September 1, 2010

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



A well-managed small space can deliver a big visual impact. (Photo by William Scheick)

The garden reader:
Small space, big impact

By William Scheick
University of Texas at Austin

Melinda Myers. Small Space Gardening. Cool Springs Press, 2005. 176 pp. $18.95.

Downsizing, it seems, has become an unfortunate and uncomfortable sign of the times. With today’s downsized home landscapes, at least, less space can offer an opportunity for big-impact creativity.

That’s Melinda Myers’s heartening news in Small Space Gardening.

Her book is designed to help the neophyte and seasoned gardener to transform a postage-stamp-sized lot, a grass patch outside a condo or even an apartment balcony. Readers with larger yards will also find advice on how to fashion niche-garden hideaways.

One of Myers’s helpful grounds-layout tips highlights triangulation. To determine the position of a tallish plant, for example, find where imaginary lines intersect when they are drawn from two established points, such as the corners of a foundation.

And remember not to overdo the planting. For any particular space, a single focal point within a field of vision is preferable to a crowded palette resisting our mind’s desire for a definable pattern.

A woody shrub trained to look like a little tree (called a standard or patio tree) is an especially good choice for a triangulated focal point. Incidentally, the upcoming November-December issue of Texas Gardener will provide instructions for making your own standard.

Here’s another topnotch idea from Small Space Gardening: “Black and white photos may be more useful than color during the design phase.” They make it “easier to see the structural and linear relationships, positive and negative spaces, and forms and shapes in your existing landscape.”

There’s also plenty of insight in this book about front, side, top and night lighting. Not to mention guidance about eye-pleasing walls, dividers, supports, stone accents and fountain features.

Small spaces often mean the strategic use of decorative containers. But these elegant containers tend to have no drainage holes.

Although I’ve drilled the bottom of a few pricey pots, it can be a nerve-wracking business that I would prefer to avoid.

Instead, Myers advises, just double-pot. “Fill the bottom of the decorative pot with stones, Styrofoam packing peanuts or other loose material” to “capture excess water” and then “edge with sphagnum moss if needed to hide the mechanics.”

Such big-impact ideas explained as simple little steps — that’s the valuable gift of Small Space Gardening.


New rainwater harvesting manual for pro and novice alike

By Steve Byrns
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Everything you ever wanted to know about rainwater harvesting but didn’t know to ask could well describe a new publication just released by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

The publication, “Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning” (publication number: B-6240), is 206 pages chock full of the how-to’s, whys and best management practices associated with planning and installing rainwater catchment systems of all sizes, said Billy Kniffen, AgriLife Extension’s state rainwater harvesting specialist at Menard.

“The manual is designed to assist designers and installers of rainwater collection systems in properly planning, sizing, installing and using rainwater for inside and outside use,” Kniffen said. “The rainwater harvesting business could easily become a sideline or new career for such people as engineers, contractors, roofers and plumbers seeking added income or a complete change of work.”

Kniffen said the manual is the first of its kind. It offers the technical information needed by the professional, but is also useful for the do-it-yourselfer needing guidance to install a small system. He said the manual is also designed and written to be a complete educational guide and textbook curriculum for instructors in college or industry.

“It will help those in the business consider all aspects of the construction of a system from bids and contracts to properly installing and maintaining systems,” Kniffen said.

The 17-chapter spiral-bound manual has a table of contents, color photos, diagrams and extensive appendices including tables and figures, uniform plumbing code, references and answers to study exercises found in several of the book’s chapters.

The manual retails for $48.50 per copy with a wholesale price for orders of 20 or more of $35 each. Order by visiting the Texas AgriLife Bookstore at: https://agrilifebookstore.org/.


Ecosystem services markets eventually could help landowners get paid for maintaining their forests

Texas Forest Service

The vast majority of forest owners would consider keeping their land forested if they were paid for doing so, according to a recently-released Texas Forest Service survey.

The findings were part of the agency’s Environmental Credit Marketing Survey, which was sent last year to more than 5,100 landowners in an effort to gauge their interest in newly-emerging ecosystem services markets.

