April 2, 2014
  

Invasive Nandina domestica
 

By Linda Higby

Freelance Writer

 

Nandina domestica, a non-native, woody invasive evergreen shrub from Eastern Asia has insidiously worked its way into the fabric of the Texas landscape. Introduced in the 1800s, it was widely used as an ornamental landscape plant. It escaped and began invading natural areas. As one comes to understand the havoc this pernicious member of the Barberry family wreaks on our state, both environmentally and economically, Nandina's nicknames, heavenly bamboo and sacred bamboo become more and more ludicrous.

 

As a refresher, let's first define what an invasive species is exactly. A generally accepted definition and one that's used by Executive Order 1311 of the Texas Invasives organization states: "an invasive species is defined as one that is non-native or alien to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health."

 

Non-domestic Nandina has found a home in Texas because of its ability to thrive in our dry, sunny clime and because it can readily morph, flourishing in shady, moist areas with no care. Nandina's ability to easily adapt and successfully reproduce has led to its promotion as a landscape plant of choice and its perpetuation continues despite myriad data supporting its eradication. Of course there are many other invasive species the likes of Kudzu, China Berry and Ligustrum, but for now my purpose is to explain why Nandina is an un-welcome guest and is included on every invasives species list in our state.

 

Nandina occurs under forest canopies and near forest edges and can inhabit several types of plant communities from upland hardwoods to flood plains and mesic slope woodlands. It is a fast-growing plant that spreads by underground rhizomes (nefarious root-like structures) and seeds. It has a substantial taproot. Seedlings can persist for several years before maturing. Animal-dispersed seeds are broadcast into natural areas where they love to naturalize, displace native species and crowd out native plant communities. As is the case with so many invasives, this alien has no known natural enemies, competitors or diseases in the environment to keep it in check.

 

The Institute for the Study of Invasive Species states that "by interfering with ground covering plants, Nandina is able to alter an ecosystem and impact native animals that use native understory plants." In 2009, USDA Forest Service statisticians reported "in monoculture environments, Nandina establishes itself in high enough densities to block sunlight to native species in rich, diverse slope woodlands." And according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, "Nandina grows very aggressively forming monocultures. It out-competes native plant species in our region. This reduces the diversity of native plants in a given area which creates a lack of food and shelter available for wildlife."

 

Mark Klym, author and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Coordinator states that "many of our native plants have adapted specifically to accommodate the feeding habits of many native hummingbirds. Rampant infestations of Nandina interfere with the interdependent, symbiotic relationship which occurs between plants and wildlife, altering the infrastructure of our fragile ecosystem." In another TPWD study, field reporters concluded that Nandina displaces native plant communities with which native wildlife have evolved. It can smother or choke out native habitats and contribute to loss of native pollinators such as honey bees, moths and hummingbirds and the animals which rely on insect fauna that have been affected by these invasions.

 

All parts of the Nandina plant are toxic. The plump, red berries are attractive but poisonous to birds, dogs, cats, some ruminant farm animals and wildlife. Excessive consumption of the berries is extremely toxic to migratory birds unfamiliar with this food source when found in their foraging flight paths. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (LBJ) describes Nandina as a "highly invasive weed that displaces non-toxic, native plants on which birds thrive and does more harm by actually poisoning native wildlife."

 

According to another article referenced by LBJ Wildflower Center "when dozens of cedar waxwings were found dead in Georgia three years ago, investigators at the University of Georgia found the cause to be Nandina berries. Bird autopsies revealed the berries lodged in the birds' crops, as well as hemorrhaging of several internal organs. The root of the bird's distress is the cyanide and other alkaloids contained in the berries that produce highly toxic hydrogen cyanide, which is extremely poisonous to all animals. Sudden death may be the only sign of cyanide poisoning and death usually comes within minutes to an hour of exposure."

