April 3, 2013

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Southern old-garden rose ‘Thomas Affleck’ performs boldly all year.

Southern old-garden rose ‘Belinda’s Dream’ requires little care. (Photos by William Scheick)

The garden reader
If dead people can grow them, anyone can

By William Scheick
Book Reviewer

G. Michael Shoup. Empress of the Garden. Antique Rose Emporium, 2012. 208 (large-format) pp. $39.00.

When I was a child, there were two next-door sisters (retired teachers) who devoted their tiny patch of backyard entirely to a ring of roses. They labored devoutly with magnificent results each year.

They would make abundant gifts of cut roses to my mother. I am sure they thought she loved getting them and clearly never sensed her less than enthusiastic thanks.

My mother was no fan of flowers inside her home. “They make such a mess,” she would complain when their petals began to shed.

Those roses made a lasting visual and olfactory impression on me, however, and I simply had to have a bush of my own when my first home in Austin was completed in 1970. I cannot recall how I chose that first rose, but I do recall how successful it was.

It was a bushy, small-leaved Floribunda that produced myriads of “double,” pale-pink, button-sized flowers. It didn’t take long before they covered entire segments of the chain-link fence receiving afternoon shade.

Over time, I came to realize how lucky I was in my initial choice. Some of my neighbors had tried roses and were struggling with a number of problems, including few blooms, spindly branches and fatally desiccated plants.

I can’t take any credit for my good fortune with my first rose. Like my neighbors back then, I did not have access to much information about what it takes to grow roses well in Central Texas.

I am not just saying that, either. The proof is another rose I eventually purchased and still live with — a cute, tidy, disease-resistant and cold-hardy ‘Ballerina’ (1937) that unfortunately never fully realizes its potential beauty.

Cute, tidy, disease-resistant and cold hardy are all good features, but in Texas we need roses that can particularly take plenty of heat and humidity — in short, southern “old garden” roses. “These are the ultimate time-tested plants, rediscovered after surviving decades in old cemeteries … in dilapidated small-town yards … and at abandoned homesteads,” according to Michael Shoup.

In 1983, with the help of other “rose rustlers,” Shoup founded the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham to reintroduce these forgotten but still vigorous varieties capable of thriving in Southern heat. Shoup’s enterprise was more than a commercial venture; it was also a dedicated pursuit of the true identities of these “lost” roses.

When Shoup’s Roses in the Southern Garden appeared in 2000, I bought it hot off the press. I simply had to have it for its wealth of information but particularly for the pure glory that radiated from its glossy pages.

But the updated version, Empress of the Garden, is even better — a gorgeous peak back into time. And yet this alluring glimpse into southern rose history comes with a bright look forward, too, because the rose rustlers’ goal is for each of these plants “to live in the future as long as it has lived in the past.”

Gift yourself with Empress of the Garden, curl up with it for a while, savor each rose’s unique character traits (brilliantly illustrated and detailed), then settle on an historic rose or two that will install timeless beauty in your Texas home landscape.

  It’s that time again — spring fertilizing

By Tom Harris, Ph. D.
The Hill Country Gardener

It’s time to think about fertilizing the growing things in the yard. Don’t fertilize the grass yet. It’s not warm enough.

I know, I know. They’ve been advertising and selling lawn fertilizer since the first of the year, but remember, they’re selling it. About the only things growing vigorously right now are weeds and, if you used some of that weed-and-feed stuff, what you fed were the weeds. Your real grass isn’t growing that well yet, and it won’t have actively growing roots until about mid-April.

I usually tell people to wait until income tax day (April 15) to fertilize the grass. Yes, you’ll have mowed it a few times already, but the ground hasn’t warmed up sufficiently to promote rapid root growth until about the middle of April. Be sure to follow the directions on the bag.

Trees, bushes and flowers are another story, though. You can go ahead and fertilize them now. In fact, October would have been best, but…

You can fertilize your trees and bushes with plain ol’ lawn fertilizer if you have some. For trees and bushes, use about a cup full for each inch of trunk diameter. Spread it around the drip area of the plant and water it in. If you use slow-release fertilizer about half of it will go into the ground immediately and the other half will be spread out over the next several weeks.

