January 25, 2017
  
Family gardening provides more than a bountiful harvest
 
By Melinda Myers
 
Gardeners know digging, planting, harvesting and even viewing a garden is good for the mind, body and spirit. It improves strength and flexibility, lowers blood pressure and elevates our mood. And this is true for all members of the family from the very young to the more seasoned.
 
Plan on sharing these benefits with yours or a friend's children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews this growing season. Children, and even adults, who grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat them. But gardening does even more to help our children. Research shows children exposed to the outdoors and gardening are more focused, have fewer issues with attention deficit and score better on tests. Girls exposed to gardens and green spaces are more confident and better able to handle peer pressure.
 
Here are a few ways to make gardening with family more fun and memorable.
 
Involve the entire family when planning the garden. Talk about the flowers everyone wants to grow and vegetables you all like to eat. Then break out the paper, old catalogs, scissors, crayons, pencils and rulers. Young children can cut out pictures of their favorite vegetables and flowers and glue them on the paper. Older children can draw the garden to scale on graph paper and plot their choices in the garden.
 
Make your own plant markers. Once you decide on the plants you want to grow, spend a rainy afternoon creating plant labels for the garden. Paint the name or a picture of the flower or vegetable on a flat rock, slat from a discarded mini blind, paint sticks or other recycled items.
 
Consider giving everyone his or her own garden space. Let them pick their own plants and be responsible for its maintenance. Design individual plots or divide larger beds into smaller sections. Or give each family member his or her own container. This is a great option when planting space and time are limited. And just about anything can be planted. An old 5-gallon bucket or washtub with holes drilled into the bottom, recycled nursery pots or a colorful raised planter make great gardens.
 
Direct fast moving, small feet down the path and away from plants. Fun edging materials, mulched pathways or slightly raised beds help delineate pathways from gardens. This helps to keep children from trampling the plants.
 
Grow some quick-maturing plants such as radishes and lettuce that are ready to harvest in 30 to 45 days along with slower growers such as watermelon and tomatoes. You will keep everyone interested if there is something growing, blooming and good to eat throughout the season.
 
Reduce the risk of mistakes. Kids, like so many gardeners, suffer from "more is better" syndrome. Avoid damage from overfertilization by using a low nitrogen organic fertilizer such as Milorganite. It's safe and won't burn your plants even if the weather becomes hot and dry.
 
And enlist my favorite "Pluck, drop and stomp" pest management strategy. Teach children the difference between the good and bad insects and then have them burn off some excess energy as they implement the process.
 
End the season with a harvest party. Use your homegrown produce to prepare a picnic or fancy dinner for family and friends. And be sure to use some of those beautiful flowers you grew to decorate the table.
 
Gardening expert Melinda Myers is the author of more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener's Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone" DVD set and the nationally-syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her website is www.melindamyers.com.
Editor's Note: Gardening news is slow at the beginning of the year, and many gardeners are unable to work in their gardens during winter. We thought you might enjoy a change of pace during this slow season, so following is a gardening-themed short story presented for your enjoyment. - Michael Bracken, editor

What Every Gardener Knows
 
By Ginny Swart
 
When old Mr. Patterson moved away, the strangest young couple came to live next door to Angela Morrison.
 
"She has metal on her face and they both wear black all the time," she told her daughter Diane. "They don't look like gardeners."
 
But she was pleasantly surprised to find how wrong she was.
 
The following day, as she weeded her petunias, her neighbor walked over to the fence.
 
"Good morning," she said, "I'm Zara Andrews. And that over there is my partner, Spike Nash."
 
Spike, expressionless in studded black leather and biker boots, gave her a half wave from behind the motorbike he was polishing.
 
"Pleased to meet you, my dear," said Angela, looking at Zara with interest.
 
Eyes thickly lined with black, a long black cotton dress and shiny black nail polish. And not one ring, but three, through her nostril. How very different, thought Angela.
 
"Spike and I want to start gardening, like you, once we've cleared this mess."
 
"Oh good," said Angela, relieved.
 
