February 20, 2013

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Dallas Blooms returns in March

Dallas Arboretum

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Dallas Arboretum's nationally acclaimed floral festival Dallas Blooms, presented this year by Bank of America. The festival begins March 2 and continues through April 7.

"The Arboretum's Dallas Blooms is one of the most beautiful sights to see in the Southwest and Bank of America is proud to be the presenting sponsor this year," said Gillian Breidenbach, Bank of America. "This is a must-see event for Dallas residents and visitors — recognized as one of the Top 14 Places in the World to see spring flowers."

Dallas Blooms features 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs including tulips, daffodils, Dutch Iris and hyacinths, in addition to 100,000 pansies, violas, poppies and thousands of other annuals and perennials. During the festival, more than 100 Cherry Blossom trees bloom for a 10-day period. Then the finale of this spring celebration is the mass flowering of the garden's collection of 6,000 azaleas that bloom into April.

"It is once again time for those magical days at the Dallas Arboretum when all your favorite spring flowers burst into bloom," said Dave Forehand, Vice President of Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum. "Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, cherry blossoms, azaleas and more put on our famous flower show, Dallas Blooms. Please come be our guests and enjoy this beautiful display."

The incredible work of botanical design accomplished by the horticulture department in displays throughout the garden will be matched this year by "The Adventures of Great Explorers" exhibit. Five explorers: Marco Polo, Ponce de Leon, Cabeza de Vaca, Captain James Cook, and Lewis & Clark will be showcased with small replication playhouses of destinations where each explorer traveled. The Arboretum's theme this year embraces adventure with the upcoming opening of the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The exhibit runs from March 2 until December 31.

The Arboretum will have several discounts available including Buy One Get One Free admission every Wednesday (excluding March 13) and C.C. Young Senior Thursdays with $11.00 admission tickets and 20% discount at the Hoffman Family Gift Store to those 65 and over. Tom Thumb will offer $1 off admission tickets at area stores. The discount page of the Arboretum's website has half-off parking available.

Festival Highlights

Mommy and Me Mondays & Tiny Tot Tuesdays
March 4 – April 1 (Located on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn)

  • Petting Zoo, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Face Painting, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Arts & Crafts, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Kindermusik, Noon – 12:30 p.m.

Hanami
Sunday, March 17, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Cherry Blossom viewing, music and family-fun activities.

Savor Dallas Wine Stroll in the Gardens
Sunday, March 17, 6 p.m.

  • Join Savor Dallas and the Dallas Arboretum for an upscale Saint Patrick's Day celebration. Delight in the breathtaking beauty of spring as you stroll through the garden sampling premium wines, beers, spirits and food samplings from some of Dallas' finest kitchens. Advance tickets required and available online.

Good Friday Concert and Children's Activities
Friday, March 29 (Located on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn)

  • Eddie Coker Children's Performer Sponsored by Dallas Child 11 a.m. – Noon& 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Petting Zoo, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Face Painting, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Easter photos with a live bunny, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Easter Weekend Activities
  • Saturday, March 30 & Sunday, March 31
  • Petting Zoo, Noon – 4 p.m.
  • Face Painting, Noon – 4 p.m.
  • Easter photos with a live bunny, Noon – 4 p.m.

An Evening with National Geographic Explorer Boyd Matson
Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. reception & 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. lecture

  • Join the internationally celebrated journalist and host of National Geographic Weekend as he takes you on a virtual trip around the world sharing adventures of his 20 years of experience in the field for National Geographic. Tickets available at www.DallasArboretum.org/AdultEducation.

Spring is the perfect time for Tea at the Arboretum with family and friends. Stroll the garden and view hundreds of thousands spring blooms before or after enjoying Spring Tea. Make your reservations by contacting Debbie Parker at 214-515-6511 or dparker@dallasarboretum.org. Tea offered Monday through Friday from March 4 – April 5 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Seated tea is for adults and children ages thirteen years and over. A 72-hour cancellation policy applies.

Come with a group! Group discounts for 20 or more guests are available with advance registration by contacting Torie Parsons at 214-515-6520 or tparsons@dallasarboretum.org.

Members Perk! Beginning March 1 through October 31 from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m., members only can visit the garden during early morning hours for a brisk walk or to start the day off right with some quiet time. A valid membership card is required and must be presented at the time of visit. Photography at this time is prohibited.


Achieving a sustainable food system with organic farming

Worldwatch Institute

Despite a slight decline between 2009 and 2010, since 1999 the global land area farmed organically has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service (www.worldwatch.org). Regions with the largest certified organic agricultural land in 2010 were Oceania, including Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island nations (12.1 million hectares); Europe (10 million hectares); and Latin America (8.4 million hectares), write report authors Catherine Ward and Laura Reynolds.

