January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from the staff of Texas Gardener and Texas Gardener's Seeds

The garden reader:
Roses and sprouts


By William Scheick

Book Reviewer


Judy Barrett. Yes, You Can Grow Roses. Texas A&M University Press, 2013. 118 pp. 79 color photos. $22.95.


Rita Galchus. Homegrown Sprouts: A Fresh, Healthy, and Delicious Step-By-Step Guide to Sprouting Year Round. Quarry Books, 2013. 160 pp. 200 color photos. $24.99.


Given how much trouble roses are rumored to be, it's a wonder that they have been cultivated for centuries and that even today they still rank among the top bestselling plants. Have gardeners simply resigned themselves to an ongoing struggle with roses just to glimpse their bewitching beauty in their yards?


Hardly, claims Judy Barrett in Yes, You Can Grow Roses. The real answer is that "deep down in our hearts, we know that all those bad rumors about just how hard it is to grow roses can't be true."


Barrett refutes 7 "myths" about roses, including the belief that they are delicate plants, that they require constant spraying and that they easily succumb to disease. Nor are roses purely ornamental in purpose.


Barrett's beautiful, brightly illustrated and glossy-paged handbook offers expert advice on which rose varieties to consider and also answers many frequently asked questions about rose-care. Barrett assures readers, for instance, that roses can indeed be grown in containers and can be easily companioned with other plants, particularly herbs.


In fact, roses are herbs. The petals and hips (fruit) of non-chemically treated roses are edible, and Barrett provides recipes for rose honey and rose vinegar.


There are recipes, too, in Rita Galchus's well-produced Homegrown Sprouts. Galchus demonstrates how germinating seeds "at home can be a wonderful journey into tastes and textures" as well as can "add great nutrition to our every meal."


Galchus offers handy advice on selecting items (jars, bags, trays) appropriate for sprouting and also on troubleshooting possible problems. Most of her amply illustrated book is devoted to techniques for germinating beans, legumes, grains, leafy greens and grasses.


In my home, I'm not the only one who enjoys the health-kick from wheat grass. My huskies also have periodic cravings for tender grass tips.


Sprouts "have the enzymes needed for strong metabolic functions," Galchus explains in a chapter on growing sprouts for pets. Sprouts "can offer extra fiber to your pet's diet and help keep certain types of chronic diseases and diabetes at bay."


Geminating seeds can be a fun and healthy activity for children, too. "Kids love to watch the sprouts grow, and then they get to eat what they have seen."


Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is a gardening-themed short story presented for your enjoyment. - Michael Bracken, editor


The wallflower and the potted plant


By Janice Curran

Freelance Writer


"Uncle Vic, what's a potted plant?"


Vic McGraw tossed the cable TV guide onto the cushion beside him and studied the four-year-old in Lone Ranger pajamas. Kid-sitting for his nephew while Drew, Sr., and Rosie worked was the only part of taking charity from his brother and sister-in-law Vic liked. The couple swore letting him crash at their home saved on daycare, but he wondered. When he estimated the cost of a room rental, then multiplied that number by-


Shoot, was it three months since the layoff? His boss had said Vic would be back on the job in a month.


"Uncle Vic!"


Vic blinked. "Sorry, cowpoke. You caught me woolgathering."


Drew aimed the six-shooter masquerading as a remote control at his uncle and clicked. "Change."


Something had to-and soon. At least that was Vic's hope.


"Potted plant. Let's see ... I guess 'a plant in a flowerpot' is the simplest way to describe it." He glanced around the tiny living room. The place was a virtual rain forest. Rosie and her green thumb. "See that leafy stuff by the window?"


"Zebras!" Drew scuffed to the plant stand, his daddy's too-big boots scraping a trail in the hardwood. Pointing to the plants' deeply veined foliage, he said: "See? Stripes. Just like the zebras in the zoo."


Vic hoisted himself from the couch to get a closer look. "Right, you are. And the clay things the zebra plants are in are pots. So the zebras are plants in pots, or potted plants."


Drew's brow scrunched. "Can a people be a potted plant?"


