October 7, 2009

Welcome to Texas Gardener’s Seeds, the weekly newsletter for Texas gardeners. Please do not reply to this e-mail as the sending address is not monitored. See the bottom of this newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editor.


The garden reader:
Really digging in

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Novella Carpenter. Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. Penguin Press, 2009. 276 pp. $25.95.

Pamela Walker. Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas. Texas A&M University Press, 2009. 167 pp. $23.00

David H. Kates. Insects of Texas: A Practical Guide. Texas A&M University Press, 2009. 216 pp. $27.00.

Diane Bowen (editor). Brush & Weeds of Texas Rangelands. Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 2008. 203. $25.00.

Early in Novella Carpenter's Farm City there's a particularly memorable scene that seems more English than American.

The scene has Carpenter riding her bicycle to a post office in "scruffy, loud, unkempt" Oakland, California, to pick up a box of delivered bees. She positions the noisy parcel into a basket attached to the front of her bike and then proceeds to pedal homeward through urban traffic and inner-city blight.

Around her, all the way home, are sundry local bees trailing the humming box in her basket.

I am sure there are plenty of us with a similar eccentric gardening story — probably more than one — but most of us aren't going to admit anything. One of my nuttier moments resulted from a serendipitous discovery of a "fire-sale" at a plant nursery about to close.

I couldn't pass up two dirt-cheap trees. But I was driving my passenger car, not my pickup, at the time.

It was a struggle to get those two trees into the car. Dropping the back seats, I positioned the cloth-bound root balls into the trunk and then carefully draped the treetops along the side windows and behind the windshield.

To enter the car, I had to climb through the foliage covering the dashboard and steering wheel.

As I drove home, my head must have been the only part of me visible amid the leafy branches filling the front of the car. There certainly were double takes from strangers, and stares.

At first Carpenter became a "guerrilla gardener" — a recent phrase referring to someone who, without permission, cultivates a bit of neglected ground owned by someone else. Investing very little money and enduring the ups and downs of nature, Carpenter transformed this hardscrablle, garbage-littered lot adjacent to a junkyard into a showcase garden.

After the bee episode, too, she added animals to her repertoire.

Carpenter's upbeat, funny, practical and highly readable memoir makes a point — that close and productive encounters with nature are possible even in a city's bleakest sectors. It's a common mistake, Carpenter maintains, to imagine that nature's bounty is only or even best enjoyed in the country.

In her experience, "the country [is] a place of isolation, full of beauty — maybe — but mostly loneliness." In contrast, she insists, urban horticulture attracts other people in ways that foster a satisfying sense of community.

A sense of community also informs Pamela Walker's Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas, which profiles eleven families producing locally raised "organic" food. These Texans, Walker contends, "preserve and extend vibrant farmland and independent farming as a way of life."

Their revival efforts not only preserve tradition and yield healthy food. They also "sustain diverse social and economic communities that arise from the growing and eating of real food."

The farms textually and photographically portrayed in Walker's book include South Tex Organics, Boggy Creek Farm, Tecolote Farm, Animal Farm (now vegetables only), Home Sweet Farm, Permian Sea Organics, Ross Farm, Pure Luck Farm, Full Quiver Farm, Rehoboth Ranch and Windy Meadows Farm.

To some, this work's off-putting, babyish title might suggest a board-book for preschoolers. But, in fact, the conversational narratives inside concern grown-ups who sustain their dreams through hard work and despite mere pocket money and unhelpful government policies.

So a local farm is not all garden-romance, unfortunately. As one local farmer observed, for example, "the way we farm means we have hardly any leisure time at all." She accepts — though clearly the sacrifice is hardly out of her mind — that she's had to give up looking forward to vacations and travel.

In case you are thinking of starting your own little farm — or if you are still just tending a wedge that you privately fantasize as a miniature farm — there are two new books that could be useful.

David Kattes's well-done, richly illustrated Insects of Texas helps sort out the good from the bad guys.

And Brush and Weeds of the Texas Rangelands, replete with color images, will help you identify those unwelcome leafy garden-invaders taking up valuable space while sucking up precious moisture and nutrients. This handy guide also indicates which wild plants are poisonous and which are valuable to wildlife.


