February 25, 2015

Texas A&M Forest Service celebrates a century of service


Texas A&M Forest Service


Over the past 100 years, Texas A&M Forest Service has accomplished many feats, including establishing itself as a premiere entity in both forestry and all-hazard response.


The state agency was established in 1915 by the 34th Texas Legislature under the Texas A&M College - making TFS the first state forestry agency in the nation to be part of a land grant institution, a fact not lost on former TFS director (1980-1996) Bruce Miles.


"Texas A&M Forest Service has always been a leader nationwide among state forestry agencies," Miles said. "A big part of this comes from being part of the state's land grant institution system where our department heads shared information, technology and research results."


For the past century the people of TFS have been answering the call to service by monitoring the forests to improve health and productivity; working with communities to plant, care for and conserve the trees where people live, work and play; and by informing and educating landowners on sustainable land management practices.


"The employees of this agency are so vital in continuing to accomplish the goals and dreams that were put in place. TFS has become the most highly respected national leader in forestry," said former director (1996-2008) James Hull. "However, there has never been a time in our one hundred year history that the agency was not striving to do the best it could to meet the needs of forestry."


With a duty to protect, TFS is mandated by the state as the lead agency in wildfire suppression and through predictive services, prevention programs and response models have revolutionized the way states prevent, prepare for and protect against wildfire.


TFS leads incident management teams during state disasters and has led responses to such incidents as the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, and the 2011 wildfire season.


Having led the agency through the historic drought and wildfire season in 2011, current state forester and director Tom Boggus has seen the dedicated service and innovative spirit of TFS employees through the good times and bad.


"What an honor to represent the people of this agency as the director, especially during our centennial celebration year," Director Tom Boggus said. "Words like 'first agency in the nation' and 'a national model' have been used repeatedly over the last century to describe TFS and they still ring clear and true as we begin our next century of service."


TFS is one of four agencies under The Texas A&M University System that is also part of Texas A&M AgriLife - a cornerstone of one of the state's premier institutions of higher education.


"Texas A&M AgriLife brings today's best teaching, research, extension and service to Texans. For 100 years, Texas A&M Forest Service has embodied service as it protects against wildfires, provides forestry education, and leads the way in sustainability and conservation," said William A. Dugas, acting vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We are proud to have them as part of the AgriLife family!"


With no signs of slowing down, this year marks the first century of service for TFS. The agency will have celebrations across the state to recognize this centennial milestone.


The centennial celebration kicked off at the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Conference the first week of January and continues in February as the agency is recognized during the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents meeting, and by the Texas Legislature.


TFS has partnered with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation to host an exhibit, History in the Making: Texas A&M Forest Service, highlighting the agency's past 100 years. The exhibit is open March 16-November 8.


The agency will also host several events throughout the state, including 100 tree giveaways, a commemorative tree presentation to each county in Texas and has published a new edition of the 1970 book Famous Trees of Texas: Texas A&M Forest Service Centennial Edition.


For a list of centennial events, visit TFScenturyofservice.tamu.edu.

Submit a photo and help save the monarch butterfly


National Wildlife Federation


Be a Butterfly Hero. The majestic monarch butterfly is in decline and needs our help. National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America's largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is giving away 10,000 Butterfly Heroes Garden kits to help save the monarch butterfly.


NWF's new Butterfly Hero Campaign, launches March 4, 2015, and asks people to submit a photo of themselves making the international sign language sign of the butterfly on NWF's Butterfly Heroes website, at: www.nwf.org/butterflyheroes. By taking the pledge, participants will be mailed a free kit (while supplies last) and if entered by May 15, are eligible for a chance to win a trip for four to Walt Disney World. Botanical Interests is supporting the campaign with a donation of native milkweed seeds.


"We can each be a part of saving the monarch butterfly. The simple act of planting milkweed with your family provides monarchs with a place to lay their eggs, and helps ensure this iconic species has a future," said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation.


Pollinators, of which the monarch butterfly is a part, are mostly responsible for all the food that we eat. While monarchs are found across the United States - as recently as 1996 numbering some 1 billion - their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats, particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California has also had a negative impact on the species.


Monarch butterflies spend winter in Mexico or Central and Southern California, and then migrate north in spring into neighborhoods across the United States. They need places to rest their wings, drink flower nectar, and lay their eggs on milkweed which their baby caterpillars eat. Monarchs are losing this habitat, and without it the Monarch cannot survive. NWF is asking people across the United States to plant milkweed to preserve the monarch's habitat. Learn more about NWF's monarch protection efforts at NWF.org/Monarchs and http://www.nwf.org/pollinators.


