September 24, 2008

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In The Eye of the Storm:
How One Houston Gardener Survived Ike

By Rachael Reed
Houstonian

I closed my eyes. I didnt want to look until the car stopped at my driveway.

Okay, Mom. You can open your eyes. My son spoke softly to me.

Thank you dear Lord, was my silent prayer as I stared at my undamaged home after an unwelcome guest, Hurricane Ike, had arrived. Yes, there were broken branches, leaf debris and a few roof shingles on the driveway. I unlocked the door to my home and to my surprise I had the most precious gift of allelectricity.

Again, Thank you dear Lord, I screamed. No silent prayer this time. Instead, a loud, Texas scream of happiness came from the inner depths of my soul. Only a fellow Houstonian who understands the true meaning of the word humidity, could appreciate joy as I realized I had air-conditioning.

My home, located in the Clear Lake subdivision in Houston was in the mandatory evacuation zone. Complying with Houston Mayor Whites directive, on Friday morning, September 12, at 9 a.m., I was traveling north on Interstate 45 to my sons home in the Woodlands. I carried one small bag containing bottled water, one change of clothing and medications.

By late Friday afternoon Ike showered Houston with much needed rain. Throughout Friday night and until Saturday morning the once welcome rain turned into a vengeful, lashing howling and frightening being. The sounds emitted by Ike throughout those hours made me feel puny and powerless. I stared out my sons window at the storms intensity. The beauty of the flashing lightening, the battering of the whipping rain against the window panes and the unnatural swaying of tall oak trees equaled the beauty of Beethovens Fifth Symphony. Perhaps Beethoven composed his most famous symphony on such a night during a torrential rain storm in beautiful Vienna.

After a hurried tour of my home, I rushed to my private refugemy backyard with all my plant friends.

My garden! The orange tree! The azaleas! I prayed aloud for these favorite friends as I headed for my backyard. Yes, I confess publicly that I talk to my plants. My plants even have names like Carolina, Jean, Wes and Sam. My human friends have names so why shouldnt my plants friends have names as well? I name my plants after the person who gave me the plants and, as you can see, my garden is mostly a passalong garden.

Each bush, each tree, and even the clay containers are lovely memories of my mother and father, sisters and brothers for our family is a gardening family. As youngsters, we hoed and weeded fathers vegetable garden that kept a family of nine children in fresh vegetables year round during the Great Depression.

Mother instilled in me a love for roses. In my backyard is a robust rose bush that started from a small cutting given to me by my sister, Margaret, after the death of our mother. I only wish I knew the name of the beautiful rose bush that mother tended with such love. Each spring when it blooms its soft pink roses with its enticing aroma, I know mother is beside me in my garden, helping me tend my garden as I once helped her tend her garden in our northwest Houston neighborhood called Cottage Grove.

As a native Houstonian, I know to keep trees pruned and all branches away from the roof. Neighbors new to hurricanes never pruned their trees and, as a result, they suffered damage from fallen limbs on their roofs and cars. Tree limbs often become flying missiles during Houstons many violent rain storms or dreaded hurricanes like Ike.

With the ground soaked by Ike I decided to fertilize my plant friends with a mild solution of liquid seaweed and molasses. I am an organic gardener. I use two tablespoons of liquid seaweed and one tablespoon of liquid molasses to a gallon of water. As I poured generous portions of fertilizer over my five ft. tall rubber tree, I thanked it for not losing even one leaf. Next I assured my frightened plumeria that sunny days were before us.

Yes, sunny days are ahead for Houston with its marvelous year-round growing season. Houston gardeners being in zone 9 can plant year-round. I have a spring garden with corn, squash, beans, watermelon and cantaloupe. In the fall, I plant delicious collard greens, broccoli and more beans. In this zone, my jalapeno plants produce spicy green peppers year round. One jalapeno plant had peppers waiting for me despite Ikes lashing winds.

What do I do with my uprooted hibiscus? Will my grass die with all that debris piled on it? My non-gardening neighbors and friends ask these questions. I answer them as best I can.

With Ike a distant memory, I have returned to my normal fall gardening routine: a cup of coffee on my back patio at sunrise, at midmorning, a drink of iced tea while I water a few of my many potted plant friends. Perhaps Ill cut a violet zinnia and a splendid hidden ginger to place in a stoneware pitcher that my mother once used to serve iced tea to our family during those hot, humid days in Houston when our only cool refuge was the now defunct Yale movie house on Washington Ave. and Heights Blvd.

