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Home Improvement

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Features

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Home sweet home

Latest trends in homebuilding

Traversing the highways and back roads of Bell County, from Killeen to Morgan’s Point Resort, enclaves of subdivisions seem to appear from out of nowhere. Each curve of the road reveals an existing subdivision in progress, vacant land cleared and ready for construction, and new multifamily housing. Some of the subdivisions can be seen immediately from the road, others are tucked away behind trees, and some sit atop hills overlooking the valley. By CATHERINE HOSMAN

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DESIGNING WOMEN

Harper Sawyer Designs showcase home decor trends

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Gardening by the foot Grow edible crops without toil

Wayne Schirner’s backyard is already green thanks to the springlike temperatures, winter rains and a homemade irrigation system. Edible plants are already sprouting in most of the square-foot garden beds he built. By CATHERINE HOSMAN 

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Home décor is a matter of personal choice for people who may or may not want to follow decorator trends. And different decorators and interior designers all have their own vision of what is trending and what isn’t. While some designers opt for a more monochromatic palate that is punctuated with bright colors, accessories and draperies, others embrace the warmth of natural or stained wood in a room that is infused with earth tones and a more soothing base color. Whatever a client’s personal taste, interior designer Rhonda Jung and codesigner Marla Rowe of Harper Sawyer Designs in Killeen “will take a homeowner’s desires and turn it into a visually compelling space with timeless style.” By CATHERINE HOSMAN

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Nature’s beauty

Explore Zilker Botanical Garden

Springtime is an explosion of colors, blossoms and butterflies at the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin and the perfect season for taking a day-trip to the tranquil grounds tucked amidst urban sprawl. By SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE


Ę­,ÄƒĂƒÂ ÂźÂźĂş¨ ó—Ă‚Ăş՟ Â?—ÂŤĂƒ㨗Â?ĂŠĂ¨ĂƒĂŁĂ˜ĂşĘˆ ;ĂŠĂƒÂ—ZĂŁÂ Ă˜¢Ă˜Â—“ã¨—ŸÕ—“—ÄƒĂƒÂ ĂƒÂ?— Ă‚ĂşՍ—Â?—ĂŠÂĄaÂ—ĂšÂ ĂœĘˆĘŽ CHARLES GREEN | 5G LAND & CATTLE CO. AÂ—Ă‚ÂŒÂ—Ă˜ZÂŤĂƒÂ?—ČşÉ‚É‚É Visit LoneStarAgCredit.com or call your local Temple office at 254.778.8111 to connect with a loan officer near you.

FINANCING FOR: RECREATIONAL PROPERTY RURAL HOMES | RURAL REAL ESTATE EQUIPMENT | FARM OR RANCH OPERATIONS AGRIBUSINESSES

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F I NA N C I N G Y O U R P I E C E O F T E X A S

F I NA N C I N G Y O U R P I E C E O F T E X A S

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Departments

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16

TexTalk Neighbors Gillmeister family promotes eggshell gardening

16 TexTalk FLAVOURS Meme’s Teapot in Belton

18 TexTalk SCENE Day for Women Killeen Bridal Expo

22 TexTalk CALENDAR Upcoming April events

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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WELL-CONNECTED

10 D AY T R I P

Austin’s Zilker Botanical Garden 1

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ON the COVER

Sebastian, Marjorie and Wolfgang Gillmeister. 11 Photograph by JULIE NABOURS 

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Contributors

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ADVERTISER’S INDEX

TexTalk WELL-FED HEAD “Texas Gardening the Natural Way” by Howard Garrett

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PROFILES

60 TexADVENTURES Zilker Botanical Garden

66 TexTHERAPY


TEXAPPEALMAG.COM




From the Editor

Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Dear Readers, It’s been a crazy winter. I don’t think we really saw any winter weather at all, except for a few days when the temperatures dipped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Other than that, it’s been a mild, wet winter, which is reflected in the early blooms of wildflowers along the highways and the growth of edible winter plants in some backyards. This year’s Home and Garden issue takes you on a tour of two different types of gardens. Wayne Schirner, president of the Bell County Master Gardeners, invited us to see his organic square foot garden creation in his backyard. Winter vegetables and berries are almost ripe for harvest and soon he’ll be planting his spring/summer crop, Page 43. Marjorie Gillmeister has learned how to recycle egg shells in a most unusual way. In a garden named after her 4-year-old son, Wolfgang, they take empty egg shells and turn them into pods to grow seedlings. Because the eggshell is organic, when it comes time to plant, you can drop the entire shell into the ground, Page 11. Taking a stroll back in time just got easier at Meme’s Teapot in Belton, housed in the 133-yearold mansion known as Whitfield Manor. Enjoy looking at Vania Whitfield’s collection of antiques while sipping on a cup of tea in a Victorian era china cup, Page 16. New home building and design has evolved over the years to reveal a more contemporary look in exterior and interior décor. Rhonda Jung and Marla Rowe of Harper Sawyer Designs introduce our readers to some of the latest trends in interior design. Gone are the dark, rustic colors of the last several years and in are lighter, reflective tones that brighten any room, Page 27. And it isn’t just the interiors that are reflective of a new era in home building and décor. New homes of every size and price point are going up in all of the far reaches of Bell County from Killeen to Morgan’s Point Resort. Realtors Teresa Adams and Mike Finnemann, and Executive Director Brad Wyrick, of the Temple Area Builders Association, took time out of their week to take us on a tour of the new developments that have something for everyone’s taste, need and budget, Page 34. If you lack a green thumb but still enjoy the beauty of a garden, take a day trip to Austin and visit the Zilker Botanical Garden. The 2-mile trail leads through several planned areas including the Japanese garden and prehistoric garden. Don’t forget your sun block, Page 57. Wherever you might be in your busy day, take a break, pour yourself a glass or cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy Tex Appeal’s 2017 Home and Garden issue.

Catherine Hosman

Tex Appeal Editor editor@texappealmag.com 254-501-7511 

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Published by FRANK MAYBORN ENTERPRISES, INC. KILLEEN DAILY HERALD 1809 Florence Rd., Killeen, TX 76540

TEMPLE DAILY TELEGRAM 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501

Publisher SUE MAYBORN Editor CATHERINE HOSMAN Editorial Director ROSE FITZPATRICK Photographers/Graphic Designers

M. CLARE HAEFNER JULIE NABOURS ERIC J. SHELTON Contributors MIKE BARTOSZEK GARY L. HANSEN SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE Advertising 254-778-4444 254-501-7500

Tex Appeal Magazine is published monthly by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501. The cover and content of Tex Appeal Magazine is fully protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. Subscriptions: For the United States, $24 per year, 12 issues. Mail check to P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114.

Questions about subscriptions, call 254-778-4444.

Postmaster: Send address changes to: Tex Appeal Magazine, P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114. How to contact us: Advertising: Call 254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500. Editorial: Contact Catherine Hosman at 254-501-7511 or email editor@texappealmag.com.


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DID YOU KNOW?

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OctOber 2013 tex AppeAl

You can read back issues of Tex Appeal Magazine at texappealmag.com. Log on today to find the current issue and older editions of Tex Appeal. You also can connect with us on Facebook.

Share your thoughts with us

Email a letter to editor@texappealmag.com. Please include your name and a phone number for verification. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM




Contributors Mike BARTOSZEK was born in Las Vegas, Nev., and traveled to various Army installations, including tours in Germany; his family finally settled in Killeen. Growing up, Mike had a passion for concert production working on such shows as ZZ Top, Korn and Ted Nugent. He pursues a career in video production and photography and has since worked for various entertainment companies such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and KNCT. He enjoys a life of travel, adventure and outdoor photography.

GARY L. HANSEN is an award-winning photographer with 40 years of experience. His professional images have appeared in print media ranging from newspapers to magazines. He is also worked in commercial photography including advertising, fashion, retail and tabloid. His latest work was as a corporate photographer for Scott & White Memorial Hospital where he worked for 25 years. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, fine art photography and deep sea fishing.

Sally Grace Holtgrieve is a full-time freelance writer in Central Texas. A few of her favorite things include traveling, hiking, camping, reading, cats, classic rock music and cheese. As a kid, Sally Grace could never figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up — astronaut, Celtic dancer, entomologist, Egyptologist — everything was interesting and she couldn’t decide on just one world to immerse herself in and study, so she became a journalist. She learns new things every day.

Tex Appeal Tex Appeal Magazine is looking for Central Texasbased photographers and freelance writers with experience photographing and/or writing features for a newspaper or magazine. Interested candidates may send their resumes and three to five recent stories and/or photographs for consideration to editor@texappealmag.com.

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APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL


neighbors 12

flavours 16

scene 18

TexTalk

calendar 20

well-fed head 23

An idea takes root

Sebastian, Wolfgang and Marjorie Gillmeister.

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TexTalk neighbors Wolfgang Gillmeister plays on hay bales at his family’s farm in Troy.

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Wolfgang’s garden — a work of heart Story by SALLY GRACE HOLTGRIEVE Photos by JULIE NABOURS and contributed by MARJORIE GILLMEISTER

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olfgang’s Garden and its many components began in the form of an egg, as so many things do. The original idea to experiment with eggshell gardening was hatched by Wolfgang Gillmeister — a New York City native who moved to Troy a few years ago with his parents, Sebastian and Marjorie. He has been rocking the Bell County gardening and farmers market industry with his family ever since. And he’s only 4 years old. “We eat a lot of eggs at our house,” Marjorie Gillmeister said. “I started wondering if there was anything else we could do with the shells besides composting them as fertilizer for the garden. Wolfgang said, ‘Mom let’s plant seeds in them.’ We Googled it and other people were doing it, but not to an extent of really studying it.” The Gillmeisters decided to take it upon themselves to further research the benefits of, and care involved in, eggshell gardening.