Organic farming is now established in international standards, and 84 countries had implemented organic regulations by 2010, up from 74 countries in 2009. Definitions vary, but according to the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, organic agriculture is a production system that relies on ecological processes, such as waste recycling, rather than the use of synthetic inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic farming has the potential to contribute to sustainable food security by improving nutrition intake and sustaining livelihoods in rural areas, while simultaneously reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing biodiversity. Sustainable practices associated with organic farming are relatively labor intensive. Organic agriculture uses up to 50 percent less fossil fuel energy than conventional farming, and common organic practices — including rotating crops, applying mulch to empty fields, and maintaining perennial shrubs and trees on farms — also stabilize soils and improve water retention, thus reducing vulnerability to harsh weather patterns.

Certifications for organic agriculture are increasingly concentrated in wealthier countries. From 2009 to 2010, Europe increased its organic farmland by 9 percent to 10 million hectares, the largest growth in any region. The United States has lagged behind other countries in adopting sustainable farming methods. When national sales rather than production are considered, however, the U.S. organic industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation, expanding by 9.5 percent in 2011 to reach $31.5 billion in sales.

Sustainable food production will become increasingly important in developing countries, as the majority of population growth is concentrated in the world's poorest countries. Agriculture in developing countries is often far more labor intensive than in industrial countries, so it is not surprising that approximately 80 percent of the 1.6 million global certified organic farmers live in the developing world. The countries with the most certified organic producers in 2010 were India (400,551 farmers), Uganda (188,625), and Mexico (128,826). Non-certified organic agriculture in developing countries is practiced by millions of indigenous people, peasants, and small family farms involved in subsistence and local market-oriented production.

Further highlights from the report:

  • In 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, certified organic farming accounted for approximately 0.9 percent of the world's agricultural land.
  • Africa is home to 3 percent of the world's certified organic agricultural land, with just over 1 million hectares certified. Asia has 7 percent, with a total of 2.8 million hectares.
  • Despite a decline in organically farmed land in China and India between 2009 and 2010, India's export volume of organic produce increased by 20 percent.

 

Gardening tips

February is the month for planting roses. Consider one of the EarthKind roses selected for disease resistance as well as beauty. For a list of these tough roses visit: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkindroses/

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 2013 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening Tips.


Did you know...

Kaddu, also called Indian pumpkin, is the most popular vegetable in India. It looks like a pumpkin but has the taste and texture of butternut squash. Kaddu had been used in India before potatoes, chili peppers, or cauliflower even arrived in India.


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.

FEBRUARY 

Johnson County: Johnson County Master Gardeners encourage anyone wishing to become a Master Gardener to enroll in a tri-county training program offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The Master Gardener Program is designed to increase a community’s exposure to horticultural information and to improve quality of life through horticultural projects. Weekly classes begin March 26 and run through May 28. Training includes more than 50 hours of instruction, a Master Gardener Manual and a field trip to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Class sites will rotate between Cleburne, Glen Rose and Granbury. Applicants have until February 22 to enroll. Registration cost is $140. To apply call the Johnson County Extension Office at 817-556-6370 or contact Johnson County Extension Agent Zach T. Davis by email: ztdavis@ag.tamu.edu.

Ft. Worth: Learn the basics of drip irrigation from Tarrant County Master Gardener Association drip irrigation specialists, Saturday, February 23, 10 a.m. – noon at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20. This hands-on class and lecture is $5 and limited to 40. To register and for more information, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Rosenberg: The Fort Bend Master Gardeners will hold their Vegetable-Herb Sale on Saturday, February 23, in front of the greenhouse behind the Agriculture Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. There will be a presentation about the vegetables and herbs to be sold on the morning of the sale from 8-8:45 a.m. in the Bud O'Shieles Community Center, 1330 Band Road, Rosenberg. The sale will open at 9 a.m. and will run until noon or until sold out. Visit www.fbmg.com for a list of vegetables and herbs that will be available at the sale.

Wichita Falls: Wichita County Master Gardeners will present "Three Steves and a Jack!" Saturday, February 23, at the 2013 Arts Alive! Home and Garden Show at the Wichita Falls Multi Purpose Events Center, 1000 5th Street, Wichita Falls. Speakers this year are Jack Murphy, Director of Parks and Recreations for the City of Wichita Falls; Steve Houser, Dallas County Master Gardener; Steve Huddleston, Senior Horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens; and Steve Chaney, Tarrant Co. Horticulture Agent, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Visit www.txmg.org/wichita for times and details.

