this weekend
Gardeners' Dirt
October 19, 2012

by Debbie Krueger, Victoria County Master Gardener

Edited by
Charla Borchers Leon, Victoria County Master Gardener
The backyard view of Stephen and Gail Dentler's home invites family time and relaxation. It is designed with several focus areas under cover and in the open around the pool. Look for a raised vegetable garden on the far side of the house, and don't miss the Meyer's lemon tree with an abundance of fruit for lemonade near the open air table.
The Suarez gardens portray an outdoor lifestyle with both shaded and open poolside enjoyment. Of note are varieties of abundant sedum that require little attention except space to cascade from pots and spread into beds. The center urn displays kangaroo fern with coral carpet sedum cascading from its base.
Not only are the Guel-Valdivia gardens a Caribbean-like paradise with exquisite palms and blooming tropicals surrounding a pool, but they also have an extensive deck with several decorative seating areas for relaxation and outdoor dining ambiance.
Welcome back to read more about the 2012 Victoria Garden Tour. Last week's article provided pertinent information for this weekend's event - and introduced you to three of the six gardens. Let's take a look at what's beyond the gates of the other three gardens for you to tour Saturday and Sunday. You won't want to miss what the Victoria Advocate and KAVU Newscenter 25 are presenting as lead sponsors of the tour.


All of the gardens described today are in the Springwood subdivision off the Cuero highway (Highway 87 North) near Loop 463 in Victoria.

Gardens of Stephen and Gail Dentler - 218 Ridge View

Stephen and Gail Dentler have lived at their home for about eight years. They built it and have designed their yard into their own sanctuary.

They have two favorite design areas in their garden, the first of which is right out the front door. The Cecile Brunner (sweetheart) roses line the stone path to a bench, which has served as the backdrop for many family pictures. The smell of the sweetheart rose provides ambiance while helping capture family memories.

The roses Gail has planted nearby are the Highway 290 rose Pink Buttons and the B.R. Cant rose, both of which are likely available at the tour's highlighted plant sale tomorrow at the Hiller House, 3003 N. Vine St. If you could just capture that sweet smell in a photo.

The second area the Dentlers enjoy is the backyard with outside settings that allow their family to relax and enjoy each other's company. The view out their studio window or from the covered porch just loosens your shoulders, relieves stress and creates the capability of enjoying an evening breeze. The Meyer's lemon tree in the yard produces delicious lemons for afternoon lemonade any day.

Look for the tiled turtles in the family pool. Imagine an umbrella or canopy over the outdoor table for enjoyment of family and friends. This garden is sponsored by Shannon/Bradley Pools.

Gardens of Phil and Shawn Suarez - 112 Park View

Phil and Shawn Suarez have lived at this address for approximately three years. Shawn loves to work in the gardens and has redesigned them to suit their outdoor lifestyle. The front yard has variegated ginger, fan palms and knockout ross, and is complemented on the side with a pale pink crepe myrtle.

The backyard is an oasis for Phil and Shawn to enjoy entertaining family and friends poolside or under two relaxing covered settings. Of note is an abundance of small sedum plants from Shawn's grandmother that are spread throughout the gardens.

This sedum grows abundantly from attractive pots alongside splashing waterfalls and tropical plants. The tiny sedum also has spread into flower beds. You would never imagine such small plants would make such a huge impact. The kangaroo fern is in a pot with coral carpet sedum dispersed throughout. The Hawaiian sunset vine trails along the fence with a sweet fragrance of the pinwheel jasmine. This tropical garden is sponsored by Devereux Gardens.

Gardens of John and Veronica Guel-Valdivia - 114 Summit View

Do you want to take a vacation to the Caribbean? Well, step into this backyard and you will think you are there.

The landscape setting is filled with outstanding palms and other surrounding tropical plants with blooming varieties in pockets of foliage that pop out at you. There are also peaceful palms alongside a natural fence of star jasmine.

The garden is designed with several different room settings, that the family can enjoy. Notice the covered seating areas with beautiful decorative furnishings, the open air dining area with colorful decor and the upscale table umbrellas.

The pool area is designed with cascading plants by the pool with a nearby discreet customized shower for rinsing off after a dip in the pool. John, Veronica and their family enjoy their time outside in this island tropic setting.

Be sure to observe the ixora and the purple crinum hidden among the waterfall overflowing into the pool. Notice the bird bath hidden among the pink skull cap. John Ramos is sponsor of this garden.

Door prizes

At each garden you will be able to register for a door prize. The door prize is a highlighted plant from that garden. The door prize will be drawn on Sunday at the end of the tour.

Tickets, plant sale

Tickets are $15 for all six gardens and a chance to win a highlighted plant. They are available Friday at Earthworks (Main Street at Airline Road), Devereux Gardens, (1313 N. Navarro St.) and at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office (Victoria Regional Airport). They may also be purchased at any garden on either day of the tour.

Look around the gardens for potential additions to your own. Don't forget the highlighted plant sale at the Hiller House (3003 N. Vine St.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, where you can purchase some of the plants from the gardens.

We hope to see you at this weekend's fall garden tour. Victoria Regional Airport.

  What: Victoria Garden Tour (six distinct gardens)
  When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Go to
vcmga.org for addresses and map. Information also included on back of ticket
  What: Highlighted plant sale
  When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday only
  Where: Hiller House, 3003 N. Vine St.
(more than 10 plants from the gardens)


$15 admits to six gardens
Available Friday at :
  Earthworks, corner of Main Street and Airline Road
  Devereux Gardens, 1313 N. Navarro St.
  Texas A&M AgriLife, Extension Office, Victoria Regional Airport
  Also available at any garden either day of the tour
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.