Coming home to Texas The Gillmeisters live on the family’s 100-acre farm that was purchased by Sebastian Gillmeister’s father in 1972. Sebastian grew up helping out on the farm, but left Temple for New York City after college to work in the fashion industry, where he met and married Marjorie, a fashion stylist.

Wolfgang’s radicchio plants in eggshells.

“One day Wolfgang was born and we wanted a different quality of life for him,” Marjorie said. “We didn’t see ourselves raising him in New York. Then the perfect opportunity came to be with my husband’s family — his father is 91 now — and so we just moved everything and started over in 2014.” Sebastian is vice president of merchandising for Todd Snyder, a men’s clothing collection that originated with J. Crew but branched off into its own line. He sometimes travels to New York City and the company’s factories, but was

able to move his main office to Texas and enjoys helping out with the farm he grew up on. “We just started experimenting with growing seeds,” Marjorie said of the farm’s beginnings. “Sure enough, any seed germinates in an eggshell pod. For example, lavender is one of the hardest things to grow. It needs three weeks of stratification, which means it has to undergo a cold treatment for the seed to come out of dormancy. But once you Continued

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put the seeds inside an eggshell pod, they germinate within five to seven days.” She said they discovered the trick for bolstering lavender growth simply by trying. The family has been studying the process for two years now and has a greenhouse full of about 700 eggshell pods, each containing some kind of young plant. “After about four to six weeks of growth, when the root system is strong, the eggshell pod gets transplanted into the garden,” Marjorie said. “You crack the bottom so the roots are exposed, but leave the outside of the eggshell and plant it into the ground. The shell continues to feed calcium to the soil as the eggshell breaks down. It has 5 percent organic matter that feeds the soil, and sulfur, potassium and phosphorus, which plants also need to grow.” The Gillmeisters’ garden grew with their eggshell pod experiments. Now they sell their organic vegetables and other plants at the Belton Farmers Market and to Megg’s Cafe and La Riv Restaurant in Temple. Everything they grow is started from seed, and the soil on their land is untapped and has no chemicals in it of any kind, according to Marjorie.

Future endeavors The couple plans to begin building on the farm. They want to set up a vineyard and possibly a restaurant, Marjorie said, adding that Troy has beautiful land and needs such an establishment. They are in the process of prepping the field that will house the vineyard and are going to plant some test grapes soon. They envision having the vineyard underway within the next five or six years, she said. The farm has cattle and a pecan orchard on it as well, both of which Marjorie is learning to manage. Last year she enrolled in a Master Gardeners course and graduated with the class of 2016. “That has been an amazing journey,” she said. “I learned so much there, it’s been such a big support group, especially with the eggshell gardening.” Through Master Gardener connections, Marjorie gives lectures on eggshell gardening at schools and church groups, to both adults and children. “What’s fun is how much kids love it,” she said. “They love the process of watching their own seed grow. They can 14

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Painted eggshells make colorful starter pods for new vegetable seedlings.

also paint the eggshells for the holidays and give them to people as gifts.” One of Marjorie’s future ambitions for the farm includes creating a nonprofit. She plans to call it Carrots for Children. “I’m just trying to work out the logistics,” she said. “The goal would be to feed and educate kids that can’t get outdoors and give them an opportunity to experience that part of life.” A more immediate plan is to offer a pumpkin patch and hayrides on the farm this fall. The Gillmeisters also envision creating an artist commune of sorts, where locals could come and be immersed in nature and art. “Children could come out here and paint eggshells and plant eggshells,” Marjorie said. “They could have a plot in the garden and do something creative if they don’t have access to other land. Stuff

like that. Painters could come out here and paint landscapes all day if they want, they could camp out. We’d also love to have yoga classes here.” The family’s motto fits perfectly with their vision. Their saying is, “Our garden is a work of heart.” With all the additions will of course come more work. Marjorie said she’d like to accommodate for the growth by eventually bringing on interns interested in agriculture. For now, though, it’s just the Gillmeisters, growing their farm one eggshell at a time. “It’s been a full on production trying to get the land to be productive again,” Marjorie said. “For a long time it was just hay grazer and for the cows to roam, but we are finding a lot of potential here, especially because we don’t use pesticides


ABOVE: Marjorie and Wolfgang Gillmeister fill up a display with seedlings they will take to the local farmer’s market. BELOW: Seedlings grown in egg shells can be planted directly into the ground. The eggshells add additional nutrients to the soil.

or insecticides. It’s a happy ecosystem here, everything is thriving.” The ranch has already been in the Gillmeister family for 45 years, and Marjorie is looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary. Her dream is to pass it down to the next generation someday.

Wolfgang said he likes helping his mom on the farm every day. “I like working,” he said. “I like getting dirty and muddy.” As someone who had been living in New York City for 20 years, Marjorie said she never imagined she’d end up living on

a farm in Central Texas. “Before we had Wolfgang we were so engulfed in the rat race and the fashion industry,” she said. “I was always traveling and just on the go nonstop — 12- to 15-hour workdays sometimes — and I thought ‘I don’t think I can have a family with this kind of work.’” She said when she first visited the farm with Sebastian a few years ago, she immediately thought, “I could do this, I could be a farmer.” It turns out her skills from the fashion industry transfer well to the agriculture world. “You have to have organization,” she said of both jobs. “You have to know what’s in season. Of course, here you’re out in nature. It’s hard work, but its work you want to do and you get up every morning and feel completely gratified by it.” Marjorie said a difference is that working close to the earth all day has given her a sense of gratitude, as well as a love for feeding the community and supporting local farmers and artists. “I love to see people’s response to all this,” she said. “They love buying fresh produce and knowing who is growing their food. It gives us such gratification.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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TexTalk flavours

Belton mansion recreates Victorian days of afternoon tea

Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS

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ative Beltonian Vania (pronounced Vanna) and her husband, Hubert Whitfield, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army, want you to come and have tea and lunch with them at their home, a 133-year-old mansion. Whitfield Manor is on the National Register of Historic Place and houses Meme’s Teapot — a hidden jewel in the former silk stocking district of Belton. Vania grew up in Belton and said she passed by the house many times as a little girl, never knowing someday she would live in the former Franklin Kellogg Austin mansion. Thirteen years ago, she and Hubert sold their country retirement home and bought the mansion the same day their house sold. She said the home was so beautiful she wanted to share it with others. “I asked God how I could share the house and a tearoom came to mind,” she said. After getting approval from the City of Belton, Meme’s was created. Meme’s operated for several years until family illness forces its temporary closure. In September 2016, Meme’s Teapot reopened its doors to the public. The tearoom is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Wednesdays, and Meme’s offers tea lovers a respite from the 21st century. Driving up to the mansion, it’s hard not to notice the grandeur of this stately two-story building that sits on a corner lot surrounded by a white fence. Its welcoming wrap-around porch complete with rocking chairs is a symbol of a time past. The moment you step over the threshold and walk through the front door you are greeted with the hospitality of the Whitfields as you leave the pace of the digital society behind. There is a moment of awe as you try to visually absorb all of the period iconography that fills every space of the rooms within the mansion. Antiques, old family photos, tables decorated with gold lace runners and fine china cups waiting to be filled; 16

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Vania Whitfield operates Meme’s Teapot in her historic Belton home.

Victorian furniture, dolls, lamps and lanterns all have a place in this home where high tea takes on a whole new meaning for Central Texans. Meme’s menu is seasonal and limited to the imagination of its chef, Vania. But don’t ask for a printed menu, there aren’t any. Vania will personally tell you what is being served that day. Every day there is a soup accompanied by cucumber finger sandwiches (the crust is removed), and a tasty homemade sweet. Her soups change daily and might be tomato basil, cream of potato, French onion or chicken and dumplings.

Walk-ins can choose from an assortment of teas by the pot with their lunch (coffee is available upon request). For patrons looking for a heartier fare, a full-set tea is available by reservation only and includes salad, a larger serving of soup, finger sandwiches, two desserts and a pot of tea. Meme’s tea selections include a choice of green, orange spice, black or Ceylon tea. Don’t be surprised if your hostess delivers your meal wearing a vintage 1880s or turn-of-the-century Victorian dress. Meme’s seats up to 14 people for tea and groups are welcome.


Meme’s Teapot 702 N. Penelope St., Belton 254-939-3675 Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Wednesday Walk-ins welcome. Full Set Tea reservations available same day.

Vania Whitfield shared her chicken and dumplings recipe with Tex Appeal Magazine with one exception, her flat dumpling recipe is top secret. We’ve included a recipe for a basic dumpling, or use your own favorite recipe.

4. Add the bouillon, carrots, onion, parsley, salt and pepper and dumplings. Bring back to a boil. 5. Replace chicken, heat until creamy. 6. Add one cup heavy cream before serving.

MEME’S CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS 1 3- to 3½-pound chicken, cut up ½ cup sliced carrots 1 medium sweet onion, diced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 5 cups water 3 teaspoons (or cubes) of chicken bouillon 1 cup heavy cream ½ stick of butter 1 batch of dumplings (see recipe)

BASIC DUMPLINGS Adapted from allrecipes.com/ recipe/6900/dumplings/

1. Place chicken in a 4-quart Dutch oven and cover with water 2. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken falls off the bone. 3. Remove chicken from pot, debone and discard excess fat.

