March 25, 2015

'Exclusion' best way to prepare for Central Texas' spring bug boom

By Paul Schattenberg

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


With the weather warming and spring just around the corner, Central Texas residents can soon expect a pest proliferation and "exclusion" is the best way to prepare for it, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.


"We've had a relatively bug-free winter and it's been a nice respite, but with the recent rains and more consistent warm temperatures, we can soon expect to see lots of insect pests that have been overwintering reemerge in force," said Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension entomologist for Travis County.


Brown said now is the time to get ready for a bug boom, and the best way to prepare is by excluding the pests through removing potential sheltering and breeding areas and securing your home from their approach.


She said soon Central Texas residents should be seeing a resurgence of termites and fire ants, as well as other less pernicious pests, such as doodle bugs, people generally prefer not to have in or near their homes.


"One of the best things you can do is prune trees and shrubs away from your home, including any branches that touch or hang over your roof," she said. "And if you have any materials stacked next to your home, such as firewood, bricks, stone or landscaping materials, this would be a good time to move them farther away. You'll also want to make sure to remove any yard debris."


She said another way to exclude insects is to install or replace weather stripping around loose-fitting doors and windows.


"If you can see daylight around the edges of windows or doors from the inside of your home, then it's a good bet insects can get inside from there," Brown explained.


She also suggested blocking any weep holes in outside walls that have a brick or stone façade with copper mesh and to use an expanding sealant to fill in cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, as well as places where pipes or wires enter the home from the exterior.


"Repair or replace any damaged window screens and clean gutters of any debris," she said. "And use mesh wire to block any access points in the attic."


Spring is also when mosquitoes reappear, she said, so it would be a good idea to remove or secure anything that can capture water and provide mosquitoes with an attractive breeding site.


"For example, if you have a rain barrel for capturing and storing water for later use, put a tight mesh screen over the opening to keep mosquitoes out. And, as with other pests, removing yard debris, especially anything that can catch and hold water, is a good way to prevent problems."


Brown also suggested that homeowners scout early and on a regular schedule to catch pests when they are small in size and numbers.


"Pests are easier to manage when they are small and have smaller populations," she said. "Using a small amount of pesticide at the outset may keep you from having to use a larger amount later in the season. That makes both good economic and environmental sense."

Fall, winter rains will bring great wildflower displays in much of Texas


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


While cool weather is delaying the wildflower season in parts of Texas, most areas should have great blooms, and some areas already have a great show started for spring.


"We're on track for a great year based on the soaking rains that have occurred in many places every two to four weeks," said Dr. Mark Simmons, a restoration ecologist and program director at The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. "I suspect early spring bloomers like Texas bluebonnets and pink evening primrose are going to be stunning."


Fall and winter moisture are important as many popular wildflowers - including Texas bluebonnets, Indian blanket and Texas star - get a jumpstart on spring growth by germinating during the winter and establishing themselves as rosettes. These low clusters of leaves help the plants retain heat in the winter and prep to grow rapidly once temperatures climb.


Temperature swings since January shouldn't hamper the show much. "Texas bluebonnets and other early spring wildflowers such as plains coreopsis have evolved in the state's weather extremes and can bounce back from intermittent frost," Simmons noted. 


Now it's just a matter of north Texas and some other areas waiting for warmer weather to encourage wildflowers to begin blooming in earnest. In the meantime, here are Texas sightings from recent days.


Big Bend bluebonnets have been having a banner year in and around the national park for weeks, with many blooms spotted along Highway 170, also known as the river road, particularly along the Big Bend ranch stretch. Rock-nettle is also blooming on cliffs about 10 miles west of Lajitas. In the Rockport area, Texas bluebonnet blooms are at their peak in the cemetery on Tule Park Drive, as are blue curls.


In north San Antonio, less conspicuous plants like windflower, prairie fleabane and curvepod fumewort are at their peak. In addition, showier wildflowers such as greenthread are blooming in good numbers along Highway 281 North such as at the intersection with Encino Rio. Goldeneye phlox is also becoming more numerous amidst grassy stretches. Agarita is in peak bloom in that part of Bexar County, and in Uvalde County, which shares the same wildflower species "palette."


