July 25, 2012

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.


Cottage gardens: follow these six tips for easy style

Tesselaar Plants

Think cottage gardens are only for English people with thatched roofs and all the time in the world for work-intensive, old-fashioned landscapes?

Think again, say gardening experts: By learning the basics of this carefree style and using plants that thrive in your area, cottage gardens can be the easiest to maintain.

1. Go informal

“The English or cottage garden is a style that conjures up a flower-filled landscape bursting with color,” says Jane Schwartz Gates, of Gates & Croft Horticultural Design in Santa Clarita, California. The definition of the style, she admits, can be somewhat confusing: “Some see it as the romantic style of an informal garden, some as the more formal country manor, specifically Victorian.”

While there is a more formal style of cottage gardening, Gates says it’s best for large estates that require geometric patterns and other ways to plan and control the use of bigger spaces. The more formal version also calls for more spending and maintenance. “The informal style, for my design purposes, is more flowing, natural and less symmetrical,” she says. “It reflects the cozy feel of an 18th or 19th century home garden: white picket fences, curvaceous wrought iron, meandering paths and lots of color.”

2. Start with design

“The key to cottage garden design is to not make it look designed.” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of Tesselaar Plants. Yet there are design elements characteristic of cottage style: “The look is exuberant and unrestrained. Avoid straight lines, tight shapes or patterns. Use a riot of colors: don’t stick to one palette. Let plants wander where they will, letting them intermingle with each other.” Also, says Tesselaar, use fragrant plants to add another sense to the experience. And let Mother Nature play a role, with flowers that self-seed and grow back in unexpected places.

Other traditional cottage garden staples, says Gates, are winding paths, be they cobblestone or lawn, and architectural features like archways and picket fences.

Even if you don’t have a cottage, says Gates, you can work to blend your home into a cottage-style landscape. “Look at the house and surrounding views to see how the theme can be integrated smoothly,” she says. Cottage-style elements of your house, for instance, can be amplified in the garden: A contemporary home with stone veneer could overlook a cottage garden with rocks and boulders. White exterior trim might amplify the cottagey look of white window boxes, trellises or sections of picket fence. And a winding path from the driveway to your front door could help amp up the storybook look.

3. Choose easy-care plants

“Cottage gardens got their start in the late 15th century as edible and ornamental plots around small, humble cottages featuring plants that grew well in England’s cool, wet climate,” says Tesselaar.

Such plants, he says, included foxglove, hollyhocks, irises, daisies, hydrangeas, roses, peonies, hostas, lupins, violas, pansies, phlox, Johnny jump-ups, primrose, delphinium, wisteria, snapdragons, bachelor’s buttons, columbine and bleeding heart: “But if these romantic, old-fashioned favorites don’t grow well in your area, it’s important to pick low-maintenance plants that thrive where you live.”

In Gates’ hot, dry climate, she uses water-wise, heat-tolerant favorites that can take poor soil, like Jerusalem sage, guara, Flower Carpet groundcover roses, cosmos, agapanthus (the Storm series, the only one used at the Dallas Arboretum, is especially drought-tolerant), Festival Burgundy cordyline, ‘May Night’ sage, coreopsis, penstemon and Jupiter’s Beard. Instead of the rolling lawns associated with the cottage garden style, she may also substitute permeable paving — perhaps cobblestones, to stick to the theme.

“We can garden year-round, so we use classic cottage garden plants like dianthus, alliums and rosemary,” says Frank Hyman, owner of Cottage Garden Landscaping in Durham, North Carolina. “But the winters are mild enough that we can punch up things with big-leaf plants like brugmansia and hibiscus moscheutus. So we can also do the ‘Tropical Cottage Garden’ look if we want.”

“I always say I do cottage garden style with Oklahoma-loving plants,” says Red Dirt Ramblings blogger Dee Nash, who lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma. “I use cannas in it, too. I'm just trying to get the blowsy look. Instead of foxglove, I would plant a salvia or sage.”

