January 7, 2015
  

The garden reader:

DIY gardening crafts

 

By William Scheick

Book Reviewer

 

Susan Guagliumi. Handmade for the Garden. Stuart, Tabori & Chang, 2014. 208 pp. $27.50.

 

"I have been guilty," Susan Guagliumi admits, of "sometimes [pursuing] craft [as] more important to me than the garden itself." By "craft" she means creating "beautiful and functional projects" designed to enhance a garden or at least the practice of gardening.

 

In Handmade for the Garden Guagliumi provides straightforward instructions, low-tech methods and various shortcuts for 75 "functional projects that most people should be able to complete with relative ease, reasonable expense and minimal frustration."

 

The practical and instructive projects include folded or rolled newspaper pots as well as burlap wall-pockets and planters. Besides lessons on multi-tipped dibbles and hardware-cloth garden baskets, Guagliumi offers helpful advice on how to stamp, stencil and stain terra-cotta pots as well as how to produce a variety of surface textures or faux-aged finishes.

 

Equally useful is a section on cement features, including whimsical fairy houses and birdbaths in the shape of pumpkin leaves. Mosaic techniques for pots and steppingstones will save you from having to buy these pricey items at garden centers.

 

Guagliumi has a special knack for trellises, fences, arbors and other support structures. She is particularly insightful about box supports.

 

"Box supports are useful for shrubby plants that need to be coaxed into more compact shapes and for heavy blooming varieties that grow in clumps and need strong support," she explains. "After I started boxing my rose mallow, tall catnip, baptisia and peonies, they all performed better and took up less space in the garden."

 

One of Guagliumi's more ingenious lessons features ways to repurpose a worn-out garden hose instead of tossing it into the trash. Not everyone is likely to want a garden-hose doormat, though the idea is unique.

 

On the other hand, the author demonstrates this smart garden-hose idea: with the use of zip-ties, loop a worn-out hose into ascending layered rows to form a self-watering pot. That's a recycling maneuver worth the effort.

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

Pick of the Day 

 

By Kate Fellowes

Freelance Writer 

 

Kimberly Van Eimeren slowed her car on the country road, knowing the fruit stand would be at the next intersection. "Miller's Fruits and Vegetables," the old wooden sign read, its paint more chipped and faded now at the end of summer than it had been in June when she'd first pulled into the gravel parking area.

 

Then, the sun had been high in a cloudless sky, the temperature near 80, and she'd been on her way to see her folks. The lot had been crowded with shoppers. She'd had to wait in line to buy a few tomato plants for her patio and some early strawberries for dessert that night.

 

Now, the sun was half-hidden by gray, tumbling clouds and she'd worn a dark red barn coat against the first chill of autumn. Giving her collar a tug, Kimberly closed the car door and crunched across the gravel to the stand. No one else was here today to buy the last of the summer corn or the pumpkins and squash piled in bushel baskets on the countertop. A cardboard sign beside them read "End of Season. 50% off."

 

Mom could use some of those as a centerpiece, Kimberly thought, eyeing the colorful squash and striped gourds. And Dad might carve a pumpkin or two.

 

Glancing around the deserted booth, she suddenly wondered if the stand was even open. There was no smiling young college girl behind the cash register, no hunky 30-something blond guy shifting boxes laden with produce.

 

One of the highlights of stopping each week had been catching a glimpse of that guy. Handsome and fit, he seemed in his element here. Carrying crates of sweet corn off the back of a pick-up truck, piling watermelons in stacks, bagging potatoes into old-fashioned burlap sacks, he moved effortlessly around the fruit stand as if he owned the place.

 

At the height of summer, when it was especially busy, he'd even been ringing up sales. When he'd handed her change, their fingers had touched just as their eyes met. Kimberly still remembered the thrill that had shot through her in that instant.

 

She sighed. The college girl was probably back at school now and the hunky blond guy? Well, he could be anywhere.

 

Thunk!

 

The loud noise, close at hand, made Kimberly jump.

 

"Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to startle you."

 

The hunky blond guy stood at the other end of the counter, his hands still on the wooden crate he had just set down. Kimberly could see several more just like it stacked outside.

