May 4, 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.


May is Garden for Wildlife Month

National Wildlife Foundation

May has been designated Garden for Wildlife Month and it’s a great time to establish gardening practices that will make yards a sanctuary for wildlife. To celebrate National Wildlife Federation’s 75th anniversary this year, the organization will plant a tree for every wildlife habitat that is certified during the month of May.

“Anyone can garden for wildlife, no matter how big your space, or how expert a gardener you are,” said David Mizejewski, NWF Naturalist and spokesperson for NWF’s Wildlife Habitat program. “It just takes a commitment to include a few elements in your landscape plan that will make wildlife feel at home.”

Trees for Wildlife. Making your garden wildlife-friendly can be as simple as planting a tree. Trees provide food, shelter and places to raise young for wildlife.

Create a Butterfly Garden. There's more to a butterfly garden than pretty flowers. True, many butterflies feed on flower nectar, so blooming plants are a must for a butterfly garden. But not all butterflies do.

Wildlife and Vegetable Gardens. Wild animals can be a bit pesky when they invade your vegetable garden looking for an easy meal, but there are ways to protect your produce so that wildlife and bountiful crops can go hand in hand.

Slimy and Slithery Garden Wildlife. Bird and butterflies get all the love when it comes to wildlife gardening, but toads, snakes, bats and other "creepy crawlies" are just as important and need our help too.

Native Plants for the Garden. Native plants are the best pick for your garden if you're trying to attract birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife. Native plants can also be better for the environment; less watering, fewer pesticides needed, more tolerant to drought.

Beneficial Insects. Not all bugs are bad for the garden. In fact, without six- and eight-legged predators, your pest problems would be much worse.

Bird Gardens. Attracting birds to the garden is a rewarding activity for the whole family.

Water Water Everywhere and Lots of Places to Drink. From bird baths to bogs and ponds, there are lots of ways to provide wildlife with water.

More information on how to create a wildlife habitat and have it certified by National Wildlife Federation, can be found at www.nwf.org/gardenforwildlife. Gardeners who certify their yards also receive a one-year subscription to Birds and Blooms magazine and a one-year membership in the National Wildlife Federation which includes a subscription to National Wildlife magazine.



The elegant simplicity of potted petunias is not enough for the authors of this new book. (Photo by William Scheick)

The garden reader:
Exploring the frontiers of container gardening

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

Sara Begg Townsend and Roanne Robbins. Continuous Container Gardens: Swap In the Plants of the Season to Create Fresh Designs Year-Round. Storey Publishing, 2010. 271 pp. $19.95.

It’s easy to think of potted plants as, let’s say, ‘contained.’ That is, potentialities associated with potted plants can seem somewhat bound, both literally and ornamentally.

Yes, containers can be strategically arranged as dot plants serving as nifty accents or highlights in garden settings. And yes, even a well-chosen lone plant in a pricey pot can “save” or “enliven” a stark patio or entryway corner.

Sometimes, too, an eye-pleasing, even elegant, simplicity can be achieved with a basic annual planting, such as white petunias in a small Mexican pot.

But why settle for basic, Sara Begg Townsend and Roanne Robbins ask in Continuous Container Gardens. In their well-designed and instructive book, the authors reveal that the boundaries of potted-plants are still barely imagined design-frontiers of possibility.

Offering 12 container versions, each observed over four seasons, the authors explore how containers can be “a more visually coherent part of a larger garden space year-round.” Included are colorful sticks, fancy bark, off-season blooms, ornamental grass, multi-seasonal shrubs, among other features.

In the authors’ expertly detailed examples, sometimes almost every plant is replaced from season to season, save for one or two. At other times, a central plant is retained year-round as a stable “backbone” perennial. This perennial, such as a Japanese maple or an ornamental grass, exhibits attractive seasonal changes, and so all that needs to be altered are the under-plantings.

Winter, of course, is the most challenging season. Then, according to the authors, “we approach container design almost as if we were designing floral arrangements, filling up gaps in the composition with cut twigs, leaves, boughs, tiny mushrooms and everything else that catches our eye.”

The authors acknowledge that, on first thought, we might believe it would be hard to keep a container of plants looking fresh throughout the year. “But just think of it as a miniature garden,” they urge, “with perennials and shrubs coming and going in and out of their glory with colorful annuals as accents.”