Kathy Muscato’s cottage garden in precipitation-heavy Rochester, New York, is stuffed with ferns, variegated hostas and lush, dense groundcovers. With all her rain and shade, she also grows plants that resist fungal disease like carpet roses and fragrant Volcano phlox.

4. Delve into details

Now that you’ve got your plants in place, Gates says it’s time for cottage garden décor: “Think English street lamps, birdbaths, benches and outdoor fabrics in a Victorian floral print. Small areas can be defined with a little old-fashioned fence or even a row of window flower boxes.”

Add a comfy bench or fun swing, and surround it with frolicking roses or fragrant herbs. “Always create a focal point — maybe a seating area or a fountain — then build your landscape around it,” says Gates. “Size doesn’t need to be a factor to create your own three-dimensional painting of a peaceful cottage garden.”

5. Think ‘garden shabby chic’

Gates also suggests repurposing well-worn items and materials, for a cozy, homey look that’s full of character: Brick or concrete slabs for paths or retaining walls (creeping plants could tumble over the edge), an old-fashioned sink for a whimsical fountain or vintage metal seating for conversation areas.

Tesselaar recommends pieces like old wheelbarrows, a worn wicker chair, a rusted wire egg basket or old metal bucket: “Such features lend an aged, authentic, whimsical look, as well as a sense of stability and permanence.”

6. Don’t forget the containers

“Containers are a convenient, inexpensive way to add interest to any garden, particularly if you’re interested in cottage garden style,” says Tesselaar. He gets the look easily by using carpet roses, which are full-figured and romantic, yet drought-tolerant and compact, in a ‘cottagey’ container like an old washtub or whiskey barrel or one made of hypertufa.

“With containers, you can also easily add a splash of color here and there and be able to move it around the garden to change things up,” says Tesselaar. “It’s the cottage garden way — ignore the rules, play around and have fun.”


Updated landscaping website for homeowners released

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The University of Texas at Austin

An online site that teaches homeowners the ins and outs of landscape sustainability has taken on a new, more user-friendly look while offering downloadable teaching resources.

Landscape for Life was initially unveiled in 2010 as a homeowner’s tool for adding “greener” approaches to landscaping. It is based on the principles and curriculum of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) for landscape professionals.

Two of the SITES partners, the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin, have revised Landscape for Life to make the content more practical and easy to navigate for homeowners and gardeners — while preserving the site’s educational focus.

Conventional home landscape practices often work against nature, requiring excessive watering, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The new website was developed by Wildflower Center Web Manager Philip Hawkins using educational content developed by Environmental Designer Heather Venhaus, who used to direct SITES. The website lets users compare these conventional landscape practices to suggested sustainable ones. The site includes detailed steps to take towards sustainable landscape features in terms of a landscape’s soil, water, plants, materials and human health.

For example, a section on plants and wildlife includes comparisons between conventional landscapes with minimal habitat for wildlife and sustainable ones that maximize wildlife potential. The section then links to practical, in-depth information on ways to garden according to what wildlife need: food, water and places to rest.

Landscapes with sustainable features also allow the environment to manage storm water, minimize waste and use organic matter to support healthy vegetation.

Holly Shimizu, executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, noted that the revised site will appeal to the public’s growing enthusiasm about the environment and sustainability.

“Even ‘non-plant people’ are noticing invasive plants more. Teachings about the bee crisis are capturing people’s attention, and look at all the people buying organic produce,” said Shimizu. “So the need for Landscape for Life is huge, but I think it’s the receptivity and willingness to entertain the topics that is much bigger than it has been in the past.”

To meet this interest, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Wildflower Center and other botanic gardens nationally have begun offering Landscape for Life courses. The new site also equips nature centers, master gardeners and others to conduct their own sustainable home gardening classes. The site provides a free teacher’s manual and five downloadable PowerPoint presentations Venhaus developed, which are at: http://landscapeforlife.org/curriculum/.