She was pleased to see they set about clearing the ground that very weekend. Spike removed his black leather jacket, his well-muscled arms sported several striking tattoos, which at first alarmed Angela but then quite fascinated her, the snakes rippling and dipping as he worked. He chopped the overgrown shrubs while Zara dug and cleared and raked the weeds into neat piles.
 
Angela watched from her kitchen window as they stopped in their labors, sat on the back steps and lit cigarettes.
 
She pursed her lips. What a pity so many young people smoked, she thought, so bad for their health.
 
Later, Spike and Zara marked out long straight rows with two sticks and a piece of string that stretched right across the garden. Ah, vegetables, thought Angela, that's sensible. She hurried out of her kitchen and spoke across the fence.
 
"Zara, dear, you'd be better off if you made the rows a little shorter and put a path between," she said helpfully. "That way you can weed more easily."
 
Spike looked up and spoke to her for the first time.
 
"Waste of valuable growing space," he said shortly, and carried on.
 
Angela pursed her lips. They'd see their mistake when their seedlings started to sprout and they wanted to thin them out. Well, they couldn't say she hadn't warned them.
 
But the seedlings, when they grew, seemed not to need thinning out and grew strong and healthy. Zara could often be seen throwing handfuls of fertilizer amongst the plants and she watered them attentively twice a day.
 
* * *
 
"And how's your garden coming along?" Angela had met Zara by chance in the supermarket. "It all looks very green and healthy. Growing vegetables, are you? I can't really tell without my glasses."
 
"Yes," said Zara.
 
"With the price of greens today, I'm not surprised," said Angela. "Look what I had to pay for this bunch of spinach. Criminal. I've never gone in for vegetables, myself, but I can see why you do. You'll be able to sell some too, I shouldn't wonder."
 
Zara smiled. "We'd certainly like to."
 
"But you'll have to watch out for downy mildew. Or red spider."
 
"That sounds awful! How do we prevent all those nasty things?"
 
"You spray," said Angela firmly. "You mix pesticides and fungicides with water and spray your vegetables at least once a week."
 
"We couldn't do that," said Zara, "We're organic. Spike would never spray poison on anything."
 
Angela didn't consider herself a nosy parker but she did like to know.
 
"What does your Spike do, dear?" she asked. "Unemployed at the moment, is he?"
 
"Oh, no, not really," said Zara vaguely. "Spike's self-employed, he sells stuff. You could call him an entrepreneur."
 
"That's nice," said Angela, unpacking her basket at the checkout. "Well, see you soon."
 
The cashier stared after Zara in disapproval as she left the shop.
 
"You know her, Mrs. Morrison?" she asked. "Dracula's sister, we call her."
 
"One should never judge a book by its cover."
 
Angela prided herself on being open minded and able to appreciate the good qualities in the young people of today.
 
* * *
 
"So how are you getting on with that couple next door?" Diane sat in her mother's kitchen, eating homemade gingerbread.
 
"They're keen gardeners, out there watering their plants twice a day."
 
Diane stood up and glanced across at the next-door garden. She stiffened, then her shoulders started to shake and her mother flinched as she exploded into shrieks of laughter.
 
"Mom, don't you see what they're growing over there?"
 
"Vegetables of some sort," said Angela uncertainly.
 
"Your keen gardeners are growing a healthy crop of marijuana!" she giggled. "Grass. Cannabis. Indian hemp."
 
"Drugs?"
 
"No wonder they're working so hard! Those plants of theirs must be worth a fortune."
 
"They're drug dealers?" Angela was filled with a white-hot rage at the perfidy of her neighbors. To think that drug dealers should pursue their terrible trade under her very nose.
 
She would see about that.
 
The next day Angela walked down to the gardening shop and made a large purchase. That afternoon she called to Zara over the fence.
 
"Zara, dear, have you noticed that you have a bad case of Australian creep-worm?"
 
"What? Where?" Zara spun round in dismay and surveyed her flourishing crop. "I can't see anything."
 
"Not called creep-worm for nothing," said Angela sombrely. "They disappear just as the sun rises so you and Spike might not have spotted them."
 
"I've never heard of them. Are they serious?"
 
"Oh yes, dear. Creep-worms attack from inside the stalks and the first thing you know, your plant becomes completely toxic. Even fatal."
 
Angela was enjoying herself.
 
