April 1, 2015

Plants can tell the difference between attacking insects and respond in different ways 


By Jeff Sossamon

University of Missouri


Scientists and gardeners alike study and examine plants for outward signs of damage caused by disease and insects. Often, this damage takes the shape of areas chewed by insects that are easily observed. However, much of the important responses plants make to insect bites takes place out of sight. In one of the broadest studies of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri recently studied how plant genes responded to insects that harm them. They found that plants can recognize attacks from diverse kinds of insects, such as caterpillars and aphids, and that plants respond differently to each attack. Identifying these defense genes could allow plant breeders to target specific insect species when developing pest-resistant crops.


"It was no surprise that plants responded differently to having their leaves chewed by a caterpillar or sucked by an aphid," said Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU and lead author on the paper. "What surprised us was how different plant responses were to each of the caterpillars and aphids. The plants could clearly tell insects apart - they really seem to 'know' who's attacking."


Results showed that Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, recognizes and responds differently to four insect species. Two caterpillar species were placed on the plants and encouraged to chew on their leaves. Researchers also allowed two species of aphids, or small insects that pierce plants with needle-like mouthparts, to attack the plants. Then those plants were examined on the genetic level to gauge their responses.


The team, which also included scientists from the University of British Columbia and The Pennsylvania State University, found that plants responded differently to both species of caterpillars and both types of aphids and determined that plants had different genetic responses in all four cases. Additionally, insects caused changes on the signaling level that triggered genes to switch on and off helping defend plants against further attacks.


"There are 28,000 genes in the plant, and we detected 2,778 genes responding to attacks depending on the type of insect," said Jack Schultz, director of the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU and a co-author on the study. "If you only look at a few of these genes, you get a very limited picture and possibly one that doesn't represent what's going on at all. Turning on defense genes only when needed is less costly to the plant because all of its defenses don't have to be 'on' all the time."


A sister study, led by Erin Rehrig, a doctoral student at MU at the time of publication, showed that attacks by both caterpillars and beet armyworms increased plant hormones that trigger defense responses. However, plants responded quicker and more strongly when fed on by the beet armyworm compared to the cabbage butterfly caterpillar, indicating again that plants can tell the two insects apart.


"Among the genes changed when insects bite are ones that regulate processes like root growth, water use and other ecologically significant processes that plants carefully monitor and control," Schultz said. "Questions about the cost to the plant if the insect continues to eat would be an interesting follow-up study to explore these deeper genetic interactions."


The study, "Transcriptional responses of Arabidopsisthaliana to chewing and sucking insect herbivores," and its sister study, "Roles for jasmonate- and ethylene-induced transcription factors in the ability of Arabidopsis to respond differentially to damage caused by two insect herbivores," were published in Frontiers in Plant Science and funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (DEB 0313492). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency.  

The garden reader:

Three specialty gardens


By William Scheick

Book Reviewer


Thomas Leo Ogren. The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping. Ten Speed Press, 2015. 256 pp. $22.99.


Since "pollen is the most common allergen to which we're exposed," Thomas Leo Ogren observes in The Allergy-Fighting Garden, it's up to us to exert control over our home landscapes. By raising non-pollen female plants in our yards, we can reverse today's urban trend of preferring pollen-producing male plants.


"Currently in the U.S, four out of five of the top-selling street tree cultivars are male clones." No matter how short their reproductive cycle, their pollen "falls on everything nearby and much of it remains allergenic for six months or longer."


Most of Ogren's insightful book is devoted to a well-done, annotated catalog of low pollen-producing garden plants, each one rated along an allergy scale. The book's earlier sections are just as useful, dispensing advice ranging from controlling spores (including those of ferns) to grafting trees to change their sex.


Karen Newcomb. The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers. Ten Speed Press, 2015. 224 pp. $18.95.


Home lots have become increasingly smaller over the years. Even so, that has not stopped gardeners, particularly those who learned from the popular 1975 and the 1999 editions of The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden.


In this latest edition - handily compact but jam-packed - recommended garden-bed patterns range from 4x4 to 10x10 feet. "Regardless of which size you choose," Karen Newcomb writes, "your garden will produce a tremendous amount of vegetables and, after the initial preparation, require little extra work.


"The best thing about postage stamp gardening," the author adds, "is that it's simple, easy and in balance with nature, making the soil better and more productive each and every season."