The compost heap
Cucumbers, pepper problems and more

"Whether it’s a tip or not, I planted Armenian yard-long cucumbers on a fence and they are phenomenal," writes Ben McPherson. "No need to peel or seed and they love the west facing aspect. I had bought the seeds sometime in the past and found them in a drawer (Burpee I think)."

"Regarding the July 11 Seeds," writes William Stone, "here's a few comments:

"Pepper Problems — Thanks, didn't know nematodes spread mosaic virus. A recent Texas A&M bulletin suggested Actinovate helped control root knot nematodes. Since my garden has had a root knot problem, I began using Actinovate. My peppers are flourishing. Even my Okra (usually susceptible to root knot) has no signs of infestation.

"Ethanol — When gasoline with ethanol is stored it absorbs water from the air, dilutes the fuel, shortens shelf life, adversely reacts with fuel system components and can cause performance problems in many small engines and older cars. To extend gas life, before filling, put in the correct amount of fuel stabilizer (like Stabil), to mix as you fill. Check out using higher grades of fuel than regular (unless contra-indicated in your owners manual); frequently they are ethanol free.

"Forked Carrot Roots — Didn't know damage to the growing tip causes forked carrots — thanks for the 'tip' — no pun intended. This spring I heavily sowed some 5-year-old carrot seeds. To my amazement most germinated — to economize I transplanted the leftover seedlings. That was a mistake —- almost all developed multiple forks, many with incredible freakish shapes. We had a low yield but even ate the freaks."


Gardening tips

Even though it is hot, you can still establish flowers from either seed or transplant during the dog days of July. Be sure to supply plenty of water until they emerge and/or become well established. Also, providing temporary shade to the planting bed will aid in germination.

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 2012 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did you know...

During World War II, the Germans believed that Americans were dropping potato beetles from planes as a form of aerial agricultural warfare. They coined the term Amikafer — a combination of the German words for “American” and “Beetle” to describe this enemy insect that they feared would ravish the potato fields that were so needed to sustain the war efforts. Source: Wicked Bugs, by Amy Stewart.


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.

Austin: Sunday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of The University of Texas at Austin will celebrate the centennial year of its founder’s birth by offering free admission, unveiling a Lady Bird exhibit that will travel nationally, displaying 50 pens President Lyndon Johnson used to sign significant environment laws and presented to his first lady, and providing a host of family-friendly events Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue. Directions are at: http://www.wildflower.org/visit.  The Wildflower Center offers outdoor and indoor activities during a free admission Sunday that include a ZACH Theatre play about young Lady Bird Johnson, storytelling for children, nature songs with singing zoologist Lucas Miller and more in honor of the center’s founder and her influence on conservation. The day commemorates July 26,1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson presented his first lady with 50 pens used to sign environmental legislation that she inspired and influenced. Catherine and Jennifer Robb, Mrs. Johnson’s granddaughters, will unveil a new exhibit on Lady Bird Johnson’s life and contributions. The store is open all day and the café, from noon until 4 p.m. For more details, visit: http://www.wildflower.org/tributeday/ or call 512-232-0100. SCHEDULE FOR TRIBUTE DAY: Historic Pen Display — All Day. This day only, an exhibit of 50 pens presented to Lady Bird by President Johnson because she greatly influenced the environmental and beautification legislation he signed during his presidency. The pens on loan from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum are on display in the Visitors Gallery. Storytelling — 9:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Enjoy stories for young children in the Little House. Interior Treasures Tour — 9:30 a.m. Docent Marie Bassett will give a free tour showing visitors an antique chest, furnishings, pottery and quilts donated by friends of Mrs. Johnson to decorate the center administration building. Lady Bird Conservation exhibit unveiled — 10:30 a.m. The granddaughters of Mrs. Johnson, Catherine and Jennifer Robb, will unveil a four-panel exhibit in the Visitors Gallery depicting Lady Bird’s conservation and beautification efforts. After debuting at the Wildflower Center, the exhibit will travel to sites such as the United States Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. and the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. Exhibit sponsored by the Eugene McDermott Foundation. Wildflowers — Children’s play — 11 a.m. to noon. In this delightful play by ZACH Theatre in the Auditorium, the wildflowers are blooming near her home and adventurous young Lady Bird discovers the beauty of planting a seed and beautifying America. Book signing — Children’s author — noon to 3 p.m. Children’s author Todd-Michael St. Pierre signs “A Piece of Sky” in the store during the afternoon, and a door prize drawing occurs there at 5 p.m. Lucas Miller — The Singing Zoologist — 1 to 2 p.m. This zoologist uses songs, stories and videos in the Auditorium to connect kids with nature. “Many Folds Manifolds” origami exhibit - All day. This compelling exhibit in the McDermott Learning Center features 30-plus intricate origami sculptures by Robert J. Lang.

