March 11, 2015

State Climatologist optimistic about less severe drought for next two decades


By Robert Burns

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


As far as drought is concerned, for the next 20 to 30 years, State Climatologist Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, College Station, said he is optimistic.


"And then I turn seriously pessimistic," he said.


While reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel show an improvement in rainfall during the last six months, Nielsen-Gammon said rainfall patterns are only one of the major factors in drought.


The other factor is evaporation from increased temperature, he said. Global warming has meant an average temperature increase in Texas of about 1.5 degrees since the 1970s. While this may not seem like much of an increase to most people, it's enough to increase the evapotranspiration of plants and loss of surface water by several percent.


"Any incremental increase of severity of the drought starts having a huge impact," Nielsen-Gammon said. "It doesn't matter at all during normal conditions, but when you're in an extreme drought, it can make the difference between making it through the drought and not making it through."


Despite the rising temperatures, Nielsen-Gammon remained optimistic for agriculture during the next couple of decades because of an expected increase in rainfall compared to the last 10 or 15 years, he said.


"Over the long-term, yes, there will be a trend to greater evaporation," he said. "But then there are also short-term trends on top of that long-term trend. Based on how the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans operate, and how they influence our weather, over the next 20 to 25 years, we are probably going to see an improvement in drought conditions, mainly from an increase in rainfall amounts. This is because the two oceans have been working against us for the past decade or decade and half, and that trend tends to flip back and forth every 20 years or so."


Nielsen-Gammon noted there is another side effect of global warming that rules in favor of crop production. Plants open up stomata to take in carbon dioxide, their basic building material, and to cool themselves by evapotranspiration. As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, their pores don't need to open as much to get the carbon dioxide they need. As a result, they lose less water through transpiration and tend to become more drought-tolerant. When there is ample water, the plants can grow faster, though that growth may be limited by things such as nutrient availability.


In addition to his duties as state climatologist and professor of meteorology at Texas A&M University, Nielsen-Gammon also contributes to a blog on global warming at

NRDC sues EPA to force action on Monarch Butterflies


The Natural Resources Defense Council


The Natural Resources Defense Council in February accused the Environmental Protection Agency of dragging its feet on efforts to save the imperiled monarch butterfly and filed suit to force the agency to act.


EPA's failure to respond to an urgent petition that sought to limit the use of a pesticide that's been destroying monarch habitat, filed more than a year ago by NRDC, has resulted in "significant ongoing harm" to the vulnerable butterfly population, according to the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in New York City.


"The longer EPA delays, the greater the risk we could lose the monarch migration," said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, an NRDC senior scientist and director of its Wildlife Conservation Project.


The monarch butterfly, an iconic North American species that makes a unique 2,500 mile annual migration from the mountains of central Mexico to Canada and back, has been in serious decline for 15 years. Once numbering as many as a billion, only 56.5 million of the orange-and-black winged pollinators were counted last month at their Mexican refuge, the second lowest total ever.


Experts say the primary cause for the population collapse is the skyrocketing use of the herbicide glyphosate (originally marketed as Roundup) on genetically modified corn and soybeans, which has wiped out much of the milkweed - a native wildflower - that monarchs need to survive. Since EPA last reviewed the safety of glyphosate in 1993, its use has increased ten-fold, yet the agency has never considered the herbicide's impact on monarchs.


NRDC filed an urgent petition last February with EPA, asking for an immediate review of glyphosate and its impact on monarchs and for measures to limit the harm the chemical is causing to the species. EPA has failed to respond to the petition, and given no public explanation for its silence. The current suit seeks a court order to force EPA to respond to the petition.


In the intervening year, however, the agency has approved use of a new glyphosate-containing herbicide for genetically modified crops, Enlist Duo, which could further damage monarch populations. NRDC earlier filed a separate suit to block its use. That suit is pending.


The EPA must act promptly, the new suit says, because the current population of migrating monarchs is dangerously small. At its current size, the population could be wiped out by a severe weather event. In 2002, a major snowstorm in Mexico killed more than 80 million (out of approximately 100 million) monarchs wintering in Mexico, a number greater than the current total population.


Monarchs need milkweed because it is the only plant on which they lay their eggs, and the only food their larvae will eat. In its original petition, NRDC asked EPA to consider requiring glyphosate-free buffer zones near crops where milkweed could flourish, and banning the herbicide from use along highways and utility rights of way.


Since then, NRDC has launched a program to promote the planting of milkweed by school groups, backyard gardeners, and others. It also successfully urged the Illinois Tollway Authority to plant milkweed along the 286 miles of highway it controls in Illinois, where the monarch is the state insect.

Gardening tips

Spring begins March 20, and hot weather is just ahead. So, if you want to plant any woody perennials, try to get them in the ground as soon as possible for best results. Plant them the same depth as they were growing in the container and build a berm around them to hold water. Keep them well watered with deep, slow soakings during periods of dry weather.         


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.