 

"Over 220 bird species nationwide are in serious decline, including our most common birds. Birds are being killed on all fronts," states Jerry W. Davis, Certified Wildlife Biologist from Arkansas. The Native Plant Society of Texas warns that song birds are the first line of defense for pest control.

 

Can we really afford to promote Nandina when we know it to be a serious threat to the birds on which we so depend?

 

The USDA Forest Service reports that Nandina seedlings are the first plants noticed to emerge after prescribed fires. They suggest that some aspect of post- fire conditions actually promotes the germination of Nandina. Interestingly, they cannot confirm how long Nandina can live but individual plants found near home sites in the Southern U.S. were greater than 100 years old!

 

While there is always substantiating evidence on both sides to promote one's cause or belief, I have been unable to find evidence supporting the propagation of this plant. Many scientific reports and frustrated gardeners' blogs later, all I come up with is "it was pretty with its red berries," "I thought I was doing the right thing to feed the wildlife," " I can't get rid of it," "it is taking over my property," "what can I do?"

 

Texas A & M AgriLife Extension confirms that invasive species are negatively impacting ecosystems and that it is costly. Their reports indicate that "it is very expensive to prevent, monitor and control the spread of invasives. The damage to crops, fisheries, forests, and other resources costs the US $137 billion annually. Some of the most harmful species cost in excess of $100 million annually."

 

My first encounter with noxious Nandina occurred when I discovered it on a property I was working on in Shavano Park, San Antonio. A seemingly friendly looking evil-doer, planted close to the house by an unknowing homeowner, had spread into the woods. I found rigorous plants popping up everywhere, literally invading the beautiful native wooded habitat! It was impossible to completely follow the extensive, pervasive root system to eradicate it, even with the help of two men. Three days into the project we were still doing our best to just somehow manage the situation. Maybe that is what spurred this article. I can certainly testify to the seriousness of the situation, having attempted to deal with it personally. My research for this article only confirms my firsthand observations that this plant is systematically upsetting our fragile ecosystem, limiting natural biodiversity and messing with the natural balance of things. It is ubiquitous and appears to be unstoppable!

 

It is interesting to note that the City of San Antonio's Appendix E Recommended Plants List does not include Nandina among its plants of choice to grow. And, while San Antonio Water System (SAWS) does include this plant in its recommended plant list, it states that Nandina is "very difficult to eradicate; avoid berry-producing varieties which have proven invasive in central Texas and the Southeastern U.S."

 

Apparently unaware of the risks, homeowners and landscapers are still planting this toxic, aggressive species. How can we halt this criminal? With facts in hand, passionately spread the word! Educate your friends and neighbors as to why invasive Nandina is not the plant of choice. Don't buy this stuff or plant it! Refuse to support big box stores and nurseries that sell it. Instead, plant a variety of friendly natives to replace lost habitat because diversity increases the chances that an animal can find food. Here are some excellent plant options: Flameleaf Sumac, Bush Germander, Texas Sage, Possum Haw Holly, American Beauty Berry, Salvia greggi, Yaupon Holly, Carolina Buckthorn, Barbados Cherry, or my favorites Agarita and its cousin, Texas Barberry.

 

Homeowners determined to plant Nandina are encouraged to plant sterile, dwarf varieties such as Nana and Harbor Dwarf, which rarely set seed. Yet, because these varieties still spread profusely by rhizomatic action, it is recommended that dwarfs be kept in pots and monitored. Because Nandina is very difficult to remove manually, care must be taken when this invasive is potted as rhizomes escaping the bottom of the pot tend to "travel" quickly, with even the smallest piece of root re-sprouting! Didn't I see a Nandina's mug shot at the Post Office yesterday?

 

Remove prior plantings and control sprouts and seedlings. Collect and bag or burn all fruit to prevent spreading. Pullerbear Tree and Root Puller makes an invasives weed remover tool which may help or just dig, dig, dig the roots by hand. Develop an on-going maintenance program to stay on top of re-growth and resident newcomers. Investigate chemical treatment options but with any chemical use follow the directions carefully and be aware that several chemical applications will be necessary with varying degrees of success. Please refer to LBJ Wildflower Center or The Institute for the Study of Invasive Species regarding chemical products targeted for invasives and their proper application.

