March 23, 2011

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Dr. Dariusz Malinowski, Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist and forage agronomist in Vernon, has been able to breed a double-flower angel's trumpet that also has two different colors for the flowers. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

AgriLife Research scientists trumpeting possible new adaptation of tropical flower

By Kay Ledbetter
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to bring more beauty to the colder regions of the state by breeding winter-hardiness into a tropical ornamental plant, the angel’s trumpet flower.

Dr. Dariusz Malinowski, AgriLife Research plant physiologist and forage agronomist in Vernon, along with Dr. Bill Pinchak and Shane Martin, both with AgriLife Research, and Steve Brown, program director for Texas Foundation Seed Service, began the project three years ago.

The goal is to develop new cultivars with a range of flower colors, shapes and size, Malinowski said. The project has already resulted in about 25 breeding lines being sent to the Texas A&M University System Office of Technology Commercialization. The next step is to offer the new lines commercially.

Several commercial nurseries have expressed interest in evaluating many of these lines this spring, Brown said. Evaluation will include commercial production and propagation to produce commercial quantities of angel’s trumpets.

 “Once successful evaluations are completed, Texas homeowners should be able to find these unusual and beautiful flowering shrubs in their local garden centers in the spring of 2013 or 2014,” he said.

The flower program, which also includes hibiscus, has been added to the research objectives at Vernon as the researchers try to breed in drought-tolerance and winter-hardiness into non-traditional or under-utilized crops that have ornamental value, he said.

Angel’s trumpet is the generic name for the Brugmansia genus of flowering plants native to the subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile and also in southeastern Brazil.

The plants are perennial shrubs or small trees that typically reach heights of 9-30 feet with a tan bark, Malinowski said. The leaves are alternate, generally large, 4-12 inches long and about 2-7 inches broad.

The large, pendulous flowers are very dramatic, trumpet-shaped flowers that can range from 1 foot to 2.5 feet long and 4 inches to 12 inches across at the wide end, he said. The flowers most traditionally are white, yellow and pink, with some rarer orange or red lines.

“The angel trumpets are very attractive ornamental plants grown in gardens in the southern regions of the state or as container plants further north,” Malinowski said. “They will not tolerate frost or freeze.”

He said they are testing breeding lines for winter survival of the roots to determine which ones will be able to survive in the Vernon-to-Dallas region. The growing region must not have temperatures that drop below 15 F. Several lines grown in the researchers’ gardens have regrown from the roots in the spring and bloomed by the end of the summer.

“We hope to extend the ornamental use of angel’s trumpet into this region by breeding and selecting lines with a greater ability to survive the winter,” Malinowski said.

He said the height of the trees will be affected by the die-off of the stems each year, so the winter-hardy lines might only get to about 5 feet tall.

But that is not affecting the beauty of the flowers, Malinowski said. Some of the most interesting new lines include one with flowers divided into six to eight parts, instead of the typical five parts.

“These additional parts make the flower much larger than the typical bloom,” he said. “And recently, we’ve been able to add a trait of double flowers to this atypical flower form.”

Malinowski said other lines have extremely long “whiskers,” up to 5 inches long, as well as new colors such as coral or deep golden and orange tones.

“One of our goals is to create flowers with multiple colors,” he said. “One of the lines has double flowers, where the outside skirt is white and the inside skirt is yellowish. Another line also has double flowers, with the outside skirt in light pink and the inside skirt in dark pink.”

Mrs. Dudley Cross, a rose released in 1907, has earned Earth-Kind distinction for 2011. To be Earth-Kind, a rose must have received the designation from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, an agency of the Texas A&M University System.

Monsieur Tillier, a rose released in 1891, has earned Earth-Kind distinction for 2011. (Photos courtesy of Jay Goode)

Two ‘healthy, fragrant’ roses earn Earth-Kind distinction for 2011

By Mike Jackson
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Two long-established roses have earned Earth-Kind distinction for their beauty, fragrance and ease of maintenance, said Dr. Steve George, Texas AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist in Dallas.

The Monsieur Tillier and Mrs. Dudley Cross varieties were named Earth-Kind Roses for 2011 by a team of horticulturists with AgriLife Extension, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, George said. Only 23 roses hold the distinction.

“Though very different, both roses are gorgeous,” he said.

Monsieur Tillier, released in 1891, is classified a “tea” rose and grows to about 7 by 6 feet, George said. It has a double blossom, is orange-pink and a repeat bloomer.

“The orange-pink color of its blossoms provides a color not often seen in other roses,” George said. “The blossoms are packed with fragrant petals. This plant gets large so it’s best used at the back of the flower bed. It makes an excellent large hedge.”