San Antonio: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct its Spring Master Gardener Class for adults interested in gardening/ horticulture and related topics. Participants then return their knowledge and time commitment by providing educational outreach support for youth and adults. Deadline to register is February 25, and the cost is $220. Classes will run every Wednesday, noon-4 p.m., March 6-May 29, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service conference room, 3355 Cherry Ridge/Suite 208, San Antonio. For more information, contact Angel Torres at (210) 467-6575.

Georgetown: Fire personnel, community planners and residents who want to protect their homes from wildfire are invited to a Texas Firewise workshop. “Firewise” is a national concept that empowers communities to do simple things like clear overgrown vegetation from around their homes to protect against wildfire threats. To become Firewise, communities must obtain a wildfire risk assessment, create an action plan for how they will reduce their risks, conduct a community education event and complete a community project that decreases the threat of wildfire. Fifty-seven communities across the state have received the Firewise designation, proving they are committed to taking proactive actions toward preventing wildfires in their area. The workshop is set for Feb. 26-27 at the Sun City Worship Place Conference Hall, 811 Sun City Blvd., Georgetown, with registration starting at 7:45 a.m. on the first day. The second day is an opportunity for participants to tour Firewise communities from 9 a.m. to noon. It costs $40 to attend and lunch is included on Feb. 26. Two educational tracks are planned: One for current and prospective Firewise Community representatives and community planners; another for fire departments, emergency management coordinators and Community Emergency Response Teams. Register online or contact Patrick Allen for more information. To learn more about becoming Firewise, visit texasfirewise.org.

Seabrook: From 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2 will host a Preview of Plants available at their March 9, Perennial and Tomato & Pepper Sale. Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, will lead the presentation.

MARCH

Austin: The Sunshine Community Gardens Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at 4814 Sunshine Drive, Austin. Fill your spring garden with organic and heirloom vegetable starts and herbs. Choose from more than 120 colorful varieties of tomatoes, 64 varieties of peppers, a wide selection of herbs, ornamentals and more. Nourish those babies and the rest of your garden with bag-your-own compost. Local arts and crafts vendors and live music round out this annual rite of spring for the whole family. Check out the plant varieties that will be available and find additional information at http://www.sunshinecommunitygarden.org/.

Ft. Worth: Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) is sponsoring a “Spring Vegetable Gardening” class for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden (FWBG) children’s vegetable garden, Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m.-noon. FWBG is located at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Taught by TCMGA vegetable specialists, learn about how to select, tend and harvest warm season vegetables, square foot gardening and tips to build your own raised vegetable bed. Fees are $10 per person; $15 for parent and 1 child; $20 for parent and two children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable for 5 years old and up. Class limit is 20. To register, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Ft. Worth: Learn about rainwater harvesting and make a rain barrel at a lecture and make-and-take class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. – noon, at the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. The class will be at the garden pavilion. Lecture alone is $5; class fee with rain barrel is $45. Class is limited to 20. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Jasper: "Bees, Burgers & Butterflies," two workshops and a great lunch Saturday, March 2 at the Fire Hall, 205 Water St. Jasper. 9 a.m. to noon will be a beekeeping basics workshop, including what equipment is needed, start-up costs, where to buy bees and more. Burgers for lunch and then a butterfly garden workshop, 1 to 3 p.m.; tour the master gardener greenhouse, butterfly garden and Outdoor Learning Center. Program includes seed starting and transplanting seedlings. Learn what plants attract butterflies and why it's important to plant milkweed for monarchs. Jasper County is the butterfly capital of Texas. Either or both workshops and lunch, $20; RSVP to Texas A&M AgriLife Ext. Service in Jasper, 409-384-3721.