1 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon white sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon margarine ½ cup milk 1. In a medium size bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk to make a soft dough. 2. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling stew. Cover and simmer 15 minutes without lifting lid. Serve. 3. To make parsley dumplings, add 1 tablespoon parsley flakes to the dry ingredients. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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TexTalk scene

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Day for Women draws crowd to Mayborn Convention Center 2

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1. Diana Lagrassa, Ann Bickle, Annette Fuson and Melinda Miller. 2. Cheryl Harrison, Cayla Holt, Hailey Holt and Jude Holt. 3. Kelly Harp speaks at the luncheon for the 2017 Temple Daily Telegram’s Day for Women Event at the Mayborn Convention Center in Temple. It was presented by Academy Sports+Outdoors and sponsored by Precious Memories, Smile Doctors and AFC Urgent Care. Photos by JULIE NABOURS 18

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9 4. Jacob Baker of Fairway Mortgage, and Tammy Hodnick & Bonnie Dominguez of Keller Williams. 5. Seleese Thompson-Mann and Debbie Wagaman. 6. Carolyn Jackson and Elayne Kaufman. 7. Chandra Weber, Linda Purcella, and Kathy Randly. 8. Sallie Davis and Aundray Collins, friends for 12-plus years, enjoy the Day for Women. 9. Cindy Cashion, Diana Holloway-Tubb, and Joann Gillett. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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TexTalk scene

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Bridal Expo offers everything to plan a wedding 2

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1. Melody and Glen Peters cut into their wedding cake after their ceremony March 5 at the Killeen Daily Herald Bridal Expo at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. 2. Kasib and Serena Taylor. 3. Elizabeth Cleverly, Laniyah Chism and Hannah McGinnis modeled gowns. Photos by MIKE BARTOSZEK 20

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8 9 4. Nicole Taylor, Kathie Mulheron, Joan Rivera- Scribner. 5. Julie Winters and Brandon Wilkerson. 6. Shana Jacobs and Kara Angell. 7. Shellie Campos, Stephanie Young, Scott Saiki and Sylvia Saiki. 8. Lawn and Renee White 9. Mona Dailey, Delis Chism and Rachel Osborne. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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TexTalk calendar

Little Shop of Horrors April 1, 7 and 8, 8 p.m. April 2 and 9, 2:30 p.m. April 6, 7 p.m. $25 adults, $15 students In this campy musical based on the 1960s cult horror film, nerdy Seymour (Adam Dubberley), a florist’s clerk, buys and nourishes a Venus fly trap-like plant, which he names for his beloved coworker Audrey (Carlie Jo Hill). The plant ultimately grows big enough to devour everything in its path. Temple Civic Theatre 2413 S. 13th St., Temple Call at 254-778-4751 for more information. Belton Senior Center Country Dances April 6, Just Country April 20, Bobby Dean, Timeless Country 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Bring a small food item for the snack table. 842 Mitchell St., Belton Call 254-939-1170 for information. Central Texas College Foundation 9th annual Fashion Show April 7, 11 a.m. doors open, noon lunch The CTC Foundation Fashion Show and Luncheon benefits the CTC Department of Nursing and Allied Health through scholarships and equipment. It is sponsored by Metroplex Health System and Seton Medical Center. Killeen Civic & Conference Center 3601 S. W.S. Young Drive, Killeen To purchase tickets or for more information, call 254-526-1662. Temple Salvation Army presents Laugh the Night Away with Bean & Baily April 7, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 5 p.m. Silent Auction 6:30 p.m. Dinner 8 p.m. Comedy Show This event benefits The Temple Salvation Army McLane Center of Hope Women and Families Residence The Hilton Garden Inn 1749 Scott Blvd., Temple Call Bob at 254-239-7187 for ticket prices and reservations. 22

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Belton Garage Sale April 8, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Browse vendors with items that you would find at a garage sale: fabric, yarns, dishes, decorative and miscellaneous items. Bake sale items also available. 842 Mitchell St., Belton Call 254-939-1170 for more information. Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Gardeners Education Series: Gardening 101 April 10, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free Join us as Kathe Kitchens shares tips on square foot gardening, what to plant, seeds vs. seedlings, companion planting, sun exposure, water and much more. All presentations are free and open to the public, so bring a friend. Activities Center 400 Indian Trail, Harker Heights Email devans@ci.harker-heights. tx.us or call 254-953-5466 for more information. Harker Heights Parks and Recreation 22nd annual Easter Egg Hunt April 14, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hunt starts at 6:15 p.m. Ages 8 and younger Free; concessions available to purchase Children 8 and under are invited to hop along with the Easter bunny. Participants need to bring their Easter basket or bucket to collect the eggs. Special prizes will be awarded in each age group. In case of rain, call 254-953-5660. Harker Heights Community Park (Ball Fields 1-4) 1501 E. Farm-to-Market 2410 Email nbroemer@ci.harker-heights. tx.us or call 254-953-5465 for more information. Belton Market Days April 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy, sell and trade in downtown Belton. Come see the vendors and farmer’s market around the historic downtown on Central Avenue. Enjoy food and entertainment every third Saturday of the month. Go to www.downtownbelton.com for more information.


calendar TexTalk

Children rush to gather Easter eggs during last year’s hunt in Harker Heights.

Temple Parks and Recreation Foam Party April 22, 4 to 5:30 p.m. $15, ages 9 -15 West Temple Park 121 Montpark Road, Temple Call 254-298-5474 for more information. Register online at templeparks.com.

Tameca Jones concert April 22, 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets: $23 At the door: $27 When Austin native Tameca Jones sings, jaws hit ground. Her honeyed and powerful vocals have captivated her hometown for a little more than 10 years. Jones spent years skillfully and tastefully breathing new life into the music of others. She made a name for herself as

the “Queen of Austin Soul,” blowing minds with her tasteful and vibrant interpretations of a diverse list of artists that include Tina Turner, Nirvana, Elton John and Jimi Hendrix. Cultural Activities Center 3011 N. Third St., Temple Call 254-773-9926 or visit www. cacarts.org for more information. Continued

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TexTalk calendar 12th annual Bloomin’ Temple Festival Presented by H-E-B April 28 and 29 $15, 2-day pass (online only) $10, adult day pass, kids 12 and under free Enjoy a carnival, food trucks, vendors and kids’ zone. Over 15 bands will perform on two stages during the two day festival. Enjoy hip hop, red dirt and country music. This year’s featured artist is Texas country star and Houston native Josh Ward, performing on the Mac Haik Stage on April 28. Also on the same stage is country music legend, Johnny Lee. East Central Avenue and South Fourth Street in downtown Temple. Call Holly Leiferman at 298-5440 or visit BloominTemple.com for updates. Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library Friends of the Library Book Sale April 29, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prices are from 10 cents to $1 400 Indian Trail Harker Heights Call 254-953-5491 for more information. Paws in the Park April 29, 2 to 5 p.m. Free; concessions and pet related items available to purchase. This dog-friendly event for all ages includes demonstrations, adoptions, games, pet advice and more. Purser Family Park 100 W. Mountain Lion Road,

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APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Michael Parks, 4, and his brother Christopher Parks, 3, both of Belton, enjoy riding a flying turtle at the 11th annual Bloomin’ Temple Festival.

Harker Heights Email nbroemer@ci.harker-heights. tx.us or call 254-953-5465.

First Annual Kite Festival St. Joseph’s of Salado April 30, 1 to 4 p.m. Free Bring your favorite kite to the inaugural kite festival. Fly kites, enjoy

music, games, face painting and refreshments. A kite hospital will be available to repair kites during the event. Caliber Oak Chapel 5235 Royal St., Salado Call Rick Thomssen at 254-718-0680 for more information. Email upcoming events to editor@texappealmag.com.


well-fed head TexTalk

Garden ‘the Natural Way’ with step-by-step guide By CATHERINE HOSMAN

I

don’t have much time to garden, nor do I particularly have a green thumb, but if I did have the time or some semblance of a gardener’s touch, I’d be referring to the 2016 edition of Howard Garrett’s book, “Texas Gardening the Natural Way” (University of Texas Press). Garrett’s updated edition of his original garden tome written in 2004 walks you through the process of gardening the natural way — from the clearing of the area to mowing the lawn to organic mulching, fertilizing and pest control. Garrett, known as the Dirt Doctor, takes you step by step through the process of landscape gardening of floral and edible plants, from detoxing contaminated soil to sketching out a plan, just to get things started. “Successful landscape design is pleasing to the eye, is comfortable, functions as needed, requires moderate care and costs only a little more than you planned,” he writes. He encourages originality in landscape designs, flexibility, and freedom to make mistakes and improve on your design. But that’s just the beginning. Page after page includes detailed directions on how to create a garden from choosing the right grass or lawn cover, flowers, trees and shrubs. And if you think you’ve always watered your plants and garden the right way, take a look on Page 11. He’ll direct you on the right watering procedure. Garrett encourages, and practices, organic gardening, and this book gives you instructions on how to create an organic garden, including how to “Control Pests Naturally.” “The theory of organic gardening is to do things that improve the health of the soil, water, plants, air and everything else, and all the techniques and products we use do that,” he said in a telephone interview. “What I tell people is No. 1, stop using things that are destructive. Two of those things are synthetic high nitrogen fertilizers that can leach, wash away and volatilize to be part of the air pollution.” Garrett said only a small percentage of the high nitrogen chemical fertilizers actually get into the plant with 95 percent of it causing pollution. “And the other is to stop using toxic pesticides,” he implored. One common product in particular is at the top of his chart is one that he said has been “brilliantly marketed.” “It’s such a fraud about how dangerous it is that it goes away when it hits the soil and doesn’t affect animals and people. This is incorrect. It is damaging to microorganisms

in the soil, bio-organisms and microbes. When bio-organisms go away it starts breaking down. The only thing that has slowed down the use of this product is that farmers see it hurts the microbes and crop production. “This is the worst of all the pesticides and it’s been so blatantly overused and marketed as this incredibly safe thing, not at all, stop doing things that are destructive, start doing things that amend the life of the soil.” The third step of going organic, he said, is to use soft pest control, which he discusses in Chapter 9 of his book. “Soft pest control is the beneficial insects and organisms,” he said. If you have to use an insect repellent, he said use nonkilling repellents. “If all else fails, if you have to kill something use organic pesticides that kill but are the least toxic,” he said. “Texas Gardening the Natural Way” contains more than 800 photos of 600 native and adapted plants, insects and their control, diseases and their control, and complete planting and maintenance instructions. For more information, visit www.dirtdoctor.com. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Harper Sawyer designs redid this kitchen for a client. Photo by Bethany Carpio

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Designing women

Harper Sawyer Designs showcases home trends for 2017 Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN with RHONDA JUNG and MARLA ROWE Photos by JULIE NABOURS and courtesy of HARPER SAWYER DESIGNS

H

ome décor is a matter of personal choice for people who may or may not want to follow decorator trends. And different decorators and interior designers all have their own vision of what is trending and what isn’t. While some designers opt for a more monochromatic palate that is punctuated with bright colors, accessories and draperies, others embrace the warmth of natural or stained wood in a room that is infused with earth tones and a more soothing base color. Whatever a client’s personal taste, interior designer Rhonda Jung and co-designer Marla Rowe of Harper Sawyer Designs in Killeen “will take a homeowner’s desires and turn it into a visually compelling space with timeless style.”

