April 8, 2009

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Texan wins top honor in Nature Conservancy's International Wildlife Photography Competition

The Nature Conservancy awarded the grand prize in its 2008 Nature Photo Contest to Howard Cheek, a wildlife photography enthusiast from Kempner, a small Hill Country town located about 70 miles north of Austin.

"Waterhole landing," Cheek's remarkable photograph of a female cardinal with wings dramatically spread was chosen from more than 14,000 entries. His image, along with 13 other finalists, was posted on the Conservancy's photo contest page. More than 19,000 people around the world voted, giving Cheek's image the highest rating.

"I'm thrilled to have won," Cheek said. "It's a validation that great nature photography can be accomplished wherever nature is found."

"We are excited that, out of thousands of photos from throughout the world, the winning image was found, quite literally, in a backyard right here in Texas," said Laura Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. "We often take nature for granted, and this wonderful image of a common songbird bird illustrates that if we stop and take the time to look, a connection with nature can be found in your own backyard, in a nearby park or on a Conservancy preserve."

Cheek began pursuing photography as a hobby just six years ago, but put in long hours shooting and researching on the Internet in order to improve. Unable to travel regularly, he decided to bring nature to him, and constructed raised flower beds and a small, irrigated pond on his six-acre property in the Hill Country. By planting flowers, fruit trees and forage grasses, and by keeping the pond stocked with fresh water, Cheek is able to coax all types of native and migratory animals to his lens, including hummingbirds, songbirds, butterflies, cottontail rabbits and a variety of reptiles and amphibians.

Although he uses state-of-the-art digital equipment, his most striking images are often taken the old-fashioned way — by diligently setting up, doing thorough analysis and preparation on light and shutter speed and by manually focusing on his subjects.

"It's hard work," Cheek explains. "But it can be incredibly gratifying — especially at times like this."

For more information on Howard Cheek and to view a slideshow of his work, visit www.nature.org/texas.


Wet 'n' wildlife: Pool safety for animals

The Humane Society of the United States

Backyard swimming pools are synonymous with summer fun, but not for everyone. Swimming pools can be deadly for pets and wildlife.

According to the most recent statistics, there are more than 8 million swimming pools in the U.S., and an estimated 1 of every 1,027 pets drown in pools each year. Yet, this tragic figure doesn't account for the tens of thousands of wild animals that suffer the same fate.

For example, think of a small frog that jumps in for a refreshing swim but finds the water's surface too far below the pool's edge to crawl out, or a field mouse that leans over the edge for a quick sip only to fall in and swim around until exhausted.

"We hear about pool drownings through our wildlife hotline," says Laura Simon, field director for urban wildlife, "and it is tragic, because these events are preventable." All types of animals, from skunks to mice, ducks, fledgling birds, lizards, chipmunks, frogs, and snakes can find themselves in a pool with no lifeline or firm footing. Especially at risk are the wild animal babies that are curious and fall in.

A few simple pool precautions can help you dramatically lower the risk of pets and wildlife drowning in pools:

  • Don't leave your pets unsupervised in a yard with a pool.
  • When building a pool, design lounge ledges along the sides. These are usually just below the water's surface and allow animals shallow areas from which to drink and an easy escape route from the water.
  • Install a fence around the pool to keep out animals such as dogs.
  • Install one or more water-exit devices such as the Skamper-Ramp (http://www.skamper-ramp.com/home.asp?pid=1) or Frog Log (http://www.froglog.us/). Both are buoyant devices that are placed in the water along the pool's edge and allow animals to get out on their own. Because of their white color they are highly visible to animals.
  • Disperse knotted nylon ropes at strategic locations along the sides. Make sure the knot is at the water's surface so the animal can more easily climb out. (This technique only works for climbing animals such as raccoons, mice, and squirrels.)

The HSUS Wild Neighbors Program promotes non-lethal means for resolving conflicts between people and wildlife and cultivates understanding and appreciation for wild animals commonly found in cities and towns. The program's book, Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach to Living with Wildlife (December 2007, Humane Society Press) is a useful reference for individuals and communities faced with resolving encounters with wild animals who find their way into yards, gardens, houses, parks and playgrounds. On the web at humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.


