May 4, 2016
  
The garden reader:
Setting goals
 
By William Scheick
Book Reviewer
 
Judith Adam. Your First Garden: A Landscape Primer for New Home Owners. Firefly Books, 2016. 120 pp. $19.95.
 
"Good landscape planning is simply rational thinking," Judith Adams promises. Her goal is help us think about our gardening goals, particularly "how to divide space, how to determine essential and practical uses and how to make changes and choices in all the areas of [a] property."
 
She offers a ten-point assessment survey designed to identify challenges and value-adding changes. Then the author gets down to necessary basics, from soil preparation to bed designs as well as from achieving high-performance to arriving at low-maintenance.
 
While not all of its plant recommendations are ideal for Texas, Your First Garden nonetheless provides an attractive and highly useful introduction to the transformation of a home landscape.
 
Mel Bartholomew. Square Foot Gardening: High-Value Veggies. Cool Springs Press, 2016. 128 pp. $17.99.

Mel Bartholomew's goal in Square Foot Gardening: High-Value Veggies is to provide a handy answer to the question, which crops "will bring you the biggest return on your investment"? Possibly he hopes to prevent the sort of experience William Alexander examined in The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.
 
Most of Bartholomew's attractively illustrated book profiles 59 veggies presented in the order of their worth when assessed by "return on investment per square foot planted." So there are "Mel's Top Ten" (heirloom tomatoes, spinach, etc.) and "Mel's Bottom Ten" (bell pepper, okra, etc.).
 
Herbs are valued the most in Bartholomew's scheme, and potatoes the least. Other like-minded "enginerds" - clever people who assess everything solely in practical terms - will delight in the convincing arithmetic informing Square Foot Gardening.
 
Matthew Appleby. The Children's Garden: Loads of Things to Make and Grow. London: Frances Lincoln, 2016. 144 pp. $22.99.

Matthew Appleby's enabling goal in The Children's Garden is to present hands-on projects designed to ignite the imagination of kids "aged five years and older." He hopes to get them "off the computer and into the outdoors."
 
His 52 fascinating activities are conveniently arranged by season. For spring, for instance, there are "home-made seed bombs" and "turf tattoos" (that is, selective shading of a lawn).
 
Finding "scary plants" (skull-shaped seed-heads of snapdragon, for example) is a summer game, whereas scoping out "ugly vegetables" and stacking stones provide autumnal fun. Feeding birds is a winter activity.
 
The Children's Garden is richly inventive and should appeal widely to parents.
 
Holly Farrell. Grow Your Own Cake: Recipes from Plot to Plate. London: Frances Lincoln, 2016. 176 pp. $24.99.

Holly Farrell's distinctive goal in Grow Your Own Cake is to expand our baking repertoire with veggies. Enticing recipes (arranged by seasons, teatime and dreamy puddings) are abundant in this beautifully illustrated book.
 
Carrot cake is good, but expect more, Farrell urges. "The veg patch and fruit cage, and the herb and the flower gardens, too," provide many often overlooked ingredients for sublime bake goods.
 
I am hesitant about beetroot cake (with orange and cinnamon) or parsnip winter cake (with honey). But I would readily scarf down a slice of rose cake or gooseberry and elderberry cake.
 
Grow Your Own Cake is wonderfully unique in approach, easy to follow, insistent on basic ingredients, and sure to reward dessert-lovers in search of something truly special.
 
Ariella Chezar. The Flower Workshop: Lessons in Arranging Blooms, Branches, Fruits, and Foraged Materials. Ten Speed Press, 2016. 257 pp. $25.00.

Ariella Chezar's "goal is for you to learn to create arrangements that go beyond pretty and into the realm of the dramatic, the unexpected and sometimes even the magical." Adorned with exquisite photographs by Erin Kunkel, Chezar's Flower Workshop will indeed inspire anyone lucky enough to peruse a copy.
 
