Welcome to Southwest GardenSmith

February 2, 2018 – Happy Groundhog Day!  Welcome to Southwest GardenSmith.

My name is Curtis Smith; I have been gardening since I was 18 months old.  My mother tells that when I was 18 months old, she was in the flower beds pulling weeds and I was following behind pulling the flowers.  That was almost 7 decades ago.  Since then I have gardened in 3 states, Texas, Montana, and New Mexico.  I received degrees in Botany (B.S.), Plant Physiology (M.S.), and Horticulture (Ph.D.) from Texas A&M University.  In 1981 I moved to Montana to teach horticulture at Montana State University and in 1988 I moved to New Mexico.  I served as Bernalillo County Extension Horticulture Agent for New Mexico State University from 1981 to 1995 and then served as New Mexico State University’s Urban Horticulture Specialist from 1995 to 2010 when I retired.  I had the privilege to write the Southwest Yard and Garden newspaper/web column from 1995 until the end of summer 2017 when a new Extension Horticulture Specialist will assume responsibility for that newspaper/web column.  I enjoyed answering gardening questions and becoming friends with many New Mexico gardeners as well as gardeners from around the world with whom I have had contacts because of Southwest Yard and Garden.  I also had the privilege of serving as host and producer on the television program Southwest Yard and Garden produced by New Mexico State University from 2000 to 2004.  As of this writing it still airs on PBS stations in New Mexico as well as remaining accessible on I-tunes University and Youtube.

Even before I retired I was thinking of starting a garden blog, but considered it unwise to start while I was still writing garden columns for NMSU.  After retirement, I continued to write for NMSU for almost 7 years.  I wanted to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest, so I delayed beginning this blog until Dr. Marisa Thompson was hired to fill the Urban Horticulture Specialist position at NMSU.  I am now free to write the blog.  I intend to collaborate and cooperate with Dr. Thompson and NMSU, so I want to remind readers that NMSU offers much excellent information.  You can read Dr. Thompson’s garden columns at https://nmsudesertblooms.blogspot.com/.

Thank you for visiting Southwest GardenSmith.  I hope you will be back often.

Curtis Smith