Gardening tips

If those fresh cut flowers go limp after placing them in a vase with water, try reviving them the old-fashioned way by adding a sprig of willow.

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 Texas Gardener's 2009 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did You Know...

If you notice that your tender young plants are being snipped off at ground level, you probably have cutworms. Since these destructive worms are nocturnal, you won't notice their presence during the day. To protect plants like broccoli and tomato from cutworms, just place a small stick about the diameter of a pencil in the ground next to each plant and secure it loosely with a twisty. As the stem of the plant grows, the twisty will expand and fall off.


Upcoming garden events

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, April 9, Kerry Blackmon, District Landscape Architect with the TxDOT Austin district, will discuss survey factors that have to be considered when designing roadside landscapes and native plant use. There will also be a question and answer session.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners Association will host a Community Horticultural Education Program at 6:30 p.m., April 13, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose. Wanda Riley will speak on Container Gardening and Marty Vahlenkamp will discuss drip irrigation. For additional information visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org or call (254) 897-2809.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Color Your Landscape With Annuals and Perennials," Noon-1 p.m., April 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Nancy Kramer will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Pearland: Chris LaChance from the Texas AgriLife Extension Office will present a program on Water Smart Landscapes from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. Chris will discuss drought tolerant Texas native plants and smart ways to water. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

League City: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will again award a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior in the Dickinson or Clear Creek School Districts. Students planning to study Horticulture, Floral Design, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Landscaping, Forestry, Environmental and related subjects may apply. Last year's recipients may reapply. The deadline to submit applications is April 15. For applications and more information, please contact Eileen Gilley at (281) 535-1978.

Seabrook: Harris County Master Gardener Carol Fraser will present Shade Gardens for Harris County at 10 a.m., April 15, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Carol's program will help you understand and develop your shade garden areas with innovative technologies and techniques. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Burnet: Join Master Gardener and photographer Robert Yantis for a free presentation "Local Butterflies and the Plants that Attract Them" as part of the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Green Thumb Program at the Herman Brown Free Library, 100 E. Washington, on the Square in downtown Burnet on Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. For more information, call (325) 388-8849.

Edna: Jackson County Master Gardeners will host their Spring Plant Sale on April 18. The sale will be at the Jackson County Service Building, 411 N. Wells, Edna, and the doors will open at 8 a.m. A wide variety of beautiful and healthy plants — annuals, perennials, shrubs and fruit trees — will be available, as will garden art, raffle items, and planters. For more information, call the Jackson County Extension office at (361) 782-3312 or email the Master Gardeners at admin@jcmga.com.

Nocogdoches: The SFA Mast Arboretum will host its annual Garden Gala Day on April 18 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the SFA Intramural Fields on Wilson Drive, Nocogdoches. 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. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. 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."

Rosenberg: The Texas Rose Rustlers and the Fort Bend Master Gardeners will present "Fling With Felder," 10 a.m., April 18, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Building C, Rosenberg. Felder Rushing has authored 15 gardening books, writes numerous newspaper columns, and hosts a radio garden talk program. He uses an off beat, “down home" approach with humorous anecdotes and irreverent garden metaphors to help gardeners get past the “stinkin’ rules” of horticulture. Admission is free. For additional information, contact Becky Smith at bas@wcec-wb.net.