 

As scientists and researchers continue to search for answers to the "invasives dilemma," there are glimmers of hope. Dr. Kelly Lyons of Trinity University states "experimental studies suggest that more diverse vegetative communities are more resistant to new species introductions, in particular non-indigenous species invasions." Great news! And, in growing numbers throughout the state, groups of citizens are forming "Invaders of Texas" chapters. These grass roots chapters which are overseen by LBJ Wildflower Center, are committed to a three-pronged approach with regards to dealing with the invasives challenge. Through outreach programs, education and eradication, their mission is to inform the public of the seriousness of the situation and to actively work towards the control of the invasion of this species in our great state. We applaud these "citizen scientists," as they are called, and if you would like to support their efforts you may reach them at www.texasinvasives.org/invaders.

 

References:

ASPCA

City of San Antonio

Institute for the Study of Invasive Species

Lady Bird Johnson National Wildflower Center

Madrone Native Nursery, San Marcos

Native Plant Society of Texas

Personal, firsthand experiences in the trenches!

San Antonio Water Authority

Texas A & M Agrilife Extension

Texas Forest Service

Texas Invasives

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Trinity University

USDA Forest Service


The garden reader:
Eerie night gardens
 

By William Scheick

Book Reviewer

 

Cassandra King. Moonrise. Maiden Lane Press, 2013. 392 pp. $26.95.

 

On an icy March night Rosalyn Justice died when her car skidded over the edge of a mountain road. Her ashes were eventually buried beneath a magnolia tree in one of her acclaimed night gardens located on an estate in western North Carolina.

 

Less than a year later her husband brings an insecure new bride to Rosalyn's Victorian estate (Moonrise), while disapproving nearby family friends still ponder the mysterious circumstances of Rosalyn's demise. Helen, the new wife, feels oppressed by her new home, a "tomb of a house ... looking remote and forbidding ... dark and shadowy."

 

Even worse are the gone-to-ruin gardens, where "at night the moon coaxes everything to life, with buds bursting forth from the dark earth like the souls of the dead on Judgment Day." Or so Helen imagines.

 

In the moonlight Helen has also glimpsed a "dark figure moving through the trees" as well as "in the window at the top of the [house's] turret."

 

The late regal Rosalyn had been celebrated for her showcase moon gardens, which included (in particular) lady of the night (Brunfelsia americana). Smuggled from the West Indies generations ago, this highly fragrant and beautiful night-bloomer "can cause death and paralysis" after "even the slightest touch."

 

Fearing that the seemingly haunted, overgrown gardens possibly reflect her husband's inability to let go of his dead wife, Helen resolves to restore them. More than roots get unearthed.

 

A novel of female intrigue, Moonrise is meant to be a fun read similar to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1938), but with alternating narrators recalling the manner of another of my favorites, Vera Caspary's Laura (1942). Besides a Manderley-type mansion with a large portrait of the deceased wife, there are plenty of eccentric, overwrought characters to keep the reader guessing about who's betraying whom.

 

And author Cassandra King provides an endnote on planting a moon garden. 



The compost heap
Rose tip

"Thank so much for including my tip about the bareroot roses in your newsletter," writes Debbie Hollister. "It was fun to see my name in print. I used to write columns for small newspapers, but it has been a long time since I've seen my name attached to something I've written, even though it was just a small thing. Update on those roses that I potted in the greenhouse: I fertilized them with Miracle Grow for blooming plants and you would not believe how pretty they are. They grew very

fast and are now about 3 feet tall. One has two huge lavender pink blooms already with many more buds. The other has many promising buds as well. I have placed the pots in a flower bed where I will transplant them. They have adjusted beautifully to the climate even though they started in the green house. I'm so glad I bought those roses. I don't know if I told you I only paid $2.50 each for them at Walmart! Next year if Walmart lets their bareroot roses get wet and they put them on sale again, I plan to buy about 10 of them and have a really magnificent rose garden." 

