January 30, 2013

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Texas A&M Forest Service partners with Boy Scouts to reforest popular ranch in Bastrop  

Texas A&M Forest Service

The Boy Scouts of America are recruiting volunteers to help reforest a popular campground that was devastated by wildfire over Labor Day weekend in 2011.

Nearly half of the 5,000-acre Griffith League Scout Ranch was destroyed by the Bastrop County Complex, a monstrous wildfire that charred 32,400 acres, destroyed 1,660 homes and nearly consumed the Lost Pines Forest in Central Texas.

Now, the Scouts are joining forces with Texas A&M Forest Service to reforest the ranch with roughly 300,000 drought-hardy, loblolly pine seedlings over the next two years. The seedlings — 50,000 to be planted this year and 250,000 more next year — are being provided by the state forestry agency.

“When you take a look at the community as a whole, the Boy Scout Ranch has been there for a long time. It’s a part of the community. Generations of families have had children go through there,” Texas A&M Forest Service Central Texas Operations Department Head Jim Rooni said, noting that the ranch was the second-largest tract destroyed by the Bastrop wildfire.

“That acreage is probably as entwined in that community as Bastrop State Park in terms of peoples’ attachment. One is public, one is private, but they mirror one another in importance.”

The Griffith League Scout Ranch is nestled on three square miles northeast of downtown Bastrop. Before the wildfire, the landscape was dotted with pine and hardwood trees and thick with yaupon.

But half the ranch — and half of its 20 miles of trails — were destroyed as the massive wildfire ripped through Bastrop, said Rick Denison, director of support services for the Capitol Area Boy Scouts.

“It’s just standing, dead timber,” Denison said, explaining that the forest now is virtually devoid of pines — the very trees for which it had come to be known. “All of the oaks are coming back from the roots and yaupon is already starting to take over. We could end up with a big yaupon forest.”

Scouts and scout leaders already have planted 9,000 of the 50,000 pine seedlings earmarked for the first year of the project. For now, Denison said, they are focusing on key spots around ponds and in riparian areas that are home to the endangered Houston toad.

Volunteers planted seedlings Saturday, January 26, and have the opportunity to help plant the remainder of the seedlings on two additional Saturdays this winter — Feb. 9 and 16. Denison said he hopes to get 2,000 to 4,000 trees in the ground on each volunteer work day.

“We’ve got a two-prong project: We want to save the habitat for the Houston toad, but at the same time restore the forest so it will be available for future generations to enjoy Scouting activities,” Denison said. “Any and all help is appreciated getting those pine trees in the ground. We’ve sort of got a blank canvas to restore.”

Interested in volunteering? Email Rick Denison at rick.denison@scouting.org.

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
Pitching Woo

By Michael Bracken

The Cheney farmhouse had been empty for months, so I was surprised to see it lit up like a strip mall when I was traveling home from Wednesday evening worship service on the road that led to my small farm in central Texas.

I slowed my aging pickup truck and turned onto the drive of the two-story clapboard house. After I stopped behind a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with Oklahoma license plates, I phoned my brother at the sheriff’s office.

“Dean,” I said, “it’s Suzanne. I’m at the Cheney place and — ”

Roy Jacobson stepped onto the front porch. He was twenty years older than when I had last seen him, with threads of silver in his black hair, but I still recognized the first boy I ever kissed.

“Oh my God!” I dropped the cell phone and scrambled out of the truck.

I rushed up the steps and stumbled into Roy, knocking him backward. Only his quick reflexes and surprising strength prevented us from tumbling to the porch floor.

“Suzanne?” he said to the back of my head.

I straightened and looked up into Roy’s twinkling hazel eyes.

“It is you.” He held me at arm’s length and examined me. “And you haven’t changed a bit!”

I knew he was being gracious — or his eyesight was failing — for twenty years had settled on my hips.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

Roy led me to the porch swing, where we sat with our knees touching.

“My great Aunt Sarah left the place to me,” he explained, “but I haven’t been here since that summer.”

He meant the summer he taught me to throw a fastball, hit a bunt, and slide into base — the same summer I taught him about all the work I did at my family’s small farm down the road. We had spent the entire summer together, from the morning his great aunt walked him into my Sunday school class until the night before he returned to his parent’s home in Oklahoma. My family’s farm was mine now — after my parents’ deaths and my brother’s move into law enforcement — and I was one of the last holdouts in a farming community rapidly being absorbed by the housing needs of the city to the south.