Featuring painterly arrangements, Chezar emphasizes color ("bold red," "sunny yellow"), design, texture and tonal contrast. Her how-to examples range widely and include a memorable, easy-to-fashion succulent-and-tillandsia wreath.
 
And if you happen to have some wayward mustang grapes impinging on your yard, you'll find an attractive ornamental use for them in The Flower Workshop.
Colorful wildflowers and blooming plants abound at Texas State Parks
 
Texas Parks & Wildlife
 
Thanks to heavy rains and warmer temperatures, Texas state parks are enjoying an early spring this year. Rolling waves of bright blue, deep red and rich yellow blanket Texas' hills and plains in an impressive wildflower display.
 
Texas is blessed with more than 5,000 species of wildflowers, and this spring has seen a proliferation of wildflower populations. The state's more than 90 Texas State Parks present some of the best and safest places to view and photograph nature's bounty of wildflowers and blooming shrubs and trees.
 
For example, at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, visitors have ample opportunity for wildflower viewing. With easy, accessible trails and no entrance fees, LBJ makes for an easy day trip from San Antonio or Austin.
 
"This year, we are seeing lots of visitors walking the trails, taking photos and just enjoying the wildflowers," said LBJ Park Superintendent Iris Neffendorf. "Lady Bird Johnson often enjoyed the park nature trails during wildflower season."
 
Neffendorf said LBJ has seen an abundance of Texas bluebonnets along the park trails, with a good mix of Indian paintbrush, evening primrose and wine cups.
 
In Central Texas state parks, visitors can expect to see bluebonnets, Engelmann daisies, beeblossoms, Carolina woollywhites, blue-eyed grass, Texas yellowstars, Dakota vervain, Drummond's skullcaps, four-nerved daisies and plateau bladderpods.
 
From parks in south central Texas to the coast, a multicolored blanket of wildflower species has erupted. A checklist of colorful blooms on the landscape includes: light blue sandyland bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, green milkweed, winecups, longbract wild indigos, Texas vervains, sandhill woollywhites, blue-eyed grass, spider lilies, white pricklypoppies, spiderworts, prairie bluets, showy primroses, puccoons and coralbeans.
 
In East Texas parks, rampant Texas groundsels blanket sandy fields and post oak savannahs. Flowering eastern shrubs and trees include rusty blackhaw, redbuds, plums and hawthorns, which flourish in forest and pine savannahs.
 
Texas experienced an early spring this year, with some wildflowers sprouting up an entire month earlier than their average blooming period in a brilliant display of color. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department botanist Jason Singhurst attributes much of this year's impressive wildflower population across Texas to ideal growing conditions.
 
"We had an unseasonably warm winter, which allowed soil temperatures to stay above average and encouraged spring wildflowers to bloom earlier than normal," Singhurst said. "The late winter and spring rains stimulated a firestorm of wildflowers blooming across Texas."
 
In addition to the dominant wildflower species Texans are accustomed to seeing, like bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush, Singhurst said there are plenty of other wildflowers - including purple paintbrush, Engelmann's daisy, yellow stonecrop, fox glove, wild indigos and violets - creating some unique color landscapes in Texas.
 
"Most of the state has had a great spring wildflower response," Singhurst said. "State parks and wildlife management areas, especially in the upper coast, Hill Country and north central Texas, have been extremely impressive."
 
For other places to see wildflowers in Texas, check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, which as of last week, reported Mexican gold poppy, Texas bluebonnets, buttercups, mimosa and Berlandier's sundrops, among other species. For up-to-date reports on in-season Texas wildflowers, visit the center's website . The Texas Department of Transportation also offers maps of wildflower sightings across the state.
 
In addition, the TPWD Pinterest page is regularly updated with wildflower sightings from several parks across the state, including Big Bend Ranch State Park, Franklin Mountains State Park, Brazos Bend State Park and Inks Lake State Park.
 
Park visitors can share their wildflower pictures-and see what's blooming around the state-on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts ( http://tpwd.texas.gov/socialmedia/). In addition, check out the TPWD Pinterest board for more pictures of wildflowers.
 
