January 23, 2013

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Experts pick gardening, outdoor living trends and tips for 2013  

Tesselaar Plants

Gardening has gone from hobby to lifestyle, with plants now integrated into more spheres of life.

As a result, we expect a lot from our plants. Not only must they beautify our homes, inside and out — they also must withstand our recent weather extremes, naturally fend off pests and diseases and offer nonstop color and interest.

Enter these gardening trends for 2013, say our experts, who’ve also dug up a few helpful tips:

TREND: Outdoors as escape

Outdoor living spaces look to play big in 2013, if you look at the 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Study by the American Society of Landscape Architects. After all, a whopping 91.5 percent of the study’s respondents rated outdoor areas for kitchen and entertaining as “somewhat to very popular.” In particular, the following outdoor amenities got similarly high ratings: grills (97.4 percent), fireplaces and firepits (95.8 percent), lighting (91.3 percent), seating and dining areas (95.7 percent), installed seating (86.9 percent) and weatherized outdoor furniture (81.2 percent).

But people apparently want to spend less time taking care of such spaces, with 96.6 percent of respondents in the ASLA study giving low-maintenance landscapes the same popular rating.

TIP: Pick high-impact, low-care plants

“People want plants that are easy to grow and aren’t fussy,” says Kerry Michaels, Container Gardening Guide for About.com. “Succulents are popular all over the country and are a perfect example of beautiful, interesting and easy to grow.”

Many hardscaped outdoor spaces, she adds, need focal points and softening with high-impact, low-care plants in larger planters. Michaels suggests the colorfully foliaged Tropicanna cannas for vertical beauty, fabulous color and drama. Self-watering containers, she adds, make it easier than ever to maintain these mobile props in the outdoor room.

Another such plant is the burgundy-colored, strappy-leaved Festival Burgund cordyline. In colder climates, it can even be brought indoors as a houseplant, since — unlike many other tropicals — it can withstand the drying effects of forced-air heating.

TREND: Quality over price

"The 'smart spender' of the past was primarily focused on cost,” says Mary Hines, vice president of marketing at American Express in the company’s November 2012 report on consumer spending behavior. “Today's smart spender is defined by values just as much as, if not more than, price.”

Furthermore, consumers told American Express that the “‘buy buy buy' model that has driven them for decades is now shifting towards a more conscientious, values-driven way of purchasing."

The gardening world apparently agrees. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) in the March 2012 Garden Trends Research Report by the Garden Writers Association Foundation (GWAF) said they valued quality over price, compared to the 27 percent who valued price over quality.

TIP: Invest in quality plants

“It pays to do your homework before you buy plants — and with smart phones, you can even quickly check on a plant before you buy it in the store,” says Anthony Tesselaar, cofounder and president of international plant marketer Tesselaar Plants.

One indication of quality, he says, is awards from impartial, highly revered organizations. “I’d love for people to know, for instance, about all the Flower Carpet roses that have been awarded Germany’s All Deutschland Rose designation — the world’s highest honor for natural disease resistance.”

And don’t forget to ask garden center staffers for their opinion on what works the best in your particular area. “I’m promoting plants that are adaptable — that can take whatever extremes our climate dishes out,” says Joseph Tychonievich, nursery manager at Arrowhead Alpines Plant Nursery in East Lansing, Michigan.

TREND: Ditching the chemicals

In the June 2012 survey by the GWAF, those planning to buy organic fertilizer outnumbered those planning to buy chemical fertilizer by 2 to 1. That same survey showed 62 percent of respondents at least somewhat concerned about the environment, yet a quarter were interested in pest control. And in the GWAF’s 2011-2012 Winter survey, nearly three-fifths of respondents (58 percent) had reduced their use of chemicals.