The markets are designed to provide a monetary reward to landowners who maintain their forests and, as a result, provide society with public benefits such as clean air and water, wildlife habitats, carbon sequestration and even places to relax and play.

Though they’re not yet fully developed, the markets one day could allow landowners to earn money for keeping their forests intact.

“The goal was to gain a better understanding of landowner perspectives on ecosystem services markets, determine interest in these emerging markets, and identify potential participation barriers,” said Program Coordinator Hughes Simpson, noting the overwhelming 20 percent response rate. “I think we successfully did that.”

Arguably the most notable finding was that the lion’s share of landowners — 82 percent of the more than 1,000 who returned the survey — would consider selling environmental credits. And many who said they likely wouldn’t participate still were interested in learning more about the markets.

Of the landowners who were interested in selling environmental credits, several factors were found to have a significant positive influence: awareness of carbon credits, size of their property, current participation in cost-share programs, and ownership to generate income.

“As expected, compensation is the biggest motivator,” Simpson said. “Land and management restrictions — primarily timber harvesting — were the greatest barriers to participation.”

Among the more notable findings:

Seventy-five percent of landowners surveyed were knowledgeable about carbon markets, but not other ecosystem markets.

Eighty-five percent were interested in obtaining more information on the topic.

Eighty-two percent would consider selling environmental credits.

It also is interesting to note that among the landowners who indicated they would not be interested in selling environmental credits; forty-four percent were still interested in learning more about ecosystem markets.

“These results will help the agency develop additional educational materials, provide technical assistance to interested landowners, shape state and national policy regarding these markets and facilitate potential transactions, ultimately keeping forests in forests,” Simpson said.


Gardening tips

Don’t let those gladiolas go to waste. That’s right, dig those gladiola bulbs up now and store them in a cool, dry place until next spring. Be sure they are protected from freezing weather while in storage.

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 hat. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did You Know...

Plumbago is a perennial native to South Africa that is a real standout in Texas landscapes, providing blue or white blooms all summer long. It is relatively trouble free, non-invasive but should be treated as an annual in the northern half of the state. It will die to the ground in the fall and return in the spring in the southern part of the state.


Upcoming garden events.

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

Houston: As a national movement to create resilient local food systems that are truly sustainable continues, ushering in a new call for victory gardens, backyard chickens, edible schoolyards, farmers markets, and small family farms, Urban Harvest presents the panel discussion “Why Sustainability?” on Tuesday, September 7, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For the event, a six-member panel will tackle two topics: Why is sustainability becoming increasingly important? And, how we can respond locally to the widespread global changes? The event takes place at the University of Houston, Central Campus: Multipurpose Room of the Oberholtzer Residence Hall, room 108. For directions, visit the link at www.urbanharvest.org. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Houston: Houston Urban Gardeners will meet Wednesday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park. Laurel Smith, Founder of HUG, will talk about “How to Grow Food in Your Backyard More Easily and Joyfully.” Smith will be contacting Houston’s most beloved gardeners to ask their top 3 to 5 ideas for happier gardening. For more information, visit www.houstonurbangardeners.org.

Kingsland: Join Master Gardener Violet Carson for an interesting and informative presentation on Fall Vegetable Gardening at a free Green Thumb program from the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners and the Kingsland Library Lunch & Learn series at noon Wednesday, September 8 at the Kingsland Library. The Master Gardeners will provide drinks and dessert. Check out the Green Thumb program at http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, September 9, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. Dr. Pat Richardson will present "Rainbow Soil: Managing for the Ultimate in Soil Quality." Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

The Woodlands: “Butterfly Babies and How to Grow Them,” features Nancy Greig, Director of the Cockrell Butterfly, on Thursday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the L.G.I. Lecture Hall at McCullough Jr. High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Dr., The Woodlands. From egg to adult, butterflies interact with plants in all life stages. Gardeners can choose the specific butterflies they wish to attract or increase the number of species by growing the right host plants for caterpillars. Dr. Greig reveals the appeal of gardening for butterfly babies at this free program of The Woodlands Township. For more information visit, Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture Series or call the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3900.