Gardening tips
 

You may notice caterpillars hanging on silken threads under your trees' canopy as spring continues. While they will feed on the trees' foliage, they are not usually a cause for worry. You can use a spray of Bt when you first notice them, but even if your trees become severely defoliated, they will most likely make a full recovery.   

 

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.
APRIL

 

Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardener Intern Class Orientation will be held 2 p.m.-4 p.m., April 2, at the Whitehall Center at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, #1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. For additional information, call 254-399-9204. 

 

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 three 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: 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.

 

Austin: Trowel and Error, Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium, will be held Saturday, April 5, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Mayfield Park, 3505 W. 35th Street, Austin (next to Laguna Gloria Art Museum). Historic Mayfield Park combines topics dear to the heart of Central Texas gardeners in a series of "must hear" lectures: 10 a.m. Amanda Moon, horticulturist, landscape designer and consultant "Heat and Drought Tolerant Plants You May Not Have Heard Of (or Thought About Using)"; 11 a.m. Jay White, avid gardener and contributing writer for Texas Gardener, "The Masters of Horticulture blog Fence Me In -Selecting the Proper Support For Tomatoes"; Noon Patty Leander, contributing writer for Texas Gardener, Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist, B.S. in Food and Nutrition, "Go Vertical in the Garden With Climbing, Vining and Twining Vegetables." What's a garden event without a plant sale? Mayfield has the best deals in town for hard-to-find heirlooms and other perennials perfect for the April garden. A "garden goodie" raffle for the discerning gardener will round out the day. As always, Trowel & Error benefits one of Austin's favorite and enchanting parks, historic Mayfield. Guests tour the restored Mayfield-Gutsch home, surrounded by stone-walled gardens patterned in the 1920's after the cottage gardens of England. Towering palms, flowering trees and perennials line meandering paths set among ponds filled with water lilies and fish. Gregarious peacocks supervise overflowing flower beds planted and maintained by community volunteers. Sponsored by Friends of the Parks of Austin, a non-profit organization, Trowel and Error is the solitary fund-raiser for historic Mayfield Park. Although admission is free, a $5.00 donation is requested. For more information, call 1-512-453-7074, email neenok@aol.com, or visit mayfieldpark.org.

 

Cleburne: Metro Beekeepers President Roger Evartt will discuss "Herbs & Bees" at The Johnson County Herb Society's April 5 meeting held at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and the lecture follows at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 817-793-4625 or visit www.jcherbsocietytx.webs.com.

 

Dallas: Join The FarmGirls, Marilyn and Donelle Simmons, at Texas Discovery Gardens Saturday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to noon, and learn how to make your own herb garden. Discover which herbs grow well in our area and how to plant them. The FarmGirls have designed many organic herb beds and would love to teach you, too! Bring home herbs to plant in your garden. $25; $20 for TDG Members. Register online or at 214-428-7476 x343. 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. For more information, visit http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Deer Park: Saturday, April 5, A Prairie Celebration of Lawther-Deer Park Preserve. Free hourly tours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Choose from birding, butterflies, wildflowers, history or special tours for children. Dinner at Monument Inn at 7 p.m ($40) to benefit future plans for the prairie.  Details/registration (required) at www.prairiepartner.org or www.TexasPrairie.org or email HNPAT@texasprairie.org. 

 

Gonzales: The Gonzales Master Gardeners' 4th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 5 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in downtown Gonzales at Texas Heroes Square (St. Louis and St Joseph). There will be vegetables, herbs, annual and perennial plants, succulents, cacti, and houseplants available for shoppers to select from and children will have the opportunity to plant some seeds in their very own decorated pot. Other activities include an "Ask the Master Gardener" booth for those with gardening questions, a silent auction, food and drink. Proceeds from the silent auction and the sale of plants will be used for our education projects for the school children, adult education programs and other community projects. For more information, contact Fran Saliger at 830-672-2953.