Austin: "Using Native Plants in the Landscape" will be presented 10 a.m. to noon March 12 at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. Native Texas plants bring beauty and function to your garden while being well adapted to handle Texas' blazing summers, drought, and other weather extremes. In addition to being water-wise, native plants provide great benefits to pollinators and birds. 4-H CAPITAL's gardening specialist and Texas Master Naturalist Meredith O'Reilly will guide you in choosing the right natives for your yard and your garden goals. Cost: $10/seminar for early registration; $15/seminar for late or on-site. To register, visit


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  


Nacogdoches: SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. SFA Gardens horticulturists Dave Creech, Dawn Stover and Greg Grant will present a "A Plant Preview of the Upcoming Garden Gala Plant Sale."Their combined program will present information and images of many of the new, popular, and more unusual plants available at the upcoming sale. The Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center. The sale features a wide variety of hard-to-find, "Texas tough" plants, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and exclusive SFA and Greg Grant introductions. Most of these are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers. This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden and educational programs hosted at the gardens. Parking for the sale is available at the nearby Early Childhood Research Center, 2428 Raguet St. Parking for the lecture is available there, as well. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon for their plants. For more information, call (936) 468-4404, or visit two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants.The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month at SFA's Pineywoods Native Plant Center. A rare plant raffle 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 are always 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 (936) 468-1832 or email .


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


Tomball: Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs, will present "Choosing the Best Herb for the Purpose" at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 12, and again at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 14, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit  


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.


Tomball: Agela Chandler will present "No Till Gardening" at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 15, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Canyon Lake: The Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet on Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Canyon Lake. The program, "Texas Wildflowers," will be presented by Craig Hensley from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Craig is the Park Ranger at Guadalupe State Park, and very knowledgeable about local wildflowers. For more information, visit  


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:


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


Dallas: Texas A&M AgriLife Water University: Sprinkler System Quick Fixes & System Operation will be presented 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 19, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Is your sprinkler system turning on the wrong day? Do you have a leak or broken head? Did your city give you a warning? Learn how to make very basic hands on repairs & maintenance to home automatic sprinkler systems, how your sprinkler system operates and its components as well as how to program and reprogram your sprinkler controller utilizing the best and most efficient ways to water your landscape like, the soak and cycle method and other water efficiency practices. A properly functioning sprinkler system saves you time, money, and water! Cost: Free. Register online at:


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 or call 210-467-6575.


Tomball: Linda Crum will present "Attracting Bluebirds to the Garden" at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 19, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit  


Round Top: The 20th Annual Plant and Gift Sale sponsored by the Herb Society of America (Pioneer Unit) will take place March 20-21: plants and gifts for sale, Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Round Top Festival Hill, 248 Jaster Road, Round Top, free admission For additional information, visit


Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Spring Sale, featuring perennials, vegetables, herbs and more, on Saturday, March 21, at 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program is at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information, call 936-539-7824 or visit


Gonzales: The Gonzales Master Gardeners' 5th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held Saturday, March 21, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in downtown Gonzales on Texas Heroes Square located just west of Gonzales County Court House. Shoppers will have the opportunity to make their selections from an assortment of vegetables, herbs, annual and perennial plants, succulents, cacti, and houseplants. A wide variety of vegetable plants will include heirloom tomato plants, various pepper varieties and much more. A great selection of herbs for the garden will be available. Check out the not-so-common perennials, hanging baskets, bromeliads, and dish gardens that will also be offered for sale. Bring your gardening questions to the "Ask the Master Gardener" booth and stop by to bid on the wide variety of items in the silent auction. Food and drink will also be available for sale. Contact Fran Saliger for more information at 830-672-2953.


McKinney: Now in its fifth year, The Collin County Master Gardener Association's Garden Show offers up a feast for the senses and a bountiful harvest of ideas, classes, vendors, and activities for the whole family. Whether a novice or a veteran, a gardener's education is never complete. There is no place better than The Garden Show to learn more about North Texas gardening, and Earth-Kind gardening principles. The Garden Show will take place on March 21 & 22, at beautiful Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney. Demonstrations and presentations will run throughout the show on a variety of gardening topics. Subjects will include Vegetable Gardening, Herbs, Rainwater Harvesting, Earth-Kind Perennials, Container Gardening, and Turfgrass Management. Don't miss a special Sunday session on Proper Tree Care and Pruning presented by Rick Zampino with Advanced Tree Care. The Garden Show is an indoor event, so come rain or shine! Find room to grow and dig up a bushel of ideas at The Garden Show! Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. Entry on both days is a donation of $2 per person. Parking is free! All proceeds will benefit the CASA of Collin County. Visit , or call 972-548-4232 for up-to-date information.


San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center is hosting their popular Annual Plant Sale Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston, San Antonio. Admission is free. The plant sale features a wide variety of drought tolerant native plants, perennials, bedding plants, flowers and herbs - all from local growers. For more information, visit or call 21- 824-9981.


Tomball: Greg Grant, Texas Gardener columnist, will present "The Greg Grant Collection" at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 21, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Tomball: Stephanie Baker will present "Gardening with Children" at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 22, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Bryan: Dwight Bohlmeyer, Program Manager for the Salter Farm Education Research Institute for Quantum Physics & Engineering at Texas A&M University, will discuss "Spring Wildflowers of the Salter Research Farm," Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 7-8 p.m. at the Brazos Center, Room 102, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For more information, visit or call 979-823-0129.