Kingsland: Master Gardeners Mary Ellen and Michael Goff will present "The Fascinating World of Honey Bees" in an informative free program from the Kingsland Garden Club on Friday, September 10. Learn how to help protect and use the invaluable bee in gardens. The program will start at 1:45 p.m. but attendees are invited to join the club meeting at 1 p.m. in the Kingsland Library.

Austin: Farmer’s Market Garden Talks will be presented September 11, 9 a.m.-Noon, at Republic Square Farmer’s Market, Guadalupe between 4th and 5th Streets, Austin. Take a moment out of shopping for fresh vegetables and dynamic local foods to learn about gardening in Austin. With fall weather comes the perfect season to get vegetables and perennial plants in top shape. Hear short talks on timely garden topics, including fall vegetable gardening, herb gardening, best fall bloomers for the Austin area, and how to build a grow box container. After the talk, buy some of the very same plant varieties discussed. These talks are free and open to the public. They are presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.

Fredericksburg: 5th Annual Wildscapes Workshop — Better Basics: Backyards, Birds & Butterflies. September 11, Registration & Plant Sale open at 8 a.m., Seminars 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Garden Tours 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. United Methodist Church, 1800 North Llano Street, Fredericksburg. Take a comprehensive look at using native plants to provide a sustainable environment that will attract the local wildlife to your landscape. Speakers will show how to expand your living space by creating outdoor retreats using native plants and hardscape. The cost of $35.00 includes morning snack and lunch, along with afternoon tours of gardens that exemplify the information taught during the seminars. Raffles, a big door prize and a silent auction will be ongoing throughout the day. Several local nurseries will be selling hard-to-find native plants and volunteers from the Fredericksburg Chapter will be selling even harder-to-find books about native plants. For more information visit www.npsot.org/Fredericksburg or contact Lynn Sample at 830-889-1331.

Pasadena: The Harris County Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale, Saturday, September 11, will feature perennials, roses, herbs and Fall vegetables. The plant varieties for this sale are developed specifically for this region and most are not available at local nurseries or garden centers.-The seminars will include a plant sale preview and-presentations on herbs and roses.-Information booths will highlight irrigation, rain water harvesting and composting, along with 'ask a Master Gardener. Sale Hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Seminars begin at 8 a.m. Campbell Hall at Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

San Antonio: The Texas AgriLife Extension and Bexar Youth Gardens Fall Teacher’s Training, for educators who teach or help children garden, will take place from 8:00 a.m. until 1 p.m., September 11 at Region 20 Education Service Center, 1314 Hines Street, San Antonio. All aspects of school gardening are covered. Teachers leave the training with a stock of plants to supply an 8’x10” raised bed garden. This event is at no charge, but advance registration is required to arrange for material and plants. To register, email Brady Yecker at BexarYouthGardens@ag.tamu.edu or call 210-467-6575.

Shelby County: The SFA Gardens of Stephen F. Austin State University will host a tour of two historic Shelby County homes from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, September 11. Dogtrot houses were built with breezeways or “dog runs” through the middle of them for air circulation. “Without electricity or air-conditioning, these homes were designed for air to flow through the middle and circulate through cross-ventilated doorways and windows in a Southern climate where the hot humid summers were much more unbearable than the brief winters,” said Elyce Rodewald, SFA Gardens education coordinator. “Of course dogs could circulate through them as well!” These homes, the original “green” houses and were once common throughout the South, have practically disappeared in modern society, Rodewald explained. One of the homes that will be toured in the Arcadia community belonged to the maternal grandparents and great-great-grandparents of SFA Gardens research associate Greg Grant, contributing editor to Texas Gardener and co-author of Home Landscaping-Texas and The Southern Heirloom Garden. The other home belonged to Grant’s paternal great-grandparents. The properties feature Grant’s pocket prairie, where he rescues and grows native wildflowers from imperiled local roadsides, as well as his tall grass prairie restoration project. The properties are home to more than 100 bluebird houses that Grant has constructed and erected. He also grows an annual crop of sugar cane on one property for syrup making. Grant will also display his collection of historic family quilts. Cost is $25 for SFA Gardens members and $30 for non-members. Transportation is provided from the SFA Mast Arboretum. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. To register call 936-468-1832 or e-mail erodewald@sfasu.edu.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual fall plant sale from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. September 11 at its new pavilion, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria (near the Victoria airport).