Separate chapters in this productive handbook highlight planning, preparation, soil mixes, timing, specific veggie needs, watering, companioning, pest control, heirloom selections and seed-saving.


Lisa Baker Morgan and Ann McCormick. Homegrown Herb Garden: A Guide to Growing and Culinary Uses. Quarry Books, 2015. 176 pp. $24.99.


Small-space gardening is also celebrated in Homegrown Herb Garden. This inviting book features 15 essential herbs, each given its own chapter loaded with helpful advice about the basics, common varieties, care and feeding, and harvesting.


Each plant profile concludes with a nifty did-you-know postscript. For example: "In the 'language of flowers,' cilantro symbolizes 'hidden merit.'"


Most of this book is devoted to yummy recipes accompanied by big, rich, tempting photos. One recipe even includes chive flowers as an appealing garnish.


"There is nothing quite like a bouquet of fresh herbs just picked from your own garden," proclaims McCormick, a Fort Worth resident who wrote about herbs for Texas Gardener from 2000 to 2007. If you have missed her, Homegrown Herb Garden provides a good opportunity to get reacquainted.

A company built on a packet of seeds


Botanical Interests


It all started with a packet of seeds.


Twenty years ago, seed packets were quite predictable. The front of the packet featured a photo of the flower in bloom or vegetable in its just-harvested glory. On the back was basic information about how the seed should be planted and the growing conditions under which the plant thrived.


Then came a new upstart company, called Botanical Interests. Founded in 1995 by the husband and wife team of Curtis Jones and Judy Seaborn, Botanical Interests sought to set itself apart from all other garden seed companies by offering better seed - and a better seed packet.


"We set out to design our own seed packets that reflected who gardeners really are - artists, historians, cooks, horticulturists and health-conscious people just like us," said Judy Seaborn. "We wanted something creative, informative and unique."


For the front of the packet, Seaborn and Jones commissioned local Colorado artists to illustrate each variety in a classic horticultural style. Each illustration would literally be a work of art. The back of the packet would include planting information, plus an identification tag that could be cut out and attached to a wooden stick to make a custom plant tag.


The inside of seed packets from other companies was always blank. But the inside of Botanical Interests' seed packets are printed with a page of information, including the history of the plant, tips on keeping cut flowers and harvested vegetables fresh, and even recipes and other cool information. (Today, the company's website at www.botanicalinterests.com continues its mission to educate gardeners with a treasure trove of info about seed sprouting, planting and cultivation.)


"Utilizing the inside of the packet gave us more room to add all the other information we knew gardeners wanted - because we wanted it too," said Seaborn.


That first season in business, Seaborn and Jones processed orders at their dining room table with their one employee. They offered 98 varieties of high-quality, naturally sourced seeds.


From the beginning, Botanical Interests chose not to sell its seeds to "big box" stores. Instead, it partnered with local garden centers which shared the desire to inspire and foster the joys of gardening with passionate gardeners. That partnership, based upon a common love for the magic and wonder of seeds, sprouted and quickly took root. Botanical Interests steadily grew, adding customers, employees and seed varieties.


In its 20th anniversary year, Botanical Interests now offers more than 600 varieties of seeds sourced from all over the world. Every seed is untreated and non-GMO, and much of it is organic. Seaborn and Jones are still just as passionate about seeds as ever, and their growing company reflects their belief in the miracle of seeds.


"People get great satisfaction from planting seeds and working with the soil," said Jones. "I don't know if it's the soil and the fresh air that makes gardeners well adjusted, or that well-adjusted people are drawn to gardening. But either way, planting seeds in the soil is good for people."


Botanical Interests seed packets and seed-starting products are available nationwide at garden centers and directly from www.botanicalinterests.com.

Gardening tips

Warming weather means it is time for planting warm-season flowers like cleome, nicotiana, Mexican sunflower, pentas, purslane, celosia, lantana, salvias, periwinkle, cosmos, plumbago and yellow bells, to name a few.  Some can be direct seeded but for faster results, them out as transplants.


Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a free Texas Gardener 2015 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.

Upcoming garden events
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.