"Person. Can a person be a potted plant." Vic was getting an uncomfortable feeling about this. "A person can't be a plant. But a person and a plant can be alike in some way. Same as your mama's plants and the zebras in the zoo."


"Because they both have stripes!"


"How did you get to be so smart?"


"Uncle Vic?"




"How are you like a potted plant?"




It didn't take a B.S. to work out what prompted Drew's question. Obviously, Vic had been a subject of family discussion. When had his relations started seeing him as a form of flora?


The truth was he had become rooted. And he knew exactly when his transformation from living to merely existing started. Funny how a wisp of gossip could wither the whole of a man's soul. His fiancée's betrayal initiated a blight the layoff compounded. Now it had infected his brother's world.


Vic caught movement in his peripheral vision and turned. Drew was again taking aim with the remote. And with good reason. Vic still hadn't answered him. This-paralysis was as good a word as any-wasn't good for him, and it wasn't good for Drew and Drew's parents. If Vic didn't get his act together, he deserved to be shot.


He raised his hands in surrender. "Whoa, partner. I know I'm a low-down varmint. But if you spare me, we can talk about your question in the truck."


Drew whooped. "Where we going?"


"You get washed up and dressed, and you'll find out."


"Hiyo, Silver! Away!"


Vic laughed as Drew galloped from the room. At the bathroom door's clunk, though, he became all business. He snatched the newspaper from the coffee table and began flipping through the pages. Not that he knew what he was looking for. But sitting around, feeling sorry for himself, wouldn't cut it anymore.


Fact: The company might never call him back. If he didn't land a job before the unemployment ran out, he'd end up totally dependent. There must be something in the long columns of newsprint that could help.


Then he saw it: "'Vegetable Gardening as Child's Play.' Fun, hands-on learning experience for kids. Free."


Yes! Rosie had been wanting a kitchen garden. Preparing a patch for growing could be Vic and Drew's special project. The extension service class couldn't be more perfect. Especially if the agency was hiring.




Vic stared at the instructor-and not just because she was pretty. She seemed familiar. He wished he and Drew hadn't missed the introduction. 'Course, the Lone Ranger couldn't hit the trail without his mislaid hat.


"Now it's your turn," the instructor was saying. "Show me what you learned."


As Drew beelined for the demonstration garden, the woman made a beeline for Vic.


"Vic McGraw, I never took you for rude. How about a hug?" His bewilderment must've been plain, because she laughed. "You don't remember me. Wynna Lane."


Vic gaped. "No. Wynna Lane was-"


He stopped himself from blurting the label given Wynna by the school bully. Could this really be her?


"Plump? Pimply? Painfully shy?" she said. "'Wynna the Wallflower'?"


Holy fertilizer. It was her!


"Does that mean you and Uncle Vic are related?"


Startled, Vic looked down to find Drew peering up at Wynna. Vic had been so lost in his memories, he hadn't noticed his nephew's return.


"Why do you say that?" Wynna asked.


Vic could guess where this was headed. "Not now, Drew."




"You're one of the good guys, aren't you, Drew?" Wynna interjected. "I can tell by your white hat."


"I'm the Lone Ranger!"


Wynna appeared to be holding back a smile. "Would you mind helping that girl-yes, the one with the spade-until I'm done here?"


To a yodel of Hiyo, Silver!, Drew trotted off.


"Kid's got 'hero' written all over him," Vic said, chuckling.


"I remember your saving me a time or two from my tormentor." After a moment, she added, "May I ask why Drew thinks we're related?"


Vic's humor bolted. This was his opening. Except taking it would reveal him as the charity case he was.


And the charity case he'd remain till he came clean.


Squaring his shoulders, Vic told his story. Even when he was sure his face was the pink of Texas granite, he kept on.


When he finished, Wynna grinned. "The wallflower and the potted plant. Has a nice ring to it."


"Sorry about ... you know ... before."


She waved away the apology. "The forest service needs a resource specialist. No degree required. I can put in a good word."


"You'd do that?"


"We cultivated types need to stick together. Besides-" She winked. "-I know your potential. Interested?"


Was she flirting with him? He hadn't had a woman flirt with him since ... he couldn't remember.


He liked it.