Ft. Worth: "Fall Vegetable Garden: The Best Season in Texas" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., August 4, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, August 6. Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer gardening lessons, Ecology & Environmental Horticulture, to children, and Tool Care / Sharpening (bring your clippers) to adults, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., and also answer your gardening questions. Free and open to the public. Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society invites members and visitors to the annual “Show and Share”. Thursday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m., San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal for this meeting!  For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org. Free and open to the public.

Nacogdoches: An "Estate Planning and Taxation Workshop," designed for forest landowners, consulting foresters, accountants, attorneys, and others who work with forest landowners in matters pertaining to estate planning and timber taxes, will be presented by Dr. Robert Tufts, an attorney and associate professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., Friday, August 10 in Room 117, Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University, East College at Raguet Street, Nacogdoches. Registration, which includes lunch and workbook: $35. For additional information, call the Texas Forestry Association at 936-632-8733.

Nacogdoches: Want to learn all the in’s and out’s of raising broilers in the backyard for what amounts to chicken feed? If so, at $20 the Small Flock and Vegetable Short Course, set August 10 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Nacogdoches County, was made to order, said Aaron Low, AgriLife Extension agent for Cherokee County. Unlike other courses, attendees will also be treated to several presentations on home vegetable gardening, including growing heritage varieties and raising vegetables for organic markets. The registration fee will include a catered lunch, educational materials and break refreshments. To register, RSVP by Aug. 3 by calling 936-560-7711. The AgriLife Extension office in Nacogdoches is located at 203 W. Main St. Morning presentations will include: “Raising Broilers in the Backyard,” Dr. Greg Archer, AgriLfe Extension poultry specialist, College Station; “Backyard Laying Hen Facilities and Nutrition Management,” Dr. Craig Coufal, AgriLfe Extension poultry specialist, College Station; “Small Flock Diseases, Treatments and Biosecurity,” Dr. Morgan Farnell, AgriLfe Extension poultry specialist, College Station; “Selling the Goods Produced by Your Backyard Flock-Regulations,” Coufal; and “Brown Eggs, White Eggs, Red Chickens, White Chickens, Checkered Chickens — What Breed Do I Buy?,” an Ideal Poultry Co. representative. After-lunch presentations will include “Ducks, Geese, Guineas or Turkeys — Why or Why Not?” Ideal Poultry representative; “Home Gardening — Soil, Irrigation and Size and Type of Garden,” Dr. Joseph Masabni, AgriLife Extension horticulture specialist, College Station; “Insect Control in Home Poultry Flock and the Home Garden,” Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Stephenville; and “Heritage Gardening, Selecting What to Grow, Selling produce and Organic vs. Non-organic vs. Mixture,” Masabni. The program is jointly hosted by AgriLife Extension offices in Angelina, Cherokee, Nacogdoches and Shelby counties.