Now is a great time to add compost to your beds, pots, gardens and lawn. In the pots, put about an inch of compost on top and water it real good. In the gardens, put a couple of inches and work it in before planting anything. On the lawn, put only a half inch on (compost, not fertilizer and then water it in so that it gets down to the ground at the base of the grass plants.

It’s also time to renew the mulch around the trees, bushes and flowers. A two- or three-inch layer of mulch will last most of the season around here and helps keep the soil from getting too hot, helps keep the weeds from sprouting, and helps hold in the moisture. It’s Mother Nature’s way of recycling leaves and twigs.

Many years ago, gardeners used cow manure, chicken manure, horse manure, sheep/goat manure and other products of nature to fertilize their gardens. Most of these organic fertilizers were relatively low in the nutrients needed, but that’s all there was. The nice thing about organic fertilizers is that they rarely do bad things to the soil. But, like anything else, it can be overdone, too; got to remember that more is never better in gardening (with the exception of compost).

Today if you talk about putting manure on your garden, people will say “eeyyooouuu” or “I don’t want to eat any veggies out of that garden. Yuk!”

People survived for thousands and thousands of years eating the stuff out of those gardens — it ain’t going to kill you. Besides that, you can now buy “pasteurized” manure in bags; doesn’t sound quite so bad, does it?

On the other hand, we now have manufactured fertilizers that are considerably more concentrated and a lot “hotter.” Man-made fertilizers, if not used properly, can eventually ruin your soil. Been there; done that. I used to think that if a little fertilizer was good, a lot had to be great. Wrong. Too much synthetic fertilizer will “fry” your soil and it won’t even grow weeds.


Gardening tips

Consider testing the soil in lawn areas every few years in order apply the appropriate ration of fertilizer. Turf areas that are regularly fertilized often only need an application of nitrogen fertilizer.

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...

Live Oaks are dropping many of their leaves as they prepare to add fresh new foliage. This is a natural occurrence and not a sign of disease.

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: Join National Geographic explorer, Boyd Matson, on April 4 at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, as he takes you on a virtual trip around the world and shares a behind the scenes look at what it takes to get the in-depth stories from the far corners of the globe. Matson hails from Ft. Worth and started his career in 1969 at KTVT. In 1971, he became Sports Director at KXAS where he worked until 1974. He has co-anchored ABC's World Wide News and USA Today TV, been a correspondent for Real Life with Jane Pauley, been a senior correspondent for Today on NBC and anchored NBC's Sunday Today. While at National Geographic, Matson has hosted shows such as "Explorer" and "Wild Chronicles," contributed to Traveler magazine and radio program "Nat Geo Weekend." Tickets to both the lecture and reception are extremely limited, so please register today by calling Joy Matthews at 214.515.6538 or register online here. Reception in DeGolyer Library, 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., $30 Nonmember or $27 for Member. Lecture in Rosine Hall, 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., $40 Nonmember or $36 for Member. For additional information about Matson's lecture and reception, visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

Humble: Tour to Shangri-La. 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 5, at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, one mile north of FM 1960. Let someone else do the driving as you head east to Shangri-La in Orange, for a distinctly different garden experience. Take a barge ride along a bayou as you learn about the natural history of this renovated historical estate that is chock full of state-of-the-art “green” buildings and outstanding landscape features. Captivating wetland rookeries are a must-see for birders! The tour includes travel, snacks and refreshments on the journey, and lunch. The fee for TMS members is $70, non-members is $80. Call 281-443-8731 for reservations.

