June 12, 2013

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Nicole Fryman, student worker at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, poses with Princess Caroline Napier grass in the center’s ornamental demonstration garden. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)
Princess Caroline brings light and grace to a garden

By Robert Burns
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Like true royalty, Princess Caroline Napier grass is beautiful and elegant in its own right, while bringing out the best in its companions, according to a professor of ornamental horticulture.

“It’s a really attractive ornamental grass that in most parts of the state is a reliable perennial,” said Dr. Cynthia McKenney, a professor of ornamental horticulture at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, and a Texas Superstar board member. “It’s something you can use in the back of the garden to give some height, purple color and interesting texture.”

Texas Superstar plants undergo extensive tests throughout the state by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, AgriLife Research horticulturist and chair of the Texas Superstar executive board, Overton.

To be designated a Texas Superstar, a plant must not just be beautiful but also perform well for consumers and growers throughout Texas. Superstars must also be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas, but also reasonably priced.

McKenney was previously with AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. In 2006 she returned to Texas Tech but remained on the board “to perform planting trials in the South Plains of Texas, thus providing a semiarid Texas Superstar test site with a wider range of both high and low temperatures due to the elevation,” she said.

McKenney’s trials in the Lubbock area found that Princess Caroline is not a dependable perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness zones six and seven, which includes the Panhandle and parts of the South Plains and Rolling Plains regions.

“So in Lubbock and other areas, Princess Caroline would best be treated as an annual, but it grows so fast, you’ll still have the full height of the plant early in the season,” McKenney said.

In most of the state, the roots will survive — even after freezes kill the plant to the ground — and will grow back in the spring without replanting, she noted.

Princess Caroline fills the requirements for Texas Superstar for a number of reasons, according to McKenney. The plant grows 4- to 6-feet tall, depending on amount of water it’s given and length of the growing season.

“Its rapid growth and bold appearance makes it a showstopper in any planting,” she said.

Seventeen varieties of Napier grass were tested throughout the state before choosing Princess Caroline, McKenney said.

The plant is a recently developed Napier grass variety which is a tri-specific Pennisetum hybrid, which means it was crossed with three Pennisetum varieties, P. purpureum, P. glaucum, and P. squamulatum, at a University of Georgia breeding program.

Unlike its predecessors ‘Prince’ and ‘Princess,’ which were bi-specific hybrids, Princess Caroline is resistant to leaf spot disease and is very heat and drought tolerant, according to the official Texas Superstar board description.

But the official description doesn’t do justice to the beauty Princess Caroline can bring to a home landscape, McKenney said.

“The foliage is a nice purple color, and that’s one of the features many homeowners enjoy because then you can put some orange or yellow flowers in front of it and get some really stark contrast,” she said.

Because Princess Caroline is a fairly large plant, gardeners will want to cluster several in a location, about 3 feet apart, she noted. It does best with limited fertilizer.

“Too much fertilizer produces excessive growth, which tends to cause the loss of the purple color,” McKenney said. “The leaves have a nice soft feeling and don’t have the sharp edges you would feel on a pampas grass. The leaves weep down gracefully giving them a nice soft look. The movement of the foliage in the breeze gives a nice attribute to the landscape.”

McKenney said Princess Caroline should be widely available throughout the state thanks to Texas Superstar promotions to commercial bedding plant growers and outlets.

“Including Princess Caroline in your garden should make a significant statement that won’t cost you very much time or money,” she said.

(Photos by Tom Harris)

Converting in-ground sprinklers to drip irrigation

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

When I suggest converting in-ground sprinklers to drip irrigation, people often ask, “Why should/would I want to do that”?

The answer is really very simple: to save money, time, and effort. In-ground sprinkler systems are notorious for wasting water — lots of it. If the system is not adjusted properly (and most of them are not) about 50-60 percent of the water that comes out never hits the ground — it evaporates into the air in the hot summertime. For many of the others, the water simply runs down the sidewalk or the gutter and is wasted.

There is a fairly simple process to make the conversion, however. (Note: sprinklers on lawn grass need to be left alone and/or adjusted to work properly. Here we’re talking about flower beds, shrubs, roses, veggies, etc.)

Let’s start with the controller — usually located in the garage. You will still be able to use the controller for all the stations (zones) being converted but remember, you have to convert a whole zone to drip; i.e., can’t have drip and spray together on the same zone.