Mrs. Dudley Cross, released in 1907, is also a tea rose and grows to about 5-by-5 feet, he said. Its blossom’s coloring is a yellow and pink blend, and it too is a repeat bloomer.

“One of my all-time favorite landscape roses, it is a very long-lived, compact, healthy bush with beautiful, moderately fragrant blossoms,” he said. “And, as an added bonus, this plant is nearly thornless.”

Mrs. Dudley Cross is so outstanding that it is also being named the Earth-Kind Rose of the Year for 2011, he added.

There is much more to these roses than just good looks, George said. Earth-Kind Roses are robust and thrive in tough conditions. Grown and evaluated for more than eight years on average, the roses are not fertilized or pruned when tested. They are not treated with pesticides, and are watered far less than other roses. They also are grown on their own roots, as opposed to those grafted onto other plants. This process selects roses that are easy to grow and maintain, he said.

To be Earth-Kind, a rose must have received the designation from AgriLife Extension. Earth-Kind is a registered trademark of AgriLife Extension.

“These winners of the prestigious Earth-Kind designation are long-lived, tolerant of most any soil and are so environmentally responsible that in most areas almost never will you need to apply harsh pesticides or even commercial fertilizer,” George said.

“These are truly roses with which anyone can be highly successful.”

A list and descriptions of all Earth-Kind Roses can be found at

George and the team of Earth-Kind rose evaluators offer growing tips:

  • The roses should be planted where they receive at least eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Their location should allow for good airflow over the leaves.
  • They should be planted in well-aerated soils
  • They need the year-round protection of a 3-inch layer of organic mulch over their root systems.

George suggested gardeners visit the Earth-Kind Rose web site for details on how to manage specific soils and other issues.

Gardening tips

Here is a tip for laying out a flower bed that will be planted with multiple varieties. Fill an empty soda or water bottle with silver or light colored sand. Pour the sand to make the borders for each planting. Then label each planting area and plant your seed. Once the seed has sprouted, the marked borders will disappear.

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...

There are several theories, but we think the most plausible idea behind the name for the popular strawberry plant came from the characteristic that the berries are strewn about on the plants. Eventually “strewnberry” became “strawberry.” By the way, strawberries are not really fruit but enlarged ends of the plant’s stamen. The seeds are on the outer skin instead of inside the fruit. If you count them, you will find about 200 seeds.

Field of vetch wanted

Wanted: Field of vetch in East Texas. Jerry Stroope, Stroope Honey Farms, Houston, is looking for a fairly large meadow with an abundance of vetch. He will place a truck load of hives in the meadow in return for a case of honey. He noticed a field of this fragrant, purple flowered legume between Henderson and Nacogdoches last year. To take advantage of this sweet deal, call Jerry at 281-732-5850.

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.

Lake Charles, La.: 2011 Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival, March 25-26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, La. The Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival inside the Burton Coliseum is celebrating gardening with its 12th Annual Show and Plant Extravaganza about gardening, flowers, trees, shrubs, garden accessories, books, demonstrations, educational lectures, and general garden tools. Area, regional and interstate exhibitors and vendors will be there to assist you with your plant and garden needs. The Federated Garden Clubs of Southwest Louisiana will present: “Lovely Louisiana” their 2011 flower show theme. They will be displaying their floral design and horticulture talents. There will be new and exciting educational programs about garden topics of interest by LSU AgCenter specialist, as well as, regional, state and national guest speakers. The festival attracts more than 4,000 garden lovers, residents, and visitors each year. There will be a Plant Health Clinic with professionals from the LSU AgCenter as well as Master Gardener volunteers who will help diagnose plant problems and answer garden questions. Educational garden seminars will be on-going throughout the two day event. The 4-H ‘Rent-A-Kid’ will be there to help festival-goers carry out items to their vehicles. Educational programs include Home Vegetable Gardening and Fruit Production held on Friday while programs on Ornamentals and Landscape Gardening & Herbs being held on Saturday. The SWL Master Gardeners will present their Garden Fest Preview Party with a Gumbo Supper & Silent Auction in the Chalkley Room of the Burton Colisem on Thursday, March 24, 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Donation of $10.00 in advance for admission. Tickets can be purchased at the LSU Agcenter, 7101 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles. Attendees will enjoy the gumbo supper, participate in the Silent Auction, preview the Garden Show and purchase from the Garden Fest vendors that evening. Regular Garden Festival hours are Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit, or contact Robert Turley or Pat Ortego at 337-475-8812.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center will host a two-part garden seminar, “How to Identify and Attract Backyard Birds,” on March 25 from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and on March 26 from 8 a.m.-11 am. Participants will enjoy a Friday evening lecture with Cliff Shackelford, ornithologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, about identification of common local birds. On Saturday morning, Cliff will lead a leisurely birding stroll through the PNPC property and on to the Shackelford home near the Pineywoods Native Plant Center to visit their backyard made “for the birds.” Shackelford is a 7th generation Texan and started bird watching at the early age of nine. He holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology, with an emphasis in avian ecology, from Stephen F. Austin State University, and has authored more than 50 publications on birds and birding. He is the lead author of the book Hummingbirds of Texas, published in 2005 by Texas A&M University Press. Participants will meet for both sessions at the Tucker House at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended, and binoculars are available for first-time birders that need them. Cost is $20 for members of SFA Gardens Friends and $25 for non-members. To register, call the SFA Gardens Education Office at 936-468-1832 or email