In response, the garden industry is starting to devote more attention to naturally disease- and pest- resistant plants. “The 2012 seed catalogues seem to be showing a trend that has not been too evident over recent years — the hints and details about whether a particular new cultivar of a vegetable or fruit can resist the ravages of some annoying pest or disease,” wrote gardening expert Graham Porter in the Oct. 22, 2011 edition of English newspaper Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

“This important issue seems to have been forgotten by many breeders for too long and now,” read the article, “with pesticides fast disappearing from our garden centre shelves, the trend is to encourage organic and non-chemical growing.”

TIP: Choose pest- and disease-resistant plants

“Many plant varieties that have historically been prone to specific pests or diseases have been improved upon through many years of breeding,” says Tesselaar. “And these days, it’s pretty easy to find such information online.”

For instance, he notes the plant catalog search function on the website of plant developer Monrovia. In the “special features” category, you can find plants with “improved pest and disease resistance” like Volcano phlox (resists powdery mildew), Flower Carpet roses (resists black spot and aphids), Festival Burgundy and Burgundy Spire cordyline (resist deer), Aurora dogwood (resists dogwood borers and anthracnose) and ‘August Beauty’ gardenias (resists root-rot nematodes).

TREND: Extreme weather

Recent studies — and plenty of newscasts - say severe weather is the “new normal.”

This past summer’s drought is among the six largest in the U.S. (in terms of area covered) since 1895, according to a monthly drought report released in August by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. According to that same report, three of the nation’s 10 most severe droughts (in terms of intensity) have occurred in the last 12 years, and the more recent droughts have occurred in many more areas.

Experts are also noting the increased severity, frequency and range of extreme storms like Sandy, which recently ravaged the Northeast Coast. In April, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego reported that temperatures in the upper portions of the ocean have increased by an average of .59-degree Fahrenheit since the 1870s. At the ocean's surface, the researchers noted a 1.1-degree Fahrenheit increase, concluding there’s a possible connection between that and the surge of “super storms.”

TIP: Choose weather-proof plants

“The desire for drought- and heat-resistant plants will only increase,” says Tesselaar. “That’s why we introduced Flower Carpet roses — the world’s first easy-care, eco-friendly groundcover roses — after aggressively testing them in extreme conditions of heat and drought. It’s also why we followed up with the line’s Next Generation series for outstanding heat and humidity tolerance.”

The Next Generation series received extremely high marks in the Dallas Arboretum’s famous plant “trials by fire” in intense heat and humidity, as did Tesselaar’s Storm series of agapanthus — the only agapanthus (also called lily of the Nile) to survive the trials. Most recently, Tesselaar has introduced Bonfire begonias, tuberous begonias that can handle sizzling heat — even in hanging baskets.

“Heat-resistant and xeric — or drought-resistant — plants are not the same,” cautions Chicagoan Eileen Hanley, author of the Gatsbys Gardens blog. “Many of the xeric plants can take the dryness, but not the intense heat of over 100 degrees.” Plants that have done well in the heat in her garden, for instance, are phlox, heucheras, heucherellas, grasses, daylilies, brunneras, amsonias, clematis and some groundcovers.

Monrovia’s website allows you to search for plants that can survive a number of climates extremes. Among them are “waterwise” varieties like ‘Arizona Sun’ blanket flower, ‘Dynamite’ crape myrtle and ‘May Night’ salvia, “firescaping” plants less likely to burn in areas of wildfire (‘Abottswood’ potentilla, ‘Autumn Fire’ stonecrop and ‘Pink Double Delight’ coneflower) and varieties for wet or flood-prone areas ‘Strawberry Candy’ daylilies, ‘Summer Red’ red maple and ‘Zagreb’ threadleaf coreopsis.


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

Fertile Fiction
Yellow Roses

By Kaye George
Freelance Writer

Wanted to buy:
Gardening equipment, esp. wheelbarrow, spade, rose trellis.

Personal:
SWF who likes gardening seeking SWM same. Must love yellow roses. Call 555-123-4567 eves M-F.

