January 20, 2016
  
Homegrown flavor from an indoor garden
 
By Melinda Myers
Gardening Expert
 
Add some homegrown flavor to your winter meals. From microgreens to tomatoes, it is possible to grow produce indoors.
 
Microgreens are a quick and easy way to add some flavor and crunch to your plate. Just plant seeds labeled for sprouting or microgreens in a shallow container filled with a sterile potting or seed starting mix. Within two weeks you will be harvesting nutritious mini vegetable and herb leaves for salads, sandwiches or snacking.
 
Take it one step further and grow a few of your favorite herbs on a warm sunny windowsill. Select a container with drainage holes and set on the appropriate size saucer to protect your woodwork. Fill the container with well-drained potting mix and plant seeds or transplants. Purchase basil, chives, parsley, oregano and rosemary plants from your local garden center or the produce department.
 
Greens, like lettuce and spinach, will also grow in a sunny window or better yet under artificial lights. Grow them in a container filled with a well-drained potting mix similar to your windowsill herb garden. Plant seeds according to the seed packet. Continually harvest the outer leaves when they are four to six inches tall.
 
Those that like a bit of a challenge may want to try growing a compact tomato, pepper or eggplant. You'll get the best production with a combination of natural and artificial light or full spectrum lights.
 
Natural sunlight and full spectrum lights contain the variety of light plants need to grow, flower and fruit. Blue light promotes leaf and stem growth, while red combined with blue promotes flowering. Consider investing in energy efficient and long lasting high intensity grow lights for the greatest yields when growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other fruiting plants indoors.
 
Leave lights on for 14, but no more than 16 hours each day. Plants need a dark period as well as bright light each day to grow and thrive. Use a timer to ensure the plants receive the right duration of light.
 
Most flowering and fruiting plants need a high intensity of light, so keep the lights six to twelve inches above your plants. Use reflective surfaces under and around the plants to bounce light back into larger plants.
 
Increase your indoor growing space by going vertical. Shelf units with built-in light fixtures provide multiple layers of growing space.
 
And once your tomatoes, peppers and eggplants start flowering, you will need to shake things up a bit. Gently shake the plants several times a week, better yet daily, to move the pollen from the female to the male parts of the flower so fruit will develop. A gentle breeze from a fan or vibrations from a battery-operated toothbrush work well.
 
Indoor gardening won't yield the same results as a sunny outdoor garden, but the flavor can't be beat when gardening outdoors is not an option.
 
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener's Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone" DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.
Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is a gardening-themed short story presented for your enjoyment. - Michael Bracken, editor

The Case of the Missing Bicycle

By Edith Maxwell
Freelance Writer
 
After I left a client whose baby I was blessedly able to save in my role as midwife, I cycled to my next pregnant client's home on a warm June Saturday in 1888, my birthing satchel tied to the new metal platform on the back of my bicycle.
 
Fannie Elwood was a month away from birthing her fifth child. When she opened the door to her flat, she looked nearly ready to pop. Or collapse from exhaustion.
 
"Come in, Rose." She stood with her palms supporting her lower back and her enormous belly pushed out her worn work dress.
 
A boy slid past us. His face was clean but his shirt had been many-times mended and his pants were too short and too tight. Children outgrow their clothing so quickly.
 
"Ma, I done my chores. I'm going out to earn some pennies bringing water to the baseball players." He tugged a cap onto his head. "I promise I'll bring it all back to you."
 
"Gabe, say hello to Miss Carroll, now," his mother admonished.
 
"Hello, ma'am." He touched his cap.
 
"Hello, Gabe. Thee can call me Rose." I extended my hand.
 
"You one of them Quakers?" His eyes flew wide but he put his small rough hand in mine with a bit of swagger.
 
"I am." I smiled as he turned and trotted down the stairs.
 
"Be back for your supper," Fannie called after him. She gazed at me, deep lines creeping along her forehead. ""He's a good boy, but he tries too hard to take the place of our late Mr. Elwood. Gabe's almost nine. He should be able to just be a boy a little while longer."
 
* * *
 
At the bottom of Fannie's steps an hour later, I stared. My iron steed was not leaning against the hitching post where I'd left it. I looked up and down busy School Street, hands on my hips, but the bicycle was nowhere to be seen. I depended on that cycle to get to clients in a timely fashion. What wretch had stolen it? I'd just added the rack, too, so I didn't have to ride one-handed balancing my satchel on the front. Grumbling, I headed to the police station to report the theft, but the officer at the desk didn't offer much hope of finding the culprit.
 