Austin: “Rainwater Harvesting in a Thirsty World” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, August 11, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Turn water scarcity into water abundance! New filtration and treatment technologies make rainwater harvesting relatively easy. Rainwater harvesting systems can be installed in existing buildings or incorporated into new construction. Master Gardener Ed Parken will discuss how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home and landscape. Parking and seating are limited so please register online to reserve your seat at http://travis-tx.tamu.edu/horticulture and click on “Public Seminar Registration.” This seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior. The seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

La Marque: Long time Galveston County Master Gardener Luke Stripling will present a workshop on growing cool-weather vegetables in Galveston County, 9 - 11:30 a.m., August 11, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Topics will include soil preparation, drainage, the use of raised beds, growing up using fence or other supports, the best seed planting dates, the best varieties, planting depth, fertilizer methods, water requirements, and harvesting. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Palm tree enthusiast and Galveston County Master Gardener O. J. Miller has more than 15 years experience with palms in our area and will lead “Culture and Care of Palms in Galveston County” 1-3 p.m., August 11, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program will include an introduction to palms, an overview of the exotics and commonly found palms at nurseries in our area, palm planting methods, palm fertilization, freeze preparation and proper care. The program will include a discussion on the better varieties of palms for Galveston County and the surrounding area. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Austin: Jason Avent, organic inspector and grower, researcher, patent holder, and consultant with Brite Ideas Hydroponics, will be explaining the similarities, differences, and compatibilities of hydroponics, aquaponics, and organic gardening, at 7:00 p.m., August 13. Learn methods to start growing organically whether you have a balcony or an acre! The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the presentation. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Houston: The August meeting of Houston Urban Gardeners (HUG) will be Monday, August 13, 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park, 713-284-1989. Mary and Roger Demeny will show us pictures of their extensive home garden and explain what to plant and do now in our veggie gardens.

Seabrook: Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Skip Richter will provide a hands-on workshop on "Vegetable Gardening and Healthy Eating" at 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 14, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Open to the public. $25 Fee.

Highland Lakes: "Fall Gardening Ideas" with Master Gardener Violet Carson will be presented on Wednesday, August 15 in a free Highland Lakes Master Gardener Green Thumb Program at noon at the Kingsland Library, 125 W Polk, Highland Lakes. For more information, visit www.yantislakesidegardens.com/greenthumb.

Ft. Worth: Make a “Living Wreath with Clay Pots and Succulents,” taught by Tarrant County Master Gardeners, will be held Wednesday, August 15, from 10 a.m. until noon, at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300 Gymnasium, on Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Class fee is $45 and limited to 20 people. To register or for more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or blhammack@ag.tamu.edu.

Seabrook: Eulas Stafford, of the Plumeria Society, will provide a lecture on "Plumerias" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, August 15, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Austin: “Planting the Fall Vegetable Garden” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, August 16, at the Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. In spite of the warm temperatures, it is time to prepare for the fall vegetable garden. Discover which warm-season vegetables can be replanted now and which vegetables thrive in our mild winter temperatures. Learn the basics of soil preparation, how to plant seeds and transplants. Learn the varieties recommended for this area and the ideal times for planting. Novice and experienced gardeners will learn valuable information. 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, www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call 512-854-9600.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, August 16, at 7 p.m. in the AgriLife Extension Bldg., 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Molly Keck, Integrated Pest Management Specialist with the Texas AgriLife Extension of Bexar County, will talk about "10 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know." Keck has an M.S. in Entomology. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Bryan: Dr. Joe Masabni will present Gardening 101 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., August 21 at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. The milder days of fall create an ideal gardening environment for both the vegetable garden and the gardener. This presentation will provide tips for preparing and planting a fall vegetable garden, with information on recommended vegetable varieties, suggestions for harvest and preparation, and organic techniques for soil building and pest control. For more information, visit http://brazosmg.org.

Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Fort Worth will hold its Natural Urban Living Home and Garden "Self Sustainability for Your Lifestyle" lecture series on August 25 at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Speakers include Trish Perry, district 4 director TOGFA; "Garlic Mike" Kirby; Dave Pennington, Synergy fish; Jay Mertz, founder of Rabbit Hill Farms; and "Tropical John" Thomas, organic radio co-host. FREE admission. Door prizes after each lecture. Grand prize to be raffled off at 4;45 p.m. $2.00 tickets. For additional information, visit www.ogcfw.webs.com or contact Esther Chambliss at 817-263-9322.