Two of my garden friends have returned somewhat dazed and confused. A Monarch butterfly feeds at my butterfly weed while a hummingbird looking for nectar buzzes my red plastic glass of iced tea. Both appear bewildered as if to ask What happened?

I replace my well worn welcome mat at my front door. My garden and Houston return to the accustomed cycle and rhythm of life. We have persevered. We have survived Ike.

Houston, with its eternal optimism overcomes stifling heat, mosquitoes and hurricanes, embraces its heritage passed down from the Allen brothers who overcame similar obstacles to establish Houston.

Once again, Houston extends the welcome mat to those such as my parents who celebrate an eternal optimism coupled with hard work.


Hurricane Ike Strikes a Blow at the SFA Native Plant Center

The hurricane that dealt the Texas coast such a devastating blow also hit far East Texas hard as evidenced by these photos sent to us by Greg Grant, of the damage at the Stephen F. Austin Native Plant Center in Nacogdoches. The center will have everything up and running for the Fall Festival on October 4th. This is a great opportunity to obtain some pretty special native Texas plants and help the Native Plant Center recover at the same time.


The Return of the Snouts

Many areas of the Lone Star State are once again being invaded by swarms of Libytheana carinenta, more commonly know as the American Snout butterfly, said Dr. Noel Troxclair, Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in Uvalde. There are tens of millions of these butterflies in this particular surge of activity, said Troxclair, who works at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center. Large numbers of American Snouts have been spotted throughout the Central Texas corridor from Del Rio in the southwest to San Antonio, the Hill Country and Austin in South Central Texas.

This likely will not be as large as the 2006 snout emergence, but theyre still causing a stir among people in this region, he said. Troxclair said the butterflies also are causing some grief among drivers living in or passing through the region who have to scrub them off windshields, hoods, grills and radiators.

He added that apart from their effect on humans, especially their literal impact with their vehicles, the butterflies do not have much of an impact on the environment. Drought has been a major factor in the American Snout population explosion this year. Early drought conditions led to a lack of parasites, predators and pathogenic organisms that typically reduce the snout population, Troxclair said. This has allowed them to reproduce in far greater numbers.

The primary host for the American Snout is the spiny hackberry, but they sometimes feed on other hackberry species, Troxclair said. Snouts can defoliate these trees, but the trees typically grow leaves back quickly so there is no permanent damage, he said. The butterflies are not in the midst of a monarch-like migration but more of a northward dispersal migration,said Dr. Bart Drees, AgriLife Extension entomologist in College Station.

Basically they travel from south to north, but theres no clear path like with the monarch butterflies, said Drees, author of A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects. They move as a mass but dont have any particular destination. Basically, theyre on a road to nowhere. Drees said in past years dispersal migrations of the American Snout in South and Central Texas have been thick enough to obscure the sky. He also noted that the American Snout is not considered one of most attractive among the butterfly species.

But their beauty isnt always obvious because theyre brown and when they land in the hackberry trees theyre well camouflaged, he said. The upper side of the wings are a dull orange, the wings have a distinctive, squared-off, hook-like tip and they have rather prominent elongated mouth parts that give them their name. I guess you could say they have a face only an entomologist could love.

For more information about snout butterflies, visit http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide and click on Lepidoptera, and http://www.texasento.net/snout.htm.


Gardening tips

Damping off disease can be a problem when planting seeds in cooler weather or when starting seeds indoors. This is a fungal disease that causes seedlings to rot at soil levels. You can prevent it by providing your seedlings with good drainage and adequate air circulation. Also, avoid over watering since this disease thrives in saturated soil. For best results start your seedlings in sterilized potting soil.

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 T-shirt. Here’s a chance to get published and be a garden stylist as well! Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did You Know...

Before modern insecticides were developed, folks used what they could find. Soap was one of the most popular every day products that was used to control many insects. It makes sense that some of the most effective and least toxic insecticides today are soap based products. They are particularly effective in controlling aphids.s in sterilized potting soil.


