January 26, 2011

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.


Tree seedling giveaway planned at Lufkin Mall

By April Saginor
Texas Forest Service

In an effort to replenish trees lost to storm damage, officials with Texas Forest Service, Angelina Beautiful/Clean and Campbell Timberland Management will give away more than 10,000 hardwood tree seedlings on February 3.

The event — which is part of the Angelina County Arbor Day celebration that week — begins at 9 a.m. at the Lufkin Mall parking lot. It will last until all the seedlings are claimed, and Texas Forest Service officials say they go quickly.

“Hurricanes and other severe weather events wiped out many stately yard trees in Lufkin and Angelina County in recent years,” said District Forester Todd Nightingale. “We need to replace the ones we lost. In addition to beautifying the community, trees produce oxygen, clean the air, control noise pollution and provide shade.”

Several hardwoods will be available to choose from, including Cherrybark oak, Nuttall oak, Sawtooth oak, Shumard oak, White Oak and more.


Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is the last of four gardening-themed short stories presented for your enjoyment. — Michael Bracken

Fertile Fiction
Seeds of a New Relationship

By Michael Bracken
Editor

I saw Carl from behind long before I saw the rest of him. He wore a form-fitting white T-shirt tucked into faded, skin-tight blue jeans and a pair of well-worn black cowboy boots. He had closely cropped gray hair and the mid-day sun had burned his neck red. Sweat plastered the T-shirt to his back and I watched his muscles ripple as he worked.

I settled onto my porch swing and enjoyed the view for ten minutes before Carl turned from the flower garden and looked up at me. He shielded his eyes with one hand and let his gaze slowly take me in. Finally, he nodded and said, “Afternoon, ma’am.”

“I have lemonade,” I said as I lifted my glass to show him. “Care to join me?”

“I might could sit a spell,” he said.

After Carl climbed onto the porch with me, I filled a second glass with lemonade and handed it to him. He drained most of it in one long swallow, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, and then emptied the glass.

I offered a refill.

“That would be right nice, ma’am.” He thrust the empty glass toward me and I refilled it.

He sipped slowly this time.

“Looks like you’ve worked up quite a sweat,” I said.

Carl lowered his glass. “Yes, ma’am, I have. I hope my smell doesn’t offend you.”

“Not at all,” I said with a smile. The musky scent of a hard-working man may be the sexiest smell of all, though I didn’t tell him that. Instead, I asked, “What happened to the young man who usually cares for my yard?”

“Eddie?” Carl asked. “His wife just gave birth to their first. I gave him the week off.”

“I remember my first,” I said. “And my second.”

“I had a pair of young’uns myself.”

When he lifted his glass to finish his drink, I noticed that Carl didn’t wear a wedding ring and there was no telltale white band around his finger to indicate that he’d taken one off before digging in the dirt. I asked, “More lemonade?”

“Oh, no, ma’am,” he replied. “I best be returning to work.”

He placed the empty glass on the wooden table next to the pitcher of lemonade, thanked me, and returned to the garden.

I watched Carl for the rest of the afternoon, remembering long-ago summer days when I had worked side-by-side with my John in those same gardens while my daughters played in the yard. Now my John was gone and my girls had grown and moved away, one to each coast.

When Carl finished for the day and stepped up on the porch to have me sign the work order, I asked, “So where are your children now?”

“They moved away long ago,” he said. “They were too good to work for the company that put them through college.”

“And your wife?” I asked. “She must miss them.”

“I lost Marie a few years ago,” Carl explained. He mopped his head with a kerchief pulled from his back pocket.

I poured Carl a fresh glass of lemonade and told him about my John and the year we put in the first flowerbed. Carl settled into one of the two canvas chairs and told me about his Marie and how they’d started their yard maintenance business with nothing more than a push mower, a string trimmer, and a flyer printed for cost by his wife’s cousin.

“I have about four dozen employees now,” he said, “and enough work for half-a-dozen more.”