Along the trails at Lady Bird Lake and elsewhere in Austin, Carolina jessamine has been spotted, as have wildflowers such as a few Texas bluebonnets. That state flower and Indian paintbrush are starting to put on a great show on Interstate 10 near Houston, particularly east of Columbus. Texas bluebonnets have also begun blooming in Old Baylor Park in Independence.


Meanwhile, parts of the Panhandle and the Highland Lakes area have had below average rainfall into February. Some wildflowers don't require much rain though, and spotters have seen healthy numbers of Texas bluebonnet rosettes all around the Highland Lakes area. In other regions, such as Lubbock where hard freezes have occurred into early March, no blooms are being seen yet, but many rosettes have been spotted that will bring a good show in several weeks.


At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, a few of the many large stands of Texas bluebonnets on site are blooming, Carolina jessamine is in full bloom and spots of color come from Eastern red columbine, gray globemallow and other wildflowers just opening up. As in past years, special spots have been set up for visitors to take photos as a safe alternative to doing so along state highways. The center is now open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 31.


Take a Wildflower Quiz


To test your skill at identifying Texas' wildflowers, try the Wildflower Quiz at:


Wildflower Sightings


For wildflower bloom updates, visit sites such as, and The Texas Department of Transportation will start providing sightings in mid-March at 1-800-452-9292.


Wildflower sightings were provided by: Dr. Mark Simmons at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Patricia Manning, professional botanist in Alpine; Lu Hollander at the Brenham/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Olivia Sievers, landscape designer in Lubbock; and MJ Hansen and Jerry Morrisey of Texas chapters of the Native Plant Society.

Make gardening and yard work pain free


American Chiropractic Association


Spring season brings more chances to get outdoors and ramp up physical activity. After the winter chill, many people jump at the opportunity to spend time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.


Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, the body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety. And if the body is not prepared for the sudden increase in activity, one can develop strains and sprains that involve soft tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments.


"A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity," says Dr. Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH, of the American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. "It is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb. Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness."


To make gardening as enjoyable as possible and to reduce the risk of developing pain or discomfort from gardening or outdoor equipment misuse, ACA advises you to follow these tips:

  • Stand up and prop your heel on a back door step or stool with your knee slightly bent. Bend forward until you feel a slight pull at the back of the thigh, called the hamstring. You may need to stabilize yourself by holding onto a garage door handle or sturdy tree branch. Hold the position for 20 seconds, then relax. Do it once more, then repeat with the other leg.
  • Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel toward your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
  • While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
  • When using outdoor equipment, regardless of what piece of equipment you are using, make sure it has a strap - and that you use it. Place the strap over your head on the shoulder on the opposite side of your body from the device. This will help normalize your center of gravity.
  • Be sure to switch the side on which you are operating the equipment as often as possible, and to balance the muscles being used, alternate your stance and motion frequently.
  • Take frequent breaks from the activity of the day. Muscle fatigue may be felt when using gardening and yard equipment for an extended period of time.
Gardening tips

Sharon Kerr provides the following tip about starting succulents from cuttings:


"We do this a lot for our master gardeners so they can do terrariums for school kids and nursing homes.


"We recycle plastic containers as mini-greenhouses. The shoe-box size lettuce and spinach containers are perfect for starting succulents. Layer 1 inch perlite, 1 inch potting soil, and space out a dozen or so 1-inch long cuttings on top. Add 1/4 cup water, pop the lid on and put aside in bright indirect light like a covered porch. No direct sun.


"Watch the container for a few days. It should form a light mist on top, which waters the cuttings. If it forms heavy dew that rains down, open the lid and wipe the top with a paper towel. If no mist ever forms, add a few tablespoons of water.


"Once the mix is right, it won't need water again. You will have well-rooted plants ready for transplant in a month or two."


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.


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


Tomball: Nancy Greig will present "Butterflies in the Garden" at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 26, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Austin: The Green Corn Project final Spring Dig-in weekend will take place March 28 and 29. This is our primary mission of 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 .For more information and to register, visit


Bonham: 11th Annual Fannin County Master Gardener Garden, Lawn, & Home Expo will be held on March 28, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Bonham Civic Center Hwy. 121 & 56 West, Bonham. This year's subject is water. Gregg Church, Collin Co. Horticultural Agent, will present "Drought Tolerant Landscape Plants" at 9:30 a.m. followed by "Drip Irrigation for the Landscape" at 11 a.m. At 1 p.m. Adam Cohen, Green Phoenix Farms, will present "Aquaculture Basics" followed by "Aquaculture Plant Production" at 2 p.m. There will be a Concession Stand, Silent Auction, Door Prizes throughout the day. Vendors will be there to enhance your shopping experience. For additional information call 903-583-7453 or email


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.