Once you get a comprehensive plan made with the drip lines and hoses identified, it should be a relatively simple matter to decide how much hose and how many fittings you will need to do the job. Write it down to take to the store with you. If you will be using 1/2” dripper hose, be sure to buy the fittings that fit that hose. Not all 1/2” drip fittings fit all 1/2” hoses.

One of the first things you’ll need is a “converter kit head.” This is the head that looks like and will replace the pop-up spray head in your zone. See the picture at left. These heads have filters and pressure regulators built into them.

Next you need to remove all but one of the heads in the zone you’re going to convert. Leave the one head to start the drip system. See the next picture.

After disconnecting all the heads, add the drip-hose and fittings to fit the plan you made. Be sure to get some landscape staples about 6” long to pin down the lines as you lay them out.

With drippers every 12-18” in the drip line, you can plant about as many plants as you desire and not have to worry about the moisture in the soil. 1/2” line can be run about 200-300 feet and still have plenty of pressure to make the system work. See third picture.

Set your controller for the zone to come on for about 1.5-2 hours and turn it on to make sure it’s dripping and not squirting. If it squirts, you’ll need to add a pressure regulator into the line to lower the water pressure. You may have to adjust the timing as time goes on. The hotter the temperature, the longer the system needs to run.

The best way to tell if the soil is moist is to use one of your fingers stuck down into the soil to the second joint of the finger. If it’s moist, you’ll feel it. If it’s dry, you’ll feel it. If it’s dry, water. If it’s wet, don’t.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write me at gardener@gvtc.com and I’ll get right back to you.

The compost heap
Summer potatoes?

"Any advice re: planting potatoes in the summertime?" asks David Sheehan.

Don’t. Wait until fall to plant. For detailed instructions on planting Fall or Spring potatoes in Texas, see The Vegetable Book by Dr. Sam Cotner. — Chris S. Corby, publisher

Gardening tips

If you are having trouble getting seeds to germinate in the summer heat, try shading the planting area until the seedlings emerge. (Just about anything can be used to provide the shade including old shingles, boards and cardboard.) Of course, keep the seed bed evenly moist during the germination process.

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...

Plants that wilt even though they have been adequately watered may be under attack by nematodes. If you pull up a plant and see bumps on the roots, they are likely caused by nematodes. Some plants, such as okra, are very susceptible to nematodes and may need to be grown in another area of the garden.

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.


Woodway: Midsummer Nights, a free annual concert series, returns to the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 1 Pavilion Way, Woodway. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and get ready to relax to some great music! June 12: The Elephants; June 19: Rewind Party Band; June 26: Nolan Pick Band; July 3: Texas Country Gentlemen. All concerts are from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and get ready to relax to some great music! Covered seating available for the Dessert Fundraiser, $10.00. For more information, call 254-399-9204.

San Antonio: Marty Ruona will present “Principles of Xeriscaping and Succulents,” Thursday, June 13, 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: A composting and soil health seminar, presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and its Travis County Master Gardeners volunteer horticulture program, will be held from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. June 15 in Room 1130 on the south campus of Austin Community College,1820 W. Stassney Lane, Austin. The seminar will include presentations and demonstrations related to composting and maintaining and enhancing the nutrient value of soil used for growing plants. Attendees must register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu or by phone at 979-845-2604. If registering through the website, enter the word “soil” in the keyword search field. The $35 fee includes all presentations, a box lunch, water and snacks. Seminar topics and presenters will be: “Composting — Life After Death,” Sheryl Williams, Travis County Master Gardener. Learn how to improve your soil no matter what kind or how much you have by composting kitchen and yard waste. Discover the needs of the microbes in your soil and how to feed and maintain them. “Some Like it Hot and Some Like it Cold,” Williams. Acquire knowledge about hot and cold composting and how your plants should determine the type of compost you needs to make. Learn about the equipment or supplies needed for success. “Ground to Ground,” Lindsay Razzaz, AgriLife Extension horticulture program assistant, Travis County. Learn about AgriLife Extension’s citywide initiative to divert nutrient-rich spent coffee grounds from landfills and put them back to work in yards, gardens and farms. Ground to Ground businesses provide free grounds to customers in bags, buckets or bins. “Worms’ Gift to Mankind — Vermiculture,” Clyde Adley, Travis and Williamson County Master Gardener. Some of the very best compost is created by worms, and this presentation provides instruction on all phases of vermiculture, including supplies, worm sources, moisture, heat, food and harvesting. “Who Would Like a Drink of Compost Tea?” Tommie Clayton, Travis County Master Gardener and compost specialist. Produce your own “liquid gold” by setting up a home brewing system using a five-gallon bucket equipped with an aquarium pump and air stones. Learn how oxygen and an energy source can grow beneficial microbes to produce a compost tea concentrate for a compost starter solution, foliar spray and soil drench. “Zero Waste by 2040!” Sylba Loren, City of Austin. Austin’s goal is to reach zero waste by 2040, which means reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90 percent. Austin Resource Recovery has implemented multiple measures to achieve zero waste, including a home-composting program and rebate. Learn more about what Austin Resource Recovery is doing and how to qualify for a rebate on a composting system. This event is not sponsored by Austin Community College. Parking is free, but is not allowed in the reserved area. Check in with campus security and provide them with your vehicle’s license number.