Trending now Attention to detail is the hallmark of Harper Sawyer Designs, a full-service design company that works with clients on every level of home design and décor. Jung and Rowe will help you find the right color scheme for your room, the right furniture, fabrics, countertops, cabinets and hardware. Jung, also a homebuilder, can design a home from the ground up. Working with an architect and subcontractors, she brings the vision of her client’s dream home to life. Jung and Rowe agree that when it comes to new home decorating or redecorating, “lighter and brighter colors are making a comeback in 2017.” “White can be warm, not cold and sterile, when used correctly with the right choice of lighting, fixtures, fabrics, paint and wall textiles,” Jung said. “It’s all so classic.”

Rhonda Jung, left, and Marla Rowe are photographed in Jung’s home.

Jung calls white a “blank canvas.” “If you splash it with hot pink it will make a statement. We use light surfaces

so colors pop.” A neutral background also creates an Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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interchangeable color palate for a room. With light surfaces, the feeling of a room can change simply by replacing the color of accessories or furniture. “Once you have a base, you can do anything,” she said. Rowe said gray is also used as a neutral palate because, “all colors go with gray.” “Other trends for 2017 for lighting and fixtures are various shades of gold, including champagne gold, silver leaf gold and bronze gold — it can complement any kind of color, and actually warms up a white space,” Rowe said.

Finding the right designer Jung said when looking for the right designer to fit your needs, the key is to look at the perspective designer’s website and social media outlets to see if you like their work. “If you do, trust the designer,” she said. “The client and designer’s relationship is built on trust, it is a key factor. Let them do their thing and you will be pleased.” One of the many joys of being an interior designer, Jung said, “is having opportunities to meet interesting people and become immediately involved in their lives by making their homes both functional and beautiful.”

Harper Sawyer designs redid this kitchen for a client. | Photo by Bethany Carpio 28

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Prepare for initial consultation Clients looking to redo, refresh or rebuild need to prepare before meeting with an interior designer. Jung said one of the first things her design team looks at is budget. “By knowing the client’s budget we can help them understand what can be accomplished with that amount,” she said. “Harper Sawyer designers are experts at working both at high and low price points. It can look like a million dollars without breaking the bank. We will work within and up to your budget.” Also, ask yourself what you see as the function of the room you want to design or redecorate. What will be the purpose of that room? Is it a family room where your husband might want to put his feet up? Does he want a recliner? Or is it a formal room for guests? “Once we get to this place, we can discuss style and preference,” Jung said. Oftentimes, Jung said, clients turn to Pinterest or cut out photos from


Rhonda Jung of Harper Sawyer Designs places finishing touches on a home her company designed from the ground up.

Pinterest we teach them how, because it is a great tool in the design process.”

magazines to illustrate what they are wanting in their new home design. “Photographs tell us what they like,” she said. “You can also tell a person’s taste by what they pin on Pinterest (HSD

has their own Pinterest page). If they like barnwood, earthy, rustic or even glamorous, we can tell from the photos.” “Pinterest works well with our clients,” Rowe added. “If they don’t use

Time for design Be realistic of the time frame it takes during construction, renovation or redesign jobs. Harper Sawyer Designs is not limited to picking the right color paint or fabrics. They can design a home from blueprint to completion. They can redesign and gut a room for a complete rebuild from the inside, or create a color palate of their client’s choice to refresh a room. Whichever path a client decides, Jung and Rowe want people to understand it takes time. “For example, if a client wants custom furniture it will take longer than to reupholster existing furniture,” Rowe said. When meeting with clients, the women of HSD carry samples of construction materials, including boxes of sample tiles, paint swatches and fabrics. If Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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BEFORE AND AFTER: Marla Rowe’s dining room was redesigned to be brighter and more welcoming. It now includes a reclaimed barnwood table.

a client doesn’t want a custom redo, Jung said they could buy furniture and décor “off the floor for a quicker turn around.”

Design in a Day When a client wants to make some changes in their home, but their budget restricts them to DIY, HSD offers a Design in a Day consultation package. “For two hours at a flat fee you can pick our brains for ideas,” Rowe said. “If they want to makeover a living room, they can ask any question they want and we will give them the answers.” “Questions can range from sizes and placement of furniture, or we can assist them with narrowing down fabric choices for draperies, reupholstering and pillows. The list is endless,” Jung said. “For some clients, all they need is peace of mind that a designer has helped them with their choices.” Everything happens for a reason Jung drafted her first floor plan of her dream home in her sixth-grade drafting class and soon realized her interest in design. “My grandmother Donna Richardson, who was an artist and collected treasures she acquired from her many travels abroad, strongly influenced me,” Jung said. “These collected treasures piqued my interest.” When it came time for Jung to build her own home, she said there was no mistake; she already knew what she wanted. 30

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“It so happens (that the) octagonshaped windows I designed from my sixthgrade dream home are now built in my current home,” she said. These experience were just the beginning of what lay ahead for Jung’s professional life. Seventeen years ago, Jung and Rowe, both 46, met when Rowe was expecting her second child. By all indications of the ultrasounds, Rowe said she was expecting a daughter.

“But it turned out to be a boy,” she said. A mutual friend told Jung the news about Rowe having a son instead of the expected daughter. Since Jung had her son six months earlier, she gathered up his baby clothes and delivered them to Rowe. “Rhonda is such a giving individual,” Rowe said. A friendship blossomed from that first meeting. Jung became Rowe’s


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254.931.1281 | Temple, TX Westfield Market off West Adams

Colors pop against a neutral palate in the living room of Marla Rowe’s home.

hairstylist and began attending Destiny World Outreach Center where Rowe and her husband, Pastor Chad Rowe, are the senior pastors. It was during this time that Rowe enlisted Jung’s help. “We host many conferences, banquets and special events, and I would ask

Rhonda to collaborate with me on design, décor and tablescapes throughout the years,” Rowe said. “With our combined talent and love for design our friends and family began to call on us to make over their homes.” Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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ABOVE: The formal living room retains its neutral background with soft touches of color. BELOW: Colorful drapery doubles as a wall tapestry and headboard in the playroom.

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Before becoming a home designer Jung, a professional cosmetologist, opened and operated her own hair salon, InStyle Beauty Lounge, which she designed and built from the ground up. She continually updated the salon throughout the years and her clients began to suggest that she I should become an interior designer. “I said, ‘Someday I will,’” Jung recalled.

said time management is the key. “I love creating a beautiful atmosphere whether it is in a church setting or a home, when you love what you do it is not a job,” she said. As a working mother she must keep her home in order. “I cannot work in clutter; our God is a God of order. By learning how to balance, I learned how to be happy with life, children, work and ministry.”

Well-balanced lives Both women have full lives. Jung is a mother of two and a grandmother of two. Her husband, Michael, owns Heights Fence Company LLC. Jung moved to Killeen when she was 10 and her military dad was stationed at Fort Hood. She graduated from Killeen High School with a degree in cosmetology. Rowe is a mother of three, a stepmother of one adult child and a grandmother of two. Working alongside her husband and Destiny World Outreach Center, Rowe also sings and speaks at conferences all over the world. With Rowe’s many roles in life, she

A new beginning Before becoming a full-time designer, Jung continued to work and manage her beauty lounge, even after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. “I trusted in God and had faith that I was going to live and it was going to be a great journey and that I would come through the other end victorious,” she said. Six weeks later, her mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and they took the journey together. “Looking back it seemed so easy — so odd when you’re talking about cancer,” she said. “I believe after Rhonda walked


BEFORE AND AFTER: Rhonda Jung’s kitchen went from a dark palate to the new lighter trend. The ceiling-high cabinets make the room seem larger.

through having cancer it gave her the courage to step out into the design business, life is short and you need to do what you love,” Rowe said. This led to the birth of HSD in 2013, named after Jung’s first grandchild and Rowe’s third child. Jung and Rowe began dipping their toes into the sea of design in Miami, Dallas, Killeen and Georgetown, where they decorated a home for a former NFL Chicago Bears football player and his two children. “We had done a lot of projects before, but this was our first paying job. It helped us learn to assess the many needs of our clients,” Jung said. In 2013, Jung stepped back from the salon and turned it over to her daughter, Amanda, who also holds a degree in cosmetology. Harper Sawyer Designs allows Jung and Rowe to bring their unique talents to the team, complementing one another. “We work well together to carry out our vision to create beautiful homes and space for our clients,” Jung said. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Home sweet home New construction offers individuality, texture, contemporary styles

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Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by GARY L. HANSEN

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raversing the highways and back roads of Bell County, from Killeen to Morgan’s Point Resort, enclaves of subdivisions seem to appear from out of nowhere. Each curve of the road reveals an existing subdivision in

progress, vacant land cleared and ready for construction, and new multifamily housing. Some of the subdivisions can be seen immediately from the road, others are tucked away behind trees, and some sit atop hills overlooking the valley. In Harker Heights along Farm-toMarket 2410, across from the Tuscany Meadows subdivision, a new affordable

living multifamily complex is in its final stages of construction. Just north of that is a large tract of cleared land where the DR Horton Cedar Brook Ridge subdivision is planned. “It will have 430 homes, two parks, a clubhouse and a pool,” said Realtor Teresa Adams, of Heights Discount Homes. Continued

TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Open room concept brings the family room, kitchen and dining into one large area in this Centex model home at White Rock Estates.