Personal:
To “Guy who loves roses”: I’ll be wearing a yellow rose in my hair. Dew Drop Inn, 9 Sat.

Wanted to hire:
Florist to decorate yard for wedding reception. Theme: yellow roses.

House to trade:
Will trade bungalow with small yard for small house with big yard. Must have sunny spot for roses and space for compost pile.

Wanted to hire:
Nanny weekdays while Mom and Dad are at work. Some gardening required.

Wanted to hire:
Gardener for large bed of roses. Owners too busy to tend them.

Wanted to hire:
Private Investigator to track husband. Pictures needed.

Craigslist:
For Sale to highest bidder: slightly used gardening equipment: wheelbarrow, spade, etc. Also beautiful yellow rose plants for transplanting.

Craigslist:
Compost by the bucket. Cheap.

Kaye George, who lives near Waco, is a short story writer and novelist who has been nominated for Agatha awards twice. She is the author of three mystery series, the Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas series, the Cressa Carraway musical mystery series, and the FAT CAT cozy series with Berkley Prime Crime (the last two debuting later this year).


Gardening tips

"Last summer when my tomato plants stopped producing, I took a few tip cuttings and started some more plants to see if I could grow tomatoes in the fall," writes Jerry Smith. "Most died but a few did grow, although they slowed down a lot when the weather got cool. I had garden-fresh tomatoes on Christmas day and have a lot more tomatoes that are ripening now in the middle of January. The only thing special I did was put an old sheet over the plant when freezing weather was predicted and keep it watered — no fertilizers or pesticides. I am attaching a picture I took of one of the plants in a large container. Maybe I’ll try starting a few cuttings from this plant for spring."

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...

The best way to make compost fast is to maintain an active compost pile. Chop and mix equal amounts of browns and greens together, keep the pile relatively small (3 to 4 feet high), keep moist and turn the pile regularly.


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.

JANUARY 

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will host Creating a Personal Garden Sanctuary. Wednesday, January 25, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Darnell Schreiber will inspire and guide you in designing the perfect serene space in your garden. This is a hands-on class that includes a tour of the gardens. Bring photos of your garden to work from. Other supplies will be provided but please bring a pencil and eraser. Free, but limited to 18 students. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations. Anyone requiring special assistance to participate in any program, or to obtain additional information, should contact Mercer at 281-443-8731, or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

Austin: Tree Care Tips will be presented Saturday, January 26, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin. Winter is planting time for woody species in Central Texas, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center shows you how at free admission Tree Talk Winter Walk. Enjoy a tree planting tutorial, tree identification tips and more during guided walks mid-day in the Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum (access it from the central courtyard past the café, using Hill Country Trails entry). At the Arboretum Tent area, purchase native trees and shrubs and Yan Lee’s tree drawings, learn to count tree rings and more. Kids’ activities include supervised tree climbs, and author Margie Crisp signs her Colorado River book in The Store after her 10 a.m. walk. For more information, call 512.232.0100 or go to: http://www.wildflower.org/ttww.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their annual Fruit and Nut Tree Sale on Saturday, January 26, at 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Program by Michael Potter begins at 8 a.m.; sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For more information and a plant list, call 936-539-7824 or visit www.mcmga.com.

La Marque: Master Gardener Luke Stripling will present “Spring Vegetable Gardening,” Saturday, January 26, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Stripling has more than 65 years of hands-on experience in growing vegetables. Learn how to plan and start a vegetable garden. Find out about the best soils, location and plant varieties for Galveston County. Gain knowledge of pollination, mulching, composting, and the effects of full sun and shade on vegetable gardening. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener John Jons will present “Anyone Can Grow Roses,” Saturday, January 26, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Topics covered include the basics of growing hybrid tea roses, variety selection, bed preparation, planting and culture, insect and disease control. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Rosenberg: Fort Bend Master Gardeners will host their Annual Fruit and Citrus Tree Sale on Saturday, January 26, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds - Barn H, 4310 Highway 36S, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m. or until sold out. There will be a Pre-Sale Program on Saturday, January 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bud O'Shieles Community Center located at 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. It will include how to heel in your fruit trees, pruning and how to plant as well as an overview of plants at the sale. For additional information, call 281-341-7068 or visit www.fbmg.com.