Zara started to sweat. "Isn't there a spray we could use?"
 
"I always have some handy. But maybe Spike wouldn't want to use a pesticide?"
 
"He will! Please, let me have some right away."
 
"It's very strong," warned Angela. "But it's absolutely guaranteed to kill off creep-worm."
 
Angela watched her neighbor spraying the pretty bright green plants, dousing both sides of the five-pointed leaves.
 
"Of course, if those plants die, you'll have to burn the whole lot, you know that, don't you?" Angela called. "The Domestic Agricultural Inspectors'll prosecute anyone found with creep-worm. They're terribly strict."
 
Zara nodded, round-eyed.
 
That evening she and Spike walked out and looked at their garden in the moonlight. Angela could hear them muttering anxiously.
 
The following day she was woken by a primal, savage scream coming from deep within Spike's tattooed throat.
 
He stood amongst the brown and rotted corpses of his marijuana plants with tears running down his eyes. Zara was hurriedly pulling them out and raking them into a pile. Angela heard the hissed warning "Prosecuted" and Spike joined her in clearing the garden, emitting guttural noises of disappointment and rage.
 
Then she remembered the empty bottles of Broad Spectrum Weed Killer in her garden shed and threw them in the bin.
 
It wouldn't do for her young neighbors to see them, nor the instructions: "Take care to dilute one part weed killer to 100 parts water before spraying."
 
As every gardener knows, undiluted weed killer is pretty powerful stuff.
 
Ginny Swart is a South African writer who began writing once she retired from teaching in Hong Kong. She writes short stories for magazines, anthologies and text books, and has had several (forgettable) romances published. But her vegetable patch is her first love. Something to Read is her latest collection of short stories. Learn more at www.ginnyswart.com.
Gardening tips

Now is a great time to start planning a cut-flower garden. Zinnias, sunflowers and other annuals, as well as bulbs like gladiolas, make great cut flowers and are easy to grow. You will need to get your bed prepared and order seed in time to plant late March, early April.
        
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 copy of Texas Gardene r's 2017 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Garde ning Tips.
Upcoming garden events
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
JANUARY

Conroe:
Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having their Fruit and Nut Tree Sale on Saturday, January 28, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. The presentation starts at 8 a.m., the sale is from 9 a.m. until noon. Varieties sold will grow well in Montgomery County. Trees and plants include apples, blackberries, blueberries, citrus, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and much more. Take your wagon! Visit www.mcmga.com or call 936-539-7824 for more info.

Hempstead: Waller County Master Gardeners hosts a Fruit and Nut Tree sale pickup event on January 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Tegeler Used Cars in Hempstead. William D. (Bill) Adams will speak at 9 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. on the care of fruit and nut trees. Bill is a retired Harris County extension agent with 30 years of experience at the AgriLife Extension Service. He is also a prolific garden writer and the author/photographer of seven gardening books. Arrive early to attend one of the free sessions and learn how to care for your new trees! If you didn't get a chance to order during the presale window, an additional 300 trees are available for purchase on the 28th on a first come, first served basis starting at 10 a.m.

Hempstead: Peckerwood Garden presents Peckerwood Garden Open Day: Saturday, January 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m, 20559 FM 359 Rd. Hempstead. Visitors enjoy 1-hour guided tours of the garden led by knowledgeable docents. Guided tours are offered approximately every 30 minutes, leaving between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Purchase Tickets. $10 admission and parking, Free  for members. For more info, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/ or info@peckerwoodgarden.org.

La Marque: "Growing Peaches in Galveston County" with GC Master Gardener Herman Auer presenting, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., January 28, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
 
La Marque: "Kitchen Gardening" with GC Master Gardener Mary Demeny presenting, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., January 28, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.

Nacogdoches: East Texas is blessed with an abundance of beautiful trees that thrive in Southern landscapes. Chris Dempsey, senior garden technician for Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens, will host a public seminar aimed at teaching participants about native trees from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 28, at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St. Dempsey will help participants choose the ideal tree for their landscapes, make the best selections at the nursery and then demonstrate the appropriate method for planting. He also will discuss reasons for proper pruning, show pruning tools and demonstrate the specifics of pruning and training shade, ornamental and fruit trees. Dempsey is a Nacogdoches native and an urban forestry graduate of the SFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. He has worked as a tree climber for Bartlett Tree Services in San Marcos. To register for the seminar, contact SFA Gardens Education Office at (936) 468-1832 or sfagardens@sfasu.edu . Cost is $15 for SFA Garden members and $20 for non-members.