Beauty of Butterflies

By Alice Lorenz
Johnson County Master Gardener

"'Just living is not enough,' said the butterfly. 'One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.'" — Hans Christian Andersen

While reflecting on this past hot and dry summer, I think one of my favorite parts of my garden has been the beauty of the butterflies. Texas is blessed with more butterfly species than any other state--approximately 430--compared with California's 250, but my very favorite so far this year has been the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. The tiger swallowtail butterfly is thought of as the American insect, in much the same way as the Bald Eagle is thought of as the American bird. It was the first American insect pictured in Europe when a drawing was sent to England from Sir Walter Raleigh's third expedition to Virginia.

As the swallowtail flits about, it must constantly be on the alert for predators. They cannot out-fly birds and must rely on other means to survive. Their body markings helps them to blend into their colorful surroundings. The Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is not a poisonous butterfly, but many females (especially southern subspecies) are much darker, mimicking the poisonous Pipevine butterfly. Animals that eat the poisonous Pipevine butterfly get very sick and vomit (but generally do not die). These animals remember that this brightly-colored butterfly made them very sick and will avoid all butterflies with similar markings (including the Tiger Swallowtail) in the future.

So how can you enjoy the beauty of butterflies in the heat of the Texas summer? The first thing is to find a sunny spot in your yard to create a butterfly buffet. Many butterflies can't fly unless their body temperature is around 86 degrees so be sure to start your butterfly garden in an area that is full sun for at least half the day. Putting some large rocks or stones in the area so the butterfly can bask in the sun is another good addition. Large butterflies, such as monarchs and swallowtails, prefer large landing areas, like a big zinnia or sunflower for feeding. Butterflies also like to gather around muddy areas where they can suck up salts and minerals. Rotting fruit is another treat for the butterfly, so instead of throwing away that overripe banana, set it out as a dessert for the butterflies.

Butterflies don't have mouths to chew food. They have a proboscis, a long straw-like structure that allows them to drink nectar, which is comprised of 25-30% sugar. Some of the tiger swallowtail's favorite nectar plants include lantana, butterfly bush, autumn sage, purple aster, verbena and zinnia. I have had zinnia reseeding themselves several times this season in one section of my garden and this has become a favorite spot for the swallowtail. When the zinnia started to die out, the lantana and sage blooms became the next nectar buffet. Because I want to be a good host to the swallowtail butterflies, I have also been researching what would be the favored host plant for the swallowtail to lay their eggs. I have found that fennel, dill, carrot and parsley are all favorite host plants to attract the egg and larva stages. The female will lay more than 100 eggs during her lifetime. These eggs will be laid on the upper surface of leaves, making a convenient feeding ground for the larva after the eggs hatch. Eggs hatch at different times, depending on the ambient temperature, humidity and on other environmental conditions, but usually hatch in around two weeks. The caterpillar stage lasts about one month before pupating, and the butterfly stage will last a little over three weeks.

I encourage you to develop your own Butterfly Buffet so you can enjoy the beauty of butterflies in your yard.


 

Gardening tips

"For anyone who, like me, winters Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in the garage or house," writes William Scheick, "there's hope in retarding low-light leaf-drop. In the April-June, 2009, issue of HortTechnology three researchers reported the benefit of adding a small amount of table sugar (3%) and a trace of citric acid (5 millimolar) to a standard plant fertilizer solution with an acidic pH of 5. About 60% of hibiscus leaves treated with this solution lasted 24 weeks, in contrast to untreated plants completely defoliating after a mere 12 weeks. The finding here might be applicable to other indoor plants inclined to shed leaves in low-light settings."

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 2010 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did You Know...

The common vegetables we grow today were once found as wild plants. Still today, some food plants can be found thriving outside the bounds of domestication. That group of wild edibles includes dandelion and blackberries.