Austin: Trowel and Error, Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium, will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6, at Mayfield Park, 3505 W. 35th Street, Austin (next to Laguna Gloria Art Museum). The symposium presented by historic Mayfield Park includes topics dear to the heart of Central Texas gardeners in a series of “must hear” lectures. At 10 a.m. Jay White, avid gardener, writer for Texas Gardener, Texas LIVE, The Masters of Horticulture blog, presents “Weed Free Organically”; at 11 a.m. Vicki Blachman, certified master gardener, food stylist, professional chef, contributing writer for Texas Gardener, presents “Herbal Infusion: Capturing the Essence of Culinary Herbs”; and at noon Robin Howard Moore, garden and landscape designer, presents “Striking Color Combinations with Shade-taking Perennials.” What’s a garden event without a plant sale? Mayfield has the best deals in town for hard-to-find heirlooms and other perennials perfect for the April garden. A “garden goodie” raffle for the discerning gardener will round out the day. As always, Trowel & Error benefits one of Austin’s favorite and enchanting parks, historic Mayfield. Guests tour the restored Mayfield-Gutsch home, surrounded by stone-walled gardens patterned in the 1920s after the cottage gardens of England. Towering palms, flowering trees and perennials line meandering paths set among ponds filled with water lilies and fish. Gregarious peacocks supervise overflowing flower beds planted and maintained by community volunteers. Sponsored by Friends of the Parks  of Austin, a non-profit organization, Trowel and Error is the solitary fund-raiser for historic Mayfield Park. Although admission is free, a $5.00 donation is requested. For more information, call 1-512-453-7074, email neenok@aol.com or visit mayfieldpark.org.

Austin: The Green Corn Project Spring Dig-ins will take place over three weekends in March and April to install and refurbish vegetable gardens for the underserved communities in Austin. Participating in a dig-in is a great way to share gardening knowledge or learn to garden while helping to bring nourishing food to others. The remaining two weekends are: April 6/7 and April 13/14. For more information and to register, visit http://www.greencornproject.org/dig-ins.

Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardener's Spring Fundraiser - Plant Sale & Preview will be held Saturday, April 6, at the Demonstration Idea Garden, at the Brazos County office of Texas AgriLife Extension, 2619 Hwy 21, West, Bryan. The sale is open from: 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. A Plant Preview and Educational Booth will open prior to the sale at 8 a.m. Plants offered at the sale focus on heat and drought tolerant perennials suitable for Brazos County weather and climate; herbs and recommended vegetable varieties for this area; pass-along plants from Master Gardeners private collections; and bulbs selected for Brazos County growing conditions. The Plant Preview includes an opportunity to walk through sale area to view plant offerings, and Master Gardeners will be available during the sale to answer your plant and gardening questions. Come early, Join the fun, and bring your wagon! For additional information, visit brazosmg.com, call 979-823-0129, or email: brazosmg@brazosmg.com.

Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardeners Plant Sale is Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Grounds, 1315 South Main, Cleburne. A wide variety of sustainable plant selections will be available, including drought-tolerant perennials, blooming annuals, Earth-Kind Roses, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and “pass along” plants, home grown by Master Gardeners. This event is made possible by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Many hard-to-find plants will also be on hand, including Gayfeather, Foxglove, Mist Flower and Rock Rose, in addition to more readily available plants, like Impatiens, Butterfly Bush, Coneflower and Double Red Knock-out Roses. For more information, call the Johnson County Extension Office at 817-556-6370 or email Johnson County Extension Agent Zach T. Davis at ztdavis@ag.tamu.edu.

Dallas: Horticulture Director Roger Sanderson & Entomologist John Watts will present a Butterfly Gardening Workshop from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., April 6, at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Discover how easy it is to garden and attract native butterflies. Take home a starter flat of butterfly host and nectar plants, valued at $60. Class attendees get a chance to shop during the Friday Member’s Only Preview Plant Sale! $60, $48 for TDG Members. Register in advance at http://texasdiscoverygardens.org or (214) 428-7476 x341.

