Skip Richter

Lower South Editor

Skip Richter
Austin, TX

Oxblood lilies will be blooming again this summer in my garden.

Rosemary makes a great, scented hedge along a bed.

Hedge roses provide a long season of blooms and an attractive shrub as well.

'Coral' honeysuckle is an easy to grow blooming shrub.

Skip has had gardening in his life for over 35 years, since he started his first garden as a 4-H project. He has gardened in the acid sands of the East Texas pine woods to the arid, high pH soils of central Texas. His pursuits include establishing a pick-your-own strawberry patch and peach orchard. His travels have taken him to gardening and commercial horticulture sites across the United States as well as in the Netherlands, Austria, and Bulgaria.

Skip's gardening tastes tend toward the eccentric and eclectic. "I have learned all the rules of landscaping and find them well-intentioned silliness for the most part," says Skip, adding, "Gardening is for food and for fun. Grow what you like in the way you like, that's the rule!"

Castle-dwelling stuffed shirts like Louis XIV would definitely find Skip's landscape and gardens lacking straight lines and right angles. Plus, they may not approve of old western boots or bathroom fixtures used as planting containers!

Skip writes two weekly newspaper gardening columns in Texas and has authored numerous articles for statewide, regional, and national gardening magazines. He currently serves as the Travis County Extension Horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, where he conducts educational programs on a wide variety of subjects from hobby/recreational gardening to commercial horticulture.

He also appears on radio and television gardening programs in the Austin, Texas area, and has a weekly spot on the "Central Texas Gardener" television program. He has a new Web site ( where you can view his syndicated TV spots called "Gardening With Skip." They are carried in Texas in the Beaumont, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin television markets.

Skip loves learning about and teaching natural gardening techniques. He is a sought-after speaker on organic gardening and brings a practical, hands-on approach to training others how to garden with less dependence on pesticide sprays. He loves practical research and has established several trial gardens for evaluating varieties and organic techniques appropriate for home gardening.

He has trained Master Gardeners in several Texas county programs as well as at state and national conferences. He coordinates both Master Gardener and Master Composter volunteer training programs in Texas. He initiated a Home Garden Testing Program to evaluate new species and varieties as well as pest-control techniques and products that minimize damage to the environment. He has done extensive work in composting and yard waste recycling, producing several publications, slide sets, and video tapes, and hosts an Internet site called Composting for Kids,


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