Continuous Container Gardens is fascinatingly rich with options, making this book a must-have for anyone seeking innovative designs for enduring potted-plant arrangements.


Texas Forest Service issues call for famous tree nominees

Texas Forest Service

Nestled in the midst of the hot, dry, wind-swept plains of Stephens County sits an gnarled old oak that has been providing refuge for passing travelers for more than a century.

So the story goes, the Half-Way Oak — which received its name because it’s planted midway between Breckenridge and Cisco and Ranger to the south — might even have served as a rest stop for infamous characters like Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp.

On Friday, April 29, Texas Forest Service recognized the tree’s storied past by formally designating it as one of the state’s famous trees.

“It is said that every tree tells a story, especially those that witnessed significant events on the Texas frontier,” said Texas Forest Service Forester Gretchen Riley, who oversees the program. “The Half-Way Oak is a tangible representation of this history and we’re lucky to still have it.”

The Famous Trees of Texas are an elite group of trees that witnessed exciting periods and events in Texas’ frontier history. The program started in 1970, when 81 trees received the designation and were memorialized in a book — Famous Trees of Texas — published by Texas Forest Service.

The trees are now showcased online — http://famoustreesoftexas.tamu.edu — with updates reflecting the current status of the trees.

With just 58 of the original 81 designees still alive, Texas Forest Service is launching a call for nominations in an effort to better document the state’s famous trees before they perish

The Half-Way Oak is the first tree to be nominated and added to the list in four decades, but officials hope to grow the list to as many as 100 by 2015, which will mark the state agency’s 100th anniversary.

“Many of our Famous Trees are succumbing to the ravages of time, nature and neglect,” Riley said. “We’re hoping to recognize additional trees and their stories before they are lost.”

Nominations can be made by the general public through the Famous Trees of Texas website and will be reviewed by a steering committee. To be considered famous, a tree must be:

  • Located at or near the site of a significant state, county or community event and must have been alive at the time of the event.
  • Directly connected to one of the 18 historical topics listed on the Famous Trees of Texas website.
  • Recognized by a Texas Historical Commission marker or identified in historical records, newspaper accounts or photos.
  • In reasonably good health and likely to remain for the foreseeable future.

The Compost Heap
Bitter zucchini

“I picked several small zucchini (about 6”) the other night for dinner,” writes Margaret Clark. “Washed and sliced them for sautéing with some home grown onions. They were so nasty bitter they could not be eaten. What would cause zucchini to be so bitter?

“We live in Montgomery County with sandy soil. Don’t use chemicals. The area we are gardening in has been in use for about 5 years.”

The bitter taste was probably caused by stress. With the drought and all the wind we have had lately, many squash plants have been under stress. If it takes longer than normal for the squash to reach that ideal 6 inch size the stress is probably a factor. I bet your plants were also smaller than normal. Try mulching your plants, drenching them with some compost tea and keep them well watered. Hopefully, you will get some more normal production out of your plants before the squash bugs and vine borers show up. — Chris S. Corby, Publisher


Gardening tips

"I devised an insect watering station with a light colored plastic dish," writes Paula Phillips. "I installed a brick in it, then filled the pan with water just to the top edge of the brick. It attracts ladybugs, butterflies and other beneficial bugs. You can also substitute a layer of pebbles on the bottom."

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...

When it comes to container plantings, try to avoid just using one plant. That is kind of boring. Instead, mix it up a bit, say with trailing lantana to the front, blackfoot daisy in the middle and some mealy blue salvia in the back. This combination would work great in five-gallon or larger containers and these three selections have the same basic growing requirements, are very trouble free and will provide you with season-long color and beauty.


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.

Glen Rose: Lake Granbury and Somervell County Master Gardeners Texas Master Gardeners will co-host the 2011 State Conference April 27-29 at the Somervell County Expo Center, Glen Rose. For registration and full information visit 2011conference.org or email 2011conference@gmail.com.

Brownwood: The Brownwood Garden Club is sponsoring a free Wildflower Exhibit Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Activity Center of First Baptist Church in Brownwood (corner of Center Street and Depot Street across from the post office). This year is the fifth year for the show. Along with the display of wildflowers, there are two free seminars on Saturday, April 30. Marda Keith will present “Best Vegetable Garden Ever” at 11 a.m.; Connie Fox will speak on “Landscaping in Texas” at 2 p.m. A plant sale will be held in conjunction with the wildflower exhibit and seminars. For more information, call 325-646-8739.