Upcoming garden events

Seabrook: Drop in on Harris County Master Gardeners Saturday, September 27 from 9 a.m. until noon for a "Fall Garden Expo" featuring free garden lectures and information booths combined with a sale of fruit trees, herbs, Earth Kind roses and fall vegetables. Information booths include: Herbs, Landscape Design, Ask a Master Gardener, Compost and Healthy Soil, Rainwater Harvesting, Tree and Shrub Care, Earth Kind Roses, Fire Ants and Insect Pests, and Micro-Irrigation. Landolt Pavilion at Clear Lake Park, 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For more information, call (281) 855-5600 or visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

The Woodlands: The Woodlands Landscaping Solutions in The Woodlands scheduled for Saturday, September 27 has been cancelled due to the impact and clean-up efforts related to Ike, the recent hurricane..

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardener Association will hold a "Fall Plant Sale" Saturday, September 27, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Green Acres, 611 East Mimosa Street at Pearl Street, Rockport. Purchase those much-wanted plants that you have been wanting to buy and can’t find anywhere. Be sure to take the time to wander through the demonstration gardens at Green Acres which are continuously being updated and maintained by the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardener Association. This event is open to the public. For additional information, contact The Texas AgriLife Extension Service at (361) 790-0103.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener Association will hold a Fall Pant Sale at the Brazos County Extension Office, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, September 27.The sale will include a wide selection of unusual and unique plants guaranteed to grow in Brazos County. Choice Heirloom and Pass-along plants from the gardens of local Master Gardeners will also be available for purchase. For additional information, call (979) 823-0129 or e-mail brazosmg@ag.tamu.edu.

Nacogdoches:The SFA Mast Arboretum will host its annual Fabulous Fall Festival on October 4, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the SFA Intramural Fields on Wilson Drive. This event features the annual spring plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and their educational programs. All of the plants are produced at SFA by the staff, students and volunteers. According to Dawn Stover, Mast Arboretum research associate, a wide variety of hard to find, Texas tough plants will be available including a truly eclectic mix of hard to find perennials, shrubs, and trees. The fall sale will feature a number of heat and drought resistant perennials that will thrive with little to no irrigation in East Texas. Also, new coneflower varieties, leopard plants, hardy gingers, and the outstanding varieties of ferns from recent trials will be available. As usual, gardeners will find a many wonderful plants suited for southern landscapes. Greg Grant, Pineywoods Native Plant Center research associate, points out that fall is the most appropriate time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. A large variety of native shade trees as well as many other East Texas natives will be available. Some of Gregs special introductions will be offered, including the large flowering Helen Fredel crossvine and the brand new Peppermint Flare rosemallow. Texas Gardeners are encouraged to arrive early, bring wagons and Greg and his volunteers will help fill them with a beautiful selection of plants. For more information and a list of plants for sale, call 936-468-4404, or visit http://arboretum.sfasu.edu and click on Upcoming Events .

Lewisville: The Denton County Master Gardeners’ 2008 Garden InfoFest will be held Saturday, October 4, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Upper Trinity Regional Water District, 900 North Kealy Ave., Lewisville. Events include expert garden speakers, gardening demonstrations, Ask a Master Gardener booth, children’s activities, garden shopping, silent auction, plant sale, door prizes and a garden tour. For additional information, call (940) 349-2883 or visit DCMGA.com.

Seguin: For the upcoming Guadalupe County Fair, Master Gardeners will be accepting field crops, garden crops, orchard crops and home products for judging from 2 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8 and from 8 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 9. Judging begins at 9:30 a.m. on October 9. The Master Gardeners’ booth this year will have a "Go Green" theme. A demonstration on rainwater harvesting will be featured, and information will be provided on recycling, composting leaves and grass clippings, buying from local growers, etc. Members will be on hand throughout the fair to answer gardening questions. For additional information call Master Gardener, Carolyn Hyatt at 830 832-5156. The fair runs through the 12th at the Seguin Events Complex 728 Midway.

Austin: The Hampton at Oak Hill Branch of the Austin Public Library’s next "Grow with Us" Gardening program will be presented by Walter Passmore. Walter is the City of Austin’s Urban Forest Program Manager. On Saturday, October 11, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon he will discuss basic tree care, the Urban Forest Management Program, and urban forest master plan sample. The library is located at 5125 Convict Hill Rd, in Southwest Austin. For more information, please call: 512-892-6680.