 

"Not many people around today, so I thought I'd pack it in a little early." He smiled, his tanned skin crinkling near his eyes, dimples deepening in each cheek.

 

Turning the pretty orange squash she held, Kimberly smiled back.

 

"The boss might not like that," she teased.

 

"That's the joy of being the boss," he said. "I make the rules."

 

"You're Miller?" Kimberly asked, gesturing at the painted sign.

 

"Yep. Josh Miller, third generation fruit and vegetable farmer. At your service." He took a few big strides in her direction as he spoke.

 

Kimberly extended a hand and introduced herself, liking the feel of his work-roughened skin against her own. She said, "I stop every weekend."

 

"I know," Josh said. "I've seen you before. You from around here?"

 

"I live 10 miles that way," she said, pointing south. "And my parents live 10 miles that way." She pointed north. "Every weekend, I drive up to spend some time with them." Kimberly paused, then added, "This weekend they're on a cruise, so I'll just be watering the plants - and leaving them some decorations." She gestured to the pumpkins.

 

"Sounds nice," Josh said. "I can give you a good price. These really little pumpkins make great pie." He picked one up, tossed it and caught it a few times.

 

"Oh, I know! They're the best. Actually, everything I've gotten here all summer has been wonderful. Mom and I made a ratatouille, some veggie kabobs - even vegetable soup last weekend."

 

"Yeah?" He nodded, as if he were genuinely pleased with the feedback.

 

A sudden gust of autumn wind flapped the faded awning above them and tipped the cardboard sign on the counter. They both made a quick grab for it as it fell, his hand covering hers. Then, their eyes met, as they had that other time, when the sun was hot and the wind was absent.

 

Josh cleared his throat but didn't move his hand.

 

"You know there's a restaurant near here that uses our produce in every dish on the menu. Would you be my guest for lunch now?"

 

Kimberly smiled. The plants at her folks' home could wait an hour or two for their watering.

 

"Yes," she said. "I'd like that."

 

Kate Fellowes is the author of five romantic mysteries, most recently Thunder in the Night (Crimson Romance). Her short stories and essays have appeared in Woman's World, Brides, Romantic Homes and numerous other publications. She blogs about work and life at http://katefellowes.wordpress.com.

The compost heap
Source of plastic

"Where in south Texas can you find the plastic described in the newsletter ('Easy, affordable cover extends growing season in home gardens,' Seeds, December 31, 2014)?" asks Don Skow.

Joe Masabni ordered that plastic from Agricultural Solutions online at www.agriculturalsolutions.com. He bought a 6' by 500' roll for about $90.

Gardening tips

January is the best time to plant bare-rooted fruit and nut trees (container trees can be set out any time). Be sure to set those trees at the same depth as there were previously growing (you will notice a color change on the trunk where the soil stopped). It is important not to plant them lower than that mark. Fill the hole with native soil and water several times to get the air pockets out. Keep the young trees mulched and well watered as they become established.

 

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 2015 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.

JANUARY

 

Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 8, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. Tony Napolillo from Green Mountain Energy Company will present "Why Solar is the Future of a Sustainable World." Green Mountain is the nation's longest-serving renewable energy retailer, providing consumers, including those in Nacogdoches, with the choice for electricity plans backed by wind and solar. Through the company's Green Mountain EnergySun Club, residential customers and supporters of solar have the opportunity to give back to non-profit organizations through solar power projects. Contributions from customers to the Sun Club help fund the purchase and installation of solar projects at deserving non-profits each year.Since the program's founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated more than $3 million to help install over 700 kilowatts of solar power, which has the potential to avoid more than 1.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That's like planting 145 trees every year. Tony Napolillo has managed the Sun Club since 2006, overseeing almost all of the program's 75 solar projects, with one of the most recent beingthe solar array at Stephen F. Austin State University on the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. Tony has 20 years of experience in the marketing and customer relations fields and has been with Green Mountain since 2003. He lives in Austin with his wife and three young, crazy boys, who keep him constantly on his toes. His passion for the environment and communications are a natural fit for Green Mountain, and the Lecture Series. The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center. A raffle for rare plants will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series fund always are appreciated. Parking is available at the nearby Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. For more information, call Elyce Rodewald at 936-468-1832 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

