September 9, 2010

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$1.4 Million gift to create arboretum at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

A $1.4 million donation to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin will establish an arboretum to showcase the diversity and importance of Texas's trees.

The gift from an anonymous fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation at the request of Mollie Steves Zachry will allow the Wildflower Center to develop some of its most scenic acreage into an outdoor museum of Texas's natural heritage and cultural history.

The Mollie Steves Zachary Texas Arboretum will display all 53 species of oak trees that are native to this ecologically diverse state. The 16 acres will also feature descendants of significant trees that helped shape Texas history in the "Hall of Texas Heroes." Other features will include a collection of iconic native trees like black walnut, bald cypress, pecan and sycamore and a demonstration of native trees recommended for use beneath power lines.

"Mrs. Zachry's generosity will allow us to celebrate the magnificent trees of Texas in a setting where our visitors can relax and find inspiration," said Susan Rieff, executive director of the Wildflower Center. "This gift honors Mrs. Zachry's long dedication to conservation and her commitment to Lady Bird Johnson's environmental mission."

"Trees provide shade, shelter and nourishment. They reduce heating costs, store carbon in their roots and filter pollutants out of water," Rieff said. "We plan to honor Mollie Zachry's commitment to nature and to the Wildflower Center by developing a world-class arboretum for understanding and preserving these natural treasures."

Rieff pointed out that the center had pushed ahead with arboretum plans, using staff and volunteers, including professional arborists, who dedicated many hours to the hard work of clearing cedar and other brush that masked the majesty of the live oaks, cedar elms and post oaks on the site. The arboretum is expected to open in 2012, the centennial year of Lady Bird Johnson's birth.

In his 2005 garden master plan for the Wildflower Center, landscape architect W. Gary Smith envisioned an area where visitors could walk among the majestic trees while enjoying gathering at picnic groves with wind chimes and chair swings.

Texas history will come alive in the "Hall of Texas Heroes" which will feature offspring from a dozen or more historically significant trees that helped shape Texas history, such as Austin's Treaty Oak, the Alamo Live Oak and the Sam Houston Kissing Bur Oak.

"We intend the arboretum to be one of the state's premier nature education resources," said Dr. Damon Waitt, the center's senior botanist who is guiding the arboretum's development. "It will be a place for tree identification, landscape design inspiration and field trips — a centerpiece for tree-related programs in Central Texas and another jewel in Austin's environmental crown."

The San Antonio Area Foundation gift will fund the construction and maintenance of the arboretum. The Wildflower Center is grateful for others who generously assisted in its development: Advisory Council Member Melissa Jones of Austin; They Might Be Monkeys!; We Love Trees; the Texas Chapter of the International Society for Arboriculture; Betsy Rogers and the C.L. Browning Ranch; The University of Texas at Austin's Landscape Services; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.

Organic farmers market expanding to McAllen, Facebook

By Rod Santa Ana
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Hidalgo County's first farmers market is ready for a new season with new classes, new street signs, a presence on Facebook and a new market in McAllen, according to organizers.

"It's amazing how this program is growing," said Dr. Luis Ribera, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist in Weslaco.

Ribera is among a long list of local experts scheduled to lend their expertise to the new crop of students who will grow and sell organic vegetables to the public this fall and winter.

"It's a slow but steady growth; a healthy growth, just like the produce they sell," he said.

It all started in 2007 when Barbara Storz, an AgriLife Extension horticulturist, saw an opportunity to help low-income residents become financially independent.

"We pulled in experts to teach people how to grow organic vegetables on their own property, then sell them to the public," she said. "We called the program Grow'n Growers, and it hasn't stopped growing."

With the help of county officials, the North San Juan Farmers Market opened in early 2008 at North San Juan Park.

"My students were on a fast learning curve, but they were encouraged by the crowds of people who snapped up the organic vegetables," she said. "Obviously, there was a demand for healthy, fresh produce and our program was off and running."

Two markets each month during the 2009-10 harvest season convinced Storz that the farmers market success was neither a fluke nor a passing fad.

"Most of our inventory was sold within hours of opening our doors," she said. "We were not only picking up new customers with each new market, we had more and more people who wanted in on the learning and growing side of this enterprise. We almost couldn't help but expand."

The new crop of Grow'n Growers students met Aug. 25 for orientation; classes started Sept. 1.

"We had about 23 people show up for orientation, but we still have room for more students," Storz said. "Most of our new students want to grow vegetables in their backyards, but some have five, ten, up to 290 acres they want to use."

Beginning in November and running through mid-June, consumers this season will have an opportunity to buy organic vegetables each Saturday of the week.

"We'll have a farmers market in San Juan on the first and third Saturday of the month, then in McAllen on the second and fourth Saturday of the month," Storz said.

The San Juan markets are held at North San Juan Park, on the Nolana extension. The McAllen markets will be held at the Arts Incubator on South 16th St., four blocks north of Expressway 83.

"Permanent road signs are being erected by the City of San Juan to direct customers to the market there," Storz said. "We'll have local chefs at both market locations to share their recipes and demonstrate their cooking styles, and people can keep up with our efforts on Facebook, under Grow'n Growers."

There is a $30 fee for the organic vegetable growing classes which meet each Wednesday through June 2011 beginning Sept. 1.

For more information, contact Storz at 956-383-1026.

Eating the wrong fruits can be worse than eating none at all

An apple a day just doesn’t cut it, and too many apples could make you fat.

That’s the advice of Iva Young, a nutritional expert who warns that the wrong kinds of fruits can actually do more harm than good.