Burnet: The 13th Annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show, will be held at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E Jackson, Burnet, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, March 26. Free to public. For more information, contact

Houston: The Garden Conservancy's Open Days Program Garden Tour: March 26 visit five Houston private gardens, open to benefit the Garden Conservancy and Peckerwood Garden. No reservations required; rain or shine. Visit website for complete garden descriptions and driving directions. Admission is $5 per garden; children 12 and under are free. See or call The Garden Conservancy toll-free weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, 1-888-842-2442.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners will present The Garden Show, March 26 and 27 at the Myers Park and Event Center, McKinney. The Garden Show is packed with exciting and informative educational events with hands on activities and demos by local experts. Mariana Greene, Dr. Dotty Woodson, Kim Schofield, Dr. Greg Church, Michael O’Keefe, Roger Sanderson, Dr. Steve George, Buddy Lee and many Collin County Master Gardeners will speak on timely information on outdoor living in North Texas. Tour Our Perennial Trial Garden; Learn How to Build a Rain Barrel; Creating and Using Compost; Building a Raised Bed; Vegetable Gardening; Growing Herbs; Planting for Summer Color; Learn How to Propagate Plants; Growing Great Turf Grass; Growing in Containers; What is IPM?; How do I Collect and Use Rain Water?; Improving Your Sprinkler System; Visit With Local Garden Clubs and Nonprofit Organizations; Learn How Our Collin County Cities Are Going Green; Visit the Great Vendors and Much, Much More. Admission is 2 cans of food or $2 per car for the North Texas Food Bank. For more information, contact or visit

San Antonio: David Rodriguez, County Extension Agent — Horticulture & Master Gardener Coordinator will present Plant Problem and Answers Clinic, March 26, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Locke Hill Pet Feed and Lawn, 4927 Golden Quail, San Antonio. David welcomes your garden and landscape questions. Bring pictures and samples of any and all of your gardening problems. Admission is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.

San Antonio: Native Plant Society of Texas, San Antonio Chapter will host the 2nd Annual "Native San Antonio!" on Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Land Heritage Institute, 1349 Neal Rd., San Antonio. Free and open to the public, this is an outdoor celebration of all things native to San Antonio that will include a tree give-away, native plant sales, guided nature walks, activities for kids, hay rides, Native American Hot Rocks Cooking and Chuck Wagon Demo, arts and crafts, food, music and speakers. For additional information, visit

Seabrook: Gaye Hammond, past president of the Houston Rose Society, will present "The Rose — America's True Native" at 10 a.m. March 26, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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 or call 972-825-5175.

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., 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 or call 979-823-0129.

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? This class 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 at Termite Training for Homeowners, Wednesday, March 30, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. For additional information, call 512-854-9600.

Austin: Enjoy the pleasures of fresh homegrown vegetables. Imagine baskets of okra, tomatoes, squash and green beans from your own garden! Learn how to plant and maintain this garden from Master Gardener Vegetable Specialist and Texas Gardener Contributing Writer Patty Leander when she leads “Spring Vegetable Gardening,” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., March 30 at Old Quarry Branch Library, 7051 Village Center Dr., Austin. She will share popular varieties for Central Texas, recommended planting dates and tips for organic gardening and insect control. This free seminar, packed with information and color photographs, will benefit both new and experienced gardeners, so don’t miss this great kick-off to spring gardening! Arrive early to ensure a seat as this is one of our most popular seminars. 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 Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at 512-854-9600.