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.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Ken Steblein will present “50 Ways to Live a Greener Life” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. What does it mean to live green? Join in on this interactive presentation and learn how to integrate environmentally positive changes into your lifestyle. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: Jerry Parsons, Ph.D., will discuss Texas Superstars at the San Antonio Garden Center’s monthly meeting March 6 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The meeting is free and anyone interested in gardening is welcome and urged to join the Members at Large. The Garden Center is located at 3310 N. New Braunfels, next to the Botanical Gardens. As the horticulture specialist with the Texas Cooperative Extension in San Antonio, Parsons is responsible for educating and entertaining the Alamo City about the new plants called “Texas Superstars,” which he helped test and bring to the market. These plants were tested to do well in our South Texas climate of little water and hot summers. For example, Greg Grant, Texas plants man extraordinaire, introduced ‘Laura Bush,’ a new type of petunia that could take our torrid conditions and is one of the first Texas Superstars. Then join SAGC Friday & Saturday, March 22 and 23 for the San Antonio Garden Center’s Annual Plant Sale where you will find these special plants for sale 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The Woodlands: Discover habitat gardening at Where Have All the Hummingbirds Gone? on Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. with Mark Klym, coordinator of Texas Hummingbird Roundup for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In the past, recommendations for luring hummingbirds relied on planting red tubular flowers. “It’s about more than nectar,” Mark Klym says. He will reveal the latest research on the wide variety of hummingbirds that visit the region, and the habitat that attracts them at the next Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture. A free program of The Woodlands Township, the presentation will be held in the L.G.I. Lecture Hall at McCullough Junior High School, 3800 S. Panther Creek Dr., The Woodlands. For more information, visit Walk in the Woods Nature Lecture or call 281-210-3800.

Forney: The Kaufman County Master Gardener Association will host “Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management: The Low-Maintenance, Water-wise Way to a Beautiful Yard” Saturday, March 9. Learn Earth-Kind principles from Dr. Steve George, the creator and National Coordinator of the Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management System. Dr. George has served as Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist since 1988 and is based at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. The workshop will be held at the First Baptist Church at 1003 College Ave (FM 741), Forney, and it will be in two parts. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dr. George will explain the system and provide examples of its use. Beginning at 2 p.m., Dr. George and other landscapers will provide 30-minute landscape consultations. The cost for the workshop is $60 per couple, and each couple may have a consultation on either their front or back yards based on a photograph and a scale drawing (plat or survey) of the area. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register by March 1. For more information, contact Sharon Burden at 972-932-9069 or email her at sbburden@ag.tamu.edu. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn this locally-developed and tested system that conserves water and energy, reduces water requirements and decreases the amount of yard material going into landfills.

Ft. Worth: Paint your rain barrel at this make-and-take class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA), Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. The class will be at the garden pavilion. Class Fee for instruction only is $5; class fee with materials is $20 (bring your own barrel); class fee with materials and barrel is $60. Class limit is 10. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296. 

Pasadena: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners will host their Spring Perennial, Tomato, Pepper & Herb Sale from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Campbell Hall - Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena. At 8 a.m. Heidi Sheesley, Treesearch Farms, will present a plant preview.

Victoria: Victoria County Master Gardener Association will hold a "Lunch and Learn With the Masters" program Monday, March 11, with master gardener Kathy Chilak discussing "Rainwater Harvesting." The event will be noon until 1 p.m. at the Pattie Dodson Health Center, 2805 N. Navarro St., Victoria. The public may attend free, and participants may bring a sack lunch and drink.

Ft. Worth: Learn about seed propagation from the Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA) propagation team at a hands-on class Tuesday, March 12, 10 a.m.-noon. The class is at the greenhouse at the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. Fee is $5 and class limit is 20. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Seabrook: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners will present “Planning and Planting the Spring Vegetable Garden,” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Herb Society: Learn about Elder, the 2013 herb of the year, March 14, 6:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. This meeting was postponed from January. Learn from people who know the most about herb gardening, cooking, sniffing, crafting and infusing...anything and everything is herbal. For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org Free and open to the public.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will hold March Mart Volunteer Training, Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and Saturday., March 16, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Attend one of these sessions and join in the fun by volunteering at this lively annual plant sale. New and experienced volunteers learn about the March Mart process and what to expect at the event. This class is required for ticket writers, cashiers, gate monitors, and wagon masters. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will present March Mart Preview, Wednesday, March 13, noon - 2 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, 10:30 a.m. – noon. This annual PowerPoint program will whet your gardening appetite for the biggest and best fund-raising plant sale in the gulf coast area. Plant guides will be available at the Saturday talk to plan your garden purchases. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations.

Austin: “Understanding Soil and Soil Amendments” will be presented from 10 a.m. until noon, Thursday, March 14, at Travis County AgriLife Extension Office, 1600 B Smith Rd., Austin. Get to know your soil so you can improve its ability to retain moisture and improve plant growth. Your soil may be blocking vital elements your plants need to grow. Ascertain how and when to add missing elements to improve plant health and production. Learn the type of soil on your property and its corresponding strengths and weakness. (Bring a cup of your soil in a plastic bag and a glass jar with lid.) Discover changes you can make to improve the soil structure and water storage capacity. Organic matter, cover crops, soil microorganism and mulching will be discussed. This class is part of The Green Thumb series. Registration required at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu or by phone 979-845-2604. Keyword Search: Green Thumb. One class is $15, with price discounts for signing up for 3 or more classes at the same time. The class is limited to 40 people. It is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.