“Is that why you’re out here in my garden?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Carl said, “but even if I wasn’t short-handed, I would still work in the dirt. A man can’t let himself get too far from the earth. He loses all sense of perspective when he does that.”

My John had felt the same way, especially after he took the office job that trapped him a windowless cubicle. His greatest joy — other than time spent with my daughters and me — was the time he spent working in our flower garden. It turned out to be his greatest solace as well, especially after the cancer diagnosis and the year-long cycle of treatments that prolonged his life without necessarily improving it.

Carl and I talked for a bit longer. I realized that he was a lot like my John, but he clearly wasn’t my John. He sat before me, as full of life as any man I had ever met.

I invited him to stay for dinner. “Something light. Sandwiches, perhaps.”

Carl hesitated a moment. “You know,” he said, “I think I might could.”

I knew then that I had planted the seeds of a new relationship, one that, perhaps, would allow us each to bloom.

In addition to editing SEEDS, Michael Bracken is the Managing Editor of Texas Gardener, and the author of 11 books and nearly 900 short stories. Learn more at www.CrimeFictionWriter.com.


Chocolate Day at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

The San Antonio Botanical Garden will celebrate the allure of chocolate and Valentine’s Day on Saturday, February 12. Visitors will get wrapped up in the history, scent, and taste of all things chocolate. Special chocolate “flavored” activities are scheduled 10 a.m.–2 p.m. in the Lucile Halsell Conservatory area of the Garden. (The Garden is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Hands-on experiences with real cacao pods at “The Story of Chocolate” display will teach visitors about the origins of chocolate and how the delicious treat is made. Explore the lush Tropical Room in our Conservatory to see the exotic plants used in creating blissful sweets — vanilla orchids, cinnamon and cacao trees, sugarcane and more! Visit the “Botany of Sweets” display to discover the origin of marshmallows, gum, and other delights. Take home a small chocolate mint plant for your garden (while supplies last).

How do you cook with chocolate? The garden has partnered with Picante Grill and Anne Marie’s Carriage House Bistro to provide expert cooking demonstrations. Learn how to make chicken molé, hot cocoa, a “Brownie & Blondie Tower” and a chocolate sauce.

Children can participate in chocolate field day activities such as the “choc-put,” candy wrapper race, and kiss on a spoon competition. Creative crafts include making lollipop flowers and marshmallow buildings. Moms and dads can join the kids in winding their way through the Mayan Maze.

Members of the San Antonio Rose Society will share their expertise on how to grow and prune roses, the traditional Valentine’s Day plant.

The Botanical Society Plant Team volunteers will host the first plant sale of the year! Choose from San Antonio’s favorite perennials, a variety of watersavers, plants to entice butterflies or hummingbirds, and culinary herbs. Master Garden Volunteers will be happy to help guests select plants that will best suit their garden and landscaping needs. Plants will be available for sale from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.

While in the Garden that day, guests can also see the two Art in the Garden exhibits. International artist Albert Paley has five sculptures in the Lucile Halsell Conservatory and hometown favorite George Schroeder’s “Passage” stands in the Fountain Plaza area.

Anne Marie’s Carriage House Bistro is open for brunch, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. For their Valentine's Weekend Special (Saturday-Sunday, February 12-13) the chefs will prepare a slow-roasted prime rib with seared shrimp, roasted potatoes, and asparagus with a hollandaise or bordelaise sauce. (The Bistro is closed on Monday, February 14.)

Visit the Garden Gate Gift Shop in the Carriage House for after-holiday sales and ideas to get ready for spring. While browsing the store, register for a gift basket giveaway.

Garden admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-13, $6 for students, seniors and military. San Antonio Botanical Society members enjoy free admission. Group rates for parties of 15 or more are available. All Chocolate Day activities are included in Garden admission.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is located at 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue with free parking. The Botanical Garden is operated under the auspices of the City of San Antonio Department of Parks & Recreation and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, the public can visit www.sabot.org.