NWF's Garden for Wildlife program encourages responsible gardening that helps pollinators and other wildlife thrive. It encourages planting with native species like milkweed and discouraging chemical pesticide use. With nearly 200,000 locations and growing, NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitats and Community wildlife Habitats recognize individuals, schools, groups and whole communities committed to providing habitat for wildlife, including pollinators. Each of the nearly 200,000 certified locations provides food, water, cover and places to raise young. This makes yards, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, campuses, parks, farms and other community-based landscapes into wildlife sanctuaries.


The brand new Butterfly Heroes Campaign is organized by NWF and is a part of a number of programs designed to inspire people to get outdoors, help wildlife, and become more aware of the nature in their neighborhood and community. NWF has worked to connect people with nature for decades, inspiring people through Ranger Rick magazine, working with educators to get kids greening their schools and learning outdoors.  

Gardening tips

If you plan to plant tomatoes early, be sure to provide some form of frost protection if the temperature falls back to near freezing or below. For small transplants, try placing a milk jug on the northwest side of each plant. The jug of water will collect energy from the sun and release it during the nighttime hours, keeping the tender plant a few degrees warmer than the outside temperature.     


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.


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.


Dallas: Texas A&M AgriLife Water University: Drip Irrigation DIY, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Thursday, February 26, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Water slower, deeper and more efficient with every drop. Convert your spray heads and watch your sprinkler system save you money from our hands on drip conversion class. You will learn how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or how to convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method and essential to sustainable landscapes. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered. Cost: FREE. Register online at: http://dallas.tamu.edu/courses .


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 6 p.m. and the program will be from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.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.


Kaufman: Kaufman County Master Gardeners will present their Spring Seminar, Aquaponics: Growing Fish and Plants Together, on Saturday, February 28, at Grace Fellowship Church in Oak Grove. While aquaponics is not really new, it is enjoying a resurgence of interest. Both commercial growers and home gardeners are attracted to aquaponics because it requires less space, less water (only about 5%) and less energy (up to 70% less) than conventional gardens. In addition, yields are higher and growing time shorter. Aquaponics is a soil-free, herbicide-free, pesticide-free method for producing naturally-grown, healthy, fresh vegetables and fish locally.Peter Woods, Extension Fisheries Program Specialist from the Bay City Texas AgriLife Extension Center, will discuss the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics, the basic concepts of aquaponics, plants and fish suitable for aquaponics and provide examples of some commercial operations. Adam Cohen of Green Phoenix Farms in Mansfield will discuss aquaponics systems suitable for the backyard gardener. There will be information and vendor booths and a silent auction. Light refreshments will be served. Grace Fellowship Church is located at 7650 FM 1388 in Oak Grove. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the programs beginning at 9 a.m. The cost is $15 per person. Preregistration by February 23 is encouraged so that there are handouts for all. For more information or to preregister, call Sharon Burden at 972-932-9069 or email her at [email protected].


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.


Tomball: Gaye Hammon, Houston Rose Society, will present "Rose Pruning Made Simple" at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 28, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.  


Tomball: Tom LeRoy will present "Tomato Grafting" at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 1, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. There are at least 42 different garden flowers with edible petals. Discover the benefits of a colorful edible garden. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


Tyler: Smith County Master Gardener Association presents "Vines for Vertical Interest ,"an informative lecture covering seasonable gardening topics, on March 3. Held on the patio of the IDEA garden, located in the SE corner of the Tyler Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler, the program begins at noon. The lecture is approximately 30 minutes with a Q&A session following. Seating is limited; please bring a chair for your comfort. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events/ or call 903-590-2980.


Galveston: Herbs...glorious fragrant plants that offer so many connections to the past. Herbs...the basis of cooking, medicine, beauty and home care. With the arrival of spring it's the perfect time to celebrate herbs! The Friends of Moody Gardens are hosting their 3rd Annual Gulf Coast Herb Fair and Luncheon, Wednesday, March 4, benefiting Galveston's children and seniors by planting seeds of education. Houston Chef Randy Evans, will be the featured speaker at the luncheon at the Garden Restaurant, Moody Gardens Visitor Center, 1 Hope Boulevard, Galveston. Randy is the owner of Southern Son Consulting and former Executive Chef at Brennan's of Houston. Herb Educators will feature nutritional herbs including basil, cilantro, fennel, dill and rosemary. Fresh plants, handouts, and displays will be used to educate the visitors of the nutritional importance of selected herbs. The Herb Fair gets an early start with the Garden Blessing in the Moody Gardens Butterfly Garden at 9:30 a.m. beginning with a musical prelude by Natalie Wiest. Vendors with herb related merchandise will offer everything from olive oil to organic pet food, fresh herbs and organic teas. Vendors from the area will offer their merchandise for sale during the fair from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Moody Garden's Rainforest Visitor's Center. For more information or reservations contact [email protected], 409-744-1826 or [email protected], 409-744-4716. There is no charge for the Herb Fair or Garden Blessing; the luncheon is $35.00 per person.