Ft. Worth: A lecture and demonstration of composting and compost tea is offered by the Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association (TCMGA) Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-noon, at the TCMGA demonstration garden at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north from I-20 in Ft. Worth. The class will be at the garden pavilion. Class fee is $5 or $70 with a shepherd’s bin composter. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Ft. Worth: Learn prevention techniques for West Nile Virus from Tarrant County Master Gardener Jaime Hart on Saturday, March 16, 1-3 p.m. at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north of I-20. Fee is $5. Class limit is 40. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation will be open for garden tours and plant sales March 16, 17, April 6, 7 and May 11, 12. Garden Tours are $10 per person, and are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. each day. Students over 12 are admitted free with student ID. Due to the nature of the garden, no children under 12 will be permitted unless carried by an adult. Please check the website for cancellation notices due to inclement weather. Garden-grown plants, many of which are not commonly available from local nurseries, will be on sale during open weekends. The Plant Sale runs from noon to 5 p.m. Located just south of the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead on the west side of Hwy 359, and just north of FM 334, the garden is easy to access from Hwy 290 or I-10. Further information about Peckerwood Garden may be found at www.peckerwoodgarden.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peckerwoodgarden.

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.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer, propagation specialist, will present “Grafting Your Own Fruit Trees” from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Saturday, March 16, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. The two grafting methods presented will be T-bud grafting, and the more commonly used wedge grafting. NOTE: Class is limited to 32 persons participating. You must pre-register in order to attend. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Lufkin: Dr. David Creech, Director of SFA Mast Arboretum and Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, will present “Best Native Plants for East Texas” on Monday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. at Angelina County AgriLife Extension Office, 2201 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin. Admission is $10. Door prizes and refreshments provided. Hosted by Angelina Master Gardeners and Angelina Extension. Call 936-634-6414 for information.

Houston: Tour the working and demonstration gardens maintained by the Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2, from 8:30-11:00 a.m., Monday, March 18, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions, and a program on Propagation will be offered from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public; children welcome!

La Marque: Master Gardener Linda Brown will present “Vermiculture-Worm Castings for Your Garden, 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Details on how to build your own worm box, where to get your worms, how to care for your worms, and how-to’s of harvesting the castings and using them in your garden will be topics covered in the program. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Seabrook: Evan Siemann, a Professor at Rice University, will present “Invasive Trees in Our Area,” at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 20, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 21, in the AgriLife Extension Bldg., 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. Michael Warriner, a member of Texas Parks and Wildlife, will talk about the Role of the Bumble Bee in Nature. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call at 830-303-3889.

Humble: Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, will present March Mart, Friday, March 22, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Brought to you by volunteers at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society; this is the place to find all your year-round garden plants. Special treats also entice the discerning plant collector! Whether you are new to gardening, new to the Houston area, or very experienced there is a new treasure awaiting the perfect spot in your heart and garden. Knowledgeable volunteers will inspire you with their amazing plant options. The Members Only Plant Sale is Thursday, March 21; call 281-443-8731 for details.

Round Top: The 18th annual Herbal Forum will be held Friday, March 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on the grounds of Festival Hill Festival Institute at Jaster Road just north of Round Top off Hwy. 237. The plant sale will offer many seldom-found herbs and other garden plants well adapted to South Central Texas. For additional information, visit www.herbsocietypioneer.org.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Garden Center's 25th Annual Spring Plant Sale will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., March 22 and 23, at 3310 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio. Admission is free. For additional information, call 210-824-9981.

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.

Ft. Worth: Make and take a clay pot wreath at a class sponsored by the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-noon at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Mesquite Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr., north of I-20. Fee is $30. Class limit is 20. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

Ft. Worth: Learn about perennials at a lecture and tour, Saturday, March 23, 1 – 3 p.m., sponsored by Tarrant County Master Gardener Association. The class will be at Fort Worth’s Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth. The tour will be at the nearby TCMGA demonstration garden. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north of I-20. Fee is $5. Class limit is 40. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Susan Roth will present “Drip Irrigation-Easy and Efficient” from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park,4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Learn how to design, install and maintain a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation is not only highly efficient but is also inexpensive and an easy project for do-it-yourself individuals. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month (except December) at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program preceeds the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/.

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 hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org 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.

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.

Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway.; Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.

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

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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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.

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