San Antonio: 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 SanAntonioGardenCenter.org 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 www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org 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 [email protected] . 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 Jard�n de la Esperanza - a west side community garden at 2806 W. Salinas. Multiple activities are scheduled for all age ranges. Interested parties should visit www.greensatx.org/fruitfulsa 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 http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events 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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


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 [email protected]. To register, visit https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty


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 http://www.houstonrose.org.


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 http://fayette.agrilife.org.


Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club is hosting a presentation on bulbs by Chris Wiesinger, founder and owner of The Southern Bulb Company (http://www.southernbulbs.com/). 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected].


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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


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 [email protected].


Austin: "A Passion for Plants: An East Austin Garden Fair" will be held April 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center, 2608 Gonzales Street, Austin. Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve the family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chickens and beekeeping. The fair will feature an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids' activities and container garden building. New information this year will address raising backyard rabbits, alternate methods of gardening, building a backyard greenhouse or hoop house, house plants and terrariums, and garden tools and techniques. Long-standing partners and participants include the Sustainable Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, Festival Beach Food Forest, Green Corn Project, Home Depot Kid's Workshop, Texas 4-H, AmeriCorps, AgriLife Extension Master Wellness Volunteers and Prairie View A&M University. Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants offered to participants while supplies last. For more information, call 512-854-9600 or visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/2015/03/a-passion-for-plants-an-east-austin-garden-fair/.


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 [email protected], or visit mayfieldpark.org.


Chandler: "The Backyard Buffet" will be presented Saturday, April 11, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m, at Blue Moon Nursery, 13062 Farm to Market Rd 279, Chandler. Vegetables and fruits do not have to be relegated to a separate area alone and by themselves. Mary Wilhite will show how to incorporate edible crops into an existing landscape both for beauty and food, $15 (or $45 for season pass to all six Lecture Series programs). For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ETGardeningConference.


Dallas:  Attend the popular annual Butterfly Gardening Workshop at Texas Discovery Gardens Saturday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you plant it, they will come! Discover how easy it is to garden and attract native butterflies with Horticulture Director Roger Sanderson & Entomologist John Watts. Bring home a flat of starter plants valued at more than $64. Cost is $64, members $52. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 ext. 343. The Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210.


Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners present Blooms & Barrels, their annual plant and rain barrel sale, as well as free gardening programs on Saturday, April 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27, Kerrville. For more information, visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.


McKinney: The 12th Annual Plant Sale will be held indoors, rain or shine, hot or cold inside the Stall Barn at Myers Park, 7117 County Road 166, McKinney, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., April 11. To find out more about the plant sale, visit www.ccmgatx.org or call the CCMGA Information Center at 972-548-4232.


New Braunfels: On April 11-12 the annual native plant sale will be held by the Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas during the Folkfest celebration in New Braunfels. The sale will feature many different natives and three varieties of milkweed. Look for native butterfly and hummingbird plants too. The sale is for all ages and includes a children's activity working with plants. Hours are Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Folkfest is held in Heritage Village, 1370 Church Hill Drive, New Braunfels.  (Take exit 189 off Interstate 35 and proceed west on Loop 337 to Church Hill Drive and turn right. Signs will also refer to Loop 337 as State Hwy. 46 Bypass.) For more information, visit http://npsot.org/wp/lindheimer/main-page/.


Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens will host its annual Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. A variety of hard-to-find, "Texas tough" plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, unusual species and exclusive SFA and Greg Grant introductions. Most of the plants at this year's sale are extensively trialed in the university's gardens before being offered to the public. Additionally, most of them are produced by the SFA Gardens staff members and volunteers. This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs offered at SFA Gardens reach more than 15,000 students of all ages on a yearly basis. The eighth annual SFA Earth Day Celebration, presented alongside SFA's Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale, will begin at 10 a.m. and feature informational booths, guest speakers, activities for kids of all ages, free food, live music and much more. Held at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, the outdoor festival is sponsored by SFA's Campus Recreation's Outdoor Pursuits program, the SFA Student Sustainability Coalition, SFA Gardens and Nacogdoches Naturally. The celebration is an opportunity for members of the SFA student body and the Nacogdoches community to join together in furthering the vision of a sustainable campus and community.Parking is available at the nearby Early Childhood Research Center, 2428 Raguet St. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404 or visit www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu. A complete list of available plants will be listed on the website two weeks prior to the sale.


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 [email protected].