Gardening tips

"Most garden seeds come in paper envelopes which do not provide much protection against humidity during storage," writes Jerry Smith. "Small, inexpensive zip lock plastic bags are available that will fit inside the original paper seed pack and provide much better long-term protection of the seeds."

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 2011 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did you know...

Many garden pests such as cutworms are nocturnal so a nighttime visit to the garden with a good flashlight will often yield clues as to what is causing the damage that you notice during the daytime.


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.

Killeen: Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) will hold their annual conference on organic production systems January 28-30 at the Killeen Civic and Convention Center, Killeen. TOFGA is the only statewide organization focused on the people who practice organic and sustainable agriculture in Texas. This year’s theme is Texas Farms Direct. The conference is set up for folks who are either already producing or wanting to learn about organic and sustainably raised produce, livestock, dairy, and grains. Sessions will be offered on organic production, processing, marketing, and business management. There will also be opportunities to meet up with exhibitors and supporters of the organic agricultural industry in Texas. Highlights of the conference will include farm tours, keynote address, hands-on workshops with national organic farming experts, panel discussions, interactive exhibitors, regional meet-ups, farm direct organic dinner, book sales, and the movie screening of Fresh. The Keynote Speaker on will be Ana Sofia Joanes, Director of Fresh, brought in exclusively for the Farms Direct Organic Dinner, Saturday evening. Registration ranges from $100 for a day pass to $200 for the weekend. For more information on the schedule of events, or to register contact the TOFGA Office at 512-656-2456, or email admin@tofga.org or visit the website at www.tofga.org.

Beaumont: Nesting Season Kick-Off 2011, presented by the Texas Bluebird Society and sponsored by the Golden Triangle Audubon Society, will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, January 29, at Beaumont Botanical Gardens in Tyrell Park, 6088 Babe Zaharias Drive. Beaumont. Join with other TBS members to explore solutions to the most predominant challenges faced in providing the best habitat and promoting solid conservation practices for our native cavity nesters. Guest Speakers include Texas Gardener columnist Greg Grant, speaking about “The Hole Truth: East Texas Woodpeckers,” and Cliff Shackelford, speaking about “Nuthatches in Texas: Nuttin' but the Truth.” Registration for this event is required. $12 Advanced Registration (includes hot lunch) deadline is January 15, 2011; at-the-door registration is $6 (no lunch). To register or for additional information visit http://www.texasbluebirdsociety.org/documents/registration2011kick.pdf.

Bryan: "Earth-Kind Gardening Seminar" will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., January 29, at The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. Learn all you need to know from experts for successful gardening in Central Texas. learn about easy-to-grow Earth-Kind roses and Garden Design from Gaye Hammond, Houston Rose Society, and Andrea Fox, MLA and Master Gardener. Learn how to grow fresh, flavorful vegetables and herbs from Dr. Joe Masabni, Extension Specialist, and Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs. $50 per person. For more information and a registration from, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

San Antonio: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining fruit trees for the Urban Landscape. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to your best orchard ever from11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 29. Hosted at Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. Free. For more information, please call 210-467-6575.

Farmers Branch: Roses are rapidly becoming a mainstay of Farmers Branch landscaping and will be made easier for local gardeners by a series of five free classes, “Landscaping with Roses in 2011.” All classes will be held at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, 14050 Heartside Place, from 7 until 8:30 p.m. each scheduled evening. Two classes remain. On February 1, Tim Allsup and Jerry Haynes will speak on “The Art and the Care of Garden Tools — Creating the Patina & Perfecting the Edge.” Carole Mainwaring will offer “David Austin Roses — Ahhhh” on February 8. Following those classes, the series concludes with a Rose Pruning Clinic at 10 a.m. on February 12. Participants are asked to register for classes by calling the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center at 972-247-4607. “Landscaping with Roses in 2011” classes are sponsored by the Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Department, the Dallas Rose Society and the Dallas Area Historical Rose Society.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will meet at 9:30 a.m, Wednesday, February 2, at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah. Patricia Martin, Master Gardener, will present “Planting a Native Garden for Hummingbirds and Butterflies.” Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, president, at 281-842-9008.