Denton: Denton County residents are invited to bring their best fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to the 2013 Denton County Fruit, Vegetable, Herb and Flower Show on Saturday, June 15 at the Fire Fighters Memorial Park, located on the corner of Carroll Boulevard and Mulberry Street in Denton. Sponsored by the Denton County Master Gardeners Association (DCMGA), the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the City of Denton, the annual educational event showcases flowers and produce grown in the County. Any county resident may participate, and there is no entry fee. All entries will be accepted from 9 to 10 a.m. on the day of the show in two divisions: youth ages 18 and under and adults over 18. Contestants may enter as many classes as they like but only one entry per class.The contest focuses on best of species. Fruits and vegetables will be judged on flavor, and each entry must be sufficient in number to fill a dinner plate, which will be provided. Herb and flower entries are restricted to a single species, and contestants must provide their own containers for arrangements. Both potted and cut flowers and herbs will be accepted. Winners will be announced and awards distributed at noon or immediately following judging. Winners will receive ribbons, and division champions and best of show will receive cash prizes from NorthStar Bank. An “Ask a Master Gardener” booth will be open from 9 a.m. until noon to answer questions about gardening in North Texas. For more information, call the Denton County Master Gardener Help Desk at (940) 349-2892 or visit http://www.dcmga.com/.

San Antonio: “Watersaver Landscape Design School,” sponsored by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas in partnership with San Antonio Water System, will be held Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels. Four presentations on xeriscape principles, design, plant selection, and full-landscape drip irrigation installation and conversion. $25 for individuals, $40 for households of two people. Fee includes three full-color plant and landscape guides, CD version of the book “Drip-Line Gardening,” and one-on-one design idea consultations. For more information and an application form, visit  www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101. Enrollment deadline is Friday, June 7.

San Antonio: GreenSpaces Alliance presents its first SicloVerde, a 13-mile bike tour of six community gardens. Saturday, June 15. The tour begins at the River Road Community Garden, 780 E. Huisache (at Allison Dr.), San Antonio. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the tour begins at 7:30 a.m. Three tour options will be offered: a 13-mile group tour, an 8-mile group tour, and a self-guided tour. Participants will gather at the first garden in the morning and travel in groups from garden to garden, visiting with gardeners and taking part in fun garden-themed activities before completing the loop. Registration is required and all participants must wear safety helmets. Cost: $25 per adult, $15 for children 12-17, and children riding with parents are free. To register or for additional information, visit www.greensatx.org, call 210-222-8430, or email info@greensatx.org.

San Antonio: Austin Landscape Designer Pam Penick will speak on “grass-less" yards at the monthly Essentials of Gardening class, Monday, June 17, at San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels, from noon until 3 p.m. Penick is the author of “Lawn Gone!—Low Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Lawn.” The class will include a book signing. The second session of the class will be “Full Landscape Drip Irrigation Conversion” with Ron Csehil, Bexar County Master Gardener and co-author of “Drip-Line Gardening.” Free and open to the public. Presented by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas. For more information, visit www.GardeningVolunteers.org or call 210-251-8101.

Ft. Worth: Make cement leaves with a Master Gardener during a class for families at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Backyard Vegetable Garden pavilion (formerly children’s vegetable garden) Tuesday, June 18, 10 a.m. Cost: $10 per adult; $5 per child. Materials: $10 per family. Class limit: 20. Children must be at least five years old and accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

McKinney: Join the Collin County Master Gardeners and tour the perennial research and demonstration gardens at Myers Parke and Event Center in McKinney Wednesday, June 19, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Tours will provide gardeners a first-hand opportunity to see which plants grow well in the area and the knowledge needed to have successful gardening experiences at home. Tour guides will be on hand to answer questions. Visit www.ccmgatx.org or call 972-548-4232 for more information.

