October 10, 2012

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Texas A&M Forest Service survey shows 301 million trees killed by drought

Texas A&M Forest Service

A Texas A&M Forest Service survey of hundreds of forested plots scattered across the state shows 301 million trees were killed as a result of the devastating 2011 drought.

The number was determined by a study of both on-the-ground tree health assessments collected during a three-month period earlier this year and satellite imagery from before and after the drought.

The findings fall right in the middle of original estimates gathered last fall that indicated roughly 100 million to 500 million trees had died as a result of the drought.

The drought produced traumatic results, especially for individual landowners. But the good news is the forest is resilient. When a dead tree falls over, a young, new tree eventually will grow back in its place,” said Burl Carraway, department head for the Texas A&M Forest Service Sustainable Forestry department. “Tree death is a natural forest process. We just had more last year than previous years.”

The findings represent the number of trees in rural, forested areas that died as a direct result of the drought, as well as those that succumbed to insect infestation or disease because they were drought-stressed.

The figure does not include trees in cities and towns. Another 5.6 million trees in urban areas — along streets and in yards and parks — also died as a result of the drought, according to a study done earlier this year by the Texas A&M Forest Service Urban Forestry program.

The drought assessment of rural, forested areas was done in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program and the Texas A&M University Ecosystem Science and Management Department.

As part of the analysis, the state was divided into 10 sections: Panhandle, Trans Pecos, North, Central, South and the Brazos Valley, as well as four East Texas regions. (See map.)

Some forested areas suffered worse than others. The Brazos Valley region was hit the hardest, losing almost 10 percent of its trees on forested land. North Texas and western Northeast Texas suffered similar fates, losing 8.3 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively.

Trees in far East Texas seemed to fare the best with just 1.3 percent of trees succumbing to the drought in eastern Southeast Texas and just 3.9 percent dying in eastern Northeast Texas.

“So what’s the fate of these trees? The vast majority are going to stand out there — until they eventually fall to the ground,” Texas A&M Forest Service Analyst Chris Edgar said, stressing that standing, dead trees located near homes or recreation areas should be removed.

Edgar estimated that an existing 272 million standing dead trees already littered the landscape before the drought. That number is expected to double now, which will produce both positive and negative effects.

The standing, dead trees will provide additional habitats for insects, birds and wildlife. Fallen trees will do the same, while also adding structure to the forest floor which helps prevent soil erosion.

Conversely, they’ll also begin to release stored carbon back into the atmosphere and could become potential hazards during times of high winds and dangerous fire conditions.

Decades old weed seeds trigger new outbreak of devastating plant parasite

Weed Science Society of America

In the early 1980s, a devastating parasitic weed was found in a tomato field in California. The infestation of branched broomrape (Orobanche ramosa) was treated aggressively and the field was quarantined to prevent further spread. When tomatoes were planted in the same spot more than two decades later, though, the branched broomrape quickly returned. According to Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of the Weed Science Society of America, the recurrence is not a surprise.

“When weed seeds drop to the soil, some can remain viable for many decades,” Van Wychen says. “Effective control requires a long-term commitment.”

There are a number of alternatives available to manage noxious weed seeds that become part of the soil seed bank. One is to quarantine the area and leave the seeds undisturbed until they are no longer viable. But as the broomrape example shows, the length of time the area will need to be quarantined is an unknown.

In some instances, the soil is fumigated in an attempt to destroy noxious weed seeds. In other instances, the soil is lightly tilled and a nitrogen fertilizer applied to promote germination and encourage the seeds to sprout. Once they’ve emerged, the weeds are pulled, tilled or treated with an herbicide to keep them from reseeding.

“None of these options are a magic bullet that will work overnight or kill 100 percent of the weed seeds each and every time,” Van Wychen says. “Persistence is the key.”

The Branched Broomrape Case Study

Branched broomrape is a prolific seed producer, which significantly compounds efforts to control it. A single plant can produce 50,000 or more tiny seeds that are easily spread by people, animals, farm machinery, wind and water. When the weed seeds germinate, they attach to the roots of host plants and drain them of water and nutrients — devastating tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, beans and other important crops that branched broomrape prefers.