Kemah: The Kemah-Bay Area Garden Club will hold its annual scholarship fundraiser, “Garden by the Bay,” on April 29 at the Jimmie Walker Community Center, 800 Harris Ave., Kemah. Enjoy a lunch catered by Lymberi’s and a style show with fashions presented by Four Seasons Boutique & Shoe Parlour in Dickinson. Raffles prizes include a two-night stay with breakfast at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio and a dinner, wine and port tasting worth $300 at Madeline’s Wine Bistro in Kemah. Many other items will be raffled off to benefit scholarships. Raffle sales begin at 10 a.m., the style show at 11:30 a.m. followed by the luncheon. Tickets can be purchased by calling Dori Robinson at 281-554-3734.

Dallas: Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park3601 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dallas will host a Butterfly Gardening Workshiop from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 30. Discover how easy it is to grow your own butterfly garden with the expertise of TDG entomologist, John Watts, and the TDG director of horticulture, Randy Johnson. Get the dirt on host and nectar plants, as well as native butterflies. The class includes a sit-down portion and a tour through the Gardens. The Butterfly Gardening Workshop sells out quickly, so sign up early! Participants receive a flat of starter plants grown organically in-house worth $54 and will also receive a butterfly gardening primer. $60; $48 for TDG Members. This class is also offered May 5 and 7. Find details at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/upcoming_events.php.

Gonzales : The first class of Gonzales Master Gardeners will hold its first Spring Plant Sales on the Downtown City Square from 9 a.m. until noon April 30. A large variety of plants and roses will be offered. America's most popular tomato plants will also be on sale. Several other attractions will be available, including a Spinning Wheel where you can win a prize every time, an Opportunity Drawing, and a silent auction will be held to include valuable offerings such as the Adirondack chair made by Landis Kern, a garden swing bench built by Colin Bond and a 50" by 60" sofa throw "Flowers in Your Garden” designed and quilted by Fran Saliger. Drawings will be held at noon on the day of the sale. Master Gardeners will be on hand and a Vegetable Specialist will also be available Soil sampling bags and information leaflets will be available to help you get your garden in tip top shape for planting.

Moulton: Keep Moulton Beautiful (KMB)’s next “Breakfast with the Masters” program is Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the Moulton Community Center. Moulton’s own master gardener, Carolyn Whitmire, will present “Color Your Landscape with Annuals & Perennials.” This session is offered free to the public and KMB will provide free coffee and doughnuts. For more information, contact KMB President Kathy Hughes at 361-596-4433.

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 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.

Seguin: The Guadalupe County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold a plant sale during Earth Day celebration in Seguin on Saturday, April 30. The booth will be on the square from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and will offer a variety of native plants. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty.

Smith County: Five gardens will be featured in the Smith County Master Gardeners’ 2011 Home Garden Tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. Tour five home gardens ranging from a small city garden to a large estate garden. Just south of the Loop, Master Gardener Eloise Muxworthy has transformed her large, hot, grassy backyard into a charming cottage-style garden filled with Japanese maples, hydrangeas, azaleas and numerous perennials. Three large topiaries, a recycled concrete wall, and bubbling fountain add whimsy and interest. In her midtown garden, Karen Goforth has reclaimed beautiful beds and brickwork created by the original owner in the 1930s. More than a dozen camellias along with azaleas and colorful annuals enhance the character of this new “old” garden. Located in The Cascades, the Diedrick garden artfully blends a natural forested area with a more formal landscape filled with hydrangeas, roses and azaleas. The garden frames a spectacular view of the golf course all the way to downtown Tyler. Going north to the Swann area, the Kindig garden is a refreshing island in an open countryside. Incorporating Feng Shui principles of design creates an especially peaceful garden filled with roses, azaleas, annuals, perennials and crapemyrtles for all year color. Further north off Harvey Road is the Holey estate garden, the creation of three generations of rose growers and nurserymen. Several garden “rooms” include a kitchen garden, an all white garden, an herb garden, and a formal rose garden. A creek bed shaded by 50- year-old bald cypress trees, oaks, pines and hollies is planted with azaleas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, and ferns. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the tour. To order advance tickets make checks payable to SCMG and mail to 14608 Oak Hill Lane, Flint, TX 75762. Tickets are also available in Tyler at Potpourri House Restaurant, 3320 Troup Hwy; Brookshire’s Grocery, 100 Rice Rd.; Horaney’s, 5520 Old Jacksonville Hwy; Harris Nursery, Highway 69; and Blue Moon Gardens, 13602 FM 279, Chandler.