"Er, Wynna. About that hug ..."


Janice Curran is a short story author and aspiring novelist. Friend her at www.facebook.com/janice.curran.

New peach varieties available for home gardens across Texas

By Kathleen Phillips

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


If ever there was a peachy idea for a New Year's resolution, this is it: plant one of the new varieties of peach or nectarine trees developed specifically for Texas.


In January, 14 new varieties will be available at more than 30 garden centers in Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin-San Antonio areas, according to Dr. David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research peach breeder in College Station.


"The new trees include a cornucopia of cultivars, from very low chill to medium chill types, peaches and nectarines," Byrne said, "and flat or donut peaches as well as white and yellow flesh and acid and sub-acid flavors."


Chill requirements can be a factor for whether a tree is able to grow and produce fruit in much of Texas where the winters are mild.


Peach trees have to go through a dormancy brought on by chilling hours in order to produce fruit, Monte Nesbitt, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist in College Station, explained at the recent Texas Fruit Conference in Bryan. Trees that have not had enough chilling hours starting in October or November will make less fruit or fruit that is of poor quality.


This need is measured as chilling hours generally as hours of temperature less than 45 degrees, Byrne noted.


"Variety selection is important, so if possible, plant trees that have a diversity of chilling hours to include the years above and below the average chilling hours for your area," Nesbitt said.


A chart showing the typical chilling hours accumulated across Texas can be found at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/files/2010/10/peaches.pdf .


Byrne's stone fruit breeding program has successfully developed peach and nectarine varieties to fit a range of climate zones across Texas, from needing as few as 150 hours of chilling - adapted as far south as the Rio Grande Valley - to as many as 600 hours for more northern areas.


Additionally, the new varieties offer a range of taste and harvest periods to fit specific desires, he said.


"A low acid peach is the typical peach preferred in Asia. As the acidity is lower, it tastes sweeter than a normal acid peach," Byrne noted.


These are the peaches and nectarines, and their descriptions, that will be available for home gardens in January:



  • Flat Delight One - a white flesh, low acid, donut-shaped peach. Yields in mid-May. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • Flat Delight Two - a yellow flesh, very sweet and low acid, donut-shaped peach. Yields in late-May. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • White Delight Two - low acid, white flesh, semi-freestone peach. Yields in mid-June. Needs 500 chill hours.
  • Royal Zest Three - yellow flesh, semi-freestone, tangy-sweet peach. Yields in mid-June. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • White Zest One - semi-freestone, tangy-sweet peach. Yields in mid June. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • TexPrince - a tangy-sweet, yellow flesh, freestone peach. Yields in late May. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • TexKing - a yellow flesh, clingstone, tangy-sweet peach. Yields in mid  to late May. Needs 450 chill hours.
  • Tropic Zest Four - yellow flesh, tangy-sweet peach. Yields in early June. Needs 150 chill hours.
  • TexFirst - yellow flesh peach. Yields late April to early May. Needs 150 chill hours.


  • Smooth Texan Two - a tangy-sweet nectarine. Yields late May. Needs 550 chill hours.
  • Smooth Texan Three - a low acid nectarine. Yields in early June. Needs 600 chill hours.
  • Smooth Delight Two - a low acid, yellow flesh nectarine. Yields in mid May. Needs 400 chill hours.
  • Smooth Zest One - a tangy-sweet, white-flesh nectarine. Yields in early  to mid May. Needs 250 chill hours.
  • Smooth Zest Two - an acidic, yellow flesh nectarine. Yields early  to mid May. Needs 250 chill hours.

The trees are being grown by Tree Town USA, a Texas-based wholesale grower that grows over 1 million fruit, flowering and shade trees annually. The trees will be fully established in 5-gallon containers. To find a business that will be selling these new varieties, please check http://www.treetownusa.com/.

Gardening tips


Bill Scheick recommends that when grafting, a 45º cut is a better bet than a straight (180º) cut. A slant or angled cut allows for greater stability in maintaining/securing the two united plants and it also provides a wider area of contact for the cambium (rich in undifferentiated cells for plant growth) within both joined stems.