Recent sightings reported by TPWD staff in Texas State Parks include:
  • Bastrop State Park - Dewberries
  • Davis Mountains State Park - Yucca plants
  • Dinosaur Valley State Park - Mexican plum trees and bluebonnets
  • Eisenhower State Park - Blue false indigo
  • Estero Llano Grande State Park - Twisted rib cactus, coralbean and colorful retama trees
  • Franklin Mountains State Park - Orange poppies, purple lyreleaf jewelflower and feather dalea
  • Garner State Park - Pineapple cactus
  • Guadalupe River State Park - Bluebonnets
  • Hill Country State Natural Area - Texas honeysuckle, firewheel and blooming redbud trees
  • Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site - Bluebonnets
  • Meridian State Park - Indian paintbrush and bluebonnets
Newly-released sorghum types offer biodiversity, crop improvement
 
Crop Science Society of America
 
It's an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Yet you may not even have heard of it.
 
Sorghum was first grown more than 6,000 years ago in northeastern Africa. Many varieties of this drought-resistant, hardy crop are cultivated in other tropical and temperate areas, including India, China, and Australia. Farmers in the southern plains of the United States have been growing this hardy cereal since the1800s.
 
Researchers recently released 40 varieties of early-flowering sorghum bred for use in cooler, more temperate areas. These early-flowering varieties of sorghum are critical for the spread of the crop to more new locations. When planted in areas with long days and cold soils, typical sorghum crops face difficulties.
 
"Sorghum originates in the tropical areas of Africa - it does not like cool temperatures or the long days in temperate climates," says Robert Klein. Klein is a researcher at the USDA-ARS and Texas A&M University.
 
As seasons change, the length of the day varies much more in temperate areas than in tropical regions. Sorghum needs day lengths of less than 12 hours and 20 minutes to flower. However, by the time days become short enough in late summer for sorghum crops to flower, it also becomes too cold for them to survive in temperate climates.
 
Researchers have one major advantage. "There is a great deal of naturally-occurring genetic diversity in the sorghum collection, and our research program exists to provide that genetic diversity to seed companies and eventually to the consumer," says Klein.
 
The genetic diversity of sorghum-and other plants-is often preserved in germplasm collections. Researchers define 'germplasm' as a living genetic resource such as seed or tissue. "It is maintained for the purpose of animal or plant breeding. For plants that could be seeds, roots, tubers, cuttings from trees, or even collections of entire plants," says Klein.
 
This genetic diversity is key. Diseases or pests can spread from one region to another and destroy entire crops. To prevent this, researchers can search germplasm collections and breed crop varieties with natural resistance.
 
"Germplasm collections allow us to guard against problems that we can't even anticipate while also preserving this genetic diversity for future societies. Once this biodiversity in these collections is lost, it cannot be brought back," says Klein.
 
Sorghum has many benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment. It is a drought-tolerant crop. In many areas, it needs significantly less water than rice and corn. With fresh water becoming more limited for agriculture, crops such as sorghum may become more attractive to farmers. Sorghum has also been bred for a reduced need for herbicides and pesticides.
 
In addition, sorghum has several nutritional benefits: It is a gluten-free grain. It has a low glycemic index, which makes it well-suited for those who need to maintain blood sugar balance. Certain varieties of sorghum have three to seven times the levels of antioxidants found in blueberries or strawberries. It is low in cholesterol and high in fiber. Sorghum has also been linked with good digestive and cardiovascular health.
 
Some varieties of sorghum are used as livestock feed. These have protein content and quality comparable to more traditional protein sources, such as soybeans. They also contain high levels of micronutrients, such as zinc, iron and phosphorus.
Audubon's Hummingbirds at Home app provides scientists with sweet, sweet data
 
National Audubon Society
 
With spring migration underway, the National Audubon Society invites birders and nature enthusiasts of all ages to help track the health of hummingbirds with Audubon's  Hummingbirds at Home app. This citizen science project collects data that provide scientists with crucial information about the bird species and the plants that sustain them.
 