La Marque: Dr. David Cohen will present “Growing Blueberries,” Tuesday, January 29, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn the facts about blueberries and site selection and preparation. Find out about variety recommendations for this area and the planting, spacing, fertilizing and pruning requirements. Gather information on harvesting and understand the problems and the costs of growing blueberries. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

FEBRUARY

Dallas: Free Lawn Care Seminar. Learn ways to maintain a healthy lawn with less frequent watering, Saturday, February 2, at Richland College Fannin Hall, 12800 Abrams Road, Dallas, from 9-11 a.m. Gail Donaldson, a turf and irrigation specialist, and Water Conservation Manager for the City of Allen, will teach caring for lawns like an expert. Subjects covered will include basic lawn care, common turf problems, watering most efficiently and much more. Attendees can enter a drawing for free bags of Green Sense organic fertilizer from Rohde’s Nursery and Nature Store. Space is limited. Register online at SaveDallasWater.com or by calling 214-670-3155.

La Marque: The Galveston County Master Gardeners will host the Annual Fruit & Citrus Tree Seminar & Sale, Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Wayne Johnson Community Center in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., La Marque. The sale includes a wide variety of fruit and citrus trees adapted to Gulf Coast growing area. Prior to the sale at 8:00 a.m., Heidi Sheesley of TreeSearch Farms will discuss many of the varieties available in the sale. Check website for updates: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm.

Schertz: Heather Venhaus will present “The Lazy Gardener’s Landscape: Working with Nature,” Saturday, February 2, at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Pkwy, Schertz. Offered from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. by the Guadalupe County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas and Maldonado Nursery in Seguin, the 5-hour interactive workshop will help homeowners design personal landscape projects that thrive naturally on little water and are easy to maintain, plus are both pleasing to the eye and healthy for the environment. The cost for the full-day workshop, including lunch, is $36 per person. Workshop leader Venhaus specializes in residential landscapes and has spent the last decade working with scientists and educators on sustainable design, land restoration and environmental education. For a $2 general admission fee, the public can enjoy a gardening information fair that features vendors and community organizations offering information and products that complement the ideas discussed in the workshop. For more information or tickets, email Monta Zengerle at zengerlem@sbcglobal.net or call 830-285-4083.

San Antonio: Theresa Howard who specializes in beautiful arrangements using dried flowers will speak at the San Antonio Garden Center’s regular monthly meeting at 10 a.m. February 6. These meetings are free and open to anyone interested in gardening and floral arrangements. Theresa owns Yesterday’s Garden in La Vernia where they dry fresh roses for use in each unique arrangement. The SA Garden Center is located at 3310 N. New Braunfels & Funston by the Botanical Gardens. For more information call 824-9981.

Rosenberg: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Wharton, and Waller Counties will host the 28th Annual Fort Bend County Vegetable Conference on Thursday, February 7, 2013, from 8 a.m. -4 p.m., in Building “C” of the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, 4310 Hwy. 36 South, Rosenberg. Attendees may receive up to five continuing education units (CEUs) for attending the full-day educational event. The conference presentations will include: “Soil Management to Combat Soil Borne Pathogens” by Steve Divers, “Multiple Approaches to IPM” by Dr. Michael Hare, “Pest and Disease Resistant Vegetable Varieties” by Dr. Joe Masabni, “Pesticide Laws and Regulations” by Dr. Don Renchie, “Product Marketing” by Francisco Abello, and “Safe Preparations for Spray Applications” by Joe Mask. Keynote Speaker will be Mike Dobrovolsky. Contact Brandy Rader at the Fort Bend County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Office at 281-342-3034 to request a registration form. Registration on or before Monday, January 28, is $20 per person and includes lunch. The charge for registration received at the door is $25 per person and cannot be guaranteed a lunch.

