February 26, 2014
  

Six gardening trends to watch

 

By Anthony Tesselaar

Tesselaar Plants

 

1. Small can only get bigger. By this I mean that our outdoor spaces will become even smaller as town planners deal with parceling out urban real estate to an increasing number of people. Regardless of the amount of outdoor space most people will enjoy in future - conceivably this will range from courtyards to balconies to kitchen windowsills - the enjoyment and satisfaction from living plants being around us will persist. (I believe this is core to human happiness.) In the meantime the industry should do its best to cater for this demand - compact trees and plants, drought tolerant species for wind-blown balconies, epiphytes for the bathroom and glorious window boxes to mark the changing seasons.

 

2. Landscaping is buoyant. Everyone is noticing the upturn from the slump. As everyone begins to feel more confident of the future, they're naturally drawn to making more of the garden, especially as money and effort spent on landscaping is a safe investment. For many, down-the-sink travel expenditure is being channeled into both soft and hard landscaping. It's a broad market with the do-it-yourselfers at one end and those contracting the professionals at the other. Regardless of how indirectly-dirty people's hands are getting, the interest and demand for plants is high.

 

3. Plants as food. This is an interesting one as the stats show that the ever-increasing sales in herbs, vegetables and fruit trees isn't linked with a corresponding level of self-sufficiency. But I don't think that's what is about. I believe growing your own is driven more by the notion of taking control over the food you put in your mouth and - more importantly - the mouth of your child. And how much people are actually harvesting is irrelevant because any success, however small - is incredibly rewarding. The market for this is a broad one, from books on how-to to window-sill pots to fill with herbs, to the herbs themselves, seedlings generally and all the gear - tools, plant labels, trugs, cloches. At the top end there's money being spent on serious potager-inspired hard landscaping.

 

4. Look to our children. This is a natural follow-on from food plants. Growing appealing fruits and vegetables - strawberries win over radishes any day - helps children learn about basic natural systems. It's fun and has become a mainstream part of the early years curriculum in many countries around the world. Encourage children into the world of plants by catering to their scale with diminutive tools, and imagination, with toy fauna tucked into the foliage. A word of caution: I'd be wary of patronizing, dumbed-down or overly cute products.

 

5. Bold color: it's kicking in. Front doors are starting to jump out in hot pink and lipstick red and the pots are following suit. Bold color is ebullient and it makes everything look great - indoors or out. The trade fairs have been full of them, filled with wonderfully creative plantings. Some top off the pot color with more color in flowers and foliage. Others restrain the planting to just greenery and let the pot make the statement. Whatever your approach, it's a winner as it makes for brilliant merchandising - it's as simple as rainbows of stacked pots. Adding in some white is, as always, the master stroke.

 

6. Keep it easy. It's obvious and hardly needs saying, but one thing that is holding its own is the skill and expertise of most gardeners: the majority are enthusiastic novices who are keen to learn. It's in everyone's interests to help them enjoy success and avoid disappointment, and the best way to do that is to offer them good advice and easy care, quality plants. Keep this in mind and the number of people who love being in the garden can only keep growing.

 

Anthony Tesselaar heads an international project management company dealing in distinctive plants and horticultural research & development.

 

Eco-friendly weed control in lawns

 

By Melinda Myers

Gardening columnist 

 

Don't let lawn weeds get the best of you. These opportunistic plants find a weak spot in the lawn, infiltrate and begin the take over your grass. Take back the lawn with proper care. Your lawn will not only be greener and healthier, but good for the environment.

 

The grass and thatch layer act as a natural filter, helping to keep pollutants out of our groundwater and dust out of our atmosphere. They also reduce erosion, decrease noise and help keep our homes and landscapes cooler in summer. And a healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds.

 

Start by identifying the unwanted lawn invaders. Use them as a guide to improve your lawn's health and beauty. Weeds appear and spread when the growing conditions are better for them than the grass. Correct the problem to reduce the weeds and improve the health of your lawn. Killing the weeds without fixing the underlying cause is only a temporary solution. Unless the cause is eliminated the weed problem will return.

 

Here are a few of the more common weeds, the cause and possible solutions for managing them out of the lawn.