Now I wandered through the riot of color that was my friend Bertie's front garden, a tangle of flowers and greenery in all hues and shapes. I gave a drink from the watering can to several pots of pansies wilting from the heat. Bertie was away in Boston and I'd promised to keep her plants from expiring.
 
Warm from walking, I made my way to the welcome shade of the back garden, just across the fence in back of Fannie's building, and lounged on a bench under Bertie's enormous elm tree. Fragrant sweet peas clung gracefully to strings trained up the shed wall and smelled like a letter from my childhood.
 
* * *
 
The next afternoon I trudged back toward Bertie's after the conclusion of Friends Meeting. I'd held the bicycle thief in the Light of God during silent worship but did not discern what path I could follow to regain my cycle. I supposed a thief might be in greater need of transport than I, but my Christian charity didn't extend quite that far. I wished I'd purchased a Yale & Towne padlock and a chain so I would still have my ride.
 
I rounded a corner and stopped short. A man furiously pedaled a bicycle past me, bumping along the cobblestones. I stepped back, nearly falling into a hedge, but I kept my gaze on the bike, which featured a rack on the back.
 
"Hold up there," I shouted, but the man raced away. I hadn't seen any other bikes beside mine fitted out like that but apparently there were. I'd taken a closer look before he escaped. Mine was a ladies model; his featured the horizontal bar between seat and handlebars which strengthened the frame for heavier male riders.
 
After I pumped water at Bertie's and drank deeply of it, I refilled the watering can. As I pushed aside branches of a tall lilac to water a cascading geranium suspended from a dogwood, I froze. Nestled between the greenery and the back fence was a bicycle. I peered at it and recognized the bright welding where my rack attached to the ladies frame. I was about to wrestle it out of the bushes when I heard a rustling and then a sneeze. I backed up with care and waited, hoping my thudding heart wasn't as loud as it sounded in my ears.
 
A moment later, young Gabe dropped down over the fence. He'd set his hands on the handlebars when I spoke.
 
"Had need of a bicycle, did thee?" I stepped around the lilac and collared him.
 
"I don't know what you'd be talking about." His words were brash but his eyes were wide and his voice quavered.
 
I gazed at him. "Let's get this bike out and then sit for a chat."
 
A minute later we sat on the shaded bench, the bike resting against my end of the bench. I handed the boy a metal cup of water.
 
"Gabe, why did thee take my bicycle?" I folded my hands.
 
He studied the cup, then drained it. "I'm the man of the house now, see? I have to help my ma." He lifted his boyish chin. "I didn't know it was yours. I thought I could make deliveries and earn some real money to help support Ma and the little ones. And the new baby."
 
"And thee knew Bertie was away and hid my bike here. I might have a solution for thee. But no more stealing. Promise?"
 
He nodded solemnly. "I promise."
 
* * *
 
Gabe's eyes were round and bright as a shiny new pie pan. We stood in front of his home the next day and I pushed the small-framed bicycle toward him a little. A wide basket hung from the handlebars, which also sported a thumb bell.
 
"Doesn't thee want to try it?" I smiled.
 
"Oh, yes, ma'am. But why?" he asked with a note of hope.
 
"It's yours. My friend's son is too big for it now. She wanted thee to have it." I didn't add that the well-off woman and her husband felt they owed me a debt because I'd rescued their newborn daughter from death.
 
"I'll take good care of it." He stood and squared his young shoulders. "And Miss Carroll? You ever need a delivery, you send for me."
 
"I'll do that Gabe." We each would have our own types of deliveries. His, various goods. Mine, babies. As it should be.
 
Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors; you can also find her at www.edithmaxwell.com, @edithmaxwell, and on Facebook.
Indoor gardeners: Potting soil better than backyard soil
 
The Soil Science Society of America
 
Indoor gardeners may be tempted to dig up soil in their yard for use with their potted plants. But the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) January 1 Soils Matter blog post explains that potting soil for indoor plants is best not taken from your back yard.
 
Bill Carlile, a soil scientist with Bord na Mona, Ireland, says, "The soil in your backyard is most likely a dynamic mixture of sand, silt and loam - depending on where you live."
 
"Most potting soils sold at garden stores aren't 'soils' at all, but a mix of ingredients. Together, these ingredients can smooth the road to good plant growth. Potting soils are the better choice for indoor plants and starting seedlings for transplant. A good potting soil allows good, constant plant growth."
 
"Backyard soils don't have the right structure or nutrients for indoor plants - and you have the added risk of bringing in undesired weed seeds, diseases, and pests."
 