San Antonio: Bexar County Master Gardeners will meet on Wednesday, June 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. The presentation of "Water: Good to the Last Drop" will be made by BCMG's own irrigation efficiency specialists who will share tips, ideas, and project possibilities for everyone, whether living in an apartment or single dwelling. This meeting is open to the public and there is no charge. For more information, please contact Vince Vita at 423-421-2891 or email vince.vita@bexarcountymastergardeners.org.

Seabrook: Suzy Fischer will present "Edible Landscape" at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 19, The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the lakeside), 5001 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. Fischer is a founding and current board member of Urban Harvest. Her mission is to promote healthy communities and sound nutrition by educating the public. This presentation is free and open to the public. For additional information, visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu or call 281-855-5600.

Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, in the Agriculture Building, Room 110, at 1924 Wilson Drive, Nacogdoches. Darrin Duling, director of Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Humble will present “Making Mercer Magnificent-Opportunities and Challenges.” A native of Richmond, Virginia, Duling received a Master of Science degree in Plant Taxonomy from the University of Reading in Whiteknights, England; a Diploma of Horticulture from Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England; and a Certificate of Horticultural Training from The Royal Horticultural Society in Wisley, England. He previously served as the director of the Native Plant Center in Valhalla, New York, the curator of glasshouse collections for the New York Botanical Garden and director of horticulture for the American Orchid Society. His career path has led him to far-flung places such as Brazil, Borneo, Crete, Oman, Peru, Thailand and Singapore. Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a nationally recognized public garden showcasing the Gulf Coast Region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants in over 325 acres of East Texas Pineywoods. Free to the public, Mercer boasts several theme gardens, programs for all ages, annual plant sales, miles of woodland trails, and picnic areas which provide recreational and educational opportunities to families, school groups, bird watchers, joggers, walkers and photographers. The Theresa and Les Reeves Garden Lecture Series is normally held the third Thursday of each month at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s SFA Mast Arboretum. A rare plant raffle will be held after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves lecture series endowed fund are always appreciated. For more information, call (936) 468-1832 or e-mail ggrantgardens@yahoo.com.

Bryan: Dr. William Welch will present "Easy Color for Late Summer & Fall Gardens" at 7 p.m., June 25, at Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. According to Dr. Welch, "We are approaching the time of year when gardening is challenged by long, hot and usually dry times. There are some low input choices for plants and design ideas that can pay big dividends for late summer and fall. We’ll explore which of our heat tolerant perennials and annuals can be propagated from cuttings as well as some kinds to seed for the cool seasons. Perennial bulbs to divide and set out now are another opportunity. Some of the most effective garden displays are possible with little expense and effort. We’ll look forward to sharing those ideas with you." This program is free to the public. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Ft. Worth: Learn how to prune blackberries, Tuesday, June 25, 8–10 a.m. at the Tarrant County Master Gardener Association Community Demonstration Garden, 1801 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. There is no cost and class limit is 20. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information/directions, contact Billie Hammack at blhammack@ag.tamu.edu or call 817-884-1296.

San Antonio: "Catch the Rain and Use it Later" will be presented Tuesday, June 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, Suite 208, San Antonio. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Horticulturist David Rodriguez and Master Gardener Specialist Lou Kellogg will cover the basics and benefits or rainwater harvesting. You will learn how to collect and utilize rainwater at home and may be the lucky person to win a ready-to-use rain barrel! This presentation is open to the public. Registration fee of $10 may be paid at the door. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.

Dallas: Cody Hoya with Terrain Horticulture Design "Vertical Gardening" at the Dallas County Master Gardeners monthly meeting, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., June 27, at 950 E. Lawther Dr., Dallas (Winfrey Point). Sign in for 1 hour education credit. For more information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.

La Marque: Master Gardener Jim Gilliam will present “Turning Dirt Into Soil,” Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. This program covers soil structure and characteristics, pH, nutrients, sources and strategies for soil amendment, testing and cultural practices, with an emphasis on how to improve your existing soil. For course reservations, call 281-534-3413, ext. 12 or email GALV3@wt.net.


Humble: Greg Harmison, horticulture coordinator at Jesse Jones Park, provides planting ideas for the hot summer season when he discusses blooming Shrubs summer to fall, Wed., July 10, noon – 2 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.