 

San Antonio: In Central Texas we know how important rain is to our plants and gardens. Learn how to collect and store rainwater to use when you need it most. Conserve water and benefit your plants and garden. Make-and-take your own rain barrel in just a few hours by attending the Rain Barrel Workshop (part of the Backyard Gardening Series) Thursday, January 8, 9 a.m.-noon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extention Service, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. RSVP with payment to Angel Torres by Jan 5. For additional information call 210-467-6575 or email matorres@ag.tamu.edu. Limit 30. $50 per person. Make check payable to: Texas A&M AgriLife and mail to: 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 212, San Antonio, TX 78230. 3 CEUs for MGs.

 

San Antonio: Chris Duffy, owner of Edible Arrangements, will present "The Herb of the Year...Savory" at the San Antonio Herb Society's January meeting. The presentation will include how and when to grow savory, what time of year to harvest and what to use it for after harvest. The meeting will be Thursday, January 8, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 210-826-6860 or email mbelisle@satx.rr.com.

 

La Marque: Growing Avocado And Papaya, Saturday, January 10, 9-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Jerry Hurlbert, Moderator and Coordinator of Texas Rare Fruit Growers Association, who has 35 years of experience growing avocados. Learn the best varieties for the Gulf Coast, how to start plants from seeds, as well as tips on tree planting and cultivation methods for growing avocados. Discover the best methods for protecting plants from cold and sun, especially for young trees. There will also be information on growing papaya but this topic will not be covered in as much depth. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

La Marque: Successfully Growing Peaches in Galveston County, Saturday, January 10, 1-3 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer will present a program on the best variety selection (both white and yellow flesh) for Galveston County, what to look for when buying your peach tree, and the best planting locations. Learn about pest control, chill hours, rootstock, pruning to shape and thinning methods that lead to larger fruit and greater yield. Find out how to judge ripening dates and the best time to harvest. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

San Antonio: Free Fruit Tree Seminar Saturday, January 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 3920 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio. Learn how to properly select, plant, prune and maintain fruit and nut trees for maximum production and about overall care of your trees before and after harvest. David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist will present this wonderful seminar. 1.5 CEUs for MGs.

   

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will begin its 2015 Lunch and Learn With the Masters lecture series Monday, January 12, noon until 1 p.m. at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Victoria County Extension Agent Peter McGuill will discuss "Selection and Care of Trees in Your Landscape." The event is free to the public. Those attending may bring a sack lunch and beverage.

 

Canyon Lake: The Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 13. The meeting will be held at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Canyon Lake. The program, "The Role of Native Plants in our Lives," with Lonnie Child, will be an amusing presentation packed with awesome photos of flora and fauna. For more information, visit  http://npsot.org/wp/lindheimer/main-page/, or contact Janet Wilson at wiljan39@gmail.com, or President Sharon Thomas at scthomas@gvtc.com

 

San Antonio: On Wednesday, January 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., David Rodriguez, County Extension Agent-Horticulturist, will present Joey Villarreal, Proprietor and Brewer of Blue Star Brewing Company, Todd Huntress, Operator of San Antonio Homebrew Supply & Home Brewer, along with Bexar County Master Gardener and Home Brewer, Lou Kellogg in the first Backyard Gardening Series presentation for 2015: The Basics of Home Brewing 101. Held at Blue Star Brewing, The Blue Star Arts Complex, 1414 S. Alamo St, San Antonio 78210. 2 CEUs for Master Gardeners. Fee: $20. RSVP to Angel Torres 210-467-6575 or email matorres@ag.tamu.edu. Must be 21 years of age or older.