Pearland: The Harris County Master Gardener Association will present a program on Lawn Care, Tuesday, September 14, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 .p.m. at Bass Pro Shops, Highway 288 at the Sam Houston Tollway, Pearland. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Seabrook: Nell Shimek, owner of Shimek Gardens, will present a lecture on Daylilies, at 10 a.m., September 15, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. Shimek will discuss all aspects of growing daylilies, size, form, new seedlings and much more. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.

Rockport-Fulton: Rockport-Fulton’s 22nd HummerBird Celebration will be held September 16 through 19. Celebrate the ruby-throated hummingbird migration and other birds in the area with four days of speakers, bus birding field trips, boat birding trips, hummer home guided bus tours and programs. More than 90 vendors are located in the HummerBird Malls. Outdoor exhibits include butterfly tent, live birds of prey, and nature centers. For additional information or to register, visit www.rockporthummingbird.com or www.rockport-fulton.org or call the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 800-242-0071.

Austin: “Growing a Great Lawn” will be presented Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m.-noon at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin. Knowing how to grow a great lawn can help you save money, water and have a wonderful area to complement your house. Learn the best information on the care and feeding of your lawn. Topics will include choosing the right turf for your site, irrigation, fertilization, proper mowing technique, and disease diagnosis and treatment. This class is free and does not require reservations. For more details, visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org or call The Travis County Master Gardeners help desk at 512-854-9600.

Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners Association will hold its fall plant sale from 8 a.m. until noon, Saturday, September 18, at the Services Building in Edna. Citrus and fruit tree orders may be placed at the sale for October delivery. A list of plants for sale will soon be available at www.jcmg.com.

San Antonio: "Gardens by Moonlight" offers the best live music, culinary treats and romance under the stars from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday, September 25, at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston at N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Moonlight and beautiful landscape light in the Botanical Garden's beautiful 33 acres. Admission is $20 for adults. For additional information, call 210-829-5100 or visit www.sabot.org.

Kingsland: Learn about "Texas Tough Plants" with Master Gardener and Certified Landscape Design Consultant Sheryl Yantis, who has a beautiful program featuring and discussing the native and native adapted plants that grow well in the area at a free public program presented by the Kingsland Garden Club at the Kingsland Library, 125 W. Polk, Friday, October 1. The meeting will start at 1 p.m.; the program will start at 1:45. For more information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com.

Denton: Denton County Master Gardener Association will present "Gardening for Pleasure and the Planet" from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. during the Fall Garden InfoFest, Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Denton Bible Church, 2300 East University Drive. Speakers will cover tree care, turf, Earthkind plants and drying fruits and veggies. Demonstrations will include rainwater harvesting, composting, rain gardens, drip irrigation, pollution prevention, vegetable gardening and tree care plus a silent auction, children's activities and more. Free admission. For additional information, contact patpape@yahoo.com.

Nacogdoches: The annual Fabulous Fall Festival plant sale at Stephen F. Austin State University’s Mast Arboretum will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 2, in the lower arboretum parking lot at 1924 Wilson Drive in historic Nacogdoches. The event features the annual fall plant sale fundraiser benefiting the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. According to Dawn Stover, Mast Arboretum research associate and sale coordinator, a wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including proven perennials and Texas natives. This year’s sale will feature the rare Mexican sugar maple (Acer skutchii), an SFA Gardens exclusive. Some of the better performing and hard-to-find azaleas will also be available, along with a large selection of drought tolerant plants. 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.”

Denton: The 2010 Symposium of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be held October 7-10 at Texas Woman’s University, Denton. Complete Symposium 2010 information, field trip and presentation summaries as well as online registration are now available on the NPSOT website: www.npsot.org/symposium2010.