As a result, California officials quickly sprang into action when the most recent outbreak of branched broomrape was discovered. The San Benito Agricultural Commissioner took the lead in a multifaceted response — quarantining the site again and pulling in state and federal experts and university personnel to lend their expertise. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has been involved, as well as the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“It was a pretty serious infestation,” said Richard Smith, farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension. “We collected big garbage bags of branched broomrape from the 70-acre plot where it was discovered. And when we mapped the site, it overlapped almost precisely with the 1980s outbreak.”

Smith says officials are still evaluating soil fumigation and other potential alternatives for dealing with the long-lived seeds still hidden in the soil.

Branched broomrape has earned a well-deserved spot on the federal noxious weed list. It has been found in several U.S. states to date, including California, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas.

Celebration of Roses October 20

National EarthKind Rose Trial comes to an end in Gussie Field Watterworth Park this fall. After a successful five years of growing roses under very harsh conditions, the City of Farmers Branch will move on to the next stage in EarthKind environmental horticultural research. Of the one hundred rose cultivars evaluated, 24 have been identified by Texas A&M University as candidates for continued testing. The list includes old garden roses, new rose introductions, members of the Knock Out family, red blooming and lavender blooming. The complete list is available at fbroses.com. Each of these roses has been grown in unimproved native clay soil without the benefit of soil amendments, fertilizers, fungicides, pruning and regular irrigation. While change is coming to the garden, there will be a block of the original cultivars trialed (without some of the over performers that grew to be too large). As they were all selected for evaluation due to their outstanding characteristics, imagine how well they will perform with just a little care like water and pruning. The top performing group of 24 will also be grown with an increase level of care in a block. In both of these blocks the increased level of care will demonstrate the EarthKind method of maintenance where environmentally sound horticultural practices will be utilized.

A Collection of Imported Roses makes its debut this coming spring. In December of 2010 a collection of 115 roses was ordered, then imported from France and grown in quarantine by Vintage Gardens on the west coast for introduction into the Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch in spring of 2013. This amazing collection is comprised of roses from the 1800s to the present. Some of the greatest rose hybridizers in the history of the rose are represented with the collection. The City of Farmers Branch will be one of the few gardens in the country to showcase these blooms for the public to enjoy.

Plans for the garden with the exciting changes will be on display at the Celebration of Roses on October 20. Roses will be celebrated in the Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch and with an outstanding slate of speakers in council chambers. Dr. William Welch author of "Antique Roses for the South" and the newly released "Heirloom Gardening in the South" will talk on "Heirloom Plants and Gardens for the South." Gregg Lowery an extraordinary Rosarian will present "Old French Tea Roses, Rare Choices for the Texas Gardener" and give us a sneak peak at the new imported roses coming to the Farmers Branch gardens. Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant, who was just recently featured in "Southern Living" and is co-author of "Heirloom Gardening in the South," talks about "My Garden — My First Rose" sharing his passion for plants.

The Dallas Rose Society's Fall Rose Show and the Farmers Branch Rose Show will be held in City Hall. The show in addition to being a beautiful display of blooms provides great insight to which roses perform in the MetroPlex. Consulting Rosarians will be available to answer all your rose questions. Exhibiting in the Dallas Rose Society Rose Show is open to all. Visit fbrose.com for a show schedule.

Onsite free registration will be in the Gussie Field Watterworth pavilion beginning at 10:30. Parking will be at City Hall, 13000 William Dodson Parkway, Farmers Branch. Shuttles will be available to move through the gardens. Master Gardeners will be on site to answer gardening questions. The bluegrass band Copper Canyon will serenade the complimentary grilled hot dog lunch. City Hall will open at noon for the rose show and speakers. While the Celebration concludes at 4:30, Bloomin’ Bluegrass and Chili Cook Off continue into the evening at the Historical Park.

Call for 2013 Fiskars Project Orange Thumb garden grant applications


Every year community gardens sprout up across North America. To help groups make their community garden plans a reality, Fiskars is pleased to open its 2013 Project Orange Thumb garden grant and makeover application process. Applications from the U.S. and Canada are being accepted NOW through December 15 at www.fiskars.com/projectorangethumb. Fiskars will choose 11 recipients from the pool of grant applicants — 10 will receive $5,000 in cash and tools, and one lucky applicant will receive a complete garden makeover. During a Project Orange Thumb garden makeover, Fiskars works with volunteers, business leaders and community partners to transform a barren lot into a beautiful, productive community gathering space — all in a single day.