Orlando, FL: Join the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) for the 56th Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference, January 28-31, in Orlando. The annual conference brings together nearly 900 seed industry professionals from more than 20 countries for four days of global networking and education. Held at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort next to EPCOT Center, the 2017 Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference will bring agricultural innovation to life with exclusive tour opportunities at Disney's trial gardens, greenhouses, and a special version of Disney's "Behind the Seeds" tour, in addition to ASTA sessions on plant breeding, organic seed, communications, and more. On the evening of Saturday, January 28, All-America Selections (AAS) and National Garden Bureau will provide an update on both organizations' yearly activities and new AAS Winners, followed by a meet-and-greet cocktail reception. Sunday, January 29 and Monday, January 30, will feature special Disney "Behind the Seeds" tours, including the AAS trial garden. On Monday, January 30, the General Session will feature Walt Disney World's Eric Darden, the man behind the magic of EPCOT's International Flower and Garden Festival - an event that has grown in popularity in each of its 20-plus years to an audience that is now over 7 million! Bringing to life a renewed interest in gardening, produce and food, this festival has been instrumental in the creation of EPCOT as the "festival park" of Walt Disney World. For more information including the full schedule of events, visit http://www.betterseed.org/events/asta-vegetable-flower-seed-conference/.

La Marque: "Anyone Can Grow Roses" with GC Master Gardener and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian John Jons presenting, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., January 31, at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque. Fee/Free. Participants must pre-register: Ph 281-534-3413. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Further details: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/.
FEBRUARY

San Antonio: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County is now taking applications for its Master Gardener Intern Training Class No. 61 in San Antonio. Master Gardener volunteer training is conducted by AgriLife Extension for adults interested in gardening, horticulture and related topics. Currently there are more than 400 certified Master Gardener volunteers in the Bexar County Master Gardener program. Classes will be conducted from noon-4 p.m. each Wednesday from Feb. 22 to May 24, 2017 unless otherwise noted. Instruction will be given in Suite 208 of the AgriLife Extension offices, located in the Conroy Square office complex at 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, San Antonio. Master Gardener classes address topics ranging from plant growth and development to plant diseases, insects, soils, and basic landscaping and garden design. Individuals who complete the training become certified Master Gardeners and assist AgriLife Extension through community education in horticulture. Volunteer hours may be applied to a variety of approved projects discussed during training. Submission of an application is not automatic acceptance into the class. Interns completing classroom training and passing the final exam will be required to complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service toward youth and/or adult education outreach their first year, and 30 hours annually thereafter. Class size is limited to 30 participants and the deadline for submitting the application is February 3. A registration fee of $260 is payable in full on the first day of class. If the applicant withdraws prior to March 1, a processing fee of $100 will be administered. No refunds will be issued after that date. Applications are available online at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/. If unable to submit the application through the website, a completed application can be printed from the site and faxed to Angel Torres at 210-631-0429 or mailed to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Attn: Angel Torres, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 212, San Antonio, Texas 78230-4818. A background check is required on all applicants participating in the Master Gardener program and will be done on the first day of class. For more information, contact Torres at 210-631-0400.

Austin: All About Roses will be presented Saturday February 4, 10:00 a.m.-noon, at Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin. Incorporate user-friendly roses into your new or existing garden plans! Travis County Master Gardener Cher Coleman has 30 years' experience in the use of roses in a landscape. She will teach methods for proper selection of rose varieties, site prep and maintenance like pruning, pest control and fertilization. This session is excellent for newbies and experienced gardeners and questions are encouraged. Seminar is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child (ages 3-12) or seniors (age 62 & over), $3 for non-Austin Residents. Cash or check accepted. For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Travis County, 512-854-9600.