San Antonio: Spring is in full bloom April 18-19 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden! Hundreds of plant varieties, expertly cultivated by the San Antonio Botanical Society Plant Team volunteers and several other plant societies, will be on sale Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Budding gardeners and seasoned horticulturalists alike are invited to see (and smell) all the exquisite varieties available just in time for spring planting! South Texans looking to survive the drought will also be inspired by the bright blossoms and gorgeous greens of all the San Antonio-friendly species on sale! Bring the "little sprouts" too, and take the whole family on a little "Walk Across Texas!" This annual Fiesta event takes place on Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. until noon. Botanical Society members may get a "sneak peek" of the Plant Sale a day early, on Friday, April 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m., and at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. A second Spring Plant Sale is planned for Sunday, May 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Plus, enjoy $1 off every Sunday in Spring through May 31! The Botanical Garden is located at 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue and is operated under the auspices of the City of San Antonio Department of Parks & Recreation. For more information, call (210) 829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 20, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Visit a wonderful garden that includes an extensive vegetable garden, fruit orchard, perennials, roses, herb and cactus gardens and 2 working greenhouses. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions during this free event. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "The Well Designed Perennial Garden Landscaping," presented by Jeanna C. Godfrey, DVM, Master Gardener, as one of their Brown Bag events, from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 21, at the Aransas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host Kids Garden Fest from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, April 25, for children ages 4-12. A sack lunch will be provided. Parental supervisor required. Kids Garden Fest will be held at Green Acres, Children's Discovery Garden, 6111 Mimosa, Rockport. In the event of rain, the event will move to the Arasas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Woodway: A Gardener's Gathering will be held at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, Woodway, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., April 26. The free event, sponsored by Woodway Beautiful, will include an opportunity to gather growing tips and advice, purchase plants, and enjoy an afternoon of music and events for the entire family. For additional information, contract (254) 399-9204.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Insect Control," Noon-1 p.m., April 27, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Helen Boatman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Tyler: 2009 Home Garden Tour, sponsored by the Smith County Master Gardeners, will be held May 2, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Five delightful homes, ranging from a large formal traditional garden in an historic neighborhood to a modest home in a country setting, spotlight a variety of landscaping styles and methods. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tour. To order tickets: make checks payable to SCMG and mail to 14608 Foxwood Circle, Tyler TX 75703.

Aransas/San Patrico Counties: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host a Hidden Gardens Tour, Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Explore eight beautiful gardens in Aransas and San Patricio Counties. $10 per person. Tickets may be purchased at Green Acres, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport, and at Greens N Things, 801 Moore Ave., Portland. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Rainwater Harvesting," Noon-1 p.m., May 11, Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Glen and Kathy Chilek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Georgetown: The Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter meets from 7 to 9 pm on the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Library, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. On Thursday, May 14, Kelly Conrad Bender of Texas Parks and Wildlife, and author with Noreen Damude of Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, will speak on creating wildscapes and how you can get the latest information, since the book is now out of print.

Fort Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society's Annual Herb Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., May 16, at the Fort Worth Botanic Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. For additional information, call (817) 874-6405, e-mail festival@gfwhs.org, or visit www.gfwhs.org.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardeners Association will hold its 2009 Annual Garden Tour May 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and May 17, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Six beautiful gardens which extend into home living areas will be featured. Tickets are $15 per person and may be ordered by check payable to VCMGA and addressed to Victoria County AgriLife Office, 442 Foster Field Dr., Victoria, TX 77904. For additional information about locations and the May 16 tour plant sale, call the AgriLife Office at (361) 575-4581.

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patrico Master Gardeners will host "Composting the Easy Way," presented by Russell Bell, Master Gardener, as one of their Brown Bag events, from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, at the Aransas County Library, 701 Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail ararsas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

Greenville: The Hunt County Master Gardeners Town and Country Tour will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. May 30 at Heritage Garden, 2217 Washington St., Greenville. In the event of rain, the event will be held June 6. For additional information, visit www.huntcountymastergardeners.com or call (903) 455-9885.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Essentials for Building a Trellis, Arbor and Raised Beds," Noon-1 p.m., June 8, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Ed Gregurek will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association are hosting "Becoming A Garden Detective: Diagnosing Plant Problems," from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., June 16, at Steiner Ranch Towne Square Community Center, 12550 Country Trails Lane, Austin. Just when you think you've done everything right by your plants, one of them starts to go downhill. One of the biggest challenges for gardeners is correctly diagnosing plant problems and finding effective, safe solutions. Is your plant dying because of an insect, environmental or disease problem? Learn the causes of plant problems, the process for diagnosing plant problems, and preventive garden management techniques. This class is free and open to the public. A plant clinic will run during the seminar to help you diagnose current problems so please bring samples of problem plants. For more information, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at (512) 854-9600.