Established in 2002, Fiskars' Project Orange Thumb is a community gardening initiative that provides groups across the U.S. and Canada with tools, materials and resources they need to create beautiful and productive community garden spaces. Project Orange Thumb has provided more than $1.3 million to more than 140 community groups and completed 14 garden makeovers in the U.S. and Canada. For more information on Project Orange Thumb and to apply for a 2013 garden grant and makeover, visit www.fiskars.com/projectorangethumb.

Gardening tips

Pansies, violas and Johnny-jump-ups like things a little cooler, so late October for the northern half of the state and November for the southern half of the state is the best time to plant these cheerful annuals.

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...

Texas Cupgrass Eriochloa sericea is a good native prairie indicator plant, mostly grazed to extinction. Many bird species, such as painted buntings and meadowlarks, love the nutritional seeds. It blooms and produces seeds several times throughout the growing season and will quickly increase with good land management. Source: Native American Seed Fall Catalog.

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.


Humble: “Mushrooms and other fungi” will be presented by Teri MacArthur on Wednesday, October 10, noon-2 p.m., at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. The Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center’s MacArthur, a Texas Master Naturalist and member of the Texas Mycological Society, shares information on local fungus/mushroom species and takes participants on a short nature walk after the lecture. Comfortable walking shoes recommended. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

San Antonio: Learn about The Texas Olive Ranch from Abbie Rutledge, Thursday, October 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the 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.

Houston: The Garden Club of Houston, a member of the Garden Club of America, is hosting its 70th annual Bulb and Plant Mart on October 12-13 at the Holly Hall Retirement Center, 2000 Holly Hall Street @ Fannin, across from Reliant Center. Admission is free, and sales both days are tax-free. The Mart will feature the widest selection of top quality bulbs from domestic and international suppliers, and an expanded collection of hard to find and unusual plants, perennials, trees, shrubs and vines. Many of the plants and bulbs are unique offerings from the gardens of Club members, grown specifically for the Mart. The free Horticulture Guide is a valuable reference year-round for planting and growing tips. For more information, visit www.gchouston.org/bulbplantmart.aspxx.

St. Francisville, LA: The 2012 Southern Garden Symposium will be held October 12 and 13 at various locations in St. Francisville, LA. Featured speakers include Dean Norton, Mount Vernon’s Director of Horticulture; Heidi Sheesley, owner of Treesearch Farms in Houston, Texas; and floral design instructor Lynette McDougald of Mississippi State University. The symposium will begin on Friday, October 12 with a series of workshops held at various locations in the St. Francisville area. The $75 cost per person includes admission to both morning and afternoon workshops and a gourmet picnic lunch at Afton Villa Gardens. The symposium continues on Saturday, October 13 at Hemingbough, a beautiful cultural arts and reception center just south of St. Francisville. The morning begins 8:30 a.m. with coffee and refreshments on the terrace and time for guests to browse the book, plant, and garden tool sales. Lectures begin at 9:15 a.m. and conclude at 2:15 p.m., with afternoon tea taking place at Evergreenzine, the private home of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Ferachi. The $75 cost per person includes refreshments, lectures, lunch and the afternoon tea. (Admission for both days is available at the discounted rate of $130 per person.) Always a highlight of the symposium weekend, the 2012 Speakers’ Gala will be held on Friday evening at Rosebank Plantation, the private home of Mr. and Mrs. David Walker. The cost for the gala is $50 per person. Friday’s highlights include a floral design demonstration by award-winning instructor Lynette McDougald of Mississippi State University, taking place against the picturesque backdrop of Afton Villa Gardens. Guests may also chose to attend workshops on rain garden design, edible landscapes, or tree care. St. Francisville is located about 45 minutes north of Baton Rouge. Registration at the Southern Garden Symposium is limited and required in advance. For additional information, visit www.SouthernGardenSymposium.org, email luciecassity@bellsouth.net, or call 225-635-3738.