La Marque: Since fall is the ideal time to plant onions and garlic, Sam Scarcella, Galveston County Master Gardener since 1986, will be presenting a program on what you need to know to grow your own onions and garlic, 9-11 a.m., August 25, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: “I would like to grow roses, but they have so many problems” is a common statement by local gardeners. From 1 until 3:30 p.m., August 25, Anna Wygryss program introduces you to roses that do not need pampering, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. What’s old is new again. EarthKind Gardening has re-introduced gardeners to “Old Garden Roses, Our Ageless Beauties.” For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides an opportunity for children 8-13 in age to learn about gardening by growing their own vegetables through the mentoring of Bexar County Master Gardener volunteers. Each child is allotted a 3.5’ x 28’ plot at the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden. Children will have fun growing different types of seeds, herbs, vegetables, and ornamental annual flowers. Weekly educational gardening presentations will stimulate these young minds. The children will also participate in fun, hands-on Junior Master Gardener activities. The fall session will be conducted every Saturday, starting August 25 and concluding on December 8. For more information, contact Angel Torres at (210) 467-6575 or matorres@ag.tamu.edu. Download the application at: http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/files/2011/12/Application-Childrens-Vegetable-Garden.pdf.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, August 20. Children will learn to make a 'Garden Craft' and adults will be instructed on 'Fertilizers' from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Master Gardeners will also answer your gardening questions. Free and open to the public. Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston.

Ft. Worth: "Native & Adapted Plants" will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, September 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

San Antonio: Melissa White will lead the annual Floral Design School sponsored by the San Antonio Garden Center beginning September 6. A speaker on the local and national level, White has spoken on topics such as color trends and influences; specializing in marketing and floral arrangements. As the owner of Bonika, she has exercised her distinctive eye for the extraordinary to design bouquets, centerpieces and other beautiful arrangements for brides. At the Floral Design School you will learn to create your own beautiful centerpieces which you will take home. The School starts Thursday, Sept. 6, and continues each week until October 18 from noon until 3 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, by the Botanical Gardens. Tuition for all six classes is $140 and includes instructions from White as well as flowers and greenery to complete a take-home project each week. This year’s chairman, Lillie De Los Santos, will be happy to answer your questions. Call 210- 824-9981 or 210-416-2826 for  a registration form or send your check for $140 payable to the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, TX 78209. For more information, visit www.sanantoniogardencenter.org or email sagc2004@sbcglobal.net. Enrollment is limited.

Victoria: The Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual fall plant sale Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., or until all plants are sold, whichever comes first. The event is free to the public at the VEG Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Dr., Victoria, located across from the old flight tower at Victoria Regional Airport. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Victoria Educational Gardens located adjacent to the pavilion.

Ft. Worth: "Landscape Design" will be presented from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., November 3, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

Ft. Worth: "Individual Consultations" will be available from 10 a.m. until noon, December 1, in Lonestar Room A & B at the Tarrant County Plaza Building, 200 Taylor St., Ft. Worth. Registration is $15. Advance reservations are preferred, but not required. For more information or to enroll, call 817-884-1945.

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.

Wichita Falls: The Wichita County Master Gardener Association meets at 5:30 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 600 Scott Street, Wichita Falls, on the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit http://www.overthegardengate.org or call 940-716-8610.

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.

Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the first Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting is held from noon until 1 p.m. at 1405 Conway St. (Odd Fellows Lodge). Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or e-mail gonzales@ag.tamu.edu for more information.

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.

Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5585.

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 guadalupecounty@npsot.org.

Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association meets the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program preceding the business meeting. For further information call Cindy Gill at 903-236-8429 or visit www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

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.

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 Association holds their monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Bldg. cor. MLK & Strickland in Orange. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.

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.

Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.

College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 am at the Peace Lutheran Church, 2201 Rio Grande, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.

Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.

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 Sharon Smith at 817-894-7700.

Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. For additional information, call 830-620-3440.

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 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.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.

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 Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.

