William D. (Bill) Adams, Southern Gardening Expert

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Bill Adams, Southern Gardening Expert

Name: William D. (Bill) Adams
Occupation: Gardener/Writer/Photographer
Residence: Burton, Texas

Horticultural Background:

Bill owes his love of gardening to his late grandmother. Her entire yard was a garden with a huge vegetable patch in the backyard but with plenty of room for roses, peonies and irises. His grandfather dug the vegetable patch by hand every year and Grandmother canned the vegetables and jellies that got them through the year. Bill received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in horticulture from Oklahoma State University, and served as the Harris County Extension Horticulturist in Houston for 31 years.


Lone Star Gardener’s Book of Lists (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 2001)
Southern Kitchen Garden (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 2007)

(Both books can be ordered by calling the National Book Network at 800-462-6420.)

Personal History:

Bill grew up in Perry, Oklahoma, where he cherished the many hours he spent in his Grandmother’s garden and the time they spent looking at seed catalogs together. Though she passed away before he entered high school, the memories of her passion for gardening led him to pursue a career in horticulture. In his early college years, Bill commuted to school but he worked summers on the farm hauling hay and plowing, and during the school term he worked in the Oklahoma State University greenhouse. His senior year he lived in the greenhouse Quonset hut, monitoring temperatures and various experiments. As a graduate student he taught lab courses and served as a research assistant.

During the 30+ years he spent as a County Extension Agent for horticulture in Houston, Texas, he appeared regularly on TV and radio and wrote a column for the Houston Chronicle. Bill was active with the Master Gardener program from its inception in Harris County, but the last three years prior to retirement he took over from his friend and frequent co-author, Tom LeRoy as the Master Gardener Coordinator. At retirement, the Harris County Master Gardening program had more than 800 members.

Since retiring in 2001, Bill and his wife, Debbi, have moved to the country near Burton, Texas, where Bill divides his time between a large kitchen garden, an orchard, pond management, home improvement projects, writing and photography. Bill and Debbi have three children, seven grandchildren and a dog named Simba.

Current Projects and Other Fun Facts:

Bill also enjoys cooking and his latest project has been to bake his own hamburger buns — especially the caraway/rye buns he used to buy but can no longer find. Currently high dynamic range images get his photographic juices flowing, and he has been putting a few knives together. Bill has a nice collection of grafting/budding knives — some of which he made himself — and he will be sharing some insight into grafting, budding and the illusive jujube in future blogs.

Ask Bill a Question!
Do you garden in the South? Submit your warm weather gardening questions through our free Ask Our Experts service today.

Bill Adams harvests fresh organic veggies
from his fabulous Southern garden.

Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368