Austin: “For the Love of Trees,” The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Fall Plant Sale & Gardening Festival, will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. The Wildflower Center’s Fall Plant Sale highlights trees during the best time for planting in Central Texas and boasts more than 300 plant species from across the state, including lots of bluebells for sale in honor of the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth, as well as hard-to-find natives such as box elder and Texas ebony trees, Mexican silktassel shrubs and purple clematis. More than a dozen succulents will be offered, including softleaf yucca, Chihuahuan fishhook cactus and lace cactus. Other native Texas species include night blooming cereus, vines such as Lindheimer’s morning glory and crossvine, and fiddlewood, Apache plume and fragrant mistflower shrubs. No six-packs of mixed plants will be sold this fall. Children can enjoy story time at The Little House 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and create eco-pots for the garden throughout the weekend. Experts will lead garden tours Saturday and Sunday. At 11 a.m. both days, tour the new Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum to learn about its trees; at 1 p.m., Samantha Elkinton, the Center’s horticulture staff member who oversees the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden, guides visitors through its features both days during its 10th anniversary. And at 2 p.m. daily, tour the Center’s native plant gardens to learn more. At The Store on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., visit with potter Mary Fulton, creator of plant-imprinted objects, and with author Robert Shaw, who signs “The Field Guide to Texas Grasses.” Shaw will speak in the Auditorium at 11 a.m. that day. On Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m., author Todd-Michael St. Pierre signs his newest children’s books. The Store’s offerings also include salsa samples from Texas Ranger Foods Sunday afternoon. Stop by a booth where Center experts describe a native grass alternative to traditional, resource-hungry lawns. New booths from TreeHouse and TreeFolks will be on site, along with vendors such as Native American Seed and local chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own wagon to carry plants and to leave plant purchases in the holding area for pickup later during the sale. Due to a surplus, the Center will not accept plastic pots to recycle. For more Plant Sale information, call 512-232-0100 or visit http://wildflower.org/plantsale. To view native plants available, visit http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=fall_sale. Admission and prices: $9 adults , $7 seniors and students, $4 UT faculty, staff or students with identification, $3 children 5 through 12, members and children under 5 free.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, October 13 at the Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Tom LeRoy will be speaking at 8 a.m. and the sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Fall vegetables, herbs, perennials, fruit trees, much more! Don't miss the camellias from the Coushatta Camellia Society. Bring your wagon and come early. Call 936-539-7824 or visit www.montgomerycountymastergardeners.org for more info.

Fort Worth: Registration is underway for the Fall Regional Conference, "Floods to Drought — Gardening in North Texas," sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., October 13, at the Resource Connection, Building 2300, 2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth. The event is open to the public. Cost is $45, lunch included. Complete information on agenda and registration form is at www.tarrantmg.org. For more information, contact Billie Hammack at 817-884-1296 or at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu. Deadline for registration, which is limited to 300 participants, is October 12.

Quitman: The Friends of the Arboretum will hold the annual scarecrow contest in conjunction with the Fall plant sale at Quitman Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Quitman, on Saturday, October 13. Entering the contest is free of charge, and participating creations add festive and colorful visual appeal to the gardens for the month of October. This year, the contest will feature three prize-winning categories, with a prize for both first and second placed in: Individual Adult, Business/Organization, and Individual Youth (18 and under). All are encouraged to enter the scarecrow contest free of charge and the only limitation is the artists’ imagination. The winners will receive $50 for first place, $25 for second place in one of each category for a total of six prizes. Judging will take place on the morning of the fall plant sale, October 13, with winners to be announced by noon. Participants may donate their scarecrow to the Arboretum to be auctioned off as a fundraiser for Friends of the Arboretum. Silent auction bids will take place through the plant sale, with bids closing just before the winners are announced at noon. Scarecrows can be decorated in any style. The only criteria is that the scarecrow must stand on its own, and materials must be able to withstand outdoor elements to last for display in the Arboretum through Halloween. Individuals, civic groups, class rooms, businesses and other organizations are all welcome and encouraged to participate. Entry forms and rules are available at the Chamber or are downloadable at www.woodcountyarboretum.com. For more information about the contest or the sale, or for any other Arboretum related questions, call Pam Riley 1-903-466-4327 or visit woodcountyarboretum.com.

Tyler: The Smith County Master Gardener Association Bulbs and More Fall Sale and Conference will be held October 13 at the Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St., Tyler. Open to the public. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Program begins at 9 a.m. Enjoy featured speaker Dave Whitinger, owner and operator of All Things Plants. Whitinger is a member and former president of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners, and is the creator of many popular websites, most notably Dave's Garden and AllThingsPlants.com. He lives outside Jacksonville on a 90-acre farm with his wife and 6 children. The annual sale, which begins at 11:30 a.m., has been expanded to include bulbs, grasses, perennials, trees and hand crafted yard art. To see a list of available plants, visit http://scmg.tamu.edu/coming-events/.