 

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, January 15, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. A social gathering will be at 6:30 p.m. followed by the educational program at 7:00 p.m. The topic of the meeting will be "Planning Planting for Spring." There will be several Master Gardeners hosting small group discussions relating to spring gardening, lawn care, and tree care. The membership meeting will follow the educational program.For additional information, please call 830-303-3889 or www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

 

La Marque: Growing Citrus in Your Own Backyard, Saturday, January 17, 9-11 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Galveston County Master Gardener Chris Anastas will present a program on how to successfully grow citrus trees. The presentation will cover such topics as rootstock and variety selection, cultural care of trees, typical disease and insect pest problems, and freeze protection. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

Rosenberg: Join the Fort Bend Master Gardeners on Saturday, January 17, for a program to preview the trees and plants to be sold at their Annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale. It will include how to heel in your fruit trees, pruning and how to plant as well as an overview of plants at the sale. The program will be held at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the program will be from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. For more information call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

 

San Antonio: Free Fruit Tree Seminar, Saturday, January 17, 9 a.m. to noon, Fanick's Garden Center Inc., 1025 Holmgreen Rd, San Antonio. Dr. Larry Stein from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will show you how to properly select, plant, prune and maintain fruit and nut trees for maximum production. Also learn about the overall care of your trees before and after harvest. 3 CEUs for MGs.

 

La Marque: Gardening by the Square Foot, Tuesday, January 20, 6:30-8 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener John Jons. This program is an introduction to the methodology of gardening by the square foot. Discover this unique way of planning the bed, selecting plants, building the bed, maintaining the bed and renewing the bed. This is an ideal program for anyone who would like to learn a simple, productive method of gardening and will also enable them to teach children or adults with limitations how to learn and enjoy gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

Seabrook: Wednesday, January 21, Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms, will present "Citrus and Fruit Trees for the Houston area" at 10 a.m., in the meeting room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Parkway,Seabrook. The trees will be available at the Master Gardener sale on February 14 at Campbell Hall in Pasadena. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

 

La Marque: Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening, Saturday, January 24, 9-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener Luke Stripling. Stripling has over 65 years of hands-on experience growing vegetables. Learn how to plan and start a vegetable garden. Find out about the best soils, location and plant varieties to use for Galveston County. Gain knowledge on pollination, mulching, composting, and the effects of full sun and shade on vegetable gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will host "Spring into Vegetable Gardening" on January 24, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Landing at Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney. The focus of the program will be vegetable gardening in Collin County from January through May. Vegetable garden experts will discuss the specifics on when and what to plant in Collin County, with month-to-month guidelines for January through May planting. Attendees will learn about the importance of soil and soil preparation, how to propagate seeds, and which varieties of plants grow well in the area. Master gardeners will be available to answer questions at demonstration tables on the following subjects: water conservation with rain barrels and drip irrigation, propagation, gardening resources, soil amendments, compost, vegetable container gardening, raised bed construction, and more. Representatives from Texas Pure Products will be on hand with examples of compost and mulch. Tour the potager and vegetable trial gardens at the end of the program with the volunteers who work in these gardens. This ambitious project began in the fall of 2013 with 16 raised beds, including two wheelchair-accessible beds, and utilizes the principles and practices of Earth-Kind Environmental Stewardship. Registration will open online January 3 at the CCMGA website www.ccmgatx.org. There is a $10 per person fee payable online (credit card only) or at the door with cash, check or credit card. Contact Kathleen Brooks at 469-401-3873 with questions or for additional information.

 

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale on Saturday, January 24, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Barn H, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. For more information call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

 

La Marque: Anyone Can Grow Roses, Tuesday, January 27, 6:30-8 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Galveston County Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian John Jons, the program will cover all the basics for growing large, beautiful, sweet smelling and healthy roses in Galveston County. Topics will include rose selection, bed preparation and maintenance, planting, pruning, disease and insect management and any questions that on growing roses. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

La Marque: Growing Great Tomatoes (Part 2), Saturday, January 31, 9-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. The second part of the three-part program on Growing Great Tomatoes in Galveston County. Galveston County Master Gardener Ira Gervais reveals secrets for planting and growing great tomatoes. Learn about the various varieties that do well in this area, how to make your selections, how and when to transplant your seedlings and various growing techniques. Find out about soil requirements and needed nutrients and the temperature ranges for best tomato fruit set. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

 