Upcoming garden events

Houston: The Garden Club of Houston's 67th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart will be held October 8 through 10, at Westminster United Methodist Church, 5801 San Felipe at Bering, just west of the Galleria. The mart will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy tax-free days on Thursday and Saturday. For a list of available plants and bulbs, and for a list of scheduled speakers, visit www.GCHouston.org.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners will present a free seminar “Fall Plant Highlights” on Thursday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the County AgriLife Extension Office, 102 TAM Road (located on the corner of Hwy. 75 North and TAM Road approx. 2 mi. north of the Pilot Truck Stop). The seminar will provide information on and a preview of the fall plant selections available at the Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 10. Speakers will discuss Fall bulb selections; an assortment of daylily cultivars; roses, including Earthkind varieties; the wonderful world of herbs — culinary and medicinal; and Texas natives and perennials. Come away with a list of plant ideas for your home and garden. For additional information, call (936) 435-2426.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present "For the Love of Trees," from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, October 10, at the Old Quarry Branch, Austin Public Library, 7051 Village Center Drive, Austin (off Far West Blvd.). The seminar is free and requires no reservations. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Huntsville: Walker County Master Gardeners' will hold their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 10 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Master Gardeners Greenhouse located north of Huntsville on the corner of Highway 75 N. and TAM Road (102 TAM Rd.) approximately 2 miles north of the Pilot Truck Stop. Bring your wagon, your gardening and landscaping ideas and load up with fall vegetable transplants, herbs, daylilies, daffodil/narcissus bulbs, Texas natives and perennials, hard-to-find pass-along plants, fruit trees, blackberries, blueberries and much more. Many of these selections won't be found at the "big box" stores. If the 100+ heat relents, we may have fresh, seasonal produce. Come early and shop the Country Store for gardening shoes/boots, gloves, hats, books, tools. Refreshments will be available. Proceeds will be used to benefit Master Gardener community activities and educational projects including scholarships for high school grads planning to major in horticulture or environmental science. For more information, call (936) 435-2426 or visit www.walkercountymastergardener.org/.

Marble Falls: Learn about the flowering plants and shrubs that are well-suited to grow successfully and beautifully in the Texas Hill Country in a program on “Texas Tough Plants” presented by Master Gardeners Sheryl and Robert Yantis in a Highland Lakes Master Gardener free Green Thumb program at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 10, at the Marble Falls Library. For more information visit the Garden Events page at http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com or call (325) 388-8849.

Tomball: The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host "Fall into Spring with Natives," presented by Jason McKenzie, Pineywood Native Plants, at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 10. Learn about our beautiful and tough, but underused natives plants. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851 or visit www.arborgate.com.

Waco: Texas State Technical College and The World Hunger Relief Organization have teamed up to teach you how to garden more successfully in a pair of two-day gardening workshops. The he second workshop will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, October 10 and 17. Registration for the two-day workshop is $96, and is limited to 15 participants. To register, or for additional information, contact Melissa Curtis at (254) 867-3113.

Arlington & Fort Worth: The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program — Tour of Private Gardens in Arlington & Fort Worth will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, October 11. Enjoy a self-guided tour of six private gardens. No reservations required; rain or shine. Cost: $5 per garden; children under 12 free. A portion of the proceeds collected will be shared with the Tarrant County Master Gardeners. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442. For descriptions of participating gardens, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays/events.pl?ID=255&SortBy=&State=.

Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners Association will host the Community Horticultural Education Program "All About Bees," presented by Dwayne Cleveland, at 6:30 p.m., October 12, at the Somervell County Citizens Center, 209 SW Barnard, Glen Rose..

Pearland: Dr. Carol Brouwer, County Extension Agent for Horticulture, will present a program on trees as part of the Harris County Master Gardener Association's Green Thumb Gardening Series, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., Tuesday, October 13, at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Tomball: The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host "Proper Selection and Care of Trees," presented by John Warner, Certified Forester, Arborist and Texas Master Naturalist, at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 15. Learn to make the right tree choices. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851 or visit www.arborgate.com.

Austin: Learn how to install one type of drip irrigation system, Friday, October 16, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Demonstration Garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 "B" Smith Rd., Austin. This is a hands-on demonstration, so you can help with construction or just watch. This free event is sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Fredericksburg: The Texas Gourd Society presents the 14th Annual Lone Star Gourd Festival, October 16 through 18, at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds, 530 Fair Dr., Fredericksburg. The festival will be open from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under free. For additional information, visit www.TexasGourdSociety.org.