San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center Clubs will meet Wednesday, March 4, at 10 a.m. at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston. The program will feature Horticulturalist David Rodriguez from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, who will talk about the Bexar County Master Gardener Program and give home gardening tips for "Digging Into Spring." Join members for coffee at 9:30 a.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org  or call 210-824-9981.


Seguin: The Lunch and Learn Gardening Program "How to Use Companion Plantings in the Landscape" will be presented noon-1 p.m. Thursday, March 5, by Peggy Jones, Master Gardener, and the Guadalupe County Master Gardeners at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. By taking advantage of the natural friendships between plants you can in turn attract butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial insects. No cost: Just bring your own lunch (optional). For more information, contact Treva Hicks, 830-303-4712.


Tomball: Dr. David Creech, SFA Gardens, Nacogdoches, will present "Cool Trees and Shrubs for Houston" at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com. 


Austin: Austin's most loved, locally raised heirloom veggies and herbs make their big debut 9 a.m. at Sunshine Community Garden (SCG) 4814 Sunshine Dr., Austin, March 7. The sale is the largest Certified Organic Non-Profit Plant event in Texas. More than 150 Tomato varieties, 72 Wicked Hot and Sweet Bell Pepper varieties, 15 kinds of Eggplants, 5,000 herbs and other plants ready for spring planting. The first bite of a delicious and juicy home-grown organic tomato will make you beg for more. Improve your health with regular gardening exercise. Save big money by growing your own organic vegetables. For a complete list of plants on sale and varieties to grow visit http://www.sunshinecommunitygarden.org/ For a Fun-Filled day, come early. Learn organic gardening practices. Talk with Vendors. Listen to Live Music. Walk the 180 gardens on display. Kids love to visit the Chicken Coop. Purchase Lady Bug compost too! A percentage of the sales proceeds will benefit TSBVI's horticulture and animal care programs. SCG members donate time, gardening experience and expertise to help students at the school. SCG also grow, harvest and deliver twice weekly thousands of pounds of vegetables per year to the Micah 6 Food Bank and Pantry. For additional information, visit http://sunshinecommunitygardens.org/.


Austin: The Green Corn Project Spring Dig-ins will take place over three weekends in March, installing and refurbishing vegetable gardens for the under-served communities in Austin. Participating in a dig-in is a great way to share your gardening knowledge or learn more about gardening yourself while helping to bring nourishing food to others. The three weekends are March 7/8, 14/15 and 28/29. For more information and to register, visit http://www.greencornproject.org/dig-ins.


Beaumont: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Landscape Design and Rainwater Harvesting Workshop, Saturday, March 7, 8 a.m. to noon at the Tyrrell Park Garden Center, 6088 Babe Zaharias, Beaumont. Cost: $10 Learn to landscape with natives and drought tolerant plants while utilizing your space. Jefferson County Master Gardeners Tony Lucenti and Toni Clark both Landscape Design Specialist will be the speakers for this important design concept. The second part of the workshop will teach you the fundamentals of capturing rainwater to supplement water usage in and around your home. Jefferson County Master Gardener Jerry White a Rainwater Harvesting Specialist will guide you through this process. For reservations contact the Extension Office at 409-835-8461 and event information is posted at http://jefferson.agrilife.org.


Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Conference will be held March 7 at First Christian Church, 1920 Beaumont St., Jacksonville. The Vendor Hall opens at 8 a.m., with live demonstrations. Speakers include Jud Morrison,"If It Lived, It Can Live Again"; Mary Wilhite, "Plants for East Texas"; and James Wilhite "Preparing Soil for Harsh Conditions." Registration Begins at 8 a.m. Registration Fee: $10. For more information, call 903-683-5416.


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.


Pasadena: On Saturday, March 7, visit Precinct 2, Harris County Master Gardeners Perennial, Pepper, Tomato and Herb Sale at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena. Preview of Perennials by Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms at 8:00 am. Sale hours 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If it's sold at our sale it, grows in our area. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu.


Tomball: The Gunters will be on hand to answer questions about selecting and growing herloom vegetables at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.  


Tomball: Dave and Trish Whitinger will present "Growing Your Own," at 10 a.m Saturday, March 7, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


Austin: Ryan Sansury of Logro Farms will discuss growing mushrooms sustainably at the March 9 Austin Organic Gardeners' Club, which meets at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 pm, followed by the guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.


Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" will present "Raised Beds: No Till Gardening"from noon until 1 p.m., March 9, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St, Victoria. Debbie Hopper will present the program. The event is free. Those who desire to do so, may bring a sack lunch and beverage.


Tomball: Cynthia Graham, RN, BSN, will present "Petalicious," Wednesday, March 11, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. There are at least 42 different garden flowers with edible petals. Discover the benefits of a colorful edible garden. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com


La Grange: Bill Adams will lead "Vegetable Gardening," noon-12:50 p.m., March 12, at the Fayette County Agricultural Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. For additional information, call 979-968-5831 or visit http://fayette.agrilife.org.


