The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulture Education Committee in Smith County will be hosting popular horticulturist, garden writer, and philosopher Felder Rushing Monday, September 13 from 2-4 PM at the Tyler Public Library (201 S. College Ave., Tyler, TX 75702).  Felder will present “Maverick Gardeners-Keepers of the Flame.”

Felder Rushing is an eleventh-generation American gardener from Mississippi, a non-stuffy horticulturist, who travels the world looking for simple garden approaches, which he promotes in his newspaper columns, books, magazine articles, and NPR radio program. The author of over twenty books and international founder of the “Slow Gardening” movement, he was named by Southern Living as one of “25 people most likely to change the South.”

Felder will have his latest book available, Maverick Gardeners:  Dr. Dirt and Other Determined Independent Gardeners.

The cost of the lecture is $20 payable at the door by cash or check.  Proceeds from the program go to support the Earth-Kind® educational efforts of the Smith County Horticulture Education Committee.  For more information about the lecture, call the Smith County AgriLife Extension office at 903-590-2980 or visit https://smith.agrilife.org/.  Let us you if you are coming with the following link: Welcome Felder Rushing!

I’ve known Felder now for over 30 years.  When we first met, I worked for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in San Antonio and he for Mississippi State Extension, where he started the Master Gardener program over there.   He’s now retired and splits his time between England and Mississippi.  Felder is a fun, light-hearted, thought-provoking, deep thinker.  We hit it off on day one and I’ve been one of his biggest fans ever since.  Heck, the man drives an eclectic green truck with a garden in the back.

His latest book, Maverick Gardeners is not suggested reading.  It’s mandatory reading, not just for the 50% of the population that gardens, but for all.  Yes, friend Felder is an accomplished horticulturist, speaker, and author, but more importantly he’s a philosopher with a reflective look at feeling good about oneself while hoeing your own row.  Felder and I both came by our love of horticulture not from books and classes but by the inspiration of independent, artistic gardeners.  After all, horticulture is half science and half art.  This inspirational book takes a look at both the art and humanity of gardening and serves as affirmation, that like gardeners, gardens don’t all have to look or be the same.  I knew Dr. Dirt and still carry two empress tree claves in the truck that he made for me.  It’s a daily expression of his caring and sharing friendship that serves as a constant reminder that we all get to choose what beat we march to.

Written by Greg Grant Greg Grant is an award-winning horticulturist, conservationist, photographer, and writer from Arcadia, Texas. Each month he writes an article for The Arbor Gate Blog where he is given free range to write about any topic that interests him. During the week, he is the Smith County horticulturist in Tyler for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and on the weekends, he and his wife tend Greg’s grandparents’ old farmhouse, his Rebel Eloy Emanis Pine Savanna and Bird Sanctuary, a flock of laying hens, one Jack Russell, and three cats.