Chambersville/Farmer's Branch/McKinney: Celebrate roses at the second annual RoseDango in Chambersville, Farmer's Branch and McKinney, October 17 and 18. RoseDango features guest speakers Marilyn Wellan and Stephen Scanniello, this year's Great Rosarians of the World (GROW) honorees, as well as Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium and Dennis Jones, President of the Fort Worth Rose Society. For additional information visit www.RoseDango.com.

Tomball: The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host "Southern Heirloom Bulbs," presented by Chris Wiesinger, Southern Bulb Company, at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 17. Experience the allure of these wonderful old flower bulbs. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851 or visit www.arborgate.com.

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener Association, will sponsor its annual Fall Gardening Conference at Harvey Hall in Tyler, Saturday, October 17, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. A bulb and plant sale following the conference will offer thousands of bulbs to the public with many varieties not often found in local nurseries. The sale runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. During the exposition local Master Gardeners will provide a help-desk to answer gardening questions and perform demonstrations for the attendees. Admission to both the Gardening Conference and the Plant Expo is free. For additional information, call Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Smith County (903) 590 2980.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association and the Victoria County Office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor an Earth-Kind Rose Symposium, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., October 17 at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Dr., Victoria. For an agenda, registration information and forms, visit www.VCMGA.org and select Earth-Kind Rose Symposium. Early registration will cost $65 and conclude Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. Late registration fee will be $75 and conclude Oct. 9. For more information, call the Victoria County Extension Office at (361) 575-2028.

Tomball: The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, will host "Pruning and Training of Trees and Shrubs," presented by Angela Chandler, at noon, Sunday, October 18. Learn how to enhance the beauty and health of your trees and shrubs. For additional information, call (281) 351-8851 or visit www.arborgate.com.

Houston: Tour the Genoa Friendship Garden, maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners, Monday, October 19, from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., at 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Seabrook: Mary Yurovich, member of the National Audobon Society and the Audobon Society of Galveston, will present a program on "Backyard Birding" as part of the Harris County Master Gardener Association's Master Gardener Lecture Series, beginning at 10 a.m., October 21, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. For additional information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

New Braunfels: Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2009-2010 class of the Lindheimer Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. The Master Naturalist program is a natural resource-based volunteer training and development program jointly sponsored statewide by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks & Wildlife. The mission of the program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers who provide education and service dedicated to the beneficial management of the natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the state of Texas. The Lindheimer Chapter in Comal County offers a course every year to train new Master Naturalists to be knowledgeable about the nature and wildlife of the Texas Hill Country and to assist in education and volunteer missions. The fall class begins with an orientation on October 26 from 6:00 until 9:00 p.m. Curriculum consists of 12 classes, held the first Tuesday of each month beginning November 3, from 6 p.m. until 9 pm. Curriculum includes 36 hours in the classroom taught by subject matter experts from a wide range of natural resource disciplines. In addition, 40 hours of volunteer work, and eight hours of advanced training qualifies trainees for certification as a Master Naturalist. Training is conducted at the AgriLife Extension Service, Comal County, at 325 Resource Drive, New Braufels, located behind the Comal County Recycling Center on Texas 46 West. Applications will be accepted through October 19 and are available at http://comal-co.tamu.edu by clicking on “Comal Master Naturalists”; at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 325 Resource Drive, New Braunfels; or at the Lindheimer Chapter Web site at http://grovesite.com/tamu/lc. Tuition is $120.00 and includes course materials. The class is limited to 20 students. For additional information, call the AgriLife Extension Service (830) 620-3440.

Wimberley: The Hill Country Unit of the Herb Society of America will present their Second Annual National Herb Day Celebration at the Wimberley Presbyterian Church, 956 FM 2325, Wimberley, Friday, October 23, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The $18.00 admission includes Culinary Lunch prepared by members from their favorite herbal recipes. Coffee, tea and muffins served before lunch. Saundra Winokur, owner of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Elmendorf, will speak on “Olive Oil from the Kitchen to the Spa.” A silent auction will be held and winners announced after the program. Herbal products, including wreaths, aprons and baskets, will be for sale in the Gift Shop. For reservations contact Barbara Rawson at (512) 847-0521 or bnrawson@verizon.net. For further information, contact Anna Fisher at foxlady@gvtc.com.