“I wanted to see what had become of the place,” Roy explained. “At first I thought I would sell, but I had such good memories of that summer with my aunt — and with you — that I had to see the place one more time while it was still in the family.”

“You’re going to sell?”

“That’s what I thought,” he said. “I have an offer from a real estate developer who wants to turn Aunt Sarah’s farm into an upscale subdivision, but now that I’ve spent most of the day here, I don’t know how I could ever let this place go.”

My heart sank. Another subdivision destroying perfectly good farmland wasn’t my idea of progress, and I changed the subject. “So, what have you been doing all these years?”

“I played college ball — centerfield — then was recruited by the Oklahoma City RedHawks. I never made it to the bigs. You have any idea how many centerfielders there are? I still work for the team, but now I’m a scout, handling the southwest.”

“Can you keep your job if you move here?”

“Scouting is like farming,” he said. “You spend half the year in the field and the other half getting ready. I travel a lot during the high school and college baseball season, but where I bed down the rest of the year doesn’t matter, especially these days with cell phones and wireless Internet.”

“Did you ever marry?” I asked.

He shook his head. “You?”


He smiled and his eyes twinkled. “I guess I knew that,” he said. “Aunt Sarah kept me up-to-date on local gossip. How’s your vegetable stand doing this season?”

“I’m getting ready for Halloween and I’m up to my rump in pumpkins.”

“You need any help with that?”

“I could use some.” I turned to face him. “Why?”

“It’s off-season,” Roy explained. “If I move in later this month, we’ll have plenty of time to get reacquainted before next baseball season. There’s no better way than working side-by-side.”

I examined his face. “Are you pitching woo, Mr. Roy Jacobson?”

“I was a centerfielder,” he said with a laugh, “not a pitcher. But, yes, I think I am.”

Before I could respond, we heard a siren screaming through the night and saw flashing lights rushing up the drive. A sheriff’s cruiser slid to a halt and Deputy Elmer Hadley squeezed his bulk out from behind the wheel. He drew his revolver from its holster and shouted across the top of his car. “You OK, Suzanne?”

“I’m fine, Elmer,” I shouted back. “What are you doing out here making such a fuss?”

“Your brother radioed and said you were in trouble.”

That’s when I realized I had dropped my cell phone without finishing my conversation. After Elmer holstered his weapon and joined us on the porch, I told both men what had happened.

“I’m sorry I caused a problem,” I said. “Tell my brother I’m fine.”

Roy squeezed my hand.

“Better than fine,” I added as I squeezed back. ”I think I just hired a new farmhand.”

In addition to editing SEEDS, Michael Bracken is the Managing Editor of Texas Gardener and the author of several books and almost 1,000 short stories. His romance novel Unbridled Love: A Romance with Horse Sense is available for Kindle, Nook, and many other ereading devices.

Little Bluestem

By Znobia Wootan
Native American Seed

Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is one of the three dominant species that make up our tall and short grass prairies. It can be found from Canada to Mexico and from the east coast to the west coast. The height will vary from 1 to 3-4 feet depending on the soil and rainfall it received.

I recently observed it in our local school rain garden and it was 5 ft tall and falling over. Junction gets an average of 17-23 inches of rain a year and it wasn’t a wet year in 2012 for sure, but the design of the garden held the moisture for longer, letting the Little Bluestem and the other natives there grow larger.

There is not an area that should not have little bluestem. As well as being a foundation species for both the tall and short grass prairies, it is also beautiful in commercial and suburban landscapes.

It is a major component in any native restoration mix because of its easy establishment and its ability to grow in almost any soil type. One characteristic that makes it a favorite of prairie restoration is its proven establishment rate on thin, infertile, highly erodible soils. Little Bluestem grows readily from seed and is a clump grass of medium size which makes it ideal for landscaping. It is a lovely blue-gray color in spring, maturing through the summer. During the late summer and early fall as the seeds begin to mature they become white and fuzzy, so that by fall and early winter you have white fuzzy seeds on stems that have turned a rich bronze color that is unmistakable.