Nacogdoches: A successful garden begins with good soil. SFA agriculture professor Dr. Leon Young will present Soils in Your Garden on February 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in room 110 of the Agriculture Building on Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Young, aka Dr. Red Dirt, will discuss the basics of soil pH, use of lime, fertilization and soil testing. Young encourages participants to bring their soil questions for a question/answer and problem-solving session at the close of the presentation. Cost is $5.00 per person. To register, contact the SFA Gardens Education Office at 936-468-1832; email erodewald@sfasu.edu; or send payment with name, address, daytime phone number, and seminar title to: SFA Gardens Seminars, PO Box 13000-SFA, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.

McAllen: The Sustainable Agronomic Education Association will hold their 10th annual conference February 4-5 at the Renaissance-Casa de Palmas Hotel, 101 N. Main St., McAllen. Organized around the theme "Healthy Food Production — Keepin' it Local," the conference will feature presentations about integrated animal and crop production, free-range poultry, pasture improvement, composting and compost tea, marketing locally produced food to local markets, marketing to restaurants, wine grapes and Texas wineries, and water issues in the Rio Grande Valley. Registration for both days (includes dinner Friday and lunch Saturday): $95. Saturday-only registration (includes lunch): $45. Van tour Friday $50. For additional information, contact Barbara Storz at b-storz@tamu,edu or 956-383-1026.

Austin: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 5, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Roses add color and wonderful scent to the garden year-round! Attend this free seminar to learn how to select, plant, prune and care for these wonderful plants. Earth-Kind and Antique roses, which are known for their high performance, disease resistance and insect tolerance, will be featured topics of discussion. Travis County Master Gardeners Carolyn Williams and Holly Plotner will arm attendees with the tools they need to explore this fascinating area of horticulture! For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

San Antonio: Six horticultural educational opportunities for the general public, all but one of them free, will be available in and around San Antonio throughout February. The dates, locations and details of the programs are as follows: February 5 from 11a.m-1 p.m., Earth-Kind Landscape Series: Preparing For the Spring Vegetable Garden, Educational Room of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston. Download the flier at: http://www.sabot.org/ama/orig/Earthkind_Series_Spring_Veg_Garden.pdf. Cost is $20. To register, contact Sasha Kodet at 210-207-3270 or sasha.kodet@sanantonio.gov. Participants must register by noon Feb. 4. February 12 from 2-4 p.m., Fruit Tree Seminar: Selecting, planting and maintaining fruit trees for the urban landscape. Hosted by Schulz Nursery, 100 W. Huebinger St., Marion. No cost to attend. For more information, call Angel Torres at 210-467-6575. February 16 from 6-8 p.m., Earth-Kind Landscape Series: Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables for a backyard garden. Suite 208 of the AgriLife Extension office, Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call Angel Torres at 210-467-6575. February 19 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Earth-Kind Educational Program: Pruning and Q&A Gardening Seminar — how and when to prune plants. Participants encouraged to bring garden samples for practice pruning. Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call 210-804-0600. February 20 from 2-4 p.m., Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables for a backyard garden. Cooper’s Garden Place, 87 Coopers Lane, Floresville. No cost for attending. For more information, call 210-467-6575. February 26, from 11 a.m-1p.m., Spring Vegetable Seminar — selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in a backyard garden. Fanick’s Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Road, San Antonio. No cost to attend. For more information, call 210-648-1303.