Adams said the new homes today have taken on a whole new look and lean toward the sleek and clean lines of contemporary style. She said builders are using less brick and more quarried stones of variable sizes to create the exteriors on many of the homes she represents, bringing back individuality to exteriors using a combination of brick, stone, stucco finish and siding that give homes a visual sense of texture. The open concept living area is still popular among homebuyers and is more elaborate than in the past. The combination kitchen, dining and living areas flow together to create one large living space that brings in more natural light to make the room bright. Extra wide kitchen islands serve as a breakfast bar for the family. A separate dining table in an alcove to the side of the island and in some homes, a formal dining area with its own staging area is also seen. Many of the homes being built are in new subdivisions with a blend of custom and traditional housing. Homes 36

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

Parade of Homes Many of these homes will be on the Parade of Homes tour May 12-14 and May 19-21. Communities visited in the research of this story include homes by DR Horton, Salado Premier Homes, Carothers Executive Homes, Carothers Homes, Omega, Kiella, Centex, Stylecraft, MF Construction, Classic Homes and Saratoga homebuilders. range in price from the $140s up to the $760s, depending on location, and offer homes for first-time homebuyers up to the corporate executive home, giving the saying, “A man’s home is his castle,” a whole new meaning.

Building green At the Evergreen Estates Subdivision in Harker Heights, custom home builder Mark Martin, president and CEO of Salado Premier Homes, was inspecting the final touches on one of his homes before the owners move in. Martin is a green builder and closely follows the current codes as well as mandates for green building. “Energy codes have changed for all builders across

the board,” Martin said. Just as home exteriors change, so do the interiors. Everything is going neutral from the color of the walls to the floors. Hardwood floors and Travertine tile are still popular in some homes and a new trend — tile that looks like wood — is making its mark on interior décor for its sustainability. Martin said natural “God made” materials like granite and quartz are used for countertops. White kitchen cabinets without hardware are a new look and in Martin’s homes, energy-saving light sockets only accept 60-watt bulbs. “Anything higher will not work in sockets,” he said. “Lighting must surpass the Energy Star rating for Central Texas.” Ashley Cabler, Realtor and building


Bay windows are making a comeback and allow more light to enter the room. A recessed ceiling adds to the drama of this master suite.

representative for Salado Premier Homes, added that one in five custom homes have multigenerational suites for extended family. The suites may have a kitchen or kitchenette, bedroom, living area and bathroom. At the White Rock Estates Centex model home, the open concept continues. “Their homes are contemporary, but still with a little traditional,” said Adams, referring to the rustic look that has been popular for several years. Another trend is the mud room/ laundry room combination built into some homes. Cubby holes give the family a place to hang their jackets, backpacks and take off their boots or shoes before entering the home.

Population boom According to recent statistics, Mike Linnemann of Linnemann Realty said Killeen surpasses Waco in terms of population. According to Google.com, in 2016 Waco’s population is 116,786 and Killeen’s population is 137,147. “And the population continues to

A formal dining room with its own staging area is on the opposite side of the home from the open kitchen floorplan.

grow,” he said. In addition to being a military town, Linnemann said, “We are a college town, it costs less to relocate here and we have civilian industry moving in.”

With road improvements on State Highway 195 and U.S. Highway 190 becoming Interstate 14, he said more Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Neutral tones and soft brown cabinets give this kitchen in this model home at White Rock Estates a feeling of warmth.

A recessed ceiling with crown moulding dramatizes the design of this master suite in a model home at White Rock Estates. 38

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people from Austin are moving into this area and commuting to jobs in Austin. “This area continues to grow, even when the economy is bad,” he said. “It’s the lowest (cost of living) in the county. People can still buy a home here or rent a four-bedroom three-bath house for $1,000 a month. That’s an easier transition than in Austin.” At Three Creeks Subdivision in Belton on FM 1670, across from the Belton Dam’s Ranger Station, a combination of pre-built homes from the high $100s to the $300K range and custom homes from the $400s to the $700K range are in different phases of construction. “The difference with higher priced homes, there is a larger window for creativity,” he said. The trend in wide open interiors continues with the large kitchen blending into the living room area. Dark stained wood cabinets have given way to white or off white with no hardware. Ceilings are now painted flat white with glossy white on the trim.


The open concept living area keeps the family together in this sold green built home in Evergreen Estates in Harker Heights. Vintage looking ceiling fans are the personal hallmark of Mark Martin, president and CEO of Salado Premier Homes. BELOW: The master bath has his and her walk-in closets, a tiled bath area and water closet. Photos contributed by Mark Martin, Salado Premier Homes

“So much white brightens up the room and makes it look bigger,” Linnemann said, echoing other Realtors and home builders. Although some homes still create the rustic Mediterranean look, Linnemann agrees with other Realtors that look is a “little outdated, but it still sells.” “This area is a huge draw to retirees and the military because of its proximity

to the base,” Linnemann said, of the greater Killeen, Harker Heights and Nolanville area. Homes can be as small or as large as someone likes said Linnemann, adding that some people will buy as much house as they can qualify for because of the current low interest rates that gets them more bang for their buck. Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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New construction continues at the Villages at Westfield in West Temple.

Pockets of development While some existing new communities in Bell County are building on the few remaining lots they have available, new developments are being constructed that offer conveniences, amenities and designs to suit every homebuyer’s taste. Brad Wyrick, executive director of the Temple Area Builders Association, said more than 1,400 people a month are moving to Texas from other parts of the country and homebuilders are listening to their needs. This influx of new residents is causing a growth spur in the Temple area that is booming with developments in Belton, west and south Temple, and Morgan’s Point Resort. “From entry-level first-time homebuyers to families ready to move up to a larger home, there is something for everyone,” Wyrick said. He said home developers are taking into consideration the “walkability” factor when building new homes, integrating hike and bike trails into their communities. The Villages of Westfield in Temple is a new development in various stages of construction. “With the integrated hike and bike trail, residents will be able to walk or bike from their homes to restaurants, shops and businesses along Adams Road,” Wyrick said. “It is also close to our industrial park and has easy access to I-35 and Loop 363. A lot of forethought has gone into the area with 40

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Stucco, wood and stone give this new home at The Grove at Lakewood Ranch a sense of texture.

trails built into subdivisions and The Crossroads Recreational Complex, is under construction.” Still in its early stages of building, single-family homes are being phased in. “People come from all over the country with different tastes,” he said. “It’s an inspiration from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a community standpoint. The idea is to build a community, not just a house.” Also nearby are elementary and middle schools. Another example of community planning is the Grove at Lakewood Ranch

in West Temple; Rancho Del Lago in Morgan’s Point Resort, a small, high-end community with homes tucked in and around trees. A quarry lake in the middle of the subdivision is slated to have a park built around it. “It’s still somewhat isolated,” Wyrick said. “But with its accessibility to major roads, it’s easy to drive downtown for dining and entertainment.” Wyrick said the steady growth is not based on one industry or one area. “It’s the cost of living, accessibility, quality of place. If you want the downtown vibe, you can have that. If


Brick, stone, siding and variegated colored roofing give this home at The Grove at Lakewood Ranch a contemporary rustic curb appeal.

you enjoy water sports, we have lakes for boating and fishing. It’s close enough to a rural area that you can get away from the major metro areas, but not so far that you can’t get into downtown if you want to.” Wyrick credits the community, local government and elected officials working together well to see that the area’s infrastructure keeps up with the steady growth.

“It’s all attributable to the relationship with government officials and the builder working hand in hand to manage the sustainable growth that benefits everybody,” he said. Other developments include Mystic River in Belton, a mix of designs and high-end homes; the Bluff’s at Dunn’s Hollow in Belton, a gated community with a variety of construction from stone

to brick and stucco; and Dawson Ranch in Belton with homes from the low $200s to mid $300s. “These are well thought out communities with easy accessibility to thoroughfares,” Wyrick said. “Having open dialogue between city officials and industry stakeholders insures proper thoroughfare planning to help manage growth and maintain connectivity.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Gardening by

42 APRIL 2017 | TEXhis APPEAL Wayne Schirner keeps winter plants warm in cold weather by covering them with frost blankets.


the foot

Grow edible crops without the toil of traditional rows Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by GARY L. HANSEN and contributed by WAYNE SCHIRNER

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ayne Schirner’s backyard is already green thanks to the spring-like temperatures, winter rains and a homemade irrigation system. Edible plants are already sprouting in most of the square-foot garden beds he built. Although his garden is thinned out a bit for winter, he is still growing celery, carrots, onions, artichokes, rhubarb, broccoli and lettuce. He also has multiple blueberry and blackberry bushes, with blueberries already starting to morph from tiny flowers into flavorful berries. In one of the SFG grids strawberry plants are beginning to show their fruit — green for now but in time they will reveal red, juicy berries The mild winter helped to keep his plants alive, but when the occasional frost hit, his system of square-foot gardening plots includes a frost protection cover he rolls up over the bent pipe skeleton of each box, keeping the plants warm. Schirner, president of the Bell County Master Gardeners, is already thinking spring harvest while getting ready to plant his summer crops.