Straight cuts are tempting because they generally seem easier to align than eyeballed angle cuts. To make trouble-free 45º cuts, use a mitre box. Readily available at big-box and home-improvement stores, a plastic box costs less than five dollars; a box with a saw retails around 15 dollars. Position the plants inside the mitre box and use a very sharp knife (not the saw!) inside the two 45º guide slots for perfectly matchable angle cuts.

Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a free Texas Gardener 2014 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips. 

Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.



La Marque: Jerry Hurlbert will present "Growing Avocado and Papaya" at 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Saturday, January 4 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Hurlbert, Moderator and Coordinator of Texas Rare Fruit Growers Association, has 35 years of experience growing avocados. Learn the best varieties for the Gulf Coast, how to start plants from seeds, as well as tips on tree planting and cultivation methods for growing avocados. Discover the best methods for protection of plants from cold and sun, especially for young trees. (There will also be information on growing Papaya but this topic will not be covered in as much depth.) For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email [email protected].


La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, Propagation Specialist, will present "Grafting," a program and hands on workshop, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.. Saturday, January 4 at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Attendees will leave the class ready to begin their own grafting projects with confidence. The two grafting methods presented will be T-bud grafting, used on many types of fruit and citrus trees about the size of a pencil, and the more commonly used Wedge grafting. Additional grafting specialists will be on hand to provide one-on-one assistance. Note: Class is limited to 32 participants. You must pre-register in order to attend. Others may attend for observation only. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email [email protected].


La Marque: "Successfully Growing Peaches In Galveston County" will be resented by Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, January 7, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the best variety selection (both white and yellow flesh) for Galveston County, what to look for when buying your peach tree, and the best planting locations. Learn about chill hours, rootstock, pruning to shape and thinning methods that lead to larger fruit and greater yield. Find out how to judge ripening dates and the best time to harvest. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email [email protected].


Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens will celebrate its 40th birthday during an all-day open house starting at 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 8. This kickoff event marks the beginning of festivities scheduled throughout 2014 to commemorate this special year. For more information, call 281-443-8731. 


San Antonio: The 2014 herb of the year, Artemesia, named for the Goddes Artemis, will be the subject of a presentation by Leslie Bingham, Madeline Sprague and Robin Mayer at 6:30 p.m., January 9 at the San Antonio Herb Society's meeting at the Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Cuttings to share and examples of various species of the plant will be available as will a pamphlet which outlines uses for the herb. For additional information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.


La Marque: "Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening" will be presented by Galveston County Master Gardener Luke Stripling 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Saturday, January 11 at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Mr. Stripling has more than 65 years of hands-on experience of growing vegetables. Learn how to plan and start a vegetable garden. Find out about the best soils, location and plant varieties to use for Galveston County. Gain knowledge on pollination, mulching, composting, and the effects of full sun and shade on vegetable gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email [email protected].    


You may be surprised at the 'hidden' ways to grow food in your own yard! Amanda Moon, co-owner of Trinity Gardens in Austin, will expound on the virtues of edible landscaping on Monday, January 13. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the guest speaker's presentation. Bring a little cash for the raffle! For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.


Corinth: The Denton County Master Gardener Association will offer a comprehensive "Design for your Yard" landscaping class on four consecutive Monday evenings beginning January 13 and concluding Feb. 3. The series covers design considerations and preparation, hardscape and plant selection. All classes are held from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Freeway (I-35E), Corinth. The series is open to the public for a fee of $15, which includes all materials required. Students can sign up online at www.dcmga.com and pay for the class using PayPal or mail a check to the Denton County Master Gardener Association office.


Houston: Mary and Roger Demeny will discuss kitchen gardening at 6:30 p.m., Monday, January 13, at the Houston Urban Gardeners meeting held at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston. For additional information, visit www.HoustonUrbanGardeners.org.


Seabrook: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will present "Soils and Composting" as part of their Green Thumb Series at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 14, at Clear Lake Park meeting room (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. For additional information, visit hcmga.tamu.edu.


Seabrook: Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms will present a program on the fruit and citrus trees available at the February 15 Master Gardener sale, Wednesday, January 15, at Clear Lake Park meeting room (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. For additional information, visit hcmga.tamu.edu.  


Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, January 16 at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. Mark Fanick, from Fanick Nursery, will discuss Fruit Trees. The meeting is free and open to the public. The regular business meeting will be at the end of the program. For additional information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.  


Schertz & Seguin: The Guadalupe Master Gardeners Organization will present "Preparing Your Spring Vegetable Garden" at 2 locations on Saturday January 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. The sessions are conducted by Gardening Specialists, from Guadalupe Master Gardeners. One session will be in Schertz at the Guadalupe County Annex Courtroom, 1101 Elbel Road, with Deedy Wright as the presenter. The same topic will be at the Mary B. Erskine School Cafeteria, 216 East College Street in Seguin. The presenter will be Clara Mae Marcotte. Both sessions will start at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Topics covered at both sessions will be: Vegetable Selection, Garden Soil Preparation, Seed Starting, Cold Weather Protection Methods, and Vegetable Garden Maintenance. Handouts will be proved as part of the fee. The cost of the seminar will be $20 at the door. You may buy your tickets at the AgriLife Office, 216 East College Street, Seguin, during normal business hours for $15.00. For more information, call Bob at 210-289-9997.


Houston: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host Open Garden Day, 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m., Monday, January 20, at their Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. Free and open to the pubic. Children welcome. For additional information, visit hcmga.tamu.edu


Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Fruit and Nut Tree Sale, featuring bare-root fruit trees from apples to pomegranates, pecans and more, on Saturday, January 25, at 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program is at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information, call 936-539-7824 or visit www.mcmga.com.


Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society (TMS), will offer the third and final segment of the Texas Gulf Coast Gardener (TGCG) program beginning Monday, January 27 for a six-week period onsite at Mercer, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Registration is open now through January 20, so call 281-443-8731 or visit the park to enroll. Tier 3 classes focus on landscape design, the use of hardscapes and water features in the landscape, and sustainable design practices. Participants will be introduced to an effective process for analyzing and designing a successful landscape, with emphasis on residential sites. A broad range of exciting lessons and lectures, presented by Mercer staff and experts from the greater-Houston area, will accompany practical design workshops with such topics as designing mixed borders; effective water use and conservation in the home landscape; and ways to incorporate fruit- and vegetable-producing plants into visually-appealing landscape designs. Classes will be held every Monday from January 27 through March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. The cost of enrollment for TMS members is $100; enrollment for non-members is $115. Participants will receive a text book, class supplies, and a custom-designed TGCG gardening apron. The TGCG curriculum was developed by Mercer staff with guidance from Dr. David Creech, professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University, and staff from Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches. The program gives participants the knowledge and skills needed to start, develop, and maintain their own gardens through a variety of gardening and horticulture topics specifically designed for the pleasures and challenges of the Texas Gulf Coast climate.




Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens will host a special lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 4, Dr. Peter H. Raven, president emeritus of the St. Louis Botanical garden and renowned conservationist will be speaking on "Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World." Raven's lecture will be the inaugural lecture in the new Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. Raven is one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. For four decades, he headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured into a world-class center for botanical research and education, and horticultural display. He retired as president in 2010 and assumed the role of president emeritus and consultant through 2014. Described by Time magazine as a "Hero for the Planet," Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants, and he is a leading advocate for conservation and a sustainable environment. In recognition of his work in science and conservation, Raven is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the prestigious International Prize for Biology from the government of Japan and the U.S. National Medal of Science, the country's highest award for scientific accomplishment. He has held Guggenheim and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships. Raven was a member of President Bill Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He also served for 12 years as home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the academies of science in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the U.K., and several other countries. The author of numerous books and reports, both popular and scientific, Raven co-wrote Biology of Plants, an internationally best-selling textbook, now in its sixth edition. He also co-authored Environment, a leading textbook on the environment. The Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building is located at the Stephen F. Austin State University Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. The event will be free and open to the public but to ensure seating and for more information call 936-468-1832 or e-mail [email protected]. 


