AUSTIN (KXAN) — For more than four decades, John Dromgoole has helped gardeners all over Central Texas keep their yards and plants vibrant and flourishing. Tuesday, Austin officials named the day after him in honor of his green thumb.

Dromgoole has owned and operated The Natural Gardener organic nursery for 40 years and is a local television staple on Austin PBS and KXAN, sharing his tips and tricks for plants and vegetables with garden enthusiasts of all kinds. He also hosted the radio show, “Gardening Naturally,” for nearly 40 years. He retired from the show in 2019.

Austin City Councilmember Paige Ellis, who represents District 8 where Dromgoole’s nursery operates, helped declare April 12 as “John Dromgoogle Day” in a ceremony at the nursery.

“Words can’t really express the large impact he and his family have had on this community,” Ellis said.

  • John Dromgoole, better known as KXAN's "The Weekend Gardener," and owner of the Natural Gardener organic nursery, had April 12 named after him by Austin officials on Tuesday. (KXAN photo/Frank Martinez)
  • John Dromgoole, better known as KXAN's "The Weekend Gardener," and owner of the Natural Gardener organic nursery, had April 12 named after him by Austin officials on Tuesday. (KXAN photo/Frank Martinez)
  • John Dromgoole, better known as KXAN's "The Weekend Gardener," and owner of the Natural Gardener organic nursery, had April 12 named after him by Austin officials on Tuesday. (KXAN photo/Frank Martinez)
  • John Dromgoole, better known as KXAN's "The Weekend Gardener," and owner of the Natural Gardener organic nursery, had April 12 named after him by Austin officials on Tuesday. (KXAN photo/Frank Martinez)

Dromgoole’s specialty is organic gardening, and his 8-acre nursery showcases how he composts and protects plants against pests and disease without pesticides, among other strategies to help gardens thrive.

“Many of these people had children at the time since when we started, and they don’t know words like diazinon and malathion. They know the names of the organic products, and that’s really something,” he said. From one generation to the next, a lot of that disappeared.”

In 2000, he founded Lady Bug Natural Brands and he also hosts a weekly county music radio show on SUN Radio 100.1 FM.