La Marque: Master Gardener Sam Scarcella will present “Minimize Tomato Stress Factors to Maximize Yields,” Saturday, February 9, 9 a.m. -11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. A variety of stress factors can decrease tomato yields. An overview of stress factors and how to minimize them will be provided. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardener Mary Demeny will present “Kitchen Gardening,” Saturday, February 9, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Presentation and discussion on vegetable gardening in your own backyard. Gardening on a smaller scale and making use of vegetables inter-planted in your flower beds and in pots will be emphasized. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will hold a Docent Tour with the Garden Director, Wednesday, February 13, 10:30 a.m. - noon. Darrin Duling will update participants on garden enhancements and the status of projects. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations. Anyone requiring special assistance to participate in any program, or to obtain additional information, should contact Mercer at 281-443-8731, or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

Humble: Darnell Schreiber, Phyllis McFarlane, and the March Mart Vegetable & Fruit committee will present "Tomatoes, Peppers, and Other Spring Vegetables" at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, Wednesday, February 13, noon - 2 p.m. They will discuss tomato varieties from heirloom, cherries, specialties, and big disease-resistant varieties, including growing techniques. They will also discuss sweet and hot peppers as well as good choices for miscellaneous spring vegetables. Also discussed will be diseases, insects, and recipes. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations. Anyone requiring special assistance to participate in any program, or to obtain additional information, should contact Mercer at 281-443-8731, or visit www.hcp4.net/mercerr.

San Antonio: Rick the Beekeeper shares frugal alternatives to mainstream beekeeping with the Herb Society, Thursday, February 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. 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.

Angleton: Citrus and Fruit Tree Sale by Brazoria County Master Gardeners at the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension Office, 21017 CR 171, Angleton, from 8 a.m. to noon, February 16. Includes more than 2,000 plants, including blackberries, blueberries, apples, avocados, figs, peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, pomegrantes, citrus of all kinds that will grow in Brazoria Co. and vegetables for the early gardener. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria.

Bryan: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Brazos County Master Gardeners are hosting a water conservation seminar featuring rainwater harvesting. The program will be held on Saturday, February 16, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. Billy Kniffen, water resource specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will lead this informative seminar. Learn how to capture, store and use rainwater in your home and landscape. Kniffen will address topics relating to this effective water conservation tool, including: Water stewardship; Stormwater management; Reducing water demand; Passive collections (rain gardens, etc.); and Simple and complex water harvesting systems. After serving as a county Extension agent for 25 years, Kniffen is currently vice-president and education coordinator for the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA). He is co-author of their manual — Rainwater Harvesting: System Planning — used in the ARCSA Accredited Professional course. He and his wife live in Menard, in a home solely dependent on rainwater. As part of the program, Kniffen will also have a fully-operational system demonstration. This seminar also offers informational exhibits for lawns, vegetable gardening, water delivery systems and the City of College Station Water Resource division. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. Pre-Register to attend: $45 per person — includes handouts, snacks & sandwich lunch buffet. Registration  preferred by February 11, 2013. Information and registration form are available at www.brazosmg.com. Mail registration to: Brazos County Master Gardeners, 2619 Highway 21 West, Bryan, TX 77803. For additional information call the Brazos County office of AgriLife Extension at 979-823-0129 or email brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

La Marque: Master Gardener Elayne Kouzounis will present “Hummingbirds…The Fluttering Jewels in our Garden,” Saturday, February 16, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Elayne is an avid hummingbird enthusiast who has attended the Rockport Hummingbird Festival many times. She will present and discuss everything hummingbird. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

La Marque: Master Gardeners Stewart McAdoo and Robert Marshall will present “Honey Bees Around the Garden,” Saturday, February 16, 1 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. A presentation and discussion on the history, types, social life and hive structure of honey bees. Included will be an overview of residential honey bee keeping. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