Every spring, hummingbirds visit our yards, looking for nourishment from our gardens and feeders. Many hummingbirds migrate very long distances and must eat several times their weight in nectar daily to stay alive. Audubon scientists recently released a groundbreaking study that revealed some species of hummingbirds could lose more than 50 percent of their current ranges by 2080 if climate change continues on its current trajectory. As flowers bloom earlier because of warming conditions, there is a growing mismatch between flowering times and the arrival of hummingbirds in their breeding areas. Citizen scientists recording data on hummingbirds and their food sources will help Audubon's scientists understand this growing imbalance.
 
How you can help
  • Create an account: http://www.hummingbirdsathome.org/  or through the mobile app (free IOS and Android versions are available)
  • Identify a patch of habitat: can be your backyard, a spot in a park, a playground - all it needs to be is a place hummingbirds may visit that can be surveyed at least once.
  • Conduct scheduled patch surveys: these are surveys of the patch identified above scheduled in advance. Data recorded during these surveys can be entered into the Hummingbirds at Home app under "Patch Survey" in the Main Menu. Surveys can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 60. Be sure to select the right hummingbird you survey from the hummingbird pick list, select the blooming food sources in the patch, and check off the food source if the hummingbird fed while surveyed.
  • Submit data on single sightings: In addition to scheduled surveys, single sightings of hummingbirds can be recorded when they occur outside of the identified patch location or time.
  • Log visits to a nectar source: choose any single nectar source within the selected patch and log the hummingbird visits made to that source during the scheduled survey.
  • More info at: http://www.audubon.org/content/hummingbirds-home-faq
How to attract hummingbirds

One of the best ways to help hummingbirds thrive is to make sure your yard is bird-friendly. If you don't have a yard, you can still help these birds by creating a native plant container garden on your patio or balcony. Hummingbirds are specialized for nectar-eating, evident by long bills and grooved tongues ideal for probing flowers. Follow these steps to maximize the potential of your hummingbird-friendly yard:
  • Fill your yard with flowering plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. Even a window box or hanging basket can help.
  • Grow native plants like trumpet honeysuckle, bee balm, and hummingbird sage, which provide much more nectar than hybrids and exotics.
  • Plant red or orange tubular flowers to attract hummingbirds, in addition to other flowers rich in nectar.
  • Group similar plants together and choose species with different blooming periods so that there will be a steady supply of flowers nearly year round.
  • Leave some sticks and small branches on bushes and trees to enable ready perches for hummingbirds.
  • Eliminate or minimize the use of pesticides in your yard. Hummingbirds consume many small insects in addition to nectar, and they as well as butterflies will benefit from a pesticide-free space.
  • Encourage your neighbors to make their yards hummingbird friendly. An entire corridor of habitat is much more valuable than scattered patches.
For more information on how to create a hummingbird-friendly yard visit: http://www.audubon.org/content/how-create-hummingbird-friendly-yard.
 
6 fun facts about hummingbirds
Gardening tips

As soil temperatures begin to warm, it is time to plant okra and other heat lovers such as southern peas and Malabar spinach. We like to pre-sprout our okra seed by placing the seed on a plate between two paper towels. Keep the paper towels moist for a couple of days. When you notice the seed starting break through the seed coat, it is time to plant.   
 