San Antonio: Annual Grafting Seminar will be presented Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to noon at Fanick's Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Road, San Antonio. Dr. Larry Stein from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service will show you how and why fruit, nut and citrus trees are grafted. You will learn all the different grafting techniques like inlay, four flap, cleft, approach grafts and some of the budding techniques like chip budding and t-budding. You will also learn about the overall care of your fruit, nut and citrus trees before and after you graft them. This seminar is very popular so arrive early for best parking and seating. Seminar is free. 3 CEUs for Master Gardeners who attend. For additional information, visit http://fanicknursery.com/.  


Schertz: "Keyhole and Elevated Garden Beds with Drip Irrigation Demonstrations" will be presented at the Guadalupe Community Gardens, 1101 Elbel Road, Schertz, 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 11. $15 recovery few. For more information, call 830-303-4712 or 830-303-3889 or visit guadalupemastergardeners.org


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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold a Lunch and Learn With the Masters program Monday, April 13, on Rainwater Harvesting: Capturing Nature's Bounty, with master gardener Kathy Chilek as guest speaker. The event will be at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria from noon until 1 p.m. The event is free to the public. Those attending may bring a sack lunch and beverage.


Dallas: Purchase hard-to-find native and adapted butterfly host and nectar plants at Texas Discovery Gardens' annual Pollinator Plant Sale. The Greenhouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18 and 19, with a Members' Preview April 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Members also receive a 10 percent discount. Interested in learning more about the established plants? Register for a Plant Sale Safari that runs an hour before the sale on Saturday (and before our members' preview sale)! Find details at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org. 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210.


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


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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.


Dallas: Discover how to prepare vegetable plots, pick the right seeds for our climate and season, and veggie growing basic with the "Seed to Table" class April 25 from noon to 2 p.m. at Texas Discovery Gardens. This makes a good beginner or refresher course. $25, $20 for members. Then, stay for "Nutrition Facts: Gardens do not come with Labels," in which you learn how to really read nutrition facts and what homegrown veggies would say if they were labeled. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; $25 and $20 for members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 ext. 343. The Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas.


San Antonio: Turfgrass 101 Seminar will be presented Saturday, April 25, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Milberger's Landscape Nursery, 3920 N Loop 1604 E., Exit Bulverde Road, San Antonio. David Rodriguez from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will discuss the basics of lawn maintenance through proper nutrition, mowing, weed control and irrigation. This seminar is very popular so arrive early for best parking and seating. Seminar is free 1.5 CEUs for Master Gardeners who attend. For additional information, visit http://www.milbergernursery.com/.


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 www.txnativeplants.org.

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 [email protected] or visit www.arborgate.com.

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 http://fayette.agrilife.org.

Dallas: Attend a Drip Irrigation class at Texas Discovery Gardens May 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Water more deeply and efficiently: convert your spray heads and watch your sprinkler system save you money with this hands-on drip conversion class. Learn how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or how to convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation is the most efficient irrigation method and essential to sustainable landscapes and foundation watering. $25, $20 for TDG members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 ext. 343. The Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210.


Dallas: Find out about those mystery trees and shrubs in your yard May 30 from 10 a.m. to noon with Director of Horticulture Roger Sanderson at Texas Discovery Gardens. Bring photos of the specimens as well as a cutting. He will do his best to answer questions and share great trees and shrubs for North Texas landscapes.  $25, $20 for TDG members. Register in advance at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org or call 214-428-7476 ext. 343. The Gardens are at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210.

Monthly meetings


If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 




Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to [email protected].

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu
or call 281-855-5600.

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


Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.

Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month at the Permian Basin Readiness Center at the Midland International Airport. For more information, call 432-498-4071.


Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.


Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

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


Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

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




Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at [email protected].  


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


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


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

second Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit http://dcmga.com/.


Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.


Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.


Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 


Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the

second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.


Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.


Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.


Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.


Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the

second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.


San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

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


Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.


College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.


Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.


Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.


Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.




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


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


New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.


Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.


Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860.  


Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail [email protected] or call 361-790-0103.


Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. Meetings include an informative speaker, plant of the month presentation, and plant raffle. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/wp/lindheimer 


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 www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.


Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.


Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.


Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.


Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the Lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.


Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email [email protected] or call 817-454-8175.


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month at 3015 Richmond Ave., Houston. For more information, contact [email protected].


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


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


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


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

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