The Woodlands: “Creating a Sense of Place,” a Gardening 101 seminar on Saturday, February 16 from 9 a.m. to noon, features Gary Clark, nature columnist; Kathy Adams Clark, professional photographer; and Brenda Beust Smith, Houston’s original Lazy Gardener. Learn how to work with the nature to add life to your landscape and avoid gardening pitfalls. With beautiful photography, Gary and Kathy reveal the natural beauty of East Texas with “Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Backyard.” Brenda presents “10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening,” offering tried and true tips for creating an easy care landscape. Reservations are required for the free program and book signing that will be held at The Woodlands Township Board Chambers, 2801 Technology Forest Blvd. For information, call 281-210-3800. Register on-line at Gardening 101.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston, from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Monday, February 18. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. A program on Tomatoes & Peppers will be offered from 9:30 - 10:30 am. Free and open to the public, children welcome.

Seabrook: Dennis Jones of Texas Parks and Wildlife will speak about the Historical "count" of Texas Prairies and Native grasses at 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Free and open to the public.

MARCH

Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners will host their annual Spring Garden and Landscape Seminar, Saturday, March 2, at the First United Methodist church, Faith Center, Whaley Street entrance, Longview, from 8 a.m. until noon. Greg Grant, horticulturist, conservationist and writer will be the speaker. Greg’s topic for the first session will be “Home Landscaping: Right Plant, Right Place.” For the second session, Greg’s topic will be “Heirloom Gardening in the South: Yesterday’s Plants for Today’s Garden.” Greg is a lecturer at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, a graduate from Texas A&M University, and a columnist for Texas Gardener magazine. Advance tickets are $10, available from the Gregg Co. AgriLife Extension Service or at the door for $12. For more information, call 1-903-236-8429 or visit www.gregg-tx.tamu.edu.

Huntsville: The Texas Thyme Unit of the Herb Society of America will host the second annual Herb Day at the historic Wynne Home on Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. until -2 p.m. The event will be held on the grounds of the Wynne Home, 1438 Eleventh St., Huntsville. Master Gardener Bonney Kennedy will give a talk about growing citrus. Master Gardener Jean Marsh will demonstrate herbal pestos. A talk on growing camellias is also planned. The event will include an herb plant sale, camellia sale, herbal crafts and products, kitchen and garden vendors, art, music and food. For more information, contact Maryann Readal at mreadal@yahoo.com.

Angleton: Spring Plant Sale by Brazoria County Master Gardeners at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 S. Downing Rd, Angleton, March 23. Featured speaker at 8:00 a.m. is Heidi from Treesearch, Inc. Sales includes plants from Treesearch plus those cultivated by BCMGA. New venue and new ideas on gardening in the Brazoria County area. Sale is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and includes all kinds of plants for the landscape and vegetable gardening. For more information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria.

APRIL

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Garden Gala Day Spring Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. in historic Nacogdoches. A wide variety of hard-to-find, “Texas tough” plants will be available, including Texas natives, heirlooms, tropicals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and exclusive SFA and Greg Grant introductions. Most of the plants are extensively trialed in the gardens before being offered to the public and most are produced by the SFA Gardens staff and volunteers. This popular event benefits the SFA Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, and educational programs hosted at the gardens. The educational programs at SFA Gardens reach over 15,000 students ages 1 to 100 on a yearly basis. The public is encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon. For more information, call 936-468-4404, or visit www.sfagardens.sfasu.edu and click on “garden events” for a list of available plants.

MONTHLY MEETINGS

FIRST WEEK

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.

SECOND WEEK

Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

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.

Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors.For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.

Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of January at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. For additional information and meeting dates of subsequent months, call 830-620-3440.

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.

THIRD WEEK

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 7:30 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.

FOURTH WEEK

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 Thursday 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. 2013. 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