La Marque: Growing Blueberries, Saturday, January 31, 1-3 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presented by Dr. David Cohen, an accomplished home grower of blueberries by avocation and a practicing physician by trade. Dr. Cohen has an impressive "blueberry patch" as part of his home landscape and has gained considerable hands-on experience with successfully growing blueberries under our growing conditions. Learn the facts about blueberries and site selection and preparation. Find out about variety recommendations for this area and the planting, spacing, fertilizing and pruning requirements. The program will also cover harvesting and understanding the problems and the costs of growing blueberries here in Galveston County. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

FEBRUARY

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold a "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" program Monday, February 9, noon-1 p.m., at Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Victoria master gardeners Pat Koening and Emory Powitzky Jr., will discuss "Blackberries: The Other Black Gold for Gardeners." The event is free to the public, and those who desire to do so may bring a sack lunch and beverage.

 

San Antonio: Spring Floral Design Classes at the San Antonio Garden Center will be held Tuesday, February 17, 24, and March 3, from Noon-3 p.m. Tuition is $75 for the 3 classes. Learn how to design your own floral arrangements in these hands-on classes with Instructor Melissa White. Fresh flowers, greenery, container, and instruction for a take-home finished project each week with emphasis on flowers and colors of spring. Classes are held at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Further information at www.sanantoniogardencenter.org or call 210- 824-9981. Registration deadline is February 13. Make check payable to San Antonio Garden Center. Tuition for missed classes cannot be refunded.

 

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service present their Spring Seminar featuring tomatoes, keyhole gardening, and nutrition at McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels. February 21, from 8:50 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost is $49.00, and includes lunch, snacks, seminar booklet, and vegetable gardening handbook. Speakers include William D. Adams, author or co-author of Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook, The Southern Kitchen Garden, Commonsense Vegetable Gardening for the South, and Growing Fruits and Nuts in the South. Dr. Deb Tolman will provide all the details of keyhole gardening and Ashley Currie will provide a talk on health and wellness. Seating is limited so register early to save your place. Registration forms are available at http://txmg.org/comal/event/seminar/. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

 

San Antonio: Advance your gardening expertise, plus gain self-satisfaction through volunteer efforts which enhance the quality of life for citizens of your community using the science and art of horticulture. Bexar County Master Gardeners and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer Master Gardener Intern Training Class #59 from February 25 to May 27 (noon-4 p.m., each Wednesday) at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Registration for Class 59, is open NOW through February 9. See the attachment for details, application form, and planned class agenda. For more information, call 210-467-6575.


Rosenberg: Join the Fort Bend Master Gardeners on Thursday, February 26, for a program to preview the plants to be sold at their Annual Vegetable-Herb Plant Sale. The program will be held at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the program will be from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. For more information call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

 

Dallas: For more than 30 years, Dallas Blooms has been a tradition as the largest floral festival in the Southwest. This year's theme plays homage to the beloved state: Dallas Blooms: Deep in the Hearts of Texans. This Texas-sized extravaganza, February 28-April 12, features more than 500,000 blooming spring bulbs along with Texas themed topiaries, entertainment, food and special activities celebrating Texas. Dallas Blooms features tulips, daffodils, Dutch Iris and hyacinths, pansies, violas, poppies and thousands of other spring-blooming annuals and perennials that bloom throughout the entire festival, so the garden changes all the time. The finale of this spring celebration is the mass flowering of the garden's collection of 3,000 azaleas that bloom through the end of April. Throughout the festival and beyond, there are multiple events to celebrate Dallas Blooms including Mommy and Me Mondays, Tiny Tot Tuesdays, a special 1980's concert and Easter activities. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. More information can be found at www.dallasarboretum.org.

 

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their Annual Vegetable-Herb Plant Sale on Saturday, February 28, in front of the greenhouse behind the Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until noon or until sold out. For more information call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

MARCH

Longview: The annual Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar will be presented by the Gregg County Master Gardeners, on Saturday, March 7, at the First United Methodist Church, Faith Center, Whatley St. entrance, from 7:45 a.m. to noon. Chris Wiesinger, owner of The Southern Bulb Company, will be the speaker. He is nationally known as the "The Bulb Hunter." Wiesinger's topic will be "Seeking Botanical Treasures." He has a passion for seeking bulbs once-lost to the Southern gardeners, bulbs that thrive in warm climates, many of which are heirloom and rare flower bulbs. Wiesinger will have bulbs and copies of his two books for sale at the seminar. There will be vendors, door prizes, raffle and refreshments. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For information, call the Gregg County AgriLife Extension Service at 903-236-8429 or visit www.txmg.org/gregg.  