Humble: Texas Rose Rustlers Meet Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. This Rookie Rustler meeting is open to the public in order to help enthusiasts learn the etiquette of rustling old garden roses, how to propagate from cuttings and then grow their favorite flower. Visit www.texasroserustlers.com for more details or call 281-443-8731.

Bryan: “Fall Vegetable Gardening – You Can Dig It!” will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Saturday, July 20, at Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan. Speakers Margrit Moores & Kate Kelly, both master gardeners, will focus on the fall vegetable garden. Sessions include “Beginnings: Sun, Soil, Water, and Mulch”; “Taking Root: Plant Varieties, Planting Schedule, and Planting Combinations”; and “Gathering the Harvest: Increasing Yield and Extending the Season”; and there will be demonstrations of must-have garden equipment. Pre-Register to attend: $35 per person includes handouts & refreshments. Registration preferred by July 17. Registration form is available on the Brazos County Master Gardeners website at brazosmg.com. For additional information, visit brazosmg.com or call 979-823-0129.

Kaufman: The Fall Vegetable Seminar will be presented Saturday, July 20, at the 1st Baptist Fellowship Hall, Northeast corner of Washington and Chestnut, in Kaufman. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and presentations begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon. Kaufman County Master Gardeners will present "Fall Planting: What to Plant & Where to Find It"; Susan Clark and Arlene Hamilton, Ellis County Master Gardeners, will present "Mediterranean Herbs"; Renee Word, Kaufman County Master Gardener, will present "Canning Your Harvest"; and John Lawler, Owner-Operator of Worm Wranglers, will present "Vermicomposting & Soil Preparation." Admission is $5 per person. For additional information and to pre-register, call 972-932-9069 or email sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Humble: Summer Color Conference and Plant Sale will be held Saturday, July 27, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. Splash into summer with this one-day immersion into perfect solutions for gardening in the heat. Mercer’s Director Darrin Duling will conduct a tour of the heat-loving plants in the gardens. Conference participants can take advantage of a plant sale that morning, which opens later in the day to the public. Reservations and a fee are required, so call 281-443-8731 for additional details.


Humble: As a county extension agent for many years, Tom Leroy has experienced every question about handling lawn care and what to do about those hard to manage spots needing easy ground cover. Join him as he makes the green monster manageable when he discusses lawns and alternations, Wednesday, August 14, noon – 2 p.m. at Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble. For additional information, call 281-443-8731 or visit www.hcp4.net/mercer.


Dallas: “Vegetable Garden-Fall” will be presented September 4, 10 a.m. until noon, at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches homeowners the proper time to germinate fall vegetable seeds and/or when to transplant fall vegetables into their vegetable garden. It also teaches proper soil preparation, insect and disease and weed control. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

Nacogdoches/Arcadia: Naked Ladies and Oxbloods: SFA Gardens Arcadian Fall Bulb Bus Tour, September 14. Visit Greg Grant’s Emanis House dogtrot in Shelby County’s rural community of Arcadia. Depending on the weather, see red oxblood lilies (Rhodophiala), several different colors of spider lilies (Lycoris), or assorted rain lilies (Cooperia, Zephyranthes, and Habranthus). Unfortunately their display depends on the first fall rains so a grand naturalized bulb display isn’t guaranteed. Visit Grant’s old family home with an open breezeway running through it, along with his small cottage garden, chickens, and bluebird houses. Dress comfortably for potentially hot weather. The bus tour will be from 9 a.m. until noon. All participants will meet at the SFA Ag building, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacognoches, at 9 a.m. $25 for Friends of SFA Gardens members, $30 for non-members. For more information and reservations contact Elyce Rodwald at 936-468-1832 or erodewald@sfasu.edu. Other SFA Gardens events and information can be found at sfagardens.sfasu.edu.


Nacogdoches: The SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University will host its annual Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 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 Greg Grant and SFA 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 more than 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 two weeks before the sale for a list of available plants.

Dallas: “Trees for North Texas” will be presented October 8, 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 17360 Coit Road, Dallas. This program teaches proper tree selection and planting for North Texas. Selecting the right tree and planting it properly helps improve the sustainability of your home or business landscape. Tree list provided. For more information and to register, visit http://dallas.tamu.edu or email urbanwater@tamu.edu.

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 Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit http://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.

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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Publisher: Chris S. Corby ● Editor: Michael Bracken

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