San Antonio: Ruben Villarreal will bring Archi's Acres to San Antonio when he speaks at the San Antonio Herb Society's March meeting. This organization was founded in California and featured in Organic Gardening magazine last year to help train people in organic hydroponic herb growing and drive a national change toward sustainable organic gardening. Meeting will be held Thursday, March 12, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 210-826-6860 or [email protected] .


The Woodlands: Helicopters in flight, hummingbirds delight the eye! Discover the antics and charm of nature's jewels at Hummingbirds 101: Everything you wanted to know about hummingbirds and more on Thursday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Cliff Shackelford, non-game ornithologist with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, reveals the latest information on the hummingbirds of Texas and the habitat that brings them here. This free program of The Woodlands Township will be held in the L.G.I. Lecture Hall at McCullough Junior High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Drive. For more information, visit Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture or call 281-210-3800.


Seabrook: On Wednesday, March 18, Paul Winski, Harris County Extension Agent-Horticulture, will present an educational program on Texas Superstars at10 a.m., in the Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu.


Woodway: Lunch with the Master Gardeners, noon-2 p.m., March 18, at The Pavilion at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. Vegetable Specialists, Carol Wood and Jene Hering will discuss everything from building good soil to varieties and timing of planting vegetables. Learn how to successfully grow tomatoes, eggplant, Southern peas and many other spring vegetables.


Athens: Henderson County Master Gardener's 2015 Spring Conference will present "Smarter Gardening the Easy Way" featuring Skip Richter, Harris County AgriLife Extension Agent and Texas Gardener contributing editor, Thursday, March 19, at First United Methodist Church, Athens. Tickets are $20, advance purchase required. Dinner is included in the price of the ticket. Silent auction starts at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 6 p.m. For more information, call the Henderson County AgriLife Extension Office at 903-675-6130 or email [email protected].


San Antonio: Dr. Dotty Woodson, Water Resource Program Specialist, Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center - Dallas willl present "Carnivorous Plants," Thursday, March 19, 6-8:30 p.m. 1.5 CEUs for MGs. Free. Bexar County Master Gardners Meeting begins with a social time at 6pm followed by the special presentation at 6:30pm at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, Suite 208, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Topic: You don't have to be a kid to be fascinated by plants that eat bugs! Learn all kinds of interesting information about Carnivorous Plants. Dottie Woodson's programs cover landscape water conservation practices, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, irrigation efficiency and drip irrigation. She works with county Extension agents, water utilities and districts, elected officials, nurserymen, landscapers, irrigation and rainwater harvesting professionals, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalist and homeowners. For more information, email Barbara Lutz, BCMG President, at [email protected] or call 210-467-6575.


Tomball: Jeremy Kollaus will present "Edible for the Landscape and Containers," Wednesday, March 25, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.      


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 [email protected]; Roy Culbertson at [email protected]; or Lin Grado at [email protected].


Waxahachie: The Ellis County Master Gardeners will host their 15th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 28, from 9-5 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center, 2000 Civic Center Lane, Waxahachie. Keynote speakers will be Steve Smith & James Jeffers of "Eat The Yard." Steve & James work with returning veterans who aspire to become farmers as well as individuals who are seeking the joy of growing some of their own food in their yards. Randy Johnson, owner of the Blackland Seed Company, will discuss "Pollinators and Natives - An Ancient Marriage." Monica Nyenhuis and Susan Knapp, Ellis County Master Gardeners, will present a demonstration on how to save seeds for more adaptive plants and to save money. There will be 100+ exhibitor booths focusing on lawn- and garden-related products and services. There will be educational opportunities with the emphasis on fun for the whole family. Free hands-on activities for children will be lead by the Ellis County Master Gardeners. There will be a plant sale in the Master Gardener area, as well as an Information Booth where Master Gardener specialists will answer horticultural questions. Tickets at the door are $5.00; children under 12 are free. Free tickets are available from sponsors after March 1. For a list of sponsors, as well as further information on the Expo, visit www.ecmga.com or call 972-825-5175.



Seguin: On April 2 the Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will present a Lunch and Learn class on wildflowers from noon-1 p.m. Deedy Wright, a Guadalupe County Master Gardener and member of the Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society, will talk about Landscaping with Wildflowers. The program will be held the AgriLife Extension Office, 210 East Live Oak St., Seguin and is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch, and free handouts will be available. For further information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call AgriLife Extension in Seguin, 830-303-3889.


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 [email protected]  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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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. 




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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].


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.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at [email protected].


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. 




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 [email protected].  


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


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


Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the

second Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit 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 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.


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.




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


Cleburne:The Johnson County Master 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or call 817-454-8175.


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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 [email protected].


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


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


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


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

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