To read the entire blog post, visit http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com.
Gardening tips

Now is the time to plant onions in most of the state. Plant them about an inch deep and firm the soil around them and keep them moist. Once they have started to grow, side dress them with a fertilizer containing nitrogen every couple of weeks. The larger the plant is once bulbing begins, the larger the onions will be.   
 
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 2016 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.
Upcoming garden events
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
JANUARY

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, January 21, at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. The meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by the free, special presentation at 6:30 p.m. Jackie Van de Walle of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition will be speaking on the history of the Stock Show and Rodeo, legacy, educational impact, and much more. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentation. 1.5 CEUs for MGs. For more information, email the BCMG President, President@bexarmg.org, or call 210-699-0663.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Fruit and Nut Tree Sale, on Saturday, January 23, at the Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Center, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program is at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until noon. For additional information or a plant list, call 936-539-7824 or visit http://www.mcmga.com/.

La Marque: "Successful Spring Vegetable Gardening" with GC Master Gardener Luke Striping presenting. 9 a.m -11:30 a.m., January 23, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details see www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.
 
La Marque: "Growing Blueberries" with Dr. David Cohen presenting. 1-2:30 p.m., January 23, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to  galv3@wt.net, further details see www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will host, "Spring into Vegetable Gardening" on January 23, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Landing at Myers Park and Event Center in McKinney, Texas. The focus of the program will be basic vegetable gardening in Collin County. Vegetable garden experts will discuss the specifics of when and what to plant in Collin County, with month-to-month guidelines for January through May planting. Attendees will learn about the importance of soil and soil preparation, how to propagate seeds, and which varieties of plants grow well in the area. Demonstration tables will be manned by Master Gardeners who have expertise in raised bed construction, vertical gardens, row covers, water conservation, rain barrels and drip irrigation, propagation, vegetable container gardening, and more. Representatives from Texas Pure Products will be on hand with examples of various soil amendments and mulches. Spend the morning with Collin County Master Gardeners learning how to grow delicious, nutritious veggies. Tour the potager and vegetable trial gardens at the end of the program with the volunteers who work in these gardens. This ambitious project began in the fall of 2013 with 16 raised beds, including two wheelchair accessible beds, and utilizes the principles and practices of Earth-Kind Environmental Stewardship. Registration will open online January 1, 2016 at the CCMGA website, www.ccmgatx.org. There is a $10 per person fee to attend. The fee is payable at the door with cash, check or credit card. Registration is required to guarantee handouts and goodie bags. Contact 972-548-4219, or visit www.ccmgatx.org for more information. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. on January 23 at the Landing at Myers Park.

San Angelo: On Saturday, January 23, The People/Plant Connection will present the first of a New "Green Thumb Gardener" Mini Seminar, "All About Trees." Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension Horticulturist for Tom Green County, will be talking about growing trees in West Texas. She'll discuss the best drought-tolerant varieties that do well in the area. This is the time to plant new trees and she will talk about the best techniques for pruning and watering to assure the health of your new tree. Ms. Watkins will also talk about caring for your mature trees to keep them healthy and looking great. As a special activity, everyone attending will have the opportunity to learn how to make art using leaf stamping. We meet from 9 a.m. until Noon at the Southside Recreation Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd., San Angelo. Refreshments will be served and a door prize will be given away. The cost is $25 per person. Preregistration is required to assure materials for the project. Call 325-656-3104 or visit www.peopleplantconnection.org.

San Antonio: Whether one fruit tree or a whole orchard, Dr. Larry Stein, Professor and Extension Horticulturist, Texas A&M University, will show you how. Dr Stein will cover the basic steps of selecting appropriate tree species, how to properly plant them, how to train and manage these trees as well as harvesting and general overall maintenance. This annual opportunity will be hosted and is FREE at Fanick's Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Rd, San Antonio on Saturday, January 23, starting promptly at 9 a.m. and concluding around noon. Bring plenty of questions, a pen and a notebook. 3 CEUs will be awarded to Master Gardeners who attend.

La Marque: "Anyone Can Grow Roses" with GC Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian John Jons. 6:30-8 p.m., January 26, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details see www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free.
 
La Marque: "Fig Tree Pruning and Propagation": with GC Master Gardener Terry Cuclis presenting. 9-10 a.m., January 28, at the orchard in the Galveston County Master Gardener Research & Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main, La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details see www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Free. (Rain Date: February 4)
FEBRUARY

San Antonio: San Antonio Garden Clubs will meet Wednesday, February 3, at 10 a.m. at 3310 N. New Braunfels @ Funston. The program, "River Romance: Beauty and Restoration," will be presented by Lee Marlowe, Sustainable Landscape Ecologist for the San Antonio River Authority. Learn fascinating facts about installing, restoring, and managing the native trees and shrubs that line the Riverwalk and its extensions from the person who keeps the romance of the River alive and well for all to enjoy. Coffee at 9:30; meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org or call 210-824-9981.