 

High populations and a variety of weeds mean you need to adjust your overall lawn care practices. Mow high and often, removing no more than 1/3 the total height of the grass at one time. Leave the clippings on the lawn in order to return water, nutrients and organic matter to the soil. This along with proper fertilization using an organic nitrogen slow release fertilizer with non leaching phosphorous can greatly reduce weeds.

 

Knotweed and plantains often found growing next to walks and drives or other high traffic areas can also be found in lawns growing on heavy poorly prepared soils. These weeds thrive in compacted soil where lawn grasses fail. Reduce soil compaction and improve your lawn's health with core aeration. Aerate lawns when actively growing in spring or fall. Or replace grass in high traffic areas with permeable pavers or stepping stones to eliminate the cause.

 

Nutsedge is a common weed in wet or poorly drained soils. Improve the drainage to manage this weed. It may mean core aerating the lawn and topdressing with compost, regrading or the installation of a rain garden to capture, filter and drain excess water back into the ground.

 

Clover and black medic mean it's time to get the soil tested and adjust fertilization. Both thrive when the lawn is starving. Clover was once included in lawn mixes because of its ability to capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and add it to the soil. If these weeds are present, boost the lawn's diet starting this spring with a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer. It feeds slowly throughout the season, promoting slow steady growth that is more drought-tolerant, disease-resistant and better able to outcompete the weeds.

 

Creeping Charley, also known as ground ivy, violets, and plantains usually get their foothold in the shade and then infiltrate the rest of the lawn. Take back those shady spots by growing a more shade-tolerant grass such as the cool-season grass-fescue or warm season St. Augustine grass. Mow high and fertilize less, only 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per growing season, than the sunny areas of your lawn. Or replace the lawn with shade tolerant groundcovers. Adjust your overall care to reclaim and maintain the rest of the lawn.

 

Crabgrass and Goosegrass are common weeds that follow a hot dry summer. Mow high to shade the soil and prevent many of these annual grass weeds from sprouting. Corn gluten meal is an organic pre-emergent weed killer that can help reduce these and other weeds from sprouting. Apply in spring and fall applications to reduce weeds by as much as 80% in three years.

 

And, when mowing this year, consider an electric or push mower to manage your lawn in an even more eco-friendly manner.

 

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can't Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener's Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.
Gardening tips
  

As we transition from winter to warmer spring weather, watch for aphids on tender, young plant growth. Spray with an insecticidal soap according to label directions for short-term control. For-longer term control, encourage ladybugs to inhabit your garden and the area around your garden. Ladybug larvae love to feast on aphids! If you have any burr clover growing (the kind with the small yellow flower), don't kill it or mow it. Ladybugs will use it as a hotel and place to raise their young.      

 

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.

 

FEBRUARY 


Dallas: "Saving for a Rainy Day, Making a Rain Barrel" will be presented 6:30-8:30 p.m., February 27, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Center at Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Learn the basics of rainwater harvesting and the effects stormwater has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home and have the opportunity to construct their own 55-gallon rain barrel. Register at dallas.tamu.edu/courses.   

MARCH

 

Austin: Austin Organic Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale on Saturday, March 1, 9 a.m. to 1:30 pm, at Zilker Botanical Gardens. Choose your vegetables, ornamentals, seeds, and succulents in a relaxed atmosphere. All plants offered are proven winners for our area. Many experienced organic gardeners will be on hand to help you make your selection. Free and open to the public; entrance fee to the garden required. Enjoy a stroll through the gardens after you shop! For additional information, visit: www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

 

Austin: Saturday, March 1, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunshine Community Garden, 4814 Sunshine Drive, Austin. Austin's oldest and largest community garden is having its Annual Plant Sale & Benefit: Grow your Own! Everything for your spring garden: thousands of organic tomatoes, peppers and vegetable plants, culinary and medicinal herbs, flowers, and ornamentals. Bag-your-own compost. Local vendors and live music round out this annual rite of spring for the whole family. Everything for a fun-filled day. Arrive early for best selections and spend the day at the gardens. Rain or Shine!

 

Dallas: The Harris County master Gardeners' annual Tomato/Pepper Sale will be held 9 a.m.-1 p.m., March 1, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr., Houston. The sale will be preceded by an overview of the plants being sold at 8 a.m.  