Dripping Springs: The Rainwater Revival, an outdoor festival created to celebrate the timeless conservation practice of rainwater collection, will he held just outside of Austin in Dripping Springs on Saturday, October 9. Speakers include rainwater harvesting experts Alan Rossing, Billy Kniffen, Chris Maxwell-Gaines, Chuck Lemmond, Marianne Simmons, Richard Heinichen, Kasey Mock, and Bryan Davis. Also featured are live performances by The Derailers, Bob Livingston’s Cowboys & Indians, and kid-favorite Joe McDermott. Admission to the Rainwater Revival is free. The event will take place on the grounds of Roger Hanks Park in Dripping Springs. The Rainwater Revival promises something for every level of rainwater harvesting knowledge, from the rainwater curious to ardent rainwater enthusiasts. Rainwater Revival festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 9 and conclude at 5 p.m. The official schedule of speakers and musical performances will be posted before the event at www.RainwaterRevival.com. In addition to a roster of speakers providing an experienced cross-section of rainwater collection knowledge, and a stellar musical line-up, the Rainwater Revival will feature food booths, shopping, kids’ crafts, and a collection of 55-gallon recycled rain barrels transformed into works of art by local artists. The barrels will be displayed around Hays County during the weeks leading up to the Rainwater Revival and then auctioned off at the event. For the most up-to-date information on the Rainwater Revival, visit www.RainwaterRevival.com or follow the event at www.facebook.com/rainwaterrevival.

Marble Falls: Join Master Gardeners Sheryl, Robert Yantis and other Master Gardeners for "Enrich Your Soil," a demonstration of worm composting at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, October 9, at the Marble Falls Library. Learn some of the ingredients and methods that will improve the soil when the seminar leaders share soil improvement tips and discuss composting techniques that will help plants thrive and create a more successful Hill Country garden. This is a free Green Thumb Program presented by the Master Gardeners. For more information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/events.aspx.

Schertz:  The Master Gardeners of Comal, Guadalupe and Travis County present “Urban Farming The Ultimate Backyard Experience,” the 4th Central Texas Gardeners Conference, Saturday, October 9, in Schertz. Visit www.tcmastergardeners.org for conference details, Texas AgriLife Extension Service speakers, program and registration form.

College Station: "Gardening Study School IV" will be October 11-12 at the Texas A&M University Horticulture Building, College Station. Taught by Dr. Joe Novak, Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture, includes Outdoor Identification of Plants, Specialized Styles of Gardening, Growing Woody Ornamentals, Growing Fruit, Herbs, Home Irrigation, and The Garden and Health. Admittance is limited to 35 attendees. Registration is due October 1 to Texas Garden Club State Chairman: Jane W. Cohen, 3655 McCullough Road, College Station, TX 77845; 979-690-3500. A registration form may be downloaded from: http://www.texasgardenclubs.org/p/GSSRegistrationFormOct2010.pdf.

New Braunfels: The 2010-2011 class of the Lindheimer Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists is soliciting applications for its 2010 fall class, which begins with an orientation on Monday, October 25. Classes start on November 2 for 12 consecutive months and meet the first Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Service Office, 325 Resource Dr, New Braunfels (behind the Comal County Recycling Center). Visit http://txmn.org/lindheimer for the application or contact the AgriLife Extension Service office at 830 620-3440 for program information. Applications are due to AgriLife Extension Service by October 11.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 14, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. George Damoff will present "Native Earthworms." Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Austin: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program takes place Saturday, October 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Explore six private gardens open to the public in Austin, to benefit The Garden Conservancy. No reservations required; rain or shine. Special highlights include water running down limestone stairs, an organic habitat with intensive hardscaping, an Italian-inspired fish pond, clipped hedges and topiary forms, and panoramic views of downtown Austin, Lake Austin, and Shoal Creek. Visitors may begin at any of the following locations: James deGrey David & Gary Peese Garden, 8 Sugar Creek Drive; East Side Patch, 1172-1/2 San Bernard; Garden of Deborah Hornickel, 3206 Oakmont Boulevard; Jones Residence, 3211 Stratford Hills Lane; Pemberton Heights Courtyard Garden, 2401 Pemberton Place; or Utility Research Garden, 638 Tillery Street. Cost: $5 per garden, or a $25 day pass for all six gardens, available at each location; 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.