Collin County: Celebrate spring and Mother’s Day in four distinctive private gardens that will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7, and noon until 4 p.m. Sunday, May 8. Discover a variety of garden styles and interpretations, with roses of all types accompanied by blooming spring perennials. Admire the gardens, learn, linger, smell the roses, and meet new friends. Two of the gardens are in Plano, one is in Richardson and one is in Lucas. Maps and detailed directions to each garden are at www.collincountyrosesociety.org or call Cindy Graham at 214-912-5656. $10 for admission to all four gardens. Purchase tickets in advance at www.collincountyrosesociety.org or at any of the gardens on the days of the Garden Tour.

Dallas: The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, will hold its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 7. This popular sale is first come first serve and there are a limited number of plants. If you would like to the opportunity to purchase from the best selection, there will be a preview sale for Arboretum Members and those attending the "Lone Star Greats: Tough Texas Plants," program on Friday, May 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 7, is open to the public and free of charge in the Arboretum parking lot behind Rosine Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests as well as members of the Dallas Arboretum are invited to participate in the "Lone Star Greats: Tough Texas Plants," program taught by the Arboretum's Senior Director of Gardens, Jimmy Turner, on Friday, May 6, from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Turner will share his expert knowledge on which plants are "must-haves" and which will fare best in North Texas based on results of the Arboretum's Plant Trial Program. Turner awards only the best and toughest plants with the Arboretum's coveted "Flame-Proof" designation, all of which are able to withstand scorching summer temperatures. This class is a great value at $22.50 for Arboretum members and $25 for non-members. Reservations are necessary as the class sells out quickly. Reservations can be made online at www.dallasarboretum.org or 214-515-6540. The Plant Sale has items starting at $2 and the Dallas Arboretum's Horticulture staff will be on site to help with selections. All shoppers are strongly encouraged to bring their own wagons to ensure the transport of their purchases to their vehicles. With more than 23,000 plants for sale, including perennials, succulents and summer annuals, amateur gardeners and seasoned horticulturists alike will have the difficult task of deciding which plants they fancy the most. The Plant Sale is the perfect opportunity to bring some of the beauty of the Dallas Arboretum home to mesmerize friends and neighbors. "There is one chance a year to buy the neat and the rare, as well as the tried and true," said Jimmy Turner, "and even though we buy a lot, there is never enough!" To register, visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

Denton County: Denton County Master Gardener Association will host a Garden Tour and Plant Sale, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7. Tour seven gardens throughout Denton County, see how local Master Gardeners have tackled common gardening problems, learn more about a variety of gardening topics from Diggin’ Deeper Demos at the gardens, shop for commercially-grown and pass-along plants that thrive in North Texas, and visit the Garden Shoppe at the Plant Sale for fun garden decor and perfect gifts for Mother’s Day. Tickets may be purchased before the event at the Denton County Extension Office or through Denton County Master Gardeners. Tickets will also be available at each garden and the Plant Sale on event day. For more information, contact Texas AgriLife Extension, Denton County Government Center, 306 North Loop 288, Suite 222, Denton, or email master.gardener@dentoncounty.com.

Rockport: Explore beautiful gardens in Aransas County at the 11th Annual Hidden Gardens Tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7. Purchase tickets at Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 611 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call 361-790-0103.

San Antonio: Herbs for All Seasons, sponsored by Comal Master Gardeners with the help of the Antique Rose Emporium. Learn how to grow, dry, preserve, and plant herbs in your landscape. Try herb cookies, teas, pesto, and collect herbal recipes. Discover how to make herbal cleansers, face cleansers, and enjoy hands-on nature printing. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 7, at the Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 Evans Road, San Antonio, Texas. For more information, call (210) 651-4565, email askamastergardener@co.comal.tx.us or visit http://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/events.html.