Dallas: The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program – Tour of Private Gardens in Dallas will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, October 24. Enjoy a self-guided tour of five private gardens. No reservations required; rain or shine. Cost: $5 per garden; children under 12 free. For more information, visit www.opendaysprogram.org or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442. For descriptions of participating gardens, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays/events.pl?ID=255&SortBy=&State=.

San Antonio: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and The Antique Rose Emporium will co-sponsor rainwater harvesting workshops on October 26 and 27. The workshops will be held at The Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 East Evans Rd., San Antonio. The Oct. 26 workshop, which runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m., will focus on rainwater collection for the home. The Oct. 27 workshop, which will take place from 9:30 a.m.-noon, will focus on rainwater collection for use on landscapes and for wildlife. “Now that we’ve received some rain recently, it’s a good reminder and a perfect time for people to be thinking about rainwater capturing systems for their home to help conserve water,” said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for natural resources in Bexar County and a workshop presenter. Both workshops will include a presentation by Billy Kniffen of Menard County, an AgriLife Extension program specialist and respected expert on rainwater harvesting. Kniffen has built rainwater harvesting systems to capture and store water for all potable and non-potable uses for his home and surrounding property. He also has provided technical assistance toward building other systems at several community locations across the state. The first workshop will show homeowners different types of rainwater systems for capturing water and using it for potable and non-potable purposes in the home. The second will show how to collect and store rainwater to irrigate trees, lawns, gardens and landscapes, and to provide drinking water for wildlife. The Oct. 27 workshop also will include a presentation on drought management and landscape recovery by David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Bexar County. The cost for each workshop is $5. Participants are requested to RSVP by Oct. 23 to Annette Pawelek at the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, (210) 467-6575.

College Station: Dr. Michael P. Parrella will be the Distinguished Lecturer for the 7th Ellison Chair in International Floriculture Distinguished Lecture Series at Texas A&M University. Parrella is professor of entomology and associate dean for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California-Davis. His topic will be "An International Perspective on Sustainable Production in Greenhouses." The event, on October 28, will begin with a reception at 2:30 p.m. in the Horticulture and Forest Science Building atrium. His address will begin at 3 p.m. in Room 102 there. The Distinguished Floriculture Lecture Series is sponsored by the Texas A&M horticultural sciences department's Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. Parrella’s talk will be co-hosted by the Texas A&M entomology department, as much of his research has focused on integrated pest management strategies on ornamental plants with an emphasis on biological control. He obtained a bachelor's degree in animal science from Rutgers University and his master's and doctoral degrees in entomology, both from Virginia Tech University. For more information about the Distinguished Lecture in International Floriculture, see http://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/lectures.html.

Austin: Learn which bulb varieties are best for the Austin area, Friday, October 30, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Demonstration Garden at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 "B" Smith Rd., Austin. Learn bulb requirements and planting methods to enhance your success with bulbs. This is a hands-on event. This free event is sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: "Limestone & Water" — Four garden design experts share their experience with innovative design in a hot climate from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 31, at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin. Seminar speakers include Stephen Orr, Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden, and Dylan Crain Robertson. Co-sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. Cost: $75 general admission; $65 Garden Conservancy/Wildflower Center members; $40 students. To register, visit www.gardenconservancy.org or call The Garden Conservancy’s West Coast Program Office, 415-441-4300. For more information, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/events.pl?ID=285.

Kingsland: Learn to make beautiful flower arrangements at a class on "Principles of Floral Design" with Barbara Braunns at a free presentation by the Kingsland Garden Club on Friday, November 6 at 1:15 p.m. at the Kingsland Library, 125 W. Polk, Kingsland. Visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/kgc.aspx for more information.

Uvalde: The Texas Pomegranate Growers Cooperative, in conjunction with Texas AgriLife, will hold the first Texas pomegranate tasting from noon until 2 p.m., Friday, November 6, in the auditorium of the Texas AgriLife Research Station, 1619 Garner Field Road, Uvalde. The fruit of different pomegranate cultivars from around the world will be available for tasting. The fruit tasted is being grown in Texas, at the Uvalde and Pecos AgriLife stations and by TPGC members. Dr. Larry Stein is the advisor for the event. For additional information, contact Richard Ashton at bwoodtx@verizon.net or (325) 646-6857.