Overton: 2016 Annual East Texas Turfgrass Conference For School Districts, City Parks & Recreation. Lawn & Landscape Managers and Homeowners will be held Thursday, February 4, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Overton. $35. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. For additional information, call 903-657-0376.

Austin: Texas First Detector will be presented Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m.-noon, Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. "See something, say something," a program that gardeners can use to improve observation skills detecting invasive pests (insects) and diseases such as the brown marmorated stink bug and rose rosette that may appear and cause problems in our gardens and landscapes. Susan Jung and Tommie Clayton, Travis County Master Gardeners, will introduce attendees to the National Plant Diagnostic Network program, review "wanted posters" so they'll know what to look for, provide web-based resources, and where to report sightings for confirmation. Seminar is free. Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child (ages 3-12) or seniors (age 62 & over), $3 for non-Austin Residents. Cash or check accepted. For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Travis County, 512-854-9600.

San Angelo: On February 6, The People/Plant Connection will present the first in a new series, "Family Day in the Garden-All About Trees." We invite families to come and learn about trees; why we need them, how to plant them and how to care for them. We will have activities for families to do together. Weather permitting we'll go outside for more activities. This is the first Family Day before the opening of the Children's Adventure Garden in April 2016. These seminars will be offered quarterly with more activities in the garden. It will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the Southside Recreation Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd., San Angelo. Cost: $3/Adults $2/Children 4 and up. Children 3 and under get in free. To reserve your space and assure materials call 325-656-3104.

La Grange: Fayette County Master Gardeners present their Lunch-N-Learn on "Attracting Pollinators" with Harold Pieratt as speaker from 12:05 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Tuesday, February 9 at Fayette County AgriLife Extension Service, 255 Svoboda Lane, La Grange. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call 979-968-5831.

Houston: "Rose Pruning Done Right" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. Expert rosarians with the Houston Rose Society will demonstrate pruning techniques on actual bushes of all types of roses. Tables will be placed so all can get a close-up view of the demonstration. Questions are encouraged. Added bonus: all pruned bushes will be given away as door prizes; obtain a free raffle ticket upon arrival to be eligible. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.

Austin: "Effects on Insect Ecology: How You Can Help," will be presented Thursday, February 11, 10 a.m.-noon, at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. The talk covers why insects and other arthropods are important to humans and other animals, how drought impacts various insect groups and how people can help attract and keep insects in their yard even in times of drought. Wizzie Brown serves as Program Specialist - IPM in the Austin metroplex encompassing Travis County and surrounding counties. Cost: $10 through 2/1; $15 starting 2/2 and on-site. NO cash accepted - checks and credit cards only. Space is limited so register on-line early to reserve your seat! Register: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/TravisCounty , Register by Phone: 979-845-2604. For more information, contact: Sue Carrasco, 512-854-9610 or sacarrasco@ag.tamu.edu.

Pasadena: Saturday, February 13, Precinct 2, Harris County Master Gardener Fruit Tree and Tomato Sale at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff, Pasadena. Fruit Tree Overview by Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms, at 8 a.m. Sale hours 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If it's sold at our sale, it grows in our area. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: David's Garden Seeds, 7715 Tezel Drive, San Antonio, will present a "Tomato Grafting Class" at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 15. They will graft rose tomato plants with Maxifort rootstock plants. Call ahead to make sure the plants are ready because this is the best guess at when they will be ready to graft. Visit http://www.davids-garden-seeds-and-products.com/gardening-seminar.html for more information. For information on other gardening seminars, visit www.davids-garden-seeds-and-products.com.