Keeping it organic Everything Schirner does is organic from pest control to soil and compost. He uses Mel’s Mix for his soil, named after the late Mel Bartholomew who created square-foot gardening 40 years ago. It is comprised of one-third peat moss, onethird coarse vermiculite and one-third compost. “There is an inexhaustible supply of vermiculite. It’s a mineral mined and heated to 2000 degrees F until it explodes. It holds moisture and oxygen and helps plants use their micronutrients,” said Schirner, a former aerospace engineer, 25year veteran of the U.S. Army and retired Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Daphne Richards, County Extension Agent - Horticulture Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin, TX 78721 512-854-9600

JAN

FEB

-------crowns--------

Plants grown in winter will benefit from protection during freezing weather Plants grown in late summer will benefit from shade cover during establishment

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

---transplants---

NOV

DEC

---seed---

--seed--

Compiled by Patty G Leander, Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis

travismg@ag.tamu.edu

Average first freeze Nov 27

Artichoke (crowns/transplants) Asian greens (seeds or transplants) Asparagus (crowns) Beans, snap and lima Beets Broccoli (transplants) Brussels sprouts (transplants) Cabbage (transplants) Cantaloupe (muskmelon) Carrots Cauliflower (transplants) Chard, Swiss (seeds or transplants) Collards (seeds or transplants) Corn Cucumber Eggplant (transplants) Fava beans Garlic Greens, cool season Greens, warm season Kale (seeds or transplants) Kohlrabi (seeds or transplants) Leeks (seeds/transplants) Lettuce (seeds or transplants) Mustard (seeds or transplants) Okra Onion, bulbing (transplants) Onion, bunching/multiplying Peas, English, snap and snow Peas, Southern Pepper (transplants) Potato, Irish Potato, sweet (slips) Pumpkin Radish Shallots Spinach (seeds or transplants) Squash, summer Squash, winter Tomatoes (transplants) Turnip Watermelon

Average last freeze Mar 4

Plant seed unless otherwise noted

January 2015

Seasonal planting and harvesting guide courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Bell County Master Gardeners.

family physician. “Peat moss is mined in Canada,” he said, speaking like the teacher and scientist he is. “It takes thousands of years for peat moss to form from decaying forest materials. Things that grow in Canada are very acidic.” Schirner has been gardening with the SFG method for 34 years and now teaches the art of square-foot gardening through the Bell County Master Gardeners. He admits, though, that in his youth he did not like to garden. He grew up in Iowa where his grandparents had a farm and his parents had a large row garden. When he was 5, his parents taught him how to pull weeds from the garden. “I learned quickly I didn’t like pulling weeds,” he said. “With a row garden you 44

APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL

have to loosen the soil every year and turn it over.” As he got older, he moved up the chore ranks and was taught how to dig, or hand till. He didn’t like that either. “That’s where I learned I didn’t like digging,” he said. “I had always been in a garden but with that garden there was so much work involved: digging, amending the soil. If you go through that process to create a garden it takes three to five years for where you want to be. Once you get good soil, you’re set. Starting out, knowing I wouldn’t have good soil for three to five years was not appealing. Those two things (hand-pulling weeds and digging) were enough to keep me from gardening for a number of years,” he said. After high school, Schirner turned his attention to college where earned a

bachelor of arts with a double major — physics and mathematics — from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He earned his Master’s of Science in mathematics from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and worked in aerospace for seven years. But it wasn’t the right fit. In 1976, he turned his attention to medicine and earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine from the college of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa. With his DO under his belt, and at the age of 35, he joined the U.S. Army where he completed his residency in family medicine. His first assignment after his residency was in Pennsylvania. It was 1982 and a PBS series with the late Mel Bartholomew, also an engineer, caught


Wayne Schirner, president of the Bell County Master Gardners, demonstrates how he sifts his homemade compost with the handcranked sifter he built himself. BELOW: Although his garden is thinned our for the season, Schirner still has a garden of edibles.

bed to plant and harvest,” he continued. “You never want to walk on the soil because that would compact it and you would have to dig and loosen the soil. With row gardening, you need to allow room to walk between rows.” “You can start out really small and it’s not labor intensive,” added his wife, Nancy. Within a square foot you can place anywhere from one, four, nine or 16 plants, depending on the mature size of the plant. For example, with smaller plants, like onions and carrots, you can place more plants in the square. Another benefit of SFG is that you can place a box on top of a table. “If someone is in a wheelchair, they can roll their chair under it,” he said. “You can also plant in pots.” Schirner’s attention. “I looked into (square-foot gardening) and decided that it looked easier than the row gardening I learned from my parents and grandparents,” he said. “With SFG

you put weed block down, put a box on top of that. The box could be any size but not wider than four feet, and divided with a grid into one-foot squares.” “With SFG you can reach into the

Army life The Schirners moved every three to five years while he was serving in the U.S. Army and wherever they landed, Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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he created a square-foot garden. Their last stop was Texas, where he retired in 2004 but continued to work for the U.S. Army “as a civilian family physician until 2014 before retiring from active medical practice.” It was during his first year of retirement that he joined the Bell County Master Gardeners intern class and became a certified master gardener 2015. As a proponent of square-foot gardening, Schirner completed the didactic training to earn certification as a vegetable specialist. “As part of the service requirement for that certification I did a research project to compare the output of vegetables from a 12-inch deep raised bed with the output from a 6-inch deep raised bed, following the SFG methods,” he said. “Traditional recommendations for raised bed gardening suggests that an 8-12 inches of amended soil is needed, while the SFG method teaches that only 6 inches of soil is needed. My study verified that you only need 6 inches of soil, as long as it is fertile.” For his study he received first place for research done by a large Master Gardener Association at the Texas Master Gardener Association State Conference in 2016.

Getting started If you are starting from scratch, Schirner said to pick a spot in your yard that gets at least six hours of sunlight every day. “Some plants like more,” he said. Keep it out of an area where water stands after rain or where water will puddle, he said. Starter kits are available at local big box stores or nurseries and come with two boxes that are 4-foot by 4-foot and 7 inches deep, which Schirner said he didn’t like because the inside dimensions didn’t match with the outside dimension. “I want equal squares inside. Don’t use purchased boxes,” he recommended. “I’ve built mine from discarded cedar fencing. When looking for supplies, free is best.” When it comes to preparing the organic soil for your boxes, Schirner said check your local nursery or feed and seed store for vermiculite. Peat moss is Continued 46 APRIL 2017 | TEX APPEAL Wayne Schirner is growing lettuce in four different types of soil to see which one produces best.


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Wayne Schirner holds a double handful of his homemade compost that will be added to the vermiculite and peat moss to make his garden soil.

Square foot gardens can be a variety of sizes from two to 16 square feet. AT LEFT: Green strawberry buds will soon blossom into juicy red berries.

available at the big box stores. When buying peat moss, however, he said, don’t buy one that has added fertilizer in it. “When doing organic gardening, you want pure peat moss.”

Homemade compost fertilizer Tucked in the corner of his backyard, across from his rainwater collection cisterns, are piles of decaying floral material waiting to become compost. Three bins hold his compost in various stages of decomposition. “Once it is finished decomposing, I 48

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put it through my hand cranked sifter to separate out the larger pieces,” he said. “Once that is completed I take a bucket of compost, a bucket of peat moss and vermiculite (Mel’s Mix) and mix those in a wheelbarrow before dumping it into the bed.” Schirner’s passion for growing edible organic plants (he said he is going to plant some flowers this year) led him to an experiment in growing lettuce. He has four SFG boxes set up, each with a different type of his homemade soil.

“I’m trying to see if we can get the same amount of produce using an alternative to peat moss or vermiculite,” he said. “Which soil grows the most of the product?” Schirner’s garden will continue to bloom with seasonal produce from spring to summer to fall with its edible crops, enough to share with friends and family. “We grow more than we can consume ourselves,” said Nancy, affectionately known as the “veggie fairy.” “So when I go running in the morning I drop off bags of veggies to our neighbors.”


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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HOMESPEC Real Estate Inspections P.O. Box 1369,Temple | 254-770-8057 | homespec1.com

If you are buying, selling or building a home, HOMESPEC Real Estate Inspections involved will provide essential information. Founded in 1989 by Brad Phillips, HOMESPEC has been providing real estate, construction and FHA inspections to buyers and sellers for more than 29 years. Kelly Hankins joined HOMESPEC in 1998; HOMESPEC covers all of Central Texas. “Our goal is to provide exceptional service to our customers who are purchasing an existing home or commercial property, or building a new home or commercial property. We provide them with information about the property so that they can make informed purchasing decisions,” said Phillips. “Instead of having just one person complete an inspection, HOMESPEC will typically put multiple inspectors on the job, which speeds up the inspection process,” Phillips stated. “We have many repeat customers that use us purchase after purchase. HOMESPEC’s inspectors are involved in continuing education programs so they are up to date on the latest products, building methods and codes.” Brad Phillips, Curt Woolsey and Kelly Hankins 50

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The company is also involved in state and national trade associations.