Seabrook: Dr. Carol Brouwer, Harris County extension agent, will present "Vegetable Gardening" from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m, Tuesday, February 8 at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Cat Spring: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Austin County Grape Growers Committee will co-sponsor the 19th annual Gulf Coast Grape Growers Field Day on February 11 in Cat Spring, about 75 miles west of Houston. The field day will be held at the Cat Spring Agriculture Society Hall, 13035 Hall Rd. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with presentations and activities scheduled from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Viticulture topics addressed at the field day will include grape pest and disease management, grape maturity for wine quality, management practices for new vineyards, grower discussion panels and the latest in Texas AgriLife vineyard demonstrations. Speakers will include experts from AgriLife Extension, industry, and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. A minimum of three continuing education units will be available to licensed pesticide applicators. Registration cost, which includes lunch, beverages and a wine social, is $20. All registration for this year’s field day will be at the door and must be paid in cash or by check. For more information, contact Fritz Westover at 281-855-5608 or fawestover@ag.tamu.edu.

Austin: “Planning and Planting the Spring Vegetable Garden” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 12, at Sunshine Community Garden, 4814 Sunshine Dr., Austin. This hands-on seminar provides information on plant and seed selection, tips for increased germination, spacing and other techniques to ensure gardening success. Street parking available only. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: Learn which roses do well in Central Texas, how to make roses thrive and avoid costly mistakes at the Rose Workshop, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin. $25 registration fee includes lunch and a one-year membership in the Austin Rose Society, instruction booklet on growing roses, propagating roses from cuttings, soils for roses, handling rose insects and pruning roses. Register at www.austinrosesociety.org or pay at the door from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. For additional information, call 512-836-4679.

Marion: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining fruit trees for the Urban Landscape. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to your best orchard ever from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Schulz Nursery: 100 West Huebinger Street, Marion. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Nacogdoches: 2011 Family Fun Days planned through Nacogdoches Naturally, an outdoor education component of the Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens, will include exciting outdoor weekend programs beginning in January and extending through May. Upcoming events include: February 12, Gardening 101 for the Whole Family by Dawn Stover, 9 a.m.-Noon, Meet in Room 110 in the SFA Agriculture Building, Wilson Drive, $10 per family; April 16, SFA Garden Gala Day Plant Sale and Earth Day Celebration, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street; April 30, Farm and Forest Day, 9 a.m.-Noon, SFA Beef Center, Highway 259; May 14, Lake Sam Rayburn/Caney Creek Recreation Area, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Lake Sam Rayburn Nature Center, $10 per family. Events are free unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, call Kerry Lemon 936-468-5586 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu.

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale and Seminar on Saturday, February 12, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Building D, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg. An overview of plants at the sale will be given at 8:00 a.m. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. Persons attending the sale are welcome to bring their own wagons. Visit www.fbmg.com for more information on varieties that will be on sale.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association Lunch & Learn With the Masters program will hold two programs in February: February 14 master gardener Jerome Janak will discuss "Rose Planting, Pruning and Care" and February 28 Alton Meyer will discuss "Planting and Growing Fruit Trees." The programs run from noon until 1 p.m., at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria, and are free to the public. Bring a sack lunch and drink. For more information call 361-575-4581.

Bryan: The Brazos County office of Texas AgriLife Extension and the Brazos County Master Gardeners will host "The 2011 Earth-Kind Gardening 101 Series" each month through October. These monthly meetings, ideal for beginning gardeners, will teach everything from how to amend soil and grow healthier plants to tips for selecting the best spot for a vegetation garden. The remaining classes will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., February 15, March 29, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20 and October 18. Attend one session or attend them all. $10 per class session. Pre-registration is preferred, one week in advance of a session, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information or a registration form, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

San Antonio: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in your backyard garden. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to a successful garden this spring from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 16. Your host will be the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite #208, San Antonio. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Seabrook: Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms, will present a preview of the fruit and citrus trees that will be offered at the upcoming Master Gardener Plant Sale. Sheesley's presentation will be at 10 a.m.,  February 16 at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Austin: There’s an old saying in the pest control industry: “There are two types of homes in Texas — those with termites and those that will have them within seven years.” Which category do you fit into? “Termite Training for Homeowners” will arm homeowners with information so they feel comfortable discussing management options for termites with pest professionals. Do you know how termites look for food? Can you tell the difference between ants and termites? Learn how to identify the types of termites found in Central Texas and their management options, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., February 17 at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. For more information, call 512-854-9600.