Waco: World Hunger Relief, Inc., will host its Fall Farm Day Festival from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, November 7, at 356 Spring Lake Road, Waco. There will be farm-fresh food, tours of the farm, hayrides and demonstrations. Plants, grass-fed meat and seeds will be available for sale. Directions: From Waco, go north of I-35. Take Exit 342B and follow the signs to World Hunger Relief Farm. For additional information, call (254) 799-5611 or email info@worldhungerrelief.org.

Austin: Learn to plant cool season vegetables with the Travis County Master Gardeners Association, 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Friday, November 13, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office Demonstration Garden, 1600 "B" Smith Road, Austin. Learn how to plant seeds, which seeds need soaking, and proper transplanting methods. Planting using the square foot method and straight rows will be discussed during this hands-on session. For additional information, call (512) 854-9600 or visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

San Antonio: The Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Council will host the third statewide conference on invasive species, November 13 and 14, at Trinity University in San Antonio. The 2009 conference will be a professional-level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, field trips and symposia. This conference is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agents, local governments, the green industry, and other professionals interested in invasive species issues in Texas. To register or to learn more about the conference program, call for papers, abstract submissions, or sponsors and exhibitors, visit the 2009 Conference Web site at www.texasinvasives.org.

Burnet: Join Master Gardener Sheryl Yantis for a free class on "Principles of Landscape Design Featuring Hill Country Gardens" in a Highland Lakes Master Gardener Green Thumb Program on Saturday, November 14 at 10 a.m. at the Herman Brown Free Library on the Town Square in Downtown Burnet. Visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx for more information.

Houston: Urban Harvest's annual fruit tree sale will take place from 8 a.m. until noon, January 9, at the Rice University Football Station Concourse, Houston. The 2009 sale featured almost 6,000 trees and berries and the organizers except even more tree for this sale. For additional information, visit www.urbanharvest.org.

Houston: The River Oaks Garden Club will host the 75th Anniversary Azalea Trail. March 5, 6, and 7. Azalea Trail features tours of four private homes and three well-known historic sites: Bayou Bend, Rienzi and River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics Building and Gardens. Tickets for seven admissions: $15 before March 1, $20 during the event, or $5 per location. For additional information, visit www.riveroaksgardenclub.org or call (713) 523-2483.

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.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners meet at the Salvation Army in Orange on the first Thursday of each month. A covered-dish dinner at 6:30 p.m. is followed by a speaker and business meeting at 7 p.m.

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.

Pearland: 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 Bass Pro Shop, Highway 288 at Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. 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 except July and August at the library, 798 Schertz Parkway, Shertz. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a program at 7 p.m. For additional information or an application to join NPSOT, contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

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.

Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1225 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Beaumont. For more information, call (409) 835-8461.

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.

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.

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 Senior Circle Rooms, College Station Professional Building II, 1651 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.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener Association meets at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call (817) 556-6370 or visit http://www.jcmga.org/.

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.

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.somervellmastergardener.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.

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 at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month,  except December, at the Texas AgriLife Extension Bldg. at 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For topic or other information, call (830) 379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

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.

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.


Lone Star Wildflowers:
A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants

By LaShara J. Neiland and Willa F. Finley

Each spring throughout the celebrated Hill Country and well beyond, locals and visitors revel in the palettes and variety of Texas wildflowers. From the Panhandle canyonlands to the islands of South Texas, from the eastern Pineywoods to the farthest reaches of the arid Trans-Pecos, some 5,000 species dot Texas's 268,820 square miles. Now Lone Star Wildflowers offers easy identification through color grouping and a wealth of insight from the origin of scientific and common names to growth cycles, uses, history, and native lore.

Nieland and Finley have made countless forays with camera and notebook and have broadened their approach through years of research. In language accessible to every enthusiast, they offer wildflower lovers unparalleled enrichment.

$37.22 includes tax and shipping

Order online with credit card at www.texasgardener.com or call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

Visa, MasterCard and Discover 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? These new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of
volume 21 (November/December 2001 through September/October 2002),
volume 22
(November/December 2002 through September/October 2003),
volume 23
(November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006),
volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007),
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008) and
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

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(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 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.

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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.

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener’s Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby Editor: Michael Bracken

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