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

SWBC Mortgage Corporation-NMLS 300086

4524 S. W.S. Young Drive, Suite 101, Killeen, TX 76542 | 254-634-2822 www.swbcmortgage.com | www.VATexashomeloans.com | www.leslielovett.com

Strength. Service. Stability. In today’s ever-changing mortgage environment, SWBC Mortgage Corporation strives to be a guiding force to help clients through the complicated mortgage process with knowledgeable, caring staff that appreciate the stress than comes with a home purchase — a big financial investment and move.

Clients appreciate the full spectrum of services SWBC Mortgage offers, including complimentary credit and mortgage analysis. “We take the time to meet and explain all their options to them and walk them step-by-step through the process,” Lovett said. “We are committed to over-delivering to our clients.”

A full-service mortgage lender headquartered in San Antonio since 1988, SWBC Mortgage opened a branch in Killeen in 2009. Branch Manager Leslie Lovett and Assistant Branch Manager Jimmy Alexander have over 50 years in combined mortgage lending experience. Whether a purchase or refinance, the Killeen SWBC Mortgage staff is poised to serve all your mortgage needs. “We offer mortgage lending programs such as FHA, VA, TXVet, USDA/Rural Development, Conventional Conforming and Jumbo loans. If you have a mortgage need, SWBC Mortgage has an option to serve your financial goals,” Lovett said.

Alexander is an example of SWBC Mortgage’s commitment to clients. A mortgage loan officer in the Killeen area for more than 20 years, he has been an active member of the lending, real estate and home builder community. “His commitment to his clients, his REALTORS© and builders over the years and been unfailing,” Lovett said. “Many of his clients have returned to him time and time again and referred numerous clients to him for their mortgage needs.”

Along with the variety of services comes a personal commitment to clients. “Many mortgage companies have gone to a complete online environment or by providing service to their clients by phone,” Lovett said. “In the Killeen office, we continue to meet face-to-face with the majority of our clients. We believe this is essential in the Fort Hood area where there are so many families in transition. We are here to help them get documentation printed and expedited to get them into their new home and settled as quickly as possible. Many of our branch employees are veterans themselves or have been/ are spouses of veterans who understand the unique nature of the veteran borrower’s needs.”

Lovett, Alexander and the rest of the staff at SWBC Mortgage’s Killeen branch know a home purchase is one of the biggest purchasing decisions a person can make, and they’re ready to help — from prequalification to closing. “SWBC Mortgage’s loan officers are here to help guide you to the program that best fits your needs and walk you through the process step by step.” Mortgage Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice. SWBC Mortgage Corporation. Corporate office located at 9311 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78216. NMLS # 9741(www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Top, left to right: Tina Smith, Teresa McCoy, Tanya Cosper, Sonya White, and Kenny Johnson; Bottom: Dave Covington, Barrett Covington, Terri Covington, Jim Covington, Rowena Miller, Paula Golden, Tonya Jarvis, and Tiffani Foxx

Covington Real Estate, Inc. 2324 N. Main Street, Belton 254-939-3800 | www.GoCov.com

Covington Real Estate, Inc. is a dynamic group of professionals known for integrity, up to date knowledge of strategic growth in central Texas, extensive education, and family oriented service. Our agents are extremely involved in the community, schools, service organizations, and churches. As advocates for buyers and sellers, we help clients with new construction, resale homes, land, and light commercial properties. “Our agents are personally engaged with the clients we represent. We get to know them, their family, and their goals.” commented Terri Covington, Broker/ Owner. EXPERTISE – Agents with Covington are full time professionals who draw on experiences from many years of successful marketing and negotiating on behalf of buyers and sellers. EDUCATION – Professional training is a cornerstone of success. All Covington agents take continuing education to stay abreast of the legal changes in real estate, required forms, and trends. Most agents have one or more professional designations or have gone the extra step to become licensed brokers. ETHICS – All Covington agents are licensed Texas REALTORS® and abide by the Code of Ethics. The parties to a transaction, their agent representatives, lenders, inspectors, and other professionals involved in a sale are treated fairly and with respect. 52

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FAMILY - In addition to Terri Covington, other members of the Covington family are involved in real estate. Dave is associated with the sales office as a broker. Barrett and Candy Covington recently established Covington Rentals, LLC where Jim Covington continues to serve as a property manager along with Scott Brookshire. EXTENDED FAMILY – It’s clear to our clients, the success of the business is due to the dedication of our professionals: Paula Golden, Rowena Miller, Tina Smith, Tiffani Foxx, Sonya White, Tanya Cosper, Tonya Jarvis, Teresa McCoy, Kenny Johnson, Laura Luedeke, Juli Woodward, and Gordon Wiggers.

Our agents are personally engaged with the clients we represent. We get to know them, their family, and their goals. Terri Covington, Broker/Owner


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Gold Financial Services

100 W. Central Texas Expressway Suite 200B, Harker Heights, TX 76548 (254) 680-2707 | manzellamortgage.com Belinda Manzella has been in the Bell County area for 20 years. She has 3 daughters and 1 granddaughter. “My passion is helping people who have been previously denied a home loan making the American dream of home ownership possible.” She takes on seemingly impossible loans and works really hard to get them in a home. Gold Financial Services is a branch of AMCAP mortgage. Belinda can work with clients who have been turned down by other companies due to mortgage issues. Her assistant Stefanie Hoff joined Belinda last year as office manager along with Mary Coleman. “Get one step closer to the home of your dreams” is the motto that makes her business so successful.

Ramirez Swimming Pools

5206 South General Bruce Drive, Temple | 254-773-0765 | ramirezpools.com The Ramirez name has been synonymous with quality swimming pools, spas and service in Central Texas for 50 years. “Simply the Best” is not just a motto, it is reality. Ramirez was the first pool company to open in Temple when it was founded by the late Joe R. Ramirez and his wife Helen H. Ramirez in 1967. It quickly built a reputation for quality, integrity and customer service. That reputation has continued and grown for the family-owned business. The company is owned by Helen H. Ramirez, Paul H. Ramirez, Joe Eddy Ramirez, Ralph H. Ramirez and Virginia R. Garcia. Their mission is to install the highest quality, best-built swimming pools and spas, and offer top-notch service after the sale. The Ramirez reputation for quality workmanship and exceptional service has been key to the company’s success. “Our customers have been inspired to recommend us time after time,” Virginia said. “It has been our honor and privilege to create and transform our customers’ backyards into their own private family paradise.” Picture left to right: Joe Eddy Ramirez, Ralph H. Ramirez, Virginia R. Garcia, & Paul H. Ramirez

Call 254-501-7500 (Killeen) or 254-778-4444 (Temple) TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Brad Dragoo, Branch Manager

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

©2016 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Temple, Harker Heights, Waco and Georgetown 254-231-0597 | fairwaytxonline.com | NMLS#270043

A Navy veteran, former realtor and lifelong Bell County resident, Brad Dragoo is committed to serving Central Texas homebuyers, real estate professionals and the community. He is the branch manager for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Brad’s career in real estate began in 1995 when he returned to Central Texas with his family after serving on the USS Nimitz and USS California during Operation Desert Storm. He worked as a realtor under the mentorship of Sara Irvine, now the broker for Sojourn Real Estate, and for several years as a realtor for Mikeska Realty in Temple. His experience as a realtor gave Brad a good perspective on how to serve customers and real estate professionals when he joined Allied Home Mortgage in 2001. A few years later, he opened Advantage Home Loans. Always on the lookout for improvement, Brad began searching for a mortgage company to better serve the area. In 2006, he brought Fairway Independent Mortgage to Central Texas. In his own branch and at the corporate level, Brad is a longtime supporter of the Boot Campaign Housing Program, which sponsors mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans nationwide. Military awareness and appreciation are important to Brad and the people working at Fairway. He looks forward to continuing this support through the American Warrior Initiative, sponsored by Fairway Independent Mortgage. Brad is active in the community. He has been a member of the Temple Jaycees and is a member of the Temple Lions Club. He sponsors area sports teams, both at school and recreational

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4801 South Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718 NMLS# 2289 | 877-699-0353 levels. Brad rarely says “No” when asked to sponsor a local event or team, especially when asked by local youth. Fairway also sponsors many local events, such as Relay for Life, CTCS Walk-A-Thon, TABA Skeet Shoot and various other school and community fundraisers. He has also been a member of the Troy Area Fair Boosters and a buyer for the Bell County Youth Fair since 2001. In 2013, Brad was named “Affiliate of the Year” by the Temple Area Builders Association. The following year he was named “Affiliate of the Year” by the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors. Brad places a high value on his relationships not only with customers, but with everyone involved in the home buying or refinancing process. Brad and his wife, Katie Dragoo (formerly Griggs), who is a native of Belton, live in Troy and have four wonderful children - Courtney, Jake, Connor, and Carlie. Brad and his knowledgeable group of loan officers and support staff look forward to serving your home buying or refinancing needs.

Fairway has built its business by making purchase loans a priority. Brad Dragoo, Branch Manager


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TexAdventures

Explore nature’s beauty

Zilker Botanical Garden offers escape from bustling city Story by SALLY GRACE HOLTGREIVE Photos contributed by CINDY KLEMMER, ZILKER BOTANICAL GARDEN

S

pringtime is an explosion of colors, blossoms and butterflies at the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin and the perfect season for taking a day-trip to the tranquil grounds tucked amidst urban sprawl. Visitors can roam the winding trails through a variety of themed sections. There is a cactus and succulent garden, as well as Japanese, rose, prehistoric, butterfly, daylily and herb gardens. The grounds are full of water features, gazebos, bridges and other artistic elements that blend seamlessly with the flora and fauna. A vegetable garden and log cabin provide educational opportunities, as does the meeting and event space available in the garden center alongside the gift shop. “This is one of the best kept secrets in Austin,” said Cynthia Klemmer, environmental conservation program manager. “I think of this as a center for home gardening — this is focused on what you can do in your home landscape here in Central Texas. We still want to be sustainable, but it’s not limited to native plants, rather what works well in Austin if you want to be successful as a gardener.” Cat Newlands, Executive Director for the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy, said she likens the gardens to a zoo. “We have exotic plants that can grow here, but they aren’t native,” Newlands said. I think that’s true of any zoo — they create an environment that might look different, but is OK in that climate.” The conservancy that Newlands oversees was started about a year and a half ago. It’s a nonprofit designed to support the garden and work closely with the Austin Parks Department. Continued

The Texas Stone Garden is one of the many features at the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin. ON OPPOSITE PAGE: A footbridge takes visitors over a pond. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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Flowers are in bloom along the grounds of the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin.