Quitman: The Friends of the Arboretum is hosting a photography contest to promote and document the natural resources, history and beauty of Wood County. Both amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to participate in this contest. Photographers are to submit electronic images of flowers, native plants, landmarks, architectural elements, and landscapes that depict one of the four seasons in Wood County. Images must have been taken within Wood County, and within the last two years. These photographs will be used by the Friends of the Arboretum various print and electronic media to be distributed at various venues and displayed on the Friends' website. First prize winners in each class will receive a professionally printed 11 X 14 canvas of their original work, which will be donated by jeb Originals in Winnsboro. Second and third place winners will each receive a ribbon. And, all prize winners will receive recognition from the display of their work in various venues and forums. Classes are: Adult Amateur, Adult Professional, Student Senior Division (Ages 17 to 14), and Student Jr. Division (age 13 and younger). There is no entry fee, but all entries must be accompanied by the completed official entry form, which can be downloaded at http://woodcountyarboretum.com. Entries must be received prior to midnight on July 1. Contestants may enter as many times as they wish, but a separate official entry form must be included for each entry. The Gov. Hogg Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, located in Quitman, is a 23-acre site dedicated to gardens, walking trails and the preservation of historic buildings. The development of the site is ongoing with volunteer help from Wood County Master Gardens, local garden clubs, various civic organizations and the generosity of the area businesses. The Friends of the Arboretum is a non-profit group dedicated to raising funds and volunteering time in support of the development of the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. For additional information, contact Pam Riley at (903) 967-2820 or email friendsarboretum@yahoo.com.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Water Gardening," Noon- 1p.m., July 13, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Pat Plowman will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

Austin: The Austin Pond Society will host the 2009 Pound Tour July 18 and 19. Approximately 15 ponds will be included in the tour on Saturday and another 15 on Sunday. For additional information, visit www.austinpondsociety.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardeners will present "Mulching, Composting and Water Conservation," Noon-1 p.m., August 10, at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. Monica Pilat will speak. Free to public. Bring sack lunch. For additional information, contact Victoria County Extension Office, (361) 575-4581.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Rockport: The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners meets at 9 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office - Aransas County, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call (361) 790-0103.

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 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.

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.

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.

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. NOTE: The April meeting date and location have changed. The April meeting will be held Tuesday, April 14, at the Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 E. Evans Road, San Antonio. Robbi Will, former commercial plant nursery manager, will present a program on propagating native plants. As usual, the program begins at 7 p.m., followed by a short business meeting.

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.

Brownwood: Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Thursday of each month, from Noon to 1 p.m., at the Brown County AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk, Brownwood. For additional information, call Freda Day (325) 643-1077, or Mary Engle (325) 784-8453.

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.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. at the Exit Center, 1600 Rock Prairie Road, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation topics, and more. For more information, visit www.sallysfamilyplace.com/Clubs/GardenClub.htm.

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.

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/.

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.


The Southern Kitchen Garden

By William D. Adams and Thomas R. Leroy

A kitchen garden, or potager, is a celebration of the seasons: brimming with vegetables, herbs, flowers, and even fruit trees, it’s our link with nature and a source for fresh produce. The kitchen garden has always been an important part of life in the rural South, at times meaning the difference between being well-fed or going to bed hungry. In recent times, the kitchen garden has become more fashionable and now more and more homeowners are reaping the delicious rewards of growing their own food.

A kitchen garden needs little more than a small raised bed, so an aspiring gardener with only a modest backyard will have plenty of room to get started. If you have more space on your hands, then you can include some produce requiring a little more space like fruit trees, corn or pumpkins.

In the book, the authors with take you through the process of starting your very own kitchen garden from location to soil preparation to planting and then to harvest. It is also loaded with useful information on propagation, pest control and is laced with mouth-watering recipes and beautiful color photographs.

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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.

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Texas Gardener’s Seeds
is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2009. 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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