For the Ag producer, little bluestem provides excellent forage for grazers until it begins to mature and then most livestock find it unpalatable if there is something better to found. It also will make an excellent hay crop and like all natives it does not like additional fertilizers and does not need pesticides as it doesn’t have any pests. If you have a wildlife valuation on your property, Little Bluestem will qualify for food and habitat. The seeds are nutritious to birds, the lesser goldfinch loves it, and quail and dove as well as other mammals use it as nesting material  and for cover from flying predators such as hawks and owls.

Because little Bluestem is such a popular and necessary restoration, forage and landscape species, a lot of time and money has been spent in developing different cultivars and improved selections. These cultivars and improved selections have been developed for specific areas and during this refinement process naturally occurring genetic adaptations are bred out. If the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions over time is important to you, then stick to the Native variety or as close to it as you can.

The Compost Heap
Sawdust and compost

"I have a lot of sawdust form cedar wood in my workshop but have heard both pro and con about putting sawdust into a veggie garden," writes Charlie Nix. "Wood you know if doing this would be a good or bad idea?"

Anytime you can recycle or repurpose something we think it is a good idea. We like to use cedar chips as mulch since they will not break down very easily. Sawdust from cedar should also take a while to break down but will eventually if you add it to your garden. However, as it breaks down it will tie up the nitrogen in the soil so you will need to add either green material like grass clippings, manure or commercial fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. If you have enough of it I would suggest using it in the walkways between rows as a mulch to keep the mud off your feet. — Chris S. Corby, publisher

"Just a word to the wise concerning compost in this week’s Seeds," writes Tom Harris. "Compost needs to be about 75-80% brown stuff and 20-25% green stuff to work best. It must be kept moist but not sloppy wet and needs to be turned about every 10 days or so. Moisten again if it’s dry."


Gardening tips

Most of the potatoes that come from the grocery store have been treated with a sprout inhibitor so they usually don’t sprout very well. That is why you should purchase your potatoes from a local nursery or mail order seed company rather that from your local grocery store.

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...

It is time to get cool-season crops such as broccoli, carrots, spinach, beets, etc. in the ground so they can mature before hot weather sets in.

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.


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.

Austin: Cher Groody, a master gardener with 30 years of experience in the use of roses in a landscape, will lead “Easy Rose Gardening,” from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, February 9, at Zilker Botanical Garden, Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Incorporate user friendly roses into your new or existing garden plans! Groody will teach methods for proper selection of rose varieties, site prep and maintenance like pruning, pest control and fertilization. This session is excellent for newbies and experienced gardeners, and questions are encouraged. This seminar is free; Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child or senior. The seminar is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. www.tcmastergardeners.org. For information, call (512) 477-8672.

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.

Austin: Learn about plant propagation techniques Monday, February 11, from award-winning Master Gardener Tommie Clayton. She has taught hundreds of gardeners how to successfully start their own plants from seed as well as by taking cuttings from existing plants. The Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., in Zilker Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and mingle with local gardeners; club business begins at 7 p.m., followed by the guest speaker's presentation. Don't forget to bring a few dollars for the raffle! For additional information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Victoria: Victoria County Texas S&M AgriLife Extension Agent Peter McGuill will discuss "Landscape Tree Management," Monday, February 11, noon-1 p.m., at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St. The event is free, and those who desire to do so may bring a sack lunch and drink.

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.


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.


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.



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 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.


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.


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.

Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.

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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By Greg Grant

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

By Greg Grant
Foreword by Chris S. Corby

An intimate and personal exploration of the life of one of Texas’ most beloved gardeners, In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family gathers in a single volume the first 10 years of Greg Grant’s columns from Texas Gardener magazine, and is amply illustrated with Grant’s own full-color photography.

Revised and updated from their original publication, these 60 essays reveal the heart and soul of a seventh-generation native Texan who has devoted his entire life to gardening, nature and family. With degrees in floriculture and horticulture from Texas A&M University and extensive hands-on experience as a horticulturist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, Mercer Arboretum and San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Grant has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry, all while maintaining long-held family property and renovating the homes of his ancestors in Arcadia, Texas.

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The previous text-only edition of In Greg’s Garden: A Pineywoods Perspective on Gardening, Nature and Family, containing the first nine years of Greg Grant’s column, is still available for Kindle from Amazon.com.

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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