“One of our main priorities is to close the gap between what is needed to manage the garden and what is needed to improve it and do enhancements,” she said. The admission fee for the garden is $3 for non-Austin residents and $2 for Austin residents, and there is no fee to park, so the garden does not bring in a lot of funding from visitor numbers alone.

Urban Oasis Klemmer called the garden an urban oasis. “Usually you just hear the breeze blowing and birds chirping,” she said. “It’s right by Zilker Park, so you might hear kids playing in the distance. It’s really relatively peaceful.” 58

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The park has a lot of elevation and tree coverage, so it’s easy to feel like you’re on an exotic adventure, especially if you’re in the Japanese or prehistoric garden. Occasionally, branches thin and you get a view of the Austin skyline in the distance, which makes for beautiful contrast behind the many plants and trees. “Weekends are the busiest,” Klemmer said. “Peak time is of course spring, but even then you can come out and walk through the garden and it never feels crowded. There is enough space for everyone to spread out along the winding trails.” There are about two miles of trails total. You can walk through the entire garden in less than two hours, or spend the majority of your day reading the

names of the trees and flowers, following butterflies or lounging on one of the many benches tucked throughout the garden, sketching, taking photos or simply observing the surrounding nature. “Even if you don’t know anything about the flowers or plants, it’s still really peaceful,” Newlands said. The Japanese Garden, built by 70year-old Isamu Taniguchi, opened to the public in 1969. Highlights include a teahouse, an experimental bonsai garden and a wooden bridge arching over the water. “All the water features are connected,” Klemmer said. “It starts at the top and works its way down and around the gardens, sometimes in very narrow channels and sometimes in pools,


and eventually comes to the Rose Pond.” All of the ponds in the garden spell out the word Austin, if seen from above. If you look at a map, you can make it out, Klemmer said, adding that the Koi fish in the ponds are always a favorite of children. A newly completed section of the property is beside the Japanese Garden, where there used to be a stream that was leaking and needed repair. It was replaced by a streambed designed to enhance the beauty and educational opportunity of the site. Five ponds at different elevations are connected by bridge stones and water falls from one pond to the next. They are planted with riparian vegetation and the banks showcase more than 100 species of

native Texas plants. The new area includes an educational activity gathering spot and an accessible viewing area for visitors with disabilities. The Rose Garden, in the center of the grounds, contains a cupola that is a popular spot for weddings. “People have gotten engaged here, married here and had memorials here,” Klemmer said. “Then they come back every year on the anniversary of their engagement or wedding. Many become very emotionally attached to the place.” The gardens also are popular for a variety of photo shoots, including engagement, wedding, Quinceanera and prom photo sessions. Subtle dinosaur prints on the fence lead away from the Rose Garden to the

Prehistoric Garden. “The majority of the plants in here are from the prehistoric era,” Klemmer said. “They are the same types of plants that were here during the time of the dinosaurs — a lot of spore bearing plants like ferns, horsetail and palms — all older evolutionarily speaking.” There is a large waterfall in the prehistoric garden, another favorite spot for snapping photos. Molded versions of a dinosaur footprint that was found in the garden leads to a statue, which is a realistic replica of the dinosaur the footprints belonged to — an Ornithopod. The prints were discovered about 22 years ago, when an area was cleared Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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ABOVE: This gazebo and koi pond are in the Japanese Garden. BELOW: 70-year-old Isamu Taniguchi built the garden as a gift to Austin. The gardens opened to the public in 1969.

to build a new garden and a rainstorm washed away dirt to expose bedrock limestone complete with dinosaur tracks. The tracks began to deteriorate after they were exposed and studied by University of Texas specialists, so molds were taken and then they were covered backup. The Butterfly Garden is divided into two sections and covers a lot of property on the grounds. More than thirty species of butterflies were counted there last year, Klemmer said. “The bottom area is more of a wild scape for butterfly and larvae plants,” she said. “The upper part is a more suburban garden, like what you could do in your backyard to attract butterflies. It’s amazing how many butterflies flock to this area.” Klemmer said butterflies can be seen anytime the weather is warm, but late spring and summer is the peek season for sightings. The Zilker Butterfly Garden will be full and voluptuous with plants by April, and visitors can expect to be surrounded by the delicate insects. The Vegetable Garden is about to get a makeover. “It was shaded and struggling,” Klemmer said. “We took off some Continued 60

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branches of over hanging limbs to enhance the sun exposure and the Austin Organic Gardening Club is going to adopt the vegetable garden and help plant and maintain it, which will help stretch the overall maintenance abilities at the garden.” The main feature in the nearby Pioneer Village is a Swedish cabin that was built in 1838 and moved to the Zilker Botanical Garden for conservation. The interior is decorated to demonstrate how the room was utilized throughout different times of the day. “We know that at one point this cabin housed ten people, including a pregnant woman,” Culture and Arts Education Specialist Christopher Sanchez said. “The room took on many different purposes.”

A waterfall flows through part of the garden.

Footprints of an Ornithopod were found in Zilker Botanical Garden. This stature pays homage to the reptile that once walked the earth in Austin. 62

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A fairy in the garden Sanchez leads many of the educational programs and workshops offered at the garden. Recently, staff members have focused on programs that center around fairies, and the public has responded positively. “We’ve held fairy landscaping workshops where we provide all the materials for kids to take home their own little fairy home and garden,” Sanchez said. “It’s a gateway into landscape design, construction, planting and building.” About 120 people attended the last fairy landscaping workshop and Sanchez said they are working on expanding and reformatting the program so they can accommodate even more people. They also host fairy tea parties. “One of the cool things about horticulture is it’s truly an art and a science,” Klemmer said. “It’s interesting to study the science, but the art brings it to life. Children get that innately.” The garden will host a “fairy trail” from the end of May through the end of July this year. Visitors can walk along the trail and peer into more than 50 tiny fairy homes, Klemmer said. The garden will even stay open late one evening to offer a fairy moonlight trail so guests can view the exhibit by moonlight. Whether you choose to attend a program or wander the grounds at your leisure, a visit to the Zilker Botanical Garden is a worthwhile activity for embracing the spring season.


A Swedish cabin built in 1838 was moved to the Pioneer Village at Zilker Botanical Garden. BELOW: Fairy garden landscaping is taught at Zilker Botanical Garden. From May through July visitors can walk the “fairy trail� and look into 50 tiny fairy homes.

IF YOU GO Directions: From Interstate 35 South, take the Riverside Drive exit and go west. At Barton Springs Drive, turn left and follow it until you reach Zilker Botanical Garden on your right, just past Stratford Drive. Address: 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78746 Phone: 512-4778672 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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ADVERTISERS INDEX ACT Central Texas.................................................................... 65

Killeen Vision Source................................................................ 39

Affordable Insurance..................................................................47

Lastovica Jewelers......................................................................... 7

Atmos......................................................................................... 65

Linnemann Realty..................................................................... 55

Bell County Museum................................................................... 5

Lone Star Ag Credit..................................................................... 5

CCA Bartlett State Prison........................................................... 9

Metroplex Health System........................................................3,10

Covington Real Estate............................................................... 52

Old Man Scary Cellars................................................................ 9

Curtis Cook............................................................................... 49

Pazmino Dental..........................................................................61

Deveraux’s Jewelers.....................................................................61

Precious Memories..................................................................... 49

Document Solutions...................................................................24

Ramirez Swimming Pools.......................................................... 53

Dr. Shelley Geibel...................................................................... 49

St. Mary’s Catholic School.........................................................47

Ellis Air Systems......................................................................... 23

SWBC Mortgage Corporation...................................................51

English Maids.............................................................................61

Temple Area Builders................................................................ 22

Extraco......................................................................................... 2

Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.......................................10

Fairway Mortgage....................................................................... 54

Texell............................................................................. Back cover

Garden Estates............................................................................67

Total Retirements......................................................................... 5

Gold Financial Services............................................................. 53

Truecore......................................................................................31

Grand Avenue Theater.............................................................. 39

Union State Bank........................................................................ 7

Hallmark Lanes...........................................................................61

Visiting Angels........................................................................... 65

Hallmark Service Company......................................................... 7

Wisener’s Auto Clinic................................................................47

Homespec.................................................................................. 50

Z Medical Aesthetics...................................................................31

The Advertisers Index is published for reader convenience. Every effort is made to list information correctly. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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We’re upgrading our natural gas pipelines from the ground up. It’s how we invest in homes, lives and generations. Atmos Energy is committed to being the safest natural gas provider in the nation. That’s why we’re investing over $750 million a year in system upgrades in Texas. It’s how we provide you with safe and reliable natural gas service for generations to come.

Visit atmosenergy.com/safety to learn about upgrades in your area.

TEXAPPEALMAG.COM

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TexTherapy

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Profile for Temple Daily Telegram

Tex Appeal | April 2017  

This edition features homes and gardens across Central Texas.

Tex Appeal | April 2017  

This edition features homes and gardens across Central Texas.

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