Burnet: Join Master Gardener and Landscape Design Consultant Sheryl Yantis for "Texas Tough Plants" at a public Green Thumb program presented by the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners at the Herman Brown Free Library on the Courthouse Square in Burnet on Saturday, February 19. The program will start at 10:30 a.m. Learn about the beautiful plants recommended for the Hill Country. For additional information, visit http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx.

San Antonio: Spring garden preparation and annual pruning are coming up on the calendar. Here’s a Saturday seminar that is just what you need to prepare for a garden of delights in your yard.  Extension Horticulturist David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Bexar County Master Gardeners, will lead Earth-Kind Educational Program: Pruning and Q&A Gardening Seminar from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., February 19, at Schulz Nursery, 3700 Broadway, San Antonio. Don't hesitate to bring plenty of questions and garden samples. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-804-0600.

Sunset Valley: “Taking Care of the Lawn,” two seminars on lawn care, will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 19, at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley. “It's Dead! How to Establish a New Lawn” will be presented from 10 a.m., until 11 a.m.; “How to Promote Lawn Health” from 11 a.m. until noon. Learn what to do to start a new lawn or replace a lawn, including grass varieties, soil preparation, and watering. Discover easy mowing, irrigating, and fertilizing tips for lawn maintenance. Park in the Tony Burger Center across the street from Sunset Valley City Hall. This seminar is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Floresville: Learn about selecting, planting and maintaining vegetables in your backyard garden. Horticulturist David Rodriguez of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will guide you to a successful garden this spring from 2 p.m until 4 p.m., Saturday, February 20. Bethe guests of Cooper's Garden Place, 87 Coopers Lane, Floresville. Cost is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

Pasadena: The Harris County Master Gardener Spring Sale will feature tropical fruit trees for home orchards, tomatoes, peppers, citrus, berries and grapes, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, February 26, at Campbell Hall at the Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Bluff Road, Pasadena. There will also be a plant sale preview at 8 a.m. and educational workshops at 10 a.m. For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardeners will sponsor two days of gardening speakers at the 2011 Arts Alive Home and Garden Festival, February 26 & 27, at the Wichita Falls Multi Purpose Events Center, 1000 5th Street. Saturday's speakers will be Jeff Luedke, Natural Guard; Elena Lipkowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Steven Chamblee, Chandor Gardens; and Doug Hill, Red River Beekeepers. Sunday afternoon’s speakers will be MG Anne Dohrer and The MG Firewise Landscaping Specialists. For more information, visit overthegardengate.org or call 940-716-8610.

Longview: The 2011 Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar, sponsored by the Gregg County Master Gardeners, will be March 5, from 8 a.m. until noon, at the First Methodist Church Faith Center, 400 N. Fredonia, Longview. Tom LeRoy Extension Agent, Conroe, will speak on "Vegetable Gardening" and "Everything You Want to Know about Tomatoes." Leslie Halleck, Horticulturist, Botanist and Gardener, Dallas, will speak on "Growing Herbs." There will be door prizes, raffle, vendors, and refreshments. Advance tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. Call 903-236-8429 for more information.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners will present The Garden Show, March 26 and 27 at the Myers Park and Event Center near McKinney. The show is focused on providing research based horticulture information to area residents. For more information, contact thegardenshow@dfwair.net or visit www.ccmgatx.org/thegardenshow.