La Marque: Marilyn Simmons, Galveston County Extension Agent for Family & Consumer Sciences, will present “Preserving the Harvest — Water Bath Canning” from 9 a.m. until noon, Saturday, April 6, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program on how to carry out water bath canning will be a classroom and hands-on workshop in the kitchen. Class is limited to 15 participants with a $15 fee for materials. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Orange: The Orange County Master Gardener Association will host their annual spring plant sale, Saturday, April 6, from 8 a.m. until noon at their greenhouse located at Jewel Cormier Park (8235 FM 1442) in Orangefield. There will be a large selection of plants, including Texas Star & Native Texas plants, along with bedding, annuals, perennials, tropicals, house plants, vines, shrubs, trees, roses, succulents, herbs and some vegetables and many more. or directions and more information, visit http://txmg.org/orange.

San Antonio: Saturday, April 6, 9 a.m. to noon, there will be a "Fruit and Nut Tree Grafting Seminar" at Fanick's Garden Center, 1025 Holmgreen Drive, San Antonio, where you will learn grafting and budding techniques. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist Dr. Larry Stein will demonstrate how to graft pecan trees, fruit trees, grapes, citrus and more. Admission is free, but donations to the Children's Vegetable Garden Program are welcomed. Seminar begins promptly at 9:00 a.m., so come early and bring a notebook, lawn chair, and lots of questions! Master Gardeners who attend will be awarded 3 CEUs. Contact Angel Torres at matorres@ag.tamu.edu for more information.

Houston: Houston Urban Gardeners (HUG) will meet April 8 at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Park Dr. in Hermann Park Houston, 6:30 PM. The topic will be: “Which Store is Good for Which Gardening Supplies.” A panel of local garden center representatives will explain the strengths and features of their store. Where can you find bulk seed? Chickens? Beehives? Seasonal transplants? Good mulch? Come and find out! Free. Snacks provided. Learn more at http://www.houstonurbangardeners.org/2013/03/apr-8-which-store-is-best-for-what-read-more/ or phone 713-528-1104.

Seabrook: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners will present a program about "Summer Color & Smart Planting for Water Conservation" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Humble: Mercer Volunteer Gudrun Opperman presents "Container Plantings"  —  a slideshow and show-and-tell filled with tips and ideas for garden containers  —  from noon until 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, at the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

San Antonio: Lori (McLain) Wuensch from Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm will visit the Herb Society to talk about the farm and their mushrooms, Thursday, April 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the 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.

Austin: “Care of Ornamental Trees” will be presented Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Austin Community College, South Campus, room 1130, 1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin. Oak wilt, one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, is killing oak trees in central Texas at epidemic proportions. Dr. David Appel, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at Texas A&M, will teach which trees are affected by oak wilt, how to identify the disease, how it is spread, and how it can be managed. We will discuss preventative measures that can help you avoid this devastating disease. Register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu keyword: Trees, or by phone at 979-845-2604. Class fee is $25 (water and snacks provided). Free parking available. Sign-in at the security desk with your vehicle license number. This class is presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County.

Denton: The Denton County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual plant sale at 6333 Hobson Lane, Denton, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Shoppers can choose from a wide selection of hard-to-find grasses and ground covers, tough-as-nails perennials, herbs and pass-along plants from the yards of Master Gardeners. The sale will include a wide selection Earth-Kind Roses, which are among the most thoroughly tested and environmentally responsible plants for use in Texas landscapes. Earth-Kind Roses do well in most any soil type and do not suffer the same disease and insect problems found in other rose plants. The Master Gardeners’ Garden Shoppe will be open, offering pots, garden art and tools. Veteran Master Gardeners will be on hand to offer landscaping advice, recommendations on plant care and tips on using herbs in cooking.  All money raised from the sale helps fund local DCMGA educational activities including Children’s Arbor Day, The Children’s Garden, Denton’s annual Vegetable, Flower, Herb & Fruit Show, the Speaker’s Bureau and the Bayless-Selby Victorian Garden. In the past, the plant sale was part of the organizations’ annual Spring Garden Tour held the Saturday before Mother’s Day. But the two events are now held on different days so garden lovers can both shop and tour at leisure. For additional information, call 940-349-2883.