Sugar Land: Join the Sugar Land Garden Club’s 12th annual tour, this year featuring unique gardens in the area of Old Sugar Land. See a historic site such as “The Teacherage,” which is now a home featuring stately old pecan and magnolia trees and a pathway made of antique bricks from many locations, as well as colorful flowers and tropical foliage. Stroll through the garden of a nearby home nicknamed “The Happy House” with its “histerical marker” and colorful plants, containers, whimsical art and butterfly garden. Southern lakeside landscaping can be seen in nearby Venetian Estates, and another backyard garden features a surprising 5,000-gallon koi pond with waterfalls and tropical plants. This year all the gardens are centrally located, several within walking distance of each other, so visitors can enjoy a spring stroll through the areas of Sugar Land which were located around the Imperial Sugar Refinery during the days of the company town. The gardens will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7. Tickets and maps will be available at all the homes. The price for the entire tour is $ 12; single home tickets are $4. The suggested starting point is 110 Venice St., and maps will be provided. Proceeds are used to support horticultural education of the community, scholarships and local beautification projects. For more information, phone 281-494-1946 or visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold two "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" programs in May. May 9 a panel of master gardeners will discuss "Citrus Greening" and May 23 Eunice Lee will discuss "Growing and Enjoying Herbs." The programs are held at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., in Victoria, from noon-1 p.m., and are free to the public. Attendees may bring a sack lunch and beverage.

Seabrook: Dr. Anthony Camerino, County Extension Agent for Horticulture, will speak on Landscape Pests and Diseases, Tuesday, May 10, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lake side), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. These lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort/greenthumb.htm.

Austin: The Travis County Master Gardeners Association, in cooperation with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Travis County, will host the Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2011 on Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the tour focuses on water-wise gardening. Gardening through a Central Texas summer can be trying. At the same time, escalating water rates and mandatory restrictions have made a water-sapping plant palette or a grass lawn a luxury or an impossibility for many. Increasingly, Central Texas gardeners are turning to water-wise techniques, native and adapted plant selections, and various principles of Xeriscaping. The Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2011 will include gardens that feature rain-water collection systems, drip irrigation, xeric and native plant selections, rain gardens, shade gardens, and water-conserving practices. Each garden will feature educational sessions throughout the day. Tickets can be purchased at each garden on the event date at $10 for the entire tour ticket or $5 for a single garden entry. Please, no dogs. Consult www.tcmastergardeners.org/what/gardentour.html for information.

Highland Lakes: Join Master Gardener Robert Yantis to learn to identify the butterflies that you actually see in your yard in the Hill Country and the plants that will attract and nourish them. This free Green Thumb program from the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners is at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, May 14, at the Marble Falls Library, 101 Main St. For more information go to http://yantislakesidegardens.giving.officelive.com/greenthumb.aspx.

Rockwall: The 8th Annual Tour of Gardens hosted by the Rockwall County Master Gardener Association is scheduled for May 14 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Four gracious homeowners open their private gardens on this day for viewing, plus the Rockwall County Discovery Garden, created and maintained by the Rockwall County Master Gardeners will be on display. Tour addresses and a map will be on the tickets. This is an “at your leisure” tour. Tour the gardens in any order you choose, just make sure leave enough time to visit all the gardens before they close at 2 p.m. Ticket price is $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the tour. Call 972-204-7660 for more information and visit http://www.rockmga.org for updates!

San Antonio: The San Antonio Daylily Society 2011 Show and Daylily Sale will be held at Antique Rose Emporium, 7561 East Evans Road, San Antonio, Saturday, May 14. The sale begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until sold out. The show begins at 1 p.m. and runs until until 4:30 p.m. Daylily Society members will be on hand to answer gardening questions and share their experiences with these delightful blooms. May is the peak of the daylily season and with more than 60,000 named flowers, expect to be dazzled by the variety on display. JoNelle Zager, local daylily expert, will speak at 2:30. For more information, call 210-651-4565.

Conroe: Cypress Creek Daylily Club Flower Show and Plant sale May 15. Flower Show, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.; Plant Sale, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Montgomery County Master Gardeners Bldg., 9020 FM 1484, Conroe. Please join us during peak daylily bloom to enjoy the beauty of daylilies. Free. For more information, call 281-351-8827.

Rockport: Ginger Easton Smith, Aransas County Extension Agent, will lead "Planting and Maintenance of Palms," from noon until 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, phone 361-790-0103.

Seabrook: Barry Schlueter, Master Hybridizer, will speak on "Hibiscus Culture and Breeding" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Learn how exotic hibiscus are bred and their cultural requirements in the greater Houston area. This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://harris-tx.tamu.edu/hort.

Woodway: McLennan County Master Gardeners present "An Evening in the Gardens," Thursday, May 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Free and open to the public. Learn about beautiful, easy care plants for the Waco area and tour two Arboretum gardens, featuring Texas Superstars and other native and adapted plants. For more information, call 254-741-0000.