Dallas: Composting will be presented 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 24, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C Large Hall, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Cost: Free  

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 or visit


Dallas: Texas A&M AgriLife Water University: Lawn Care Maintenance will be presented 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Is the green in your lawn weeds or grass? Do you have brown circles in your yard? Proper lawn care maintenance is a key component to a healthy lawn. This program covers basic lawn maintenance practices and selecting the right turf grass to improve the health and longevity of your landscape. You will learn how to maintain your landscape using less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Cost: Free. Register online at:


Nacogdoches: Best Azalea Trail Symposium Yet, "Texas Forest Country-Azalea Trails and Gardens," will be held March 26-29. The 2015 national Azalea Society of America convention, co-hosted by the Stephen F. Austin State University SFA Gardens and the Texas Chapter of the ASA, is coming to town for our best weekend azalea bloom time-the end of March. Five speakers will discuss hunting for, growing, and gardening with azaleas. Visit four SFA Gardens, including the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the largest in Texas, and six private gardens in town. The Texas Chapter of the ASA is also selling azaleas and hydrangeas that have been SFA Gardens favorites. Read all about the offerings and registration information-including ASA new member ($30/yr) application-at the following links:, or the national ASA Web pages .


Bryan: Join the Brazos County Master Gardeners' Association at their Spring 2015 Plant Sale, at 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan, Saturday, March 28. A wide selection of unusual plants adapted to Brazos County will be offered - Heirloom plants, pass-along plants, natives, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and bulbs - many from the gardens of local Master Gardeners. There will be a pre-sale talk and early preview of plants from 8:30-9 a.m. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions and help with plant selection. Come early, bring a wagon to fill with must-have plants and enjoy a wonderful time with fellow Brazos County gardeners. For more information, visit or call 979-823-0129.


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, and Master Gardener Bonney Kennedy.

The Festival is FREE. For information, call 936-891-5024 or visit


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; Roy Culbertson at; or Lin Grado at


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 or call 972-825-5175.


Dallas: Texas A&M AgriLife Water University: Landscape Basics will be presented 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building E Auditorium, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Is your landscape brown and crispy? Learn to create and install a water efficient landscape or garden. You will learn proper soil preparation, native and adaptive plant selection, and how to design and plan a small or large project. Plant list provided. Cost: Free. Register online at:



San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Center Clubs will meet Wednesday, April 1, at 10 a.m. at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston, San Antonio. Well-known floral artist and teacher Henry DeLeon returns to the Garden Center, bringing his joyful exuberance and riotous color palette with him. In true "Fiesta Flores" style, DeLeon will demonstrate how to create fabulous floral designs at home, and audience members will have the opportunity to take away more than just ideas. Join the club for coffee at 9:30. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 210-824-9981.


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 or call AgriLife Extension in Seguin, 830-303-3889.


San Antonio: Engage in gardening and engage your community. Join Green Spaces Alliance for our first Community Harvest Blitz. The theme is Healthy Ethnic Foods and it will be a chance to learn about gardening, participate in cultivation, watch and taste food demonstrations straight from the garden by local chefs, share a meal with new friends, and watch a movie all in the garden setting. Green Spaces' Community Harvest Blitz will occur Saturday, April 4, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Jardín de la Esperanza - a west side community garden at 2806 W. Salinas, 78207. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit for more detailed information and must register their planned attendance. Materials and foods will be limited by the number of registered attendees.  


Tyler: "Keeping Critters Out of Your Containers" will be presented at noon, April 7, in the IDEA garden, located in the SE corner of the Tyler Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler. The lecture is approximately 30 minutes long and will be followed by a Q&A session. Seating is limited; bring a chair for your comfort. For more information, visit or call 903-590-2980.


Orangefield: The Orange County Master Gardener's Annual Bloomin' Crazy Plant Fair will be held Saturday, April 11, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Jewel Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield (Exit 869 S off IH 10). Perennials, annuals, shrubs, tropical, Satsuma's, limes, lemons, cold-hardy avocados, Texas Superstars and heirloom vegetables are just a few of the unique and hard to find plants we will have available. Specialty booths will be available selling unique items. For more information contact Sheri Bethard at 409 673-5057 or


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  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 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 or check the conference website at for additional information.


Midland: Annual Plant Sale by Permian Basin Master Gardeners - Saturday April 18, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Midland County Horseshoe, I-20 and Cotton Flat Road in Midland. Flowering perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees, herbs, Earth-kind roses and more - all drought tolerant and perfect for West Texas and eastern New Mexico. Call 432-498-4071 for more 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, call 972-932-9069 or email to

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
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


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


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


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 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

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  


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 or contact


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


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


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, 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 and


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


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


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 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

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


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




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


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


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 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 Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit


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


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


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


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 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


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




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


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 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


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


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 or email


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


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


Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit 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


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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