Austin: “How to Grow an Olive Tree in Central Texas” will be present at 2 p.m., October 14. Learn all about the wonders of these drought-tolerant beauties from master gardener Amanda Moon at It’s About Thyme Garden Center, 11726 Manchaca, Austin. For more information, call (512) 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club members will celebrate the arrival of cooler weather with their annual picnic on October 14. at the Natural Gardener, 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd., Austin. Arrive early to shop. Gates close at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m. Chicken and drinks will be provided by the club; take a side dish or dessert as well as your own plate & flatware to keep trash to a minimum. Don't forget to bring a few extra dollars for the raffle, which will be a gift certificate to our gracious host, the Natural Gardener! There will be no regular club meeting in October; meetings will resume in November. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Houston: Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 open their working and demonstration gardens at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Road, Houston,  from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, October 15. For more information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or phone 281-855-5600.

Bryan: Colleen Batchelor and Stephanie Foresythe-Sword, Master Gardeners, will present "Tree Selection and Survival, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., October 16, at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. For more information, visit http://brazosmg.org.

Linden: In celebration of Native Plant Week, the Caddo Wildflower Chapter of NPSOT will present Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant, speaking on "Gardening Naturally with Native Plants," October 16, at 6:30 p.m. in Linden at the Cass County Law Enforcement Training Center, Co Rd off 1913 Hwy 59, Linden.

Seabrook: Suzanne Jurek from the Houston Zoo will present "The Benefits of Bats and How to Encourage Them to Your Neighborhood" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, October 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. For more information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or phone 281-855-5600.

Austin: “Planting for Winter Color” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, October 18, at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Perk up the winter landscape by incorporating the principles learned at this seminar. Understand the best times and conditions required to ensure success with the plants and seeds. Bulbs, dramatic vegetables, flowering annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees are all part of the selection mix and will be discussed. This seminar is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit www.tcmastergardeners.org or call 512-854-9600.

Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will host a “Sustainable Landscape Conference” Friday, October 19. Learn cutting-edge solutions for building infrastructure to protect property from floods and severe drought. Fee: $125 and $150 (for professional CEU seekers, 5.5 credits available), with 10% off each for TMS members. The all-day conference takes place at the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center meeting room. Please call 281-443-8731 for details and reservations.

San Antonio: The October 19 meeting of Bexar County Master Gardeners will feature Peggy Scott of R. Scott Enterprises, who will describe starting an aquaponics business from scratch 10 years ago with her husband Richard. She will discuss in detail how they grow and harvest tilapia as well as green, leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard, lettuce, etc. from four big greenhouses located on their home acreage. This presentation is free to the public and qualifies for 2 CEU credits. The meeting, held from 1-3 p.m., takes place at 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio. For more information, contact Stan Winchester at 210-241-6017 or Lisa Nixon at lisa.nixon@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

Spring: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society present their first Sustainable Landscape Conference on Friday, October 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., “Go With the Flow: Stormwater Management in a Challenging Environment.” The Greater Houston region is experiencing wild swings in rainfall that are generating both raging floods and severe drought, leading to catastrophic loss of property and productivity. How can we build infrastructure to protect from these disasters while conserving a precious resource? This conference, led by engineers, landscape architects, and public park and infrastructure managers, will offer first-hand insight into, and examples of, cutting-edge solutions being implemented in a diverse range of local projects. This event is geared for a wide audience, from professionals working with planning and land development, to the average homeowner. A total of 5.5 professional continuing education credits will be available to attendees who request them. The conference takes place at the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center, 1300 Riley Fuzzell Road, Spring. Speakers include Charles Penland from Walter P. Moore, Christopher Browne and Katie Golzarri from EHRA, and David Batts of Construction EcoServices. Special lunchtime keynote addresses will be presented by Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Montgomery County Precinct 4 Special Counsel Robert Collins, and Harris County Public Infrastructure Department Team Leader Nick Russo. The conference finishes with a visit to Mercer Arboretum to tour a new stormwater retention demonstration area. General Conference fee: $112 for TMS members, $125 for non-members. Professional CEU Credit seekers: $135 for TMS members, $150 for non-members. For more information call: -281-443-8731, email: msociety@hcp4.net, or visit www.themercersociety.org.

