher Says:

    I just noticed the other bloggers addressing you as Randy and am wondering if you are Mr. Case’s offspring. Gram often spoke of you and how she so enjoyed your visits. The tours of her plants and plantings remain highlights of my childhood.


  6. Hello,
    One of your readers just stopped in after reading about our store on your blog. I just wanted to let you know we are closing our store after almost 15 years. We will be open through the third week of August, 2009. We are presently having a 40% off sale on all in stock merchandise. We will continue to operate our booth (#154) at Wimberley Market Days. We are very grateful that you recommended us on your blog and wanted to update you on our status.
    Thanks,
    Brenda

  7. Terry Kuzmich Says:

    Hi Randy – good seeing you at A&M, just checked out your blog and can’t wait to see your garden on the tour. You need a dutchman’s pipe… it would be a perfect complement to your choices of unusual/interesting plants. Can’t wait to see the live version and all of your hard work… Let me know what you thought of the wholesaler.

    Terry


  8. Please pass the word about the upcoming “Get Growing and Keep Going” Gardening conference for teachers, administration and parent leaders.

    This conference is a great way to learn the latest information about gardening in schools! To Register, visit http://online.nwf.org/GGKGconference

    The conference is scheduled for Sat, Feb 6, 2010, 8 am- 4pm, at Garza Independence High School (1600 Chicon, 78702). 7 CEUs. The theme is “Greening Our Schools”. Registration fee of $25

    The purpose of the conference is to give administrators, teachers and parent representatives the tools to integrate gardens, nature areas and green programs into the school environment which includes topics on rainwater harvesting, composting, vegetable gardening, plant propagation, native habitats, native plants, etc.

    The key speakers for the conference are Kevin Coyle, VP of Education at National Wildlife Federation, and Danna Keyburn, Science Educator at Redeemer Lutheran School. We have a great line up of talented speakers, hands-on sessions and exhibitors from organization such as Travis Co Master Gardeners, Sustainable Food Center, Green Corn Project, Austin Discovery School, LBJ Wildflower Center, National Wildlife Federation, Keep Austin Beautiful, etc.

  9. John Moudakis Says:

    Hi Randy –
    Is this THE Randy from Austin? Wow, Randy, it sure has been a long time and not too sure if this is the one?? I would LOVE to hear your news and to say Hello! My email is ukjmou@gmail.com. If this is you, can you please send me an email?

    Cheers Randy – Really nice to see your name here! Horselips gave it away!

    John (from Montreal)
    x x x

  10. horselips Says:

    Of course it’s me. I’ll drop you a line!

  11. Russ Says:

    Hello Randy,

    My partner and I stumbled across your garden blog and I felt inclined to comment about your gardening talents. I continue to learn more about gardening in Austin as each year passes and I examine my successes and failures. I would enjoy exchanging gardening ideas, my email address is: ausbehr@hotmail.com.

    Russ
    Austin, TX

  12. Lori Hopper Says:

    In a picture that you have posted from 2009 in Pieces of the Past you show case 2 screen doors with “scroll work” throughout the door. It looks as if the doors have birds amid the scroll work. Do you still have the doors? There were two. My grandparents had that door or one similar and I want to purchase it for my mom. If you have the door(s) could you please take a full frontal picture and send it to me.

  13. horselips Says:

    Lori, those photos were from a store in Johnson City, Tx called “Pieces of the Past”. You can call the owner at (512) 784-8246 and see if she still has them. She had lots of screen doors. If you don’t find on there, try Backyard Salvage in Austin at (512) 537-2974. Good luck.


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