Quitman: The First Annual Fall Festival and Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, October 11, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at the Governor Hogg Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, adjacent to the Stinson House, 100 Governor Jim Hogg Parkway, Quitman. The sale will include cool weather annuals and fall blooming perennials in addition to an "Ask a Master Gardener" booth, children’s activities, half-mile nature trail and garden tour. Proceeds to benefit The Friends of the Arboretum in the development of the Governor Hogg Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. For more information, please call Pam Riley, Chairman of the Friends of the Arboretum, at 903-466-4327 or Clint Perkins, Wood County Agri-Life Agent, at 903-763-2924.

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener Association, a volunteer program of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will sponsor its annual Fall Gardening Conference at Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler on Saturday, October 11, from 8:30 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. A bulb sale following the conference at Harvey Convention Center will offer thousands of bulbs to the public with many varieties not often found in local nurseries. During the exposition, local Master Gardeners will provide a help-desk to answer gardening questions and perform demonstrations of proper bulb planting techniques, division of perennials, and planting of bare root roses. This conference and plant sale have continued to grow in popularity each succeeding year with attendees coming from as far as South Central Texas up to the Red River in the north and as far east as Louisiana. The conference is free and open to the public. Conference presentations by two recognized horticulture experts will provide useful insight and information about gardening in our region. Dr. William Welch, Professor and Landscape Horticulturist with the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, will discuss gardening using perennials that thrive in the area and come back year after year. Chris Wiesinger, known as "the Bulb Hunter," is the owner of the Southern Bulb Company, a flower bulb farm in East Texas that offers heirloom perennial flower bulbs for warm climates. Chris regularly travels the back roads of Texas to rescue heirloom bulbs forgotten or destined for extinction due to developments and highway expansion. For additional information, call Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Smith County at (903) 590-2980.

Wimberley: The Hill Country unit of the Herb Society of America will celebrate national herb day, Friday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Wimberley Presbyterian Church, Wimberley. The featured speaker will be Henry Flowers, director of gardens at Festival Hill, Roundtop. For reservations, call Barbara Rawson, (512) 847-0521.

Elm Mott (near Waco): World Hunger Relief will hold a Fall Farm Day, Saturday, October 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the farm. Live music, farm-fresh food, plants, seeds and grass fed meat plus demonstrations by local artisans will be offered. Lots of activities for the kids including pony rides, hayrides and more so bring the whole family and make a day of it. For more information call (254) 799-5611 or visit www.worldhungerrelief.org.

Fredericksburg: Texas Gourd Society will present the 13th annual "Lone Star Gourd Festival" at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds October 18 and 19. There will be door prizes, raffles, classes, demonstrations and an opportunity to meet Bill Decker, 2008 TGS Artist of the Year, and Bonnie Gibson, nationally-known author and artist. The show is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 and free to children under 12. For additional information, call (806) 523-9092 or visit www.texasgourdsociety.org.

Sugar Land: Rescheduled due to hurricane Ike. The Sugar Land Garden Club’s 10th Annual Garden Art and Plant Sale has been rescheduled to October 25, 2008. On Tuesday, October 21, the public is invited to attend a presentation on the plants offered by TreeSearch Farms that will be available at this year’s sale. For this meeting only, the location is the Fellowship Hall at the First Presbyterian Church, 502 Eldridge in Sugar Land. Refreshments start at 9:30 a.m. and the program begins at 10 a.m... The Sale on Saturday, October 25 (8:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m., at the Sugar Lakes Clubhouse, 930 Sugar Lakes Dr., Sugar Land) will feature not only plants, well adapted to local climates and soils, but also garden-themed art by talented local artists, and seeds from members’ gardens. Visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org to preview some of the plants or call 281-491-1621 for more information.