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 copy of the latest issue of  Texas Gardener magazine. 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.
MAY

Denton County: The 2016 Denton County Master Gardener Association spring garden tour will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. "Suburban Surprises" is the theme of this year's tour, which features five private residential and two public gardens in South Denton County. "The Art-Full Acre" at 5116 Heather Court, Flower Mound, is a garden gallery where art and nature merge, demonstrating how art interspersed among plants can express an owner's personality. Multiple vignettes, including an area dedicated to the gardener's late mother, will delight visitors as they meander among eclectic art. "Natives in the Suburbs" at 2201 Morriss Court, Flower Mound, showcases native Texas plants, which have helped the homeowners reduce both costs and maintenance of their yard This Texas landscape supports local wildlife, such as birds and lizards, while insects of all kinds contribute to nature's upkeep of the garden. "The Other Side of the Fence" at 417 Doubletree Drive, Highland Village, complements a 29-year old home and has seen numerous changes over time. Removal of a backyard tree allowed for construction of an outdoor kitchen. Perennials and a patio for container gardening enhance the family's enjoyment of their yard. "Pigs Fly Ranch' at 12050 Meadow Lake, Argyle (Copper Canyon), is a 4.5-acre hobby farm growing veggies, fruits, annuals, perennials, native trees and shrubs. The gardens are informal, and the owners, who advocate water conversation, leave the lawn to nature. The property's rain harvesting system can store more than 6,000 gallons of water. "The Water Bender" at 3424 Serendipity Hills Trail, Corinth, demonstrates how to manage fast-moving water on the property. A series of drainage canals has been constructed to travel around raised beds, which were created out of the excavated soil and filled with plants that attract pollinators. A man-made pond provides a home for bullfrogs and a water supply for visiting creatures. The tour's two public gardens are the 13-acre Flower Mound on Flower Mound Road just east of Long Prairie and the Israel Prayer Garden at Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Freeway (IH35E), Corinth. Tour tickets are $10 each and available from Master Gardeners or from the Denton County Master Gardener website at www.dcmga.com. Tickets may be purchased at any of the homes on tour day. Admission to a single garden is $5 at the gate. There is no charge for children under 12, and admission to either public garden is free. Master Gardeners will be on-site at each location to answer questions.

La Marque: "Plan Before You Plant" with GC Master Gardener Karen Lehr (who has a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture) presenting, 9:00 a.m.-11 a.m., May 7, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net. For further details visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.

San Angelo: Saturday, May 7, the second in the "Talk & Tour" series. Attendees will gather at the Southside Rec center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Rd. and caravan to Concho Natives, 799 Abernathy Rd. Owner, Kay Thompson will give a personal tour of her greenhouse and nursery. If you are looking for Texas native plants to add to your landscape and garden, this is a one-stop-shop. Kay can advise you on butterfly and hummingbird gardens and you can tour her demonstration garden, as well. She can help you find the perfect drought tolerant Texas native plants that don't require much water. Save when you pay for 2 or more tours. Cost: 1/$25, 2/$45, 3/$60. Shopping is optional, however, PPC members get a discount at Concho Natives and memberships will be available on-site. Preregistration is required. Call 325-656-3104 to register.

Austin: The Austin Organic Gardeners' Club meets May 9 at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet, mingle, and ask questions with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the guest speaker's presentation. For more information, visit 
www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

San Antonio: Vince Vita will present "Building an Irrigation System" at 7 p.m., Monday, May 9, at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 North New Braunfels, San Antonio. Vita, a Certified Irrigation Efficiency Specialist and a Master Gardener for more than five years, is a master at creating effective and efficient watering systems. He was formerly the Water Conservation Coordinator, promoting educational venues for SAWS. He will focus on the basics of drip irrigation systems for container grown plants.
 
La Grange: Kevin Ong will present "Diagnosing Plant Health Problems" from 12:05 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., May 10, 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: "What's Buggin' You?" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. This program will be presented by entomologist, Erfan Vafaie. Vafaie is a scientist from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Plant Research Station in Overton, and is the entomology member of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association's educational board. His program will focus on identification and control of rose pests and a discussion of new invasives that could become potential threats to roses. Free admission. For additional information, visit http://www.houstonrose.org.
 