 

Dallas: Save the Rain (Rainwater Collection Class) will be presented Saturday, March 1, 10 a.m. - noon at the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas.Discover the basics of rainwater harvesting, how to calculate how much rainwater can be collected, and see examples of collection containers at Texas Discovery Gardens. The class is Saturday, March 1, from 10 to noon. Learn how to build your own simple system. $60, $48 for TDG Members. Register online or at 214-428-7476 x343. For more information, visit http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

La Marque: Texas Tuff Landscape Plants" with GC Master Gardener Sandra Duvall will be presented 9-11:30 a.m., March 1, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Email reservations to galv3@wt.net, For additional information, call-534-3413 or visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Fort Worth: The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers' School will be held March 3-4 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. The first day will feature growers describing their sales and floral design strategies for florists, supermarkets, and farmers' markets accounts. Special emphasis on wedding sales and arrangements will be included. Hands-on sessions will allow attendees to make their own hand-tied bridal bouquets using locally-grown Texas flowers. Cut flower production and business management classes will fill the second day. Record keeping for farmers, cultivar selection, efficient field and greenhouse practices, and postharvest handling steps will be covered. Experienced growers will talk about their experience using hoophouses and tunnels for season extension, and the best way to find and break into new markets. The Growers' School is designed mainly for new growers, or those adding cut flowers to their existing lines, but the information presented will be valuable for anyone interested in cut flower production and floral design. Find the full program and registration at www.ascfg.org.

 

La Marque: "50 Ways to Live a Greener Life" with GC Master Gardener Ken Steblein will be presented 6:30-8 p.m., March 4, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Email reservations to galv3@wt.net, For additional information, call 534-3413 or visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free. 

 

Houston: At noon on March 4, Harris Country Extension Agent-Horticulture Paul Winski will present the results of the ornamental plant trials held in the demonstration gardens during 2013. Among the plants tested were pentas and caladiums. The presentation will be held in the Bear Creek auditorium at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr., Houston. Visitors are welcome and a hamburger lunch is available for $5.

 

Humble: From noon until 2 p.m. March 5 learn about the plants that will be available for sale at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens' forthcoming March Mart. The presentation will be held at the arboretum, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For reservations or more information, call 281-443-8731. 

 

Austin: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Travis County and Travis County Master Gardeners is presenting a series of five monthly drought-related programs in Austin, which began with a composting program on Feb. 6. The four remaining Dealing with Drought Conditions programs will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on their respective dates at the AgriLife Extension office in southeast Austin, located at 1600-B Smith Road. Each program is $10 for early registration and $15 for late or on-site registration. To register, go to http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu. Still to come: March 6 - Rainwater harvesting. Don't let valuable rainwater wash down the gutter; capture it and use it to water gardens and landscapes. Learn the basics of rainwater harvesting and how to construct a basic system suited to your needs. April 3 - Landscaping to conserve water. Learn proper techniques for watering, feeding and maintaining healthy grasses and landscapes. May 1 - Drip irrigation for the garden. Learn how to install an effective water-wise drip irrigation system and how to monitor its efficiency. Includes an explanation of the irrigation system at AgriLife Extension's demonstration garden. June 5 - Alternative methods of gardening and irrigation. People with time, space or physical limitations can learn how to raise vegetables, herbs and flowers using self-sufficient grow boxes, as well as keyhole gardening and "hugelkultur," to expand their gardening repertoire. For more information, contact Richards at 512-854-9600 or drichards@tamu.edu.  

 

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Spring Sale, featuring perennials, vegetables, herbs and more, on Saturday, March 8, 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.

 

Dallas: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the greenhouse on this family friendly walk at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas, Saturday, March 8, at 11 am. It ends in time for the Butterfly Release talk at noon in the conservatory. Included w/admission. For additional information, visit http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Humble: From 10 a.m. until noon March 8 learn about the plants that will be available for sale at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens' forthcoming March Mart. The presentation will be held at the arboretum, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For reservations or more information, call 281-443-8731.

 

Huntsville: The Walker County Master Gardeners Plant Sale will take place from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. March 8 at the Pilot Truck Stop on Hwy 75 N in Huntsville.  

 
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 ginnyscurlock@yahoo.com.

Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners will present a Spring Waterwise landscape Seminar from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., March 8, at the UTPB Center for Energy & Economic Diversity, Routes 191 and 1788, Midland. For additional information, contact jimblischke@sbcglobal.net.

Pasadena: The Harris County Gardeners at Precinct 2 will hold the annual Perennial and Tomato/Pepper Sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., March 8, at 7600 Red Bluff Rd., Pasadena. Heidei Sheesley of Treesearch Farms will present a plant overview at 8 a.m.

Seabrook: The Harris County Master Gardeners at precint 2 will present an educational program about irrigation at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, at the Clear Lake Park meeting room (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Dallas: "Drip Irrigation DIY" will be presented 6:30-8:30 p.m., March 13, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Center at Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Convert your spray heads and watch your sprinkler system save you money. Register at dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

Humble: March Mart will be held Friday, March 14, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, March 15, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. One of the Texas Gulf Coast area's largest and most anticipated horticultural events, March Mart features a huge selection, more than 2,000 varieties, of quality plants rarely found at local retail nurseries. Many of these plants are grown by Mercer's volunteers, who will be on-hand to help with selection and offer advice on the cultivation and care of plants offered at the event. Proceeds from the sale benefit the gardens and programs at Mercer.

 

Brady: Central Texas Master Gardeners Association will host a workshop on March 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that will focus on fighting invasive species and protecting Texas from their negative effects. The training will be presented by Justin Bush, the Invasive Species Program Manager at the University of Texas - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The workshop will be held at Brady Housing Authority, 405 E. Main St., Brady. Lunch is provided by CTMGA. There is no charge for the workshop, but space is limited and advance registration is required.To register, call McCulloch Extension Office at 325-597-1295, contact slvanzant@gmail.com, or visit http://tinyurl.com/lo8dsa4.

 

College Station: "Be Earth-Kind - Compost" will be presented by Master Gardener/Composter Molly Harris, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., March 18, at Cypress Grove Intermediate School, 900 Graham Road, College Station. 

 

Dallas: "Saving for a Rainy Day, Making a Rain Barrel" will be presented 6:30-8:30 p.m., March 18, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Center at Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Learn the basics of rainwater harvesting and the effects stormwater has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home and have the opportunity to construct their own 55-gallon rain barrel. Register at dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

Houston: John Berry will discuss chickens at 7 p.m. March 19, in the Bear Creek Auditorium, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr., Houston. Refreshments begin at 6:30.

Dallas: Savor Dallas at the Arboretum will be held March 20, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. (Tickets: $65, $59 for members). Last year's event sold out, so be sure to purchase tickets today. Savor Dallas and the Arboretum invite guests to delight in the breathtaking beauty of spring by strolling through the garden sampling premium wines, beers and spirits. There are also delectable food samplings from some of Dallas' finest kitchens. Each guest receives a crystal tasting glass as a memento of this wonderful evening in the garden. Proceeds benefit the Dallas Arboretum's Education Department. The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, offers a plethora of adult education programs ranging from landscaping classes to jewelry making courses. Day or night, there are programs for everyone. Members receive a 10% discount on classes. Programs fill quickly, so register today by calling 214-515-6540. For general inquiries, email education@dallasarboretum.org.

Seguin: Mary Ruona will discuss Xeriscaping at the March 20 meeting of the Guadalupe Master Gardeners, at the Justice Center, 211 Court St., Seguin. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. with a business meeting after the program. For additional information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Round Top: The 19th Annual Herbal Forum will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 21 and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. March 22 at Round Top Festival Hill, 248 Jaster Road, Round Top. Plants and gifts will be for sale. Admission is free. For additional information, visit www.herbsocietypioneer.org.