Austin: Plant and Insect Photography for Beginners class will be taught by Sam Myers, a Master Gardener and experienced photographer, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., Wednesday, October 22 at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. The class will concentrate on developing the ability to take sharp, colorful photos with impact. There will be an overview of cameras, both film and digital. Discussion will include how lighting, focal length and aperture interact in composing photographs and how to use your camera’s programs (landscape, portrait, etc.) effectively. Guidelines of composition will be covered along with "posing" plants and insects for best visual presentation. Prerequisite: study the owner’s manual on your camera. Bring your camera for some practical exercises. Class size is limited. Reservation required: gisathccs@aol.com or (512) 804-2257. The class is sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardener Association in partnership with the AgriLife Extension, Travis County. For more information call (512) 854-9600 and ask for the Master Gardener’s desk. http://www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Buda: The Master Gardeners of Comal, Guadalupe, Travis and Hays Counties will sponsor a gardening conference entitled Heirloom Treasures - Jewels of the Garden, Saturday, November 8, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch and Pavilion in Buda. Featured speakers include Dr. Bill Welch of Texas A&M, Roses and Perennials; Dr. Tina Cade of Texas State, Landscape Design; Sean Watson of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, Heirloom Seed Saving, plus more. Visit our vendors, including Texas A&M Press, for books, garden ornaments, plants, herbal soaps, lavender products, birdhouses and much more! Malcolm Beck will brew up fresh compost tea for us bring your own pint or quart bottle! Visit www.tcmastergardeners.org for more event details, registration form and driving instructions.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at Wildwood Eco-Farm in Kilgore. For more information, call Carole Ramke at (903) 986-9475.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the little blue-gray house located at 102 N. Allen Dr., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.main.org/aog.

Schertz: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Guadalupe County Annex, 1101 Elbel Road, Shertz. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7. For additional information or an application to join NPSOT, contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Friendswood: The second Tuesday of each month the Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold a free evening educational program for the public, called the Green Thumb Series, at Southeast Church of Christ, 2400 W Bay Area Blvd., Friendswood, about 1 mile west of I-45 and Baybrook Mall. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu or call (281) 991-8437.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. The meeting will be held at 9:45 a.m. at the Kemah Visitor Center and Schoolhouse Museum which is located at 603 Bradford Street, Kemah, Texas. The program will be Your Green WaterSmart Landscape presented by Chris LaChance, WaterSmart program coordinator for the TX AgriLife Extension Service and TX Sea Grant. This program will address the whys and hows of landscaping to protect water quality, conserve water and provide habitat for wildlife. Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited.

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month and this is the second of our series of programs stressing the importance of going green. We welcome visitors to our meetings, so come join us for this informative talk.

Please call Mary Ellen Chapman, President, at (281) 559-1912, for more information.

Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the second Wednesday of each month, with the exceptions of June and July, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation, meets at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport at 10 a.m. 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.com.

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.

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.

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 Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way, 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.

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

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners meet at 7:15 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except December at the Bud O’Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. For more information, call (281) 341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak at 7 p.m. For more information, phone (830) 379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Longview: The Northeast Texas chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the third Thursday of each month at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Longview. For more information, call Logan Damewood at (903) 295-1984.

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.

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 Fort Worth Botanic Gardens main building. Refreshments are served. For more information, call (817) 274-8460.

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

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Fretz Park Recreation Center, located at the corner of Hillcrest and Beltline Road in Dallas. For more information, call (214) 824-2448 or visit www.dogc.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.

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


Handmade all-occasion greeting cards — the cards that grow on you!

Cards are made of "plantable paper" (paper embedded with wildflower seeds). Plant in a pot or garden spot and watch it grow! The perfect gift for youngsters of all ages. Set includes six cards and envelopes.

$22.50 includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


Wish you’d saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? Three new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005), volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006) and volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.


  Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac

Doug Welsh’s Texas Garden Almanac is a giant monthly calendar for the entire state — a practical, information-packed, month-by-month guide for gardeners and "yardeners." This book provides everything you need to know about flowers and garden design; trees, shrubs, and vines; lawns; vegetable, herb, and fruit gardening; and soil, mulch, water, pests, and plant care. It will help you to create beautiful, productive, healthy gardens and have fun doing it.

$26.63 plus shipping*

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

*Mention Texas Gardener’s Seeds when ordering by phone during the month of September and we’ll waive shipping charges. (Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

$30.64 per 12.3’ x 32.8’ roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)



Texas Gardener’s Seeds
is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

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Publisher: Chris S. Corby Editor: Michael Bracken

Texas Gardener’s Seeds, P.O. Box 9005, Waco, Texas 76714 ● www.TexasGardener.com