Burnet: The 17th Annual Hill Country Lawn & Garden Show, sponsored by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Assn., in conjunction with the Burnet County AgriLife Extension Service, will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St., Burnet. Vendors feature plants for every garden, including native plants, exotic plants, herbs, vegetables, succulents and houseplants. The latest in lawn/garden equipment and yard decorations are also available for purchase. There will be demonstrations, children's activities and food for sale. Raffle tickets will be sold for a garden themed quilt and many other prizes. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Val Klaudt, Chairperson, at 512-588-0696 or


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


San Antonio: Backyard Basics Expo will be held Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at James Madison High School, 5005 Stahl Road, San Antonio. Fee: $20.00 per person by noon, March 25 (under 16 years Free); $25.00 per person after noon March 25 and on-site). For more information, call: 210-467-6575. Proposed concurrent workshops include Rainwater Collection, Food Preservation Basics, Gardening with Kids, Beekeeping Basics, Container & Vertical Gardening, Home Aquaponics, Patio & Landscape Citrus, Growing Olives & their Uses, Outdoor Grilling Safety, Making Sausage, Flavored Vinegar & Herb Mix, and more. Keynote Speaker will be Daphne Richards, Travis County Extension Agent - Horticulture and Augie the Plant Doggie. Proposed DIY afternoon demo sessions include How to build a Chicken Coop, Rain Barrel, or Raised Garden Bed. Door Prizes will be given in the DIY classes. Vendor Area will be Open all day including the Bexar County Master Gardener Information Table & Plant Sale. Snack Bar open all day for purchase of refreshments or lunch.


Tomball: Dee Nash will present "Lemonade Gardening: What to do when your climate hands you lemons" at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


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.


Tomball: Dee Nash will present "Hey, Gardeners! Create a Vegetable Garden Wherever You Are" at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 29, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit  


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.


Austin: On Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Austin Area Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden in Zilker Park (2220 Barton Springs Road), the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society will host its Spring Show and Sale. The event is free and open to the general public. There is, however, a paid admission to Zilker Botanical Garden ($2 adults, $1 children and seniors). The show offers visitors a chance to see rare and beautiful cacti and succulent species from around the world. Vendors from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico will sell native and exotic cacti and succulents, and hand-made pottery at reasonable prices. There will be a daily silent auction and hourly plant raffle of rare and collectible cacti and succulents. Educational information, literature, and expert advice will be available.


San Antonio: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold the "Rain Barrel Workshop" from 9 a.m.-noon April 4 at the William R. Sinkin EcoCentro, 1802 N. Main Avenue near San Antonio College. The program will be presented by experts from AgriLife Extension and the Bexar County Master Gardener program. "A rain barrel is a container that collects and stores water when you need it most. You conserve water and benefit your plants and garden," said Troy Luepke, AgriLife Extension water program coordinator for Bexar County. Attendees can make and take home their own rain barrel for home rainwater capture in just a few hours by attending this workshop. The program costs $50 and seating is limited to the first 30 people who RSVP and pay. RSVP with payment to Angel Torres at the AgriLife Extension office for Bexar County by March 30 at 210-467-6575 or . Make checks payable to: Texas A&M AgriLife and mail to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 212, San Antonio, TX 78230.


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. 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.


Tomball: Rand Hopkins, Monrovia Nursery, will present "Uniquely Different" at noon, Wednesday, April 8, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Austin: Lara Schuman, an ISA certified arborist and program manager at City of Austin Urban Forestry, will present "Tree Care During Drought" 10 a.m.-noon, April 9, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis Co., 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. For additional information, call 512-854-9600 or email To register, visit


Houston: "Roses in the West - A Must See" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society Meeting on Thursday, April 9. Jack Cox, a docent at the Santa Fe, New Mexico Botanical Garden, will share pictures and discuss the evolution of this lovely high mountain garden. The group meets in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1819 Heights Blvd., Houston. Entrance to parking lot is on W. 19th Street near Yale St. Free admission. For more information, visit


La Grange: Bill Adams will lead "Trouble Shooting in the Garden," noon-12:50 p.m., April 9, at the Fayette County Agricultural Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. For additional information, call 979-968-5831 or visit


Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club is hosting a presentation on bulbs by Chris Wiesinger, founder and owner of The Southern Bulb Company ( The session will be at the Quitman Library, 202 E Goode St., Quitman, on Thursday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m. Chris will have some bulbs and books for sale following his presentation. The session is free, but reservations are required as seating is limited. You can reserve your spot by emailing before April 3.