 

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.

 

Jacksonville: Texas A&M Forest Service and the Cherokee County Master Gardeners club will host a free workshop to educate residents on the importance of having homes ready in the event of a wildfire. The workshop will include an outdoor tour of the Firewise Demonstration Garden and cover a variety of topics including: East Texas wildfire history, Firewise landscaping, fire resistant plants, fuels reduction, and wildfire preparedness. The course is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., April 5 at the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum, 1015 SE Loop 456 Jacksonville, TX. It is located behind the Texas A&M Forest Service District office. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but space is limited to 60 participants. For more information or to register, contact Jason Ellis at jellis@tfs.tamu.edu at the Texas A&M Forest Service office at 903-586-7545.

 

La Marque: "Gardening for Jewels - Hummingbirds" with GC Master Gardener Deborah Repasz. 9-11:00 a.m., April 5, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners will hold their annual plant sale 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 5, at the Midland County  Horseshoe on I-20 at the south end of Midland. Hundreds of drought-tolerant plants, from herbs to perennials to trees, will be available. For more information, contact Kathy Lee at hal_lee@suddenlink.net

 

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.

 

Rosenberg: Fort Bend County Master Gardeners open their Demonstration Gardens, give advice about plants suited to Fort Bend County and offer tips on preparing for the growing season on Saturday, April 5. Park in front of the Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg, and take one of the sidewalks to the area behind the building. Master Gardeners will be in the gardens from 9-11 a.m. Call 281-341-7068 or visit http://www.fbmg.com/ for more information.

 

San Antonio: Join Green Spaces Alliance on April 5 for an exclusive bike ride to tour up to eight community gardens during the second annual SicloVerde! Several tour options will be offered including a 14-mile group tour, a shorter tour to include four amazing gardens, and a walking tour. Participants will gather at the Eastside Sprouts Community Garden, 1023 N Pine, San Antonio, in the morning and travel in groups from garden to garden, visiting with gardeners and taking part in fun garden-themed activities before completing the loop. Route maps and bags of sponsored gifts will be provided to registered participants. Sign-up online today at www.greensatx.org/sicloverde. 

 

San Antonio:  Gardening Volunteers of South Texas presents "Watersaver Gardening Night School" on four Tuesday evenings in April: April 8, April 15, April 22 and April 29.  Classes take place 6-8:30 p.m. at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 North New Braunfels Ave. Each class covers two topics, including "Yards Without Lawns" design, organic approaches to soil, plant selection, butterfly gardening, square foot drip irrigation, vegetable gardening, "15 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know", and trees (selections, planting and care). Tuition is $40 for all 4 classes, or $15 for individual classes. Includes notebook, educational hand-outs, light refreshments and weekly door prize. Find more information and an enrollment form at www.GardeningVolunteers.org or info@gardeningvolunteers.org.


Seabrook: "Landscape Maintenance/Lawns," 6:30 p.m., April 8, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx.

  

Humble: "Food You Didn't Know You Had" will be presented noon-2 p.m., Wednesday, April 9, at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westefield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8371 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

 

San Antonio: Jenny Perez, Education Coordinator for the American Botanical Council, will speak at the April meeting of the Herb Society, Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio.For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.


Austin: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Travis County Master Gardeners, and Austin Parks & Recreation present the 8th annual East Austin Garden Fair to be held Saturday, April 12, at Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales St., Austin, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve their family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chickens and beekeeping. The fair will feature an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids' activities and container garden building. Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants offered to participants while supplies last. For more information, please call 512-854-9600.