Austin: Travis County Master Gardeners will host "Inside Austin Gardens Tour: Edible Gardens" from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., October 20. Seven gardens will be open for touring. The tour will include educational seminars and other fun activities at each stop. Learn what vegetables to grow and why, let the children eat rainbows, or hear the thought-provoking story of the American Indian medicine wheel. Learn practical methods to add edibles to your landscape, how to eat the fruits of your labors, and recipes to spice things up with herbs! Books, plants and T-shirts will be available at each garden. Visit http://www.tcmastergardeners.org/what/gardentour.html for more garden tour information.

Huntsville: The Walker County Master Gardeners are having their "3rd Annual Butterfly Festival and Fall Plant Sale" on Saturday, October 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 102 Tam Road, Huntsville. Celebrate butterflies with seminars, garden tours, face painting, children's activities and a noon Monarch butterfly tag and release event. There will also be several native plants, annuals, fall vegetables, seeds and other garden merchandise for sale. Entrance, seminars, tours and other events are free of charge. Plant sales proceeds benefit Master Gardeners community activities, scholarships and educational projects.

San Antonio: Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host a "Gardening for Wildlife Workshop" at 9 a.m., October 20, at Beacon Hill Community Garden, San Antonio. For additional information, call 210-222-8430.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Market Association’s 21st Herb Market will be held October 20, at Pearl, 200 E. Grayson, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission and parking is free and open to the public. This year’s herbal theme is Roses, the International Herb of the Year. The program for this year’s Herb Market will include Robbi Wills from The Antique Rose Emporium, speaking about why Roses are considered herbs, their growing and care, varieties of antique and earth kind roses, and some of the lore associated with them. Also slated on the program are a cooking demonstration, presentations on aromatherapy, medicinal qualities and crafting ideas. Plan for a whole day of fun! For more information on events and scheduling, visit www.sanantonioherbmerket.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold its 2012 "Nature's Beauty Beyond the Gate" Garden Tour Saturday, October 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, October 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring six beautifully landscaped yards in Victoria. Ticket sales will begin Tuesday, Aug. 28, and will cost $15 per person. A plant sale will be held Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Victoria's historic Hiller House grounds, 3003 N. Vine St. To obtain tickets and more details about the tour, call 361-575-4581.

Austin: “Backyard Rolling Chicken Coops” will be presented at 2 p.m., October 21. Learn all about the principles and practices of coop design and construction from master carpenter Tom Colwell at It’s About Thyme Garden Center, 11726 Manchaca, Austin. For more information, call (512) 280-1192 or visit www.itsaboutthyme.com.

Lake Charles, LA: Southwest Louisiana Master Gardeners are hosting the 2012 State Master Gardener Conference in Lake Charles, LA, October 24-26, at L'auberge Resort. This event will bring together Master Gardeners, vendors, horticulture professionals and others with a common interest in all aspects of gardening. For more information and to register, visit http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/lawn_garden/master_gardener/LMG+State+Conference/.

The Woodlands: Gardening 102: Beyond Basics features Cherie Foster Colburn and Mark Bowen on Saturday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. With wit and wisdom homegrown gardening talents provide a guide to making landscapes more attractive, vibrant and sustainable. Cherie Foster Colburn, landscape designer, award-winning gardening author, shares “Bringing Your Garden Out of the Shadows.” Horticulturalist and gardening author, Mark Bowen, presents “Your Landscape Your Way, Naturally.” The free program and book signing will be held at 2801 Technology Forest Blvd., The Woodlands. Due to limited seating, reservations are required. Visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/gardeningevents to reserve a spot or call 281-210-3800.


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.

Bryan: Dr. Deb Tolman will present “Keyhole Gardening” at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, November 10, at SOS (Save Our Streets), 1700 Groesbeck Street, Bryan. Registration form: amgardenclub.com. Early registration is to be postmarked by October 20.

San Antonio: Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host a "Garden Design & Maintenance Workshop" at 9 a.m., November 17, at River Road Community Garden, San Antonio. For additional information, call 210-222-8430.


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.



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 www.txmg.org/wichita 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 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, 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.

Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175).

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 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 June and 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 Gene Bobo at gene.bobo@agnet.tamu.edu.

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.orgrg.

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.

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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