San Antonio: Angela Love. R. N. will present her version of relieving stress using aromatherapy at the San Antonio Herb Society's April meeting. The sense of smell is one of our primal senses and has a direct impact on our brain. The meeting will be held Thursday, April 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N New Braunfels. Free and open to the public. For more information, call 210-826-6860 or email


Tomball: Angela Chandler will present "Ornamedible Climbers" at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 9, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Dallas: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present its Earth-Kind Landscape Design and Management School April 10-12 in Building E of the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas. Program times will be from 6-9:30 p.m. April 10, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. April 11 and from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. April 12. Those attending the school will learn how to: Design, plant and manage a beautiful, low-maintenance, environmentally responsible landscape; work with Mother Nature to protect homes and communities; and reduce irrigation use in landscape beds by 70 percent, and almost totally eliminate the use of fertilizers and harsh pesticides on the plants, as well as greatly reduce the amount of pruning needed. The cost is $295 per household and includes all class materials and programming. Class size is limited, so enroll as soon as possible. For more information and to get an information sheet for enrollment, contact Kimberly Betancourt at 972-952-9211 or


Austin: Trowel and Error, Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium, will be held Saturday, April 11, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mayfield Park, 3505 W. 35th Street, Austin (next to Laguna Gloria Art Museum). Presentations include: 10 a.m., "Fabulous Flora for Your Fauna," presented by Jay White, avid gardener, contributing writer to Texas Gardener, Masters in Horticulture; 11 a.m., "Trisha's Ten Terrific Tips for Spring Garden Success," presented by Trisha Shirey, director of flora and fauna, Lake Austin Spa; and at noon, "Botany: Sagas, Secrets, and Surprises from the Grocery Shelves!" presented by Molly Ogorzoly, botanist, educator. There will also be a plant sale with hard-to-find heirlooms and other perennials perfect for the April garden and a "garden goodie" raffle for the discerning gardener will round out the day. Sponsored by Friends of the Parks of Austin, a non-profit organization, Trowel and Error is the solitary fund-raiser for historic Mayfield Park. Although admission is free, a $5.00 donation is requested. For more information, call 1-512-453-7074, email, or visit


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


Tomball: Dr. William Welch, TAMU, and Chris Wiesinger, The Southern Bulb Co., will present "The Southern Garden" at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 11, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Tomball: Gaye Hammond, Houston Rose Society, will present "Landscape Design" at 11 a.m., Sunday, April 12, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit  


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.


Tomball: Dawnvolynn, Big Chicken Daylily Farm, will present "Superstars in the Southern Garden" at noon, Wednesday, April 22, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit


Grapevine: Gail Manning, Entomologist and Director of Education at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, will present Monarch Butterflies at the April 28 meeting of the Grapevine Garden Club. She will speak about one of our native butterflies - the marvelous Monarch. We will learn about their life cycle, the food they need to survive, recording and tagging to determine their flight patterns during migration and the issues they face on their journey. The group meets at the Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 South Main Street, Grapevine. However the actual location of the building is the corner of Vine Street and Municipal Way, 1 block east of Main Street. Social time begins at 9:30 a.m. and the program begins at 10:00 a.m. 


Arlington: The Texas Native Plant Sale will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m., May 2, at Redenta's Garden, 5111 W. Arkansas Lane, Arlington. For additional information, visit

Tomball: Cynthia Graham, RN, BSN, will present "Pepperazzi" at noon, Wednesday, May 6, at The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. For additional information, email or visit

La Grange: Jason McBroom, Fayette County Commissioner, will lead "Drip Irrigation," noon-12:50 p.m., May 14, at the Fayette County Agricultural Building, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. For additional information, call 979-968-5831 or visit

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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