Dallas:
"Master Gardener - Water Efficient Landscape Design" will be presented
Wednesday-Friday, February 17-19 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Building C Classroom & Large Hall, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Do you have a demonstration garden or school garden project that needs help to be water efficient? The Water Efficient Landscape Design Program for Master Gardeners provides you the skills to be your own landscape designer. You bring the project and we provide the guidance. You will learn basic landscape design techniques, native/adaptive plant selection, rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation to help your project become the envy of water efficient landscapes. This is a three-day program with Wednesday and Thursday evening optional design workshops. This workshop is only open to current Master Gardener volunteers. One registration is good for two club members to attend with design materials to share. Additional design materials available for purchase. Registration: Only 20 Master Gardener participant spots are available for this training (10 groups). Registration is first come/first served basis. Cost: $300.00: (includes lunch, dinner and design materials). For additional information please email Karen Sanders at karen.sanders@tamu.edu. To pay by credit card please contact Clint Wolfe at 972-952-9635.Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present their Spring Seminar featuring "Plants For All Seasons, Magnificent Monocots, A to Z" at McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, on Friday, February 19, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is $55 and includes lunch, snacks, and seminar handout. Dr. Flo Oxley, Professor of Biology at Austin Community College, will give an introduction to Monocots; Joanne Hall, owner of South Texas Growers of Bulverde, will give an overview of ornamental grasses in the landscape; Velia Sanchez-Ruiz, a member of the American Hemerocallis Society and a Region 6 Daylily Judge, will cover Daylilies; David Will, Texas Certified Landscape Professional and owner of Landscape Details, will speak on bulbs; Dotty Woodson an AgriLife Extension Specialist, will provide instruction on how to make a rain garden. Seating is limited, so register early. Registration forms are available at http://txmg.org/comal/event/seminar/. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

San Angelo: Friday, February 19, The People/Plant Connection will present "Lunch 'n' Learn" seminar series with Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension Horticulturist for Tom Green County. She will be talking about "Spring Forward: Get Ready to Grow." Spring is almost here, get a head start by learning the right things to do in the landscape and garden to be prepared for the spring planting season. You'll find out the best EarthKind practices to assure a water conserving landscape. We meet from noon to 1 p.m. at the Edd B. Keys Building, 113 W. Beauregard, San Angelo. We'll be in the AgriLife Extension Offices, in the former Library location, on the first floor by the elevator. Cost is $5 per person. All proceeds go toward building the Children's Adventure Garden, projected to open in April, 2016. For more information, visit www.peopleplantconnection.org.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer Master Gardener Intern Training Class #60 from February 24 to May 25 (Noon-4 p.m., each Wednesday) at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. Application Deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 9. Application form available at http://www.bexarmg.org/get-involved/.
MARCH
 
Santa Barbara, Calif.: The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show returns to Earl Warren Showgrounds March 4-6. As the oldest and one of the largest annual orchid shows in the United States, the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show marks its 71st year with the theme "Wild World of Orchids." General admission to the show is $12. Seniors and students with ID pay $10; children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Individual tickets can be purchased at the show box office or through Ticketmaster. Group sales information is available at www.sborchidshow.com, via email at sborchidshowpublicity@gmail.com or by phone at (805) 403-1533. The Show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6. To learn more, visit www.sborchidshow.com.

Dallas: "Landscape Design - Be Your Own Landscape Designer, with Water Efficiency in Mind" will be presented 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29 at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, WaterSense Labeled Home, 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. Are you on a budget, but your landscape needs a facelift? Be your own Landscape Designer by learning hands on approaches to landscape design for the do-it-yourself homeowner. Learn proper plant placement, design aspects and installation for a more water efficient landscape. This is a four-week class meeting once per week. Cost: $395. Note: This is a project-based class and is limited to one project please. Fee includes dinner each week for up to 2 project leaders/homeowners listed at initial registration. If you will have two project leaders/homeowners please reply to the confirmation email after you have registered. Registration Dallas.tamu.edu/courses.

Marshall: The Annual Spring Plant Sale of the Harrison County Master Gardeners will be held on Saturday, March 19, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., on the Tractor Supply parking lot at 105 E End Blvd (Hwy 59) in Marshall. Many Master-Gardener grown (pass-along) plants will be available, as well as commercially-grown flowers and vegetables, all at competitive prices. Arrive early for the best selection.

Orangefield: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association will host their Annual Bloomin' Crazy Plant Fair on Saturday, March 19, at Cormier Park, 8235 FM 1442, Orangefield. Available will be Texas Superstar plants, natives, perennials, annuals, vines, tropical storm, vegetables, citrus, blueberries, and many other varieties. In addition, vendors will have locally produced products, specialty plants and organic items for plants and lawns. For more information, visit txmg.org/orange.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

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

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.
 
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/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.
  
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.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.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.

Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually mee tat 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.

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

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels. 
 
SECOND WEEK
 
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.org.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.
 
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.
 
Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month. 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.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
 
Cleburne:The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.
  
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.

Bastrop: Texas Sage meets the third Tuesday of each month. The location varies. For additional information, call 512-581-7186 or email TexasSageMG@gmail.com
 
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. 
 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) 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, New Braunfels. 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.
 
Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.
 
Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the 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 boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
 
Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/Houston.
 
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.
 
FOURTH WEEK
 
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
 
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
 
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
 
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
 
Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.
 
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
 
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.
 
Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org.
 
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
 
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.
  
Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.
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