Farmers Branch and Chambersville: The third annual RoseDango is set to celebrate the ultimate landscape plant October 16 and 17 in the Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch and the Chambersville Heritage Rose Garden. These two undiscovered garden gems located in the Dallas Metroplex will host this two-day festival. While Rosie is the official hostess, the event will appeal to all gardeners and plant enthusiasts as many different educational opportunities and entertainment venues are offered. This year the event will include a bluegrass festival and wine tastings spotlighting local vineyards. For additional information, visit www.rosedango.com or call 972-919-2625.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its 2010 Victoria Garden Tour featuring five locations October 16 and 17. A night tour will be held on October 16. For ticket and location information, call the Victoria AgriLife Extension Office at 361-575-4581.

San Antonio: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program takes place Saturday, October 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Explore six private gardens open to the public in San Antonio, to benefit The Garden Conservancy and the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. No reservations required; rain or shine. Visit website for complete garden description and driving directions. Special highlights include countless container plantings, a walled tropical garden, a pair of Balinese Rain Goddess statues, a “Walden-esque” pond, a cabana with a moon-viewing roof, as well as deer-resistant and Texas native plants. Visitors may begin at any of the following locations: Clowe Garden, 717 Ridgemont Avenue; Mrs. McNay’s Hermitage – 1930s Walled Moorish Garden, 206 Joliet Avenue; Inter-City Walden Pond Garden, 610 Bluff Post; Kargl Garden, 143 Wildrose Avenue; Oak Canyon Garden, 201 Lariat Road; or the Ramos Garden, 9 Kelian Court in Elm Creek. Cost: $5 per garden, or a $25 day pass for all six gardens, available at each location; 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.

Austin: “Caring for Your Trees” will be presented Saturday, October 30, 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., at the Yarborough Public Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin. Join Austin’s City Arborist, Michael Embesi, to learn about the benefits of trees, the urban forest, and why trees are an essential part of our lives. Learn to select appropriate trees for Central Texas landscapes, those that are appropriate for native soils and tough climate. Understand how to select and care for the right tree, in the proper location, considering size, longevity, and biological needs. Finally, hear about opportunities within multiple community programs, including grant opportunities, which promote the urban forest. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor Visitors welcome. For additional information. contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, December 9, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor. There will be a silent auction and potluck dinner. Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, November 11, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor, 402 W 8th St., Georgetown. Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.

Austin: “Growing Culinary Herbs in Texas” will be presented Saturday, November 13, from 10 a.m. until noon, at the American Botanical Council, 6200 Manor Rd., Austin. Herbs are a delight to the senses and an easy way to add beauty to your landscape! This class will cover the basics of growing both seasonal and perennial culinary herbs in central Texas, and will offer some suggestions for their use. Class size is limited, so sign up early by calling the Master Gardener Help Desk at 512-854-9600. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at 512-854-9600.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

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

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.

Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July and August at The Library, 500 Bulldog, Marion. There is a plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

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.

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.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners meet at the Salvation Army in Orange on the second 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.

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.

Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners meet the third Monday of each month at McGregor house on the corner of West Henderson and Colonial Dr. in Cleburne. A program starts at 6 p.m., followed by a meet-and-greet with refreshments and a short business meeting. For information 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 7:00 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 precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For topic or other information, call 830-379-1972 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Atlanta: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Horne Enterprise building in Atlanta at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Kay Lowery at frostkay268@aol.com.

Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.

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.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of the month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or call Bea at 210-999-7292.

Dallas: The Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd.,  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.


Texas Wildscapes:
Gardening for Wildlife

By Kelly Conrad Bender

NEW EDITION of the popular Texas Parks & Wildlife book, now with fully searchable DVD containing all the plant and animal information you need to customizTexas Wildscapes program provides the tools you need to make ahome for all the animals that will thrive in the native habitat you create.

In Texas Wildscapes, Kelly Conrad Bender identifies the kinds of animals you can expect when you give them their three basic needs: food, water, and shelter. She then provides guidelines for designing and planting your yard or garden to best provide these requirements for the many birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates the environment will attract.

$31.88 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 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
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),
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009) and
volume 29 (November/December 2009 through September/October 2010)*.

$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.

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

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Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

Become a fan of Texas Gardener magazine on Facebook. See what we're up to at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Gardener-Magazine/301356291835?ref=nf.


Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2010. 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