Tyler: The second of seven seminars on the finer points of gardening in East Texas will be held February 22. Registration is $15 per individual lecture. The next two lectures will be held in April and May. After a summer hiatus, the series will begin again with lectures in September, October and November. All lectures will have registration at the door beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9 a.m. Ending will vary depending upon how many questions are asked, but should usually end by noon. For more information, call 903-590-2980 or visit http:// www.facebook.com/ETGardenConference. The lectures will be held at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler. The remaining 2014 East Texas Garden Lecture Series are: March 22 - "Location, Location, Location: Right Plant/Right Place and Ask The Designer." Tyler Rose Garden Center. Hansen will discuss selecting the right plants for landscaping projects for long-term success. Laurie Breedlove of Breedlove Landscape Nursery and James Willhite of Willhite Landscape will answer landscape design questions. April 12 - "A Warm Welcome - Landscape Tips for Curb Appeal." Dee Bishop, Smith County Master Gardener and longtime landscape professional, will share ideas on how to easily set out a colorful and inviting welcome mat to your home with plants. Demonstration planters will be offered as door prizes. May 17 - "Saving Water With Drip - Drip Irrigation Basics and Applications." Dr. Dotty Woodson, AgriLife Extension water specialist, Dallas, and Brad McCullough, state licensed irrigator with Ewing Irrigation, Tyler, will demonstrate how to design and install a drip irrigation system. They will also show how easily an existing spray irrigation section can be converted to a drip system. Sept. 13 - "Enjoy Your Home Landscape - Make Your Yard Fit Your Life." David Gary, Smith County Master Gardener, has learned to continue gardening despite being confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy. Gary will show how to design a landscape to fit anyone's physical limitations. Oct. 25 - "Forgotten and Underutilized Plants For East Texas." Greg Grant, research associate at the Piney Woods Native Plant Center, Nacogdoches, and Texas Gardener contributing editor, is co-author of "Heirloom Gardening in the South." He'll discuss choice plants for use in the home landscape. Nov. 15 - "Japanese Maples and Adapted Trees for Every Landscape." Dr. Dave Creech, regent's professor at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, and director of the university's Mast Arboretum, will be the featured speaker. The arboretum has one of the largest collections of Japanese maples in the region, and Creech will share details of his favorite selections. He'll also discuss a wide selection of other trees adapted to the East Texas region, many of which are not frequently seen in our area.

La Marque: "Minimize Tomato Stress Factors to Maximize Yields"with GC Master Gardener Ira Gervais will be presented 9-11:30 a.m., March 29, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension, Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Email reservations to galv3@wt.net, For additional information, call-534-3413 or visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners of Hood County will host their annual plant sale 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Demonstration Garden (behind Annex 1), 1410 Pearl St., Granbury.

Orangefield: The Orange County Master Gardener Association of Orange will hold their annual Bloomin' Crazy Plant Fair Saturday, March 29 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Jewel Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield (about 1.5 miles south of IH10 (Exit 869S). Available will be a large variety of plants from annuals, perennials, Texas SuperStars, Natives, vines, butterfly, house, tropical, lilies, citrus, shrubs, trees, vegetables including herbs and a huge selection of tomato and pepper plants. There will be many hard-to-find plants available also. Vendors selling bromeliads, and unique gifts will be available along with Master Gardeners to answer horticulture related questions. Concessions will be available. For additional information, visit www.txmg.org/orange.

APRIL

 

Huntsville: The Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America will host its third annual Herb Festival at the Wynne Home on Saturday, April 5, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the beautiful, historic Wynne Home, 1428 Eleventh St., Huntsville. The event will feature a vast selection of herbs, camellias, hummingbird and butterfly plants for sale. Local artists, herbal, garden and kitchen vendors will also be selling their products. Area musicians will perform and there will be speakers on using and growing herbs. The event is free to the public. For more information, call 936-891-5024 or visit www.facebook.com/texasthymeunit.

 

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. A wide variety of hard-to-find, "Texas tough" plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and exclusive SFA and Greg Grant introductions. Most of the plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public and most are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers.This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404, or visit  www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants.

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. 

 

FIRST WEEK

 

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.

 

Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Tuesday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu. 

 

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.

 

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.

  

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.

 

SECOND WEEK

 

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 guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

 

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 quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.

 

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.

 

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.

 

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.

 

THIRD WEEK

 

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 LJepson@aol.com.

 

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.

 

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

 

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 aransas-tx@tamu.edu 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 boeblingen@centex.net 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.

 

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.

 

FOURTH WEEK

 

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 khtromza@yahoo.com.

 

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 Thursday of each month at 3015 Richmond Ave., Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

 

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 info@leandergc.org.

 

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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