Austin: “How to Read a Plant: will be presented from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21, at Reagan Community Garden (at Reagan High School), 7104 Berkman Dr., Austin. Discover the needs of your vegetables by observing the physical condition of the plant. Need water, has a disease, infested with pests? Many practical tips will be shared by master gardeners to improve plant health and vegetable production. Park at Nelson Field stadium and enter Reagan HS grounds from St. Johns Ave. fence opening and proceed to garden near Berkman and St. Johns Ave. side of campus. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Sunset Valley: “Propagate Your Own Plants” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, May 21, at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley. Learning how to propagate from existing plants is a great way to fill your garden or pass along favorites to your friends. Join Master Gardeners Tommie Clayton and Susan Jung, who will teach you how to make cuttings and divisions and successful strategies for starting plants from seed. Get tips on how to transplant and care for your new plants to get them off to a good start when placed in the garden. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Austin: “Plant Propagation” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Friday, June 3, at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd., Austin. Plants have developed many methods to ensure survival. Learn propagation techniques which take advantage of some of these methods to create multiple plants from a single plant. Discover the importance of the propagation media, moisture, light, humidity, temperature, rooting hormones which ensure success. Examples of propagation by seeds, leaf and stem cuttings will be covered. This free seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information see www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Master Gardener Public Gardening Help Desk at(512-854-9600.

Allen: The Allen Garden Club Garden Tour will be held Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets are available at Puckett's Nursery, 811 E. Main, Allen. Enjoy touring six beautifully landscaped gardens in the Allen area and see water-wise plantings, outdoor living spaces, wildlife habitats, water features and more. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Austin: Learn how to build Rain Gardens June 18, from 10 a.m. until noon at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Excess stormwater carries urban landscape contaminants into storm drains and soil erosion causes sediments to accumulate in our water resources. Dr. Dotty Woodson, Water Resources Specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension, will tell us how to protect streams, rivers and lakes by building a rain garden. These lovely gardens are attractive landscape features planted with perennial native plants designed to absorb stormwater which filters it through plant roots and soil microorganisms. Attend this presentation and you’ll be ready to make your own beautiful solution. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org.

Rockport: Richard Snyder, Master Gardener, will lead "Basic Irrigation Maintenance and Design," from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 21, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, phone 361-790-0103.

San Antonio: The Composter Training by Lou Kellogg and the Bexar County Master Gardeners is back is scheduled for June 22-24 in San Antonio. Topics include building a compost bin, hands-on lessons in how to compost, a visit to the state's largest compost operation, soils science, and presentations from leading compost experts. The classes will he held on the grounds of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. This intensive multi-day training empowers Master Gardeners with knowledge and skills to support and multiply Texas AgriLife Extension Service efforts in Earth-Kind educational programs in their counties. Attendance is limited to Master Gardeners. The fee is $225 for the classes and meals. For more information and an application contact David Rodriguez, County Extension Agent - Horticulture at 210-467-6575 or dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu.

Austin: “Joys of Container Gardening” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Friday, July 15, at AgriLife Extension Office, 1600-B Smith Rd, Austin. Blooming flowers and vegetables can thrive in a container! This gardening method is especially useful if space is limited. Containers may also serve as accent points on the patio or in the garden. Learn how to select a container and the right soil, discover ideal container plants, and witness arranging techniques you can replicate to create your own mini-garden. This seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. For more information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 512- 854-9600.

Rockport: DJ Chilcoat, Master Gardener, and Jeanna C. Godfrey, DVM, Master Gardener, will present "Art in the Garden, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 19, at the Aransas County Library, 701 E. Mimosa, Rockport. For additional information, call 361-790-0103.

Nacogdoches: Greg Grant leads "Everything you wanted to know about turf grass, but were afraid to ask" from 9 a.m. until noon, July 23, in Room 118, Ag Building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches. $10 members, $15 non-members. For more information or to make reservations, call 936-468-18312 or email erodewald@sfasu.edu.

Nacogdoches: Greg Grant leads "Landscape Design" from 9 a.m. until noon, September 10, in Room 118, Ag Building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches. $15 members, $20 non-members. For more information or to make reservations, call 936-468-18312 or email erodewald@sfasu.edu.

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.

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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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2011. 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.

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