Schertz: Do you enjoy the colors and antics of butterflies, hummingbirds, and song birds in your garden? Want to find out how you can entice them to visit your yard? Then attend the Natives to Fly For: Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Song Birds to Your Yard workshop. This daylong event will feature four experts to show you how you can have lots of little visitors in your landscape: Craig Hensley, award-winning community educator with Texas Parks & Wildlife, will explain "Butterfly Basics: Who They Are and What They Need"; Mark Klym, coauthor of Hummingbirds of Texas, will speak on "Want Hummingbirds? Think Lasagna"; Ann Mallard, Audubon Society member and nature photographer specializing in bird life, will present "Songs in the Garden--Creating a Native Habitat for Birds"; Kelly Simon, author of Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, will pull all this information together as she shows participants how to create a "Central Texas Habitat." The workshop takes place Saturday, February 22, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz. The hours are 9-3 and the $40 registration fee includes lunch and snacks. Registration begins at 8:30. Door prizes will be given throughout the day. In addition to the workshop, participants can shop the booths of two local nurseries offering many of the plants discussed by the speakers, purchase books on workshop topics, and select bird-related items from Wild Birds Unlimited. Authors Mark Klym and Kelly Bender will sign their books during lunch. But wait, there's more! A beautiful bluebonnet quilt and two 55-gallon, hand-painted rain barrels will be raffled during the workshop. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event. Natives to Fly For is sponsored by the Guadalupe County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 830-303-0333. The number of tickets is limited, so call early. For more information, visit http://npsot.org/wp/guadalupe/.     




Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardener Association will hold their annual Spring Conference March 8. The conference will be held at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 1920 Beaumont Street, Jacksonville. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the first speaker will be at 9 a.m. There will be a $10.00 fee which includes drinks, refreshments and a chance to win one of four door prizes. The program will feature three well known respected speakers. Greg Grant is Lecturer in the School of Horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University. He was formerly the Cherokee County Horticulturist with the Texas Cooperative Extension in Rusk. He is also co-author, with William C. Welch, of the book Southern Heirloom Garden, and he is a columnist for Texas Gardener magazine. He has traveled extensively to botanical and public gardens throughout the United States and Europe and is a popular public speaker in the southern United States. Dave Whitinger is the creator of several large and popular websites, most notably Dave's Garden and All Things Plants. He moved to Cherokee County in late 2007 and lives just outside Jacksonville with his wife and 6 children. They have a homestead with extensive gardens, cows, chickens, and various other domestic animals. In addition to being a member of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners, Dave is also a software programmer whose passion is to bring gardeners together and provide them with custom made software tools that both serve gardeners as well as take online gardening to the next level. Keith Hansen has been the Texas AgriLife Horticulturist for Smith County since 1992. Prior to that, he was the extension agent for Nueches County. Keith has a weekly column, "Keeping it Green," in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and has written numerous articles for other publications. For more information, contact Ginny Scurlock at 903-530-8610 or at [email protected].

Monthly meetings


If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 




Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.


Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit www.txmg.org/wichita or call 940-716-8610.


Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.


Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month at the Permian Basin Readiness Center at the Midland International Airport. For more information, call 432-498-4071.


New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month (except December) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.


Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.


Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.


Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.




Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.


Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5585.


Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact [email protected].


Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail [email protected].


Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at 401 W. Hickory St., Denton. Meetings are open to the public. More information is available at: http://dcmga.com/.


Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.


Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.


Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program preceding the business meeting. For further information call Cindy Gill at 903-236-8429 or visit www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.


Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second  

Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.


Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.


Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Beaumont. For more information, call 409-835-8461.


Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.


Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.


San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.


Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.


College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.


Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.


Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.




Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at [email protected].


Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners meet at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne, which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Sharon Smith at 817-894-7700.


Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.


Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail [email protected] or call 361-790-0103.


Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through Novemberand January through April at 10 a.m. at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.


Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.


Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.


Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.


Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the Lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.


Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email [email protected] or call 817-454-8175).


Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) and December (2nd Thursday). Location varies. For locations, for more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http://www.npsot.org/Houston.


Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except December at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. For more information, call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.


Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the Justice Center, 211 Court Street, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.




Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.


Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.


Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.


Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at [email protected].


Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.


San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at 210-999-7292.


Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston. For more information, contact [email protected].


Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email [email protected].


Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.


Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.


Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.

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