 

Huntsville: Herb Festival at the Wynne Home will be held Saturday, March 28, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., at 1428 Eleventh Street, Huntsville. Sponsored by the Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America. Herb, butterfly and hummingbird, camellias and citrus plants for sale. Herbal and garden vendors, artists, musicians, food, and children's activities. Speakers: Bill Varney of UrbanHERBAL, Dave Whitinger of Allthingsplants.com, and Master Gardener Bonney Kennedy.

The Festival is FREE. For information, call 936-891-5024 or visit www.facebook.com/texasthymeunit.

 

Quitman: The Wood County chapter of Texas Master Gardeners will host a spring conference featuring speaker Steven L. Chamblee. March 28, at Quitman High School, 1101 East Goode Street, Quitman. "Time to Plant Smarter" will focus on plants and gardening methods specifically for east Texas. Chamblee is the Chief Horticulturist for Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas. He serves as Consulting Editor and Author for a gardening magazine, writes a monthly e-newsletter column entitled "Native Son," and is an Adjunct Instructor for Tarrant County College and Texas Christian University's Extended Education. He will introduce Texas Tough Plants which are environmentally friendly and native to the state. This will be especially informative for people new to the area or state and adapting to Texas weather and seasons. He will cover subjects on trees, shrubs and color with emphasis on heavily flowering herbaceous perennials. The conference will also have mini-seminars on native plants, rainwater harvesting and worm farming. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Door prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be available. For more information contact: Gloria Jean Rosewall at gloriajeanerosewall@gmail.com; Roy Culbertson at royculb@gmail.com; or Lin Grado at lingrado@gmail.com.

APRIL

 

Nacogdoches: On April 17-19, Stephen F. Austin State University will host the sixth Big Thicket and West Gulf Coastal Plain Science Conference. The focus of this year's plenary session will be "Watersheds and Waterflow" to be addressed by invited speakers. Dr. Francis "Ab" Abernethy, professor emeritus of English at Stephen F. Austin State University and editor emeritus of the Texas Folklore Society, and Dr. Kirk O. Winemiller, Regents Professor, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University will give plenary presentations. The Science Conference provides a forum for scientists and resource managers to share their research in the West Gulf Coastal Plain ecosystem, which comprises a variety of communities including southeastern pine forests, bottomland hardwood forests, and prairies. All topics relevant to the ecology of the region are appropriate, including studies of plant communities, wildlife, restoration ecology, effects of climate change, invasive species, fisheries, and large-scale disturbance ecology. In addition to the general call for papers, symposia or special sessions may be planned and available on a variety of topics. Contact the Program Committee BigThicket2015@gmail.com  if you are interested in hosting a session. Presenters are encouraged to submit manuscripts to be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Southeastern Naturalist. All manuscripts will be subject to the full peer-review process and the standards of the Southeastern Naturalist. Abstracts for papers can be submitted to Dr. Chris Comer BigThicket2015@gmail.com by 1 March. Registration fees are $100 by 20 March; late registration is $150 and student registration is $25. Registration for only one day is $60. Optional field trips are not included in fees. Three trips are planned: 1) Saline Prairie, led by Will Godwin and Jason Singhurst; 2) Tonkawa Sand Hills, led by James Van Kley, and 3) Birding in the SFA Experimental Forest, led by Cliff Shackelford. Sponsors of the event include the Big Thicket Association, Stephen F. Austin State University, USFS Southern Research Station, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Big Thicket National Preserve. Contact Dan Saenz of the U.S. Forest Service (Conference Chair) with questions at dsaenz@fs.fed.us or check the conference website at www.bigthicket.org for additional information.

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.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.

 

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels. 

 

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.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.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's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 

 

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.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 

 

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 Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.

  

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 email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.

 

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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