“We really should be smart about the fruits we consume,” said Young, author of Healthy Mom ( “After all, remember that fruits are very similar to breads, pastas, rice, and other high carbohydrate-rich foods in that fruits are high in carbs. That is one reason why we should only consume a certain amount, and choose the fruits that are lower in sugar. If you pick the right fruits and eat the proper portions, then you will give your body what it needs and it will benefit greatly from your efforts.”

So, which fruits offer the biggest health boost? Young named the following fruits, all of which are comparatively low in sugar, as her top five:

Raspberries — Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, offering 30 percent of our recommended daily value, 8 grams per serving. Raspberries are also a rich source of vitamin C, with about 50 percent of our daily value. In addition, they are a rich source of manganese, delivering 60 percent of what we should have each day. Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength and contain many anti-disease properties if consumed regularly, helping to fight against inflammation, chronic pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, age-related cognitive decline and eyesight degeneration associated with aging.

Blackberries — Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese. Blackberries are well-ranked for having strong antioxidant levels, and they also contain copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Kiwi — Kiwi is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K, which is a natural blood thinner. It’s also a good source of potassium, just slightly less than that of a banana. Potassium is one of those nutrients that is absolutely essential for heart health, yet many people don’t get nearly enough. Kiwi also delivers a mild laxative effect, possibly because of the high level of dietary fiber.

Strawberries — Strawberries are low in calories compared to many other fruits, and are a good source of fiber. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, promoting lots of antioxidant activity in the body.

Oranges — Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, along with powerful antioxidants. Oranges also provide a good source of fiber when the pulp is consumed. The white pith of the orange also contains flavonoids, and some doctors are even using extracts from the pith to help fight certain types of cancer.

“Sugar is also something that you should keep your eye on, because it affects the health of your teeth and the functioning of your hormones, specifically leptin,” she added. “Leptin is the important hormone responsible for telling the body that you should stop eating. With excess amounts of sugar in your body, the amount of leptin is diminished, which causes you to overeat. Excess sugar also has been known to cause intestinal issues increasing the chances of bloating, which causes your stomach to stick out and look like you have extra fat. That’s how consuming too many sugar-rich fruits can actually make you look fat, and make you feel less healthy than if you didn’t eat any fruits at all.”

Private equity company buys Park Seed Co.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Columbia, S.C., has accepted a $12.8 million offer from Blackstreet Capital, a private equity firm in Chevy Chase, Md., to purchase financially troubled Park Seed Co., a 142-year-old seed company in Greenwood, S.C.

As part of the sale, Blackstreet has agreed to maintain the seed company’s 150-person workforce and to remain in Greenwood for at least 3 years. Blackstreet would have to pay the bankruptcy estate, the state and Greenwood County a $500,000 penalty if it relocates sooner. The seed company’s creditors, which include Ball Horticultural Co. and C. Raker and Sons, indicated they were pleased with the offer.

Gardening tips

"This tip is good for water conservation and your plants," writes Jolene Molder. "I live in an old home and my water heater is across the house from my shower, so it takes a while for the water to get hot. I put a 2 gallon bucket under the spigot while I wait. Before I turn the shower head on there is 2 gallons of water to be carried out to water my plants."

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...

Purple Coneflower echinacea purpurea used to be one of the most valuable medicinal herbs used by American Indians. It was applied to cuts, burns and taken internally for headaches, coughs and colds. In modern time, it is considered one of the most important immune system stimulants used in herbal medicine.

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: 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

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

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 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

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 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

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).

Livingston: An irrigation specialist will discuss ways to establish efficient irrigation systems at 6:30 p.m., September 14, at the Texas AgriLife Extension meeting room, 602 E. Church St., Livingston. For additional information, call 936-327-6828.

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

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

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 or 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 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

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener Association will hold their 2010 Fall plant sale Saturday, September 25, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Brazos County Extension Office, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan. A wide selection of unusual and unique plants, adapted to Brazos County will be offered. Heirloom plants, pass-a-long plants and more from the gardens of Master Gardeners will also be available for purchase. A preview talk, highlighting the choicest plants and their growing requirements, will be presented from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Standing room only for this special event is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, call 979-823-0129.

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

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

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

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 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:

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 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 or follow the event at

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

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 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:

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 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

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 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 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.

Brownwood: Brownwood Area Community Garden celebrates its first Harvest Festival Saturday, October 17, in conjunction with World Food Day, from 10 to 4, at the beautiful Riverside Park in Brownwood. Events include a Vegetarian Chili Cookoff; Pumpkin Pie Bakeoff; Punkin' Paintin' for Kids; Oscar the Grouch Trashcan Veggie Roast; bounce house, jack o'lantern face painting, vendors, and music. For vendor applications, chili cookoff and pumpkin pie bakeoff entries, call 325-784-8453, email, or write PO Box 1062, Brownwood, TX 76804.

Wimberley: The Hill Country Unit of the Herb Society of America is hosting an Herb Celebration Luncheon on Friday, October 22, from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Wimberley Presbyterian Church, 956 FM 2325, Wimberley. Rita Heikenfeld will speak on Herbs of the Bible and Their Uses. Lunch, silent auction, herbs and herbal crafts will be available. Tickets are $18. For reservations, contact Linda McDowell at 512 847-7987 or

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 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

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

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 or call the Travis County Master Gardener's help desk at 512-854-9600.

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

Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, January 13, at the Georgetown Public Library, 2nd floor. Ginger Hudson will present her new book Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens. Visitors welcome. For additional information, contact Susan Waitz at 512-948-5241 or visit


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 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 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

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

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 or contact contact

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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*

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*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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(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

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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

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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