Fort Worth: The Tarrant County Master Gardeners Association's (TCMGA) annual plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the TCMGA Community and Demonstration Garden at Fort Worth's Resource Connection. The garden is located off Campus Drive, north of I-20 at 1801 Circle Drive. The sale will include hundreds of perennials, annuals, roses, herbs, succulents, vines, native plants, grasses and hanging baskets. Demonstrations on rain barrels, composting, backyard chickens and container gardens will be featured. Bring your plant and gardening questions to the "Ask A Master Gardener" table. Proceeds benefit the TCMGA activities supporting community outreach and education. Cash and checks only please.

La Marque: Palm tree enthusiast and Galveston Master Gardener O. J. Miller will present “The Culture and Care of Palms” from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 13, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program will include an introduction to palms, an overview of the exotics and commonly found palms at local nurseries, palm planting methods, palm fertilization, freeze preparation and proper care. For reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

San Antonio: The San Antonio Garden Center’s annual Flower Show, “Celebration of Spring,” will be held Saturday, April 13, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 14, from noon until 4 p.m. The show will feature creative floral arrangements and unique table settings in the design section. Noteworthy container plants and cut specimens will be on display in the horticulture division. The Flower Show provides an avenue to inform and educate our members and the public about gardening, floral design, horticulture and landscaping. Admission is free and open to the public. The Garden Center is located at 3310 N. New Braunfels at the corner of New Braunfels and Funston. Call 210-824-9981 for additional information or visit sanantoniogardencenter.org.

Stephenville: Native & Heirloom Plant Fair. Saturday, April 13. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Vendors will be offering native and adapted plants, herbs, vegetables, arts & crafts, and more on the grounds of the beautiful Stephenville Historical House Museum. There will be an informational presentation and book signing by Judy Barrett: “What Can I Do With My Herbs?”. Stephenville Historical House Museum, 525 East Washington Street, Stephenville.  http://www.stephenvillemuseum.org/. For more information, call 254-968-9761 or email pfau@tarleton.edu.

Houston: Precinct 2 Harris County Master Gardeners open their demonstration garden to the public from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 15, at the Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Houston.

Ft. Worth: Learn about cactus and succulents and tour the cactus gardens at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) Community Demonstration Garden. The class is Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Fort Worth Resource Connection, Building 2300, Magnolia Room, 2300 Circle Drive. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive. Class fee is $5 and the class is limited to 40. Advance registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

La Marque: Nell Shimek will present “The Glorious and Perpetual Daylily” from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 16, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Shimek is a daylily enthusiast who has grown and hybridized daylilies for more than 30 years and is currently growing more than 800 varieties in Alvin. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

Schulenburg: The Schulenburg Garden Club is holding its annual Flower Show celebrating 75 years of community service Tuesday, April 16, at the Schulenburg Civic Center, 1107 Hillje Ave., Schulenburg. Open to the public from noon until 4 p.m. Free Admission. Food, drink and plants for sale. For additional information, contact janetmurphy@cvctx.com.

Seabrook: Gaye Hammond, a director of the Houston Rose Society, will present "Heat and Drought Tolerant Roses" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 17, at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet Thursday, April 18, starting at 7 pm, in the AgriLife Building, 210 E. Live Oak, Seguin. Ms. Liz Palfini, a staff member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will be the featured speaker. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org or call 830-303-3889.

Austin: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department present the 7th annual East Austin Garden Fair: Get Up, Get Green! Saturday, April 20, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Zaragoza Park, 2608 Gonzalez St., Austin Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair educates community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow food and ornamentals, improve their family diet, and green their homes! Get expert advice from Master Gardeners on all aspects of gardening and composting, as well as backyard chicken and beekeeping. The fair will feature an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including garden planning, kids’ crafts, food pickling 101, produce tastings, SNAP enrollment (and how to double benefits at farmers markets), theatrical skits, cooking demonstrations, and free plants offered to participants. Free mini-classes will also be held inside the Zaragoza community center throughout the day. Materials available in English and Spanish. For information, call (512) 854-9600.