Waxahachie: The Ellis County Master Gardeners will host their 11th Annual Lawn & Garden Expo on Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the Waxahachie Civic Center, 1950 N. I-35E, Waxahachie. There will be 100+ exhibitor booths focusing on lawn- and garden-related products and services. There will be educational opportunities with the emphasis on fun for the whole family. There are activities throughout the day, including children and adult workshops presented by Ellis County Master Gardener specialists. There will be a huge Master Gardener plant sale area, as well as an  information booth where specialists answer horticultural questions. Tickets are $5.00 at the door; children under 12 are free. Free tickets are available from our sponsors. For a list of our sponsors, as well as further information on the Expo, visit www.ecmga.com or call 972-825-5175.

Cameron: The 2nd Annual Milam County Nature Festival will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., April 9 at Wilson-Ledbetter Park in Cameron. This is an educational and fun family event for all age groups with presentations, exhibits and hands on activities in a variety of nature areas including birds, bats, insects, butterflies, snakes, horned lizards, fish, wild animals, wildflowers, native grasses, and much more. For more information, visit: http://txmn.org/elcamino/naturefest/.

Rockport-Fulton: The Seventh Rockport Herb Festival will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Paws & Taws Fulton Convention Center, 402 N. Fulton Beach Road, Rockport-Fulton. Featured speakers include Susan Wittig Albert, New York Times bestselling author of the China Bayles series, books that "contribute to our knowledge, information, use, or enjoyment of herbs"; the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series; and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries written with her husband Bill Albert under the pseudonym Robin Paige. Also speaking will be Judy Barrett, founder of Homegrown Texas Magazine and author of What Can I Do With My Herbs? and What Makes Heirloom Plants So Great? Chef Kevin Argetsinger will present a cooking demonstration, and there will be other on-going cooking demonstrations throughout the day. In addition, Jeff Transeau of Charta Olives will speak on growing Olive Trees in Texas and the Texas Olive Industry. Texas olive oil and olive trees will be for sale. For additional information, visit www.rockportherb.org.

San Antonio: Viva Botanica! — A Garden Fiesta for the whole family will be celebrated at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on the first Saturday of the Fiesta week in San Antonio, April 9, 2011. Decorate your stroller or red wagon and wear your finest Fiesta attire to enjoy the spring beauty of the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Start the fun with a children’s parade and the coronation of lucky young visitors to the Garden’s first ever Fiesta Flower Court. Viva Botanica crafts, music, inflatable “bouncies” and games combine the natural environment of the Garden’s 33 acres with Fiesta fun. Stamp your Fiesta Passport on your “walk across Texas” experience along the Texas Native Trail, where families can explore the East Texas lake, the Hill Country’s limestone spring and historic cabins, and the Bird Watch at the farthest reach of the South Texas region. Interactive stations along the way will engage guests of all ages in the wonders of the natural world. For home gardeners, the Botanical Society will host its popular Spring Plant Sale of San Antonio friendly plants, all lovingly grown in the volunteer greenhouse at the Garden. Viva Botanica activities will be offered 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Garden is open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Anne Marie’s Carriage House Bistro is open for weekend brunch 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The San Antonio Botanical Garden is located at 555 Funston at North New Braunfels Avenue with free parking. Admission is $8 adults; $6 students, seniors, military; $5 children age 3-13. The Botanical Garden is operated under the auspices of the City of San Antonio Department of Parks & Recreation and is open year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit www.sabot.org.

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: Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 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 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. 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.

Brownwood: The Brown County Master Gardeners Association meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 605 Fisk Ave., Brownwood. For further information, call Mary Green Engle at 325-784-8453.

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 at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. 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.org and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.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 at 2 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W. Henderson, Cleburne which includes a program and a meet & greet. For more information, call Diane Asberry at 817-558-3932.

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.somervellmastergardeners.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.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West Drive, Leander, unless there is a field trip or an event at a member's home. Following a short business meeting, there is usually a program, followed by a shared pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email texascatalina@yahoo.com.

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.


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