 

Cleburne: On Saturday, April 12, a host of select plants for North Texas will be on hand at the Johnson County Master Gardeners' Spring Plant Sale. This annual event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the rodeo grounds of Johnson County Sheriff's Posse, 1315 S. Main, Cleburne. Visitors will find a variety of sustainable plants, including drought-tolerant perennials, Earth-Kind Roses, shrubs, blooming annuals, herbs, tomatoes and peppers. And for the first time peach trees, released by Texas A&M, will also be offered. Photos and descriptions of Plant Sale perennials can be viewed online at www.jcmg.org. For information about this event and other Master Gardener activities, contact the Johnson County Extension Office at 817-556-6370 or email Johnson County Extension Agent Zach T. Davis at ztdavis@ag.tamu.edu.

 

Dallas: Texas Discovery Gardens presents its annual Butterfly Gardening Workshop Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Discover how easy it is to garden and attract native butterflies with Horticulture Director Roger Sanderson & Entomologist John Watts. Bring home a starter flat of butterfly host and nectar plants, valued at $60. $60, $48 for TDG Members. Register in advance. 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Details are at  http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Dallas: Get out in the garden on this family friendly walk at Texas Discovery Gardens Saturday, April 12 at 11 a.m. Search for early spring blooms. It ends in time for you to catch the Butterfly Release talk at noon in our conservatory. Included with admission. 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Details are at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/events_and_classes.php.

 

Fort Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association's (TCMGA) annual plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at Fort Worth's Resource Connection. The garden is located off Campus Drive, north of I-20 at 1801 Circle Drive. The sale will include hundreds of perennials, annuals, roses, herbs, succulents, vines, native plants, grasses and hanging baskets. Demonstrations on rain barrels, composting, sharpening tools and container gardens will be featured. Bring your plant and gardening questions to the "Ask a Master Gardener" table.

 

Stephenville: Native & Heirloom Plant Fair, Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Numerous vendors offering native and adapted plants, herbs, garden products, arts & crafts, and edible goodies. Free admission. Stephenville Historical House Museum, 525 E Washington Street, Stephenville. For more information, visit http://www.stephenvillemuseum.org/plantfair.htm

 

Tyler: The fourth of seven seminars on the finer points of gardening in East Texas will be held April 12. 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: 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: "The Culture and Care of Palms" with GC Master Gardener O.J. Millar. 6:30-8:00p.m., April 15, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Ph 281-534-3413; email reservation to galv@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

 

Seabrook: "Crazy Ants" by Paul Nester, Extension Specialist, 10 a.m., April 16, at Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx .

 

Dallas: The annual Butterfly Plant Sale at Texas Discovery Gardens is a three day event. Members are invited to enjoy a pre-sale at 10% off on Friday, April 25, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The sale opens to the public April 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy native and adapted plants that are rare to find in local nurseries! It's at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park - 3601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Find a plant list at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/plant_sale.php.

 

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardener Deborah Birge will present a "Backyard Basics" talk on Fruit Production on Saturday morning, April 26, at the Fort Bend County Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Ms. Birge, who earned the designation of Citrus Specialist in 2011 and National Plant Diagnostic Network First Detector in 2013, will discuss elements of fruit tree maintenance ranging from planting bare root trees to pruning, pest control, harvesting, improving production, and varieties that are best suited for Fort Bend County. Her talk, from 8:30 - 11 a.m., is presented by the Fort Bend Master Gardeners and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Fort Bend County. Registration for each class is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples. Kids under 10 accompanied by parents are free. For more information or to register, contact Brandy Rader at brandyrader@ag.tamu.edu or 281-342-3034. Or visit www.fortbend.agrilife.org or www.fbmg.com.

 

La Marque: "The Joy of Daylilies" with Nell Shimek, 6:30-8 p.m., April 29, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque. Ph 281-534-3413; email reservation to galv@wt.net, further details www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

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

 

Kaufman:The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday 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.


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 Rolling Meadows, 2nd floor Media Center, 3006 McNeil Ave., 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.

 

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.

 

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third 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 254-471-5860.  

 

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 November and 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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