Dallas: The Collin County Master Gardener Association will hold  its 10th Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Select from old favorites, new varieties, and hard to find plants, including drought tolerant perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and Earth-Kind roses. These beautiful plants are Texas-tough, water-conserving, insect and disease resistant, and are highly recommended by Texas A&M and Collin County Master Gardeners for our area. Purchase these proven performers by cash or check or credit card (Visa or MC only). Bringing your own cart or wagon is encouraged. Collin County Master Gardener volunteers with decades of collective experience will be on hand to offer timely tips and design ideas to help everyone plan, and plant with confidence and success. Enjoy free demonstrations on designing and planting containers, backyard composting, and more!  Children ages 5 and up can participate in environmentally friendly activities throughout the day. The Plant Sale will be held indoors in the pavilion at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Dallas, 17360 Coit Road, between Campbell Road and George Bush Tollway. To find out more about the plant sale, view an updated plant list, visit www.ccmgatx.org, or call the Collin County Master Gardeners by contacting the Collin County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at 1-972-548-4219 or 1-972-548-4232.

La Marque: Galveston County Master gardener Ken Steblein will present “The ABCs of Home Composting” from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., Saturday, April 20, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program will provide practical information for converting yard, Garden and kitchen waste into compost. Compost is that magical soil amendment that is a soil conditioner, fertilizer and key ingredient in organic gardening. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.

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.

Conroe: Montgomery County Master Gardeners will present an Aquaponics System Design & Operation Workshop on Saturday, April 27, at the Thomas LeRoy Education Center. Aquaponics is the growing of plants in a symbiotic relationship with fish. Learn everything needed to set up and maintain your own system; by attending you will also have the opportunity to win a system. Registration is $50, due by April 19. Lunch provided. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. For the registration form and more information, visit www.mcmga.com or call 936-539-7824.

Ft. Worth: Learn to make a hypertufa pot and take one home at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association (TCMGA) class, Tuesday, April 30, 10 a.m.-noon. The class will be at the TCMGA Community Demonstration Garden pavilion, 1800 Circle Drive, at the Fort Worth Resource Connection. The Resource Connection is located off Campus Dr, north from I-20. Look for the Resource Connection signs on Campus Drive. Cost of the class is $20 and limited to 20. Advance registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

La Marque: Master Gardener Tim Jahnke will present “Rainwater Harvesting” from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Jahnke will discuss and show ways humans have collected the precious resource of rainwater for more than 500 years and will include information on current applications for today's gardener. For course reservations or additional information, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.


Houston/Ft. Worth: A total of 10 Texas gardeners will share their private gardens with the public in 2013 through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program, America’s only national private garden-visiting program. Open Days in Texas take place on the following dates. Sunday, October 13: Visit four private gardens open in Fort Worth, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features include a country estate with formal spaces and an organic orchard, an urban garden using earth-friendly methods and native plants, sculptural pieces and unusual container plantings, and a cottage garden focused around a fountain and large planting beds. Each of these Open Days Program dates is self-guided and no reservations are required. A $5 admission fee collected at each garden supports the national preservation work of the Garden Conservancy. The Open Days program features hundreds of magnificent spaces not normally open to the public. From April through October, garden hosts across the country welcome the opportunity to learn and exchange gardening ideas, and give the public access to explore and enjoy their private gardens. For a complete list of the more than 300 private gardens participating in eighteen states, visit the Garden Conservancy and its Open Days program online at www.opendaysprogram.org or call toll-free weekdays, 1-888-842-2442. The 2013 Open Days Directory ($21.95 including shipping and handling) is the only comprehensive source for details on the 2013 season. The Directory provides descriptions, visiting dates and hours, and driving directions to each private garden. The Directory also includes one free admission ticket to any private garden participating in the program, a $5 value. To purchase a Directory or to join the Garden Conservancy as a member and receive a free copy, call 1-888-842-2442 or visit www.opendaysprogram.org.



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.


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, August and December at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John’s Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH 10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. 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.


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.

Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.

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.org.

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

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

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

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Texas Gardener’s Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher.

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

Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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