Beaumont: The Enchanted Garden Spring Herb Fest will be held at Beaumont Botanical Gardens at Tyrrell Park, Saturday, April 2, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.; speakers 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Admission and parking are free; speakers’ ticket is $10. Speakers include Susan Wittig Albert, author of the bestselling China Bayles mysteries, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Robin Paige Victorian/Edwardian mysteries written with her husband, Bill; Judy Barrett, founding editor and publisher of Homegrown: Good Sense Organic Living for Texas, one of the hosts of the Public Broadcast series The New Garden, and author of What Can I Do With My Herbs and What’s So Great About Heirloom Plants; Bird Mangels, a well-known Beaumont herbalist and national. Many activities will be available for families and especially children. A fairy garden will feature storytelling by master storyteller Bill Harland and longtime educator Dr. Liz Gibbs. Refreshments will be available during the plant. A variety of other garden vendors will also be present. Admission to the Conservatory will be free during the event and tours of the greenhouse will be available. Visitors can relax in the Conservatory while perusing books from a Houston area bookstore. Representatives of the garden clubs that maintain demonstration gardens in Beaumont Botanical Gardens will be present in their garden to identify plants and answer questions. Audubon Society members will be on the birding trails to point out the many birds seen in Tyrrell Park. For additional information, contact Christina LeDee at 409-866-5153 or

Highland Lakes: The Kingsland Garden Club Annual Plant Sale will be held at the Kingsland House of Arts & Crafts Spring Sale behind Wells Fargo Bank on Chamberlain St. in Kingsland on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3. Purchase good home-grown Hill Country plants at reasonable prices. Arrive early for best selection.  Open Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. For additional information, visit

Stephenville: The annual Stephenville Native & Heirloom Plant Fair will be held Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Stephenville Museum, 525 E Washington St., Stephenville. Vendors will be offering native and adapted plants, herbs, vegetables, arts & crafts, concessions, and more. Informative speakers. Vendor space is free; contact Russell at 254-968-9761 or For more information, including directions, visit

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will hold its next meeting at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 6, at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Avenue, Kemah. Bill Wyatt, owner of Grace Outdoors, will present ”Organic Gardening.” Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, call Anniece Larkins, president, at 281-842-9008.

Austin: Learn the answer to “What’s Bugging my Vegetables?” Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. until noon at Homewood Heights Community Garden, 2606 Sol Wilson Ave, Austin. Learn about the most common garden insects…good and bad. Knowledge is power and you’ll walk away knowing you can identify the eggs, nymphs, and adults. Discover Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. Park in the neighborhood. Garden is on the north side of street west of Sol Wilson/Ridgeway intersection. 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 Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at 512-854-9600.

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:

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener Association 3rd Annual Plant Sale will be held Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cleburne Senior Center 1212 Glenwood Drive Cleburne. Native and adapted plants selected for Johnson County Featuring perennials, shrubs, vegetables, herbs and annuals. Large selection of Earth-Kind roses. Planting advice from Johnson County Master Gardeners. Free admission and parking. Free education classes Children's Activity Center. For additional information, visit

Kerrville: The Texas Hill Country Master Gardeners Annual Spring Plant and Rain Barrel Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 9 at Kerr County AgriLife Center, 3655 Highway 27 East. Kerrville. Sale includes a wide variety of tried and true plants for the Hill Country as well as plants "new" to the sale. Rain Barrels made by HCMG will be available also. For additional information, visit

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 or

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. 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

Dallas: The Greater North Texas Orchid Society will host "Expose Yourself to Orchids," an orchid show and sale, Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Texas A&M Extension Center, Pavilion Building, 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas. Free Admission. For additional information, visit

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: 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

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners will present “Making Great Compost,” Saturday, April 16, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Spicewood Springs Branch Library, 8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin. Compost is organic waste matter decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Soils that include compost are responsible for healthier plants and can be used in all indoor and outdoor gardening. Composting yard wastes can reduce what goes to the local landfill by 30 percent or more! Get the scoop on what to use and how to make compost at this informative seminar led by Master Gardener, Richard Moline. Take-home reference material will be provided. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day on April 16 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The sale is moving to a new location at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. SFA Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Pursuits program will host its 4th annual Earth Day Celebration in conjunction with this year’s sale. This plant sale fundraiser benefits the SFA Gardens and its educational programs that reach over 15,000 students ages 1 to 100 on a yearly basis. A wide variety of hard to find, “Texas tough” plants will be available including new introductions, Texas natives, heirlooms, perennials, and exclusive SFA introductions. Plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information call 936-468-4404, or visit and click on “upcoming events.”

San Antonio: Dr. Larry Stein, Ph.D., Horticulturist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will present a Fruit Tree Grafting Seminar, from 9 a.m. to noon, April 16, at Fanick’s Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Road, San Antonio. Dr. Stein will demonstrate grafting of various fruit trees. Bring your questions on the care and planting fruiting trees and bushes. This is a popular and well attended event; come early for best seating and parking options. Bring folding chairs if you cannot stand for all of the grafting demonstration in Fanick’s orchard. Admission is free. For more information, call 210-467-6575.


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: 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 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

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

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

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 and

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 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

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.

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

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.

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