Seabrook: Nelson Darden, will present "New Plants From Proven Winners and Euroamerican," 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 12, at Clear Lake Meeting Room, 5001 Nasa Parkway, Seabrook. FREE. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

San Angelo: The Friday, May 13, Lunch 'n' Learn seminar will feature Allison Watkins, AgriLife Extension Horticulturist, talking about vegetable gardening. There's nothing better than the taste of fresh, homegrown, produce. Growing a productive vegetable garden can be a challenge in West Texas. With a little knowledge and practice it can be done. Learn what to plant when and find out the basic techniques for a plentiful harvest. The seminar is held at the Edd B. Keys Building, 113 W. Beauregard, San Angelo, in the AgriLife Extension Office, first floor. It starts at noon and goes until 1 p.m. If you are on your lunch hour, feel free to bring your lunch. The cost is $5. All funds go toward the PPC garden projects.
   
La Marque: "Galveston County Home Fruit Growers' Tour"; three fruit orchards are in the tour, as well as vegetable gardens at each site. Visit sites in any desired order, 9 am-Noon, May 14. No pre-registration required. For further details and maps to each orchard, see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/, or Ph 281-534-3413. Free.
 
Waco: The McLennan Co. Master Gardeners will have their Annual Plant Sale 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 14, at the Westview Village Arcade, 551 Valley Mills, Waco. Cash, check and credit cards accepted. Included will be a great selection of plants, including flowers, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs grown in members' yards. Also, garden arts & Crafts, hanging baskets, color bowls, and compost will be for sale.
 
Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their monthly meeting May 17 at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Dan Hosage, owner of the Madrone Nursery and Plants-man Extraordinaire, will pressnt "The Milkweed Family and its Numerous Species." There will be exhibits and milkweed plants for sale. The meeting is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call Martha Guethle, 830-438-5996.
 
Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener Annual Garden Tour will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m., May 28. Five homeowners open their private gardens for public viewing, rain or shine. $10 in advance/ $12 day of tour. Visit http://txmg.org/smith/coming-events or call 903-590-2980 for ticket and location information.

San Antonio: "Earthkind Gardening Practices
" will be presented at the BCMG General Meeting, 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 26, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a special, free presentation at 6:30 p.m. 1.5 CEUs for MGs. David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension Service, will combine the best of organic gardening with the best of traditional gardening and include elements of Integrated Pest Management.

San Angelo: Saturday, April 30, will be the first of the three "Talk & Tour" series. This is a special time where attendees meet at the Southside Rec Center, 2750 Ben Ficklin Road, San Angelo, at 9 a.m. to caravan to the nursery. Desert Gardens at Cactustown is located on N. Hwy 67. Upon arrival at the garden, refreshments will be served and the owner, Mike Moseman, will give a personal tour of his garden. View an extensive collection of cactus and succulents and learn how to add these beautiful, drought-tolerant specimens to your garden. This time of year they are in bloom and look beautiful. Those looking for unique garden art, will also find a large selection of metal and wood pieces. Creating a beautiful garden using cactus and succulents gives homeowners a better alternative to rocks. Save when you pay for 2 or more tours. Cost: 1/$25, 2/$45, 3/$60. Shopping is optional, however, PPC members get a discount at Desert Gardens and memberships will be available on-site. Preregistration is required. Call 325-656-3104 to register.

San Antonio: Saturday, April 30, San Antonio Rose Society will host the Spring Rose Show at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 North New Braunfels, San Antonio, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This year's theme is "The Wizard of Oz," so follow the yellow brick road and stop in to see and smell the roses. Free entry to Public!

La Marque: "Bamboo Uses in the Landscape" with GC Master Gardener Tish Reustle presenting, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., May 31, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galv3@wt.net, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.
JUNE

La Grange: Boone Holiday will present "Backyard Greenhouse Building" from 12:05 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., June 14, 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.

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 Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

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/Lockhart: Texas Sage Master Gardeners meet the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Bastrop or Lockhart. Visit their Facebook page for location and educational topic of the month: https://www.facebook.com/TexasSageMG. For additional information, or to become a Texas Sage Master Gardener, 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  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimerNote: there will be no meeting in June or December.
 
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.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a free presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct., Dec.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1-3:30 p.m. Check http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
 
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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