San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each 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.

Houston: The Houston Chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (HNPAT) meets from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org

Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thurday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.

Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.


Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

By Greg Grant

This new book incorporates Greg’s horticultural expertise along with his homespun writing style and, unlike other books on vegetable gardening, this one includes chapters on fruit, nuts and herbs along with a nice selection of family recipes.

This easy-to-follow, color-packed guide features:

  • Planting, care and harvesting information for more than 60 edibles
  • Popular vegetable selections from arugula to tomatoes
  • A variety of common and unusual fruits and herbs
  • Advice on garden planning, creating the perfect soil, watering and more!
  • It is a must have for every serious gardener in Texas and neighboring states.

$29.79 (includes tax and shipping)

Call 1-800-727-9020 or visit us online at www.texasgardener.com to order your copy today!

Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


Your year-round guide to Texas gardening success

Have the best garden ever with your very own copy of Texas Gardener’s 2012 Planning Guide and Calendar. Packed with tips and information on all aspects of gardening with date-specific recommendations for your area of Texas, Texas Gardener’s 2012 Planning Guide and Calendar includes plenty of space to record planting dates, harvest dates, conditions, rainfall and other important information.

  • Numerous garden tips
  • Covers vegetables, ornamentals, herbs, fruit and landscapes
  • Date-specific recommendations for your region
  • Organic, earth-friendly recommendations
  • Room to record your own garden activities

Order your copy today! While you’re at it, order a copy for your favorite aunt, your neighbor and everyone in your gardening club!

Only $12.80 (includes shipping, handling and tax) per copy.

To order using your credit card, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020 or visit us online at www.texasgardener.com.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook

The best thing for tomato enthusiasts since the tomato itself! William D. Adams draws on more than thirty years' experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs!

Only $26.69 for Seeds readers! Free shipping!

To take advantage of this special offer, call toll-free 1-800-727-9020.

Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted.


In Greg's Garden:
A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family

An intimate and personal exploration of the life of one of Texas’s most beloved gardeners, In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family gathers in a single volume the first nine years of Greg Grant’s columns from Texas Gardener magazine.

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 54 essays reveal the heart and soul of a seventh generation native Texan who has devoted his entire life to gardening, nature and family. With degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive hands-on experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Grant has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry, all while maintaining long-held family property and renovating the homes of his ancestors in Arcadia, Texas.

In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family is a must-read for every Texas gardener.

Available only for Kindle. Order directly from Amazon by clicking here.


Wish you'd saved them?

Are you missing an important issue of Texas Gardener? Or, perhaps, just tired of thumbing through stacks of back issues looking for the tips and techniques you need to make your garden grow? These new CDs provide easy access to all six issues of

volume 20 (November/December 2000 through September/October 2001),
volume 21
(November/December 2001 through September/October 2002),
volume 22
(November/December 2002 through September/October 2003),
volume 23
(November/December 2003 through September/October 2004),
volume 24 (November/December 2004 through September/October 2005),
volume 25 (November/December 2005 through September/October 2006),
volume 26 (November/December 2006 through September/October 2007),
volume 27 (November/December 2007 through September/October 2008),
volume 28 (November/December 2008 through September/October 2009),
volume 29 (November/December 2009 through September/October 2010), and
volume 30 (November/December 2010 through September/October 2011)*.

$16.99 per CD includes tax and shipping

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)

*Other volumes will be available soon.


Fiber row cover valuable year-round

Grow-Web encourages plant growth and development, and also provides protection from insects, birds, diseases and frosts. It is also air and water permeable and allows for ventilation. Grow-Web provides excellent protection to seedlings when applied directly to the seedbed.

$31.88 per 12.3’ x 32.8’ roll (includes shipping!)

Order by calling 1-800-727-9020 or order on-line.

(Discover, MasterCard and Visa accepted.)


Become a Texas Gardener fan on Facebook

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


Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

Missed an issue? Back issues of Texas Gardener’s Seeds are available at www.texasgardener.com/newsletters.

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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