La Marque: "Growing Citrus in Your Back Yard" with GC Master Gardener Robert Marshall presenting 9:00-11:30 a.m., February 4,
at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galvcountymgs@gmail.com, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.
 
La Marque: "Growing Blueberries" with GC Master Gardener David Cohen presenting, 1:00-2:30 p.m., February 4, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galvcountymgs@gmail.com, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.

San Antonio: Spring Youth Garden Educator Training will be presented Sat., February 4, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at Phil Hardberger Park, West Urban Ecology Center, 8400 NW Military Highway, San Antonio. This training is designed for teachers, educators, and volunteers in support of youth gardening in the classroom and community. If you are interested in starting a gardening program in your school/community or you are looking for ways to enhance your already existing youth garden, do not miss this educational opportunity! Breakout sessions will be conducted with different garden topics for you to choose from, and a starter garden kit will be distributed to youth gardens that are ready for planting. (Plant material is given per school/institution.) For only $20, training and lunch is provided to all participants. Walk-ins will not be accepted, so please register early at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/productListingDetails/2191. For additional information, email Ruby Zavala, Youth Gardens Coordinator, at Ruby.Zavala@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: "Growing Fruit Trees-Peaches and Plums" will be presented by by Galveston County Master Gardener Herman Auer 10-11:30 a.m., Thursday, February 9, at Genoa Friendship Garden Education Building, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. For additional information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Houston:  "Rose Pruning Done Right" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, February 9, 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church 1819 Heights Blvd., Houston. Entrance to the parking lot is on W. 19th Street near Yale St. Expert rosarians with the Houston Rose Society will demonstrate pruning techniques on actual bushes of all types of roses. Tables will be placed so all can get a close-up view of the demonstration. Questions are encouraged. Added bonus: all pruned bushes will be given away as door prizes; obtain a free raffle ticket upon arrival to be eligible. Our special guest this evening will be Jon Corkern, Director of Development and Membership of the American Rose Society. Free admission. For more information, visit: http://www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: Scott Tompkins will present "Herbal Salad Dressings" at the February 9 meeting of the San Antonio Herb Society. Tompkins is the Culinary Development Manager for Recipes/Products for HEB headquarters. Tompkins was classically trained at culinary schools in Los Angeles and Austin and worked at some of the top restaurants. Tompkins has been with HEB for 5-1/2 years, starting as a culinary instructor, advancing to a recipe developer, a technical food advisor and culinary captain before receiving his current senior position. You may have seen Tompkins on the HEB Backyard Kitchen program on KSAT. Tompkins focuses on healthier and down to earth recipes that fit today's lifestyles. Foods that allow natural flavors to come through. He also develops frozen and fresh products for HEB. Tompkins plans on presenting a salad to taste test and will demonstrate a series of herbal related dressings. This informative and fun meeting is free and open to the public. The San Antonio Herb Society meets on the second Thursday of the month at the San Antonio Garden Center at 6:30pm. The Garden Center is located at 3310 N. New Braunfels. For more information about the herb society go to www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Tyler: Smith County Master Gardeners at the library, February 10 at 11:30 a.m. "Rose Rustlers" with Greg Grant, Smith County horticulturalist and Texas Gardener contributing editor . Presentation with Q&A to follow. Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College, Tyler. Free and open to the public. For additional information, call 903-590-2980.

Angleton: Brazoria County Master Gardeners will hold their 11th Annual Fruit & Citrus Tree Sale, 8:00-noon, February 11, at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds, 901 South Downing, Angleton. More than 1,400 individual plants will be available. For additional information, visit http://txmg.org/brazoria or http://brazoria.agrilife.org

La Marque: "Growing Avocado & Papaya" with Jerry Hurlbert, Moderator & Coordinator of the Texas Rare Fruit Growers Assoc. presenting, 9:00-11:30 a.m., February 11, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galvcountymgs@gmail.com, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.

La Marque: "Soil Health & Evaluation" with GC Master Gardener Jim Gilliam presenting, 1:00-2:30 p.m., February 11, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Building in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galvcountymgs@gmail.com, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.

Marion: The Guadalupe Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas presents "Why Vines?" at 7:00 p.m., February 14, at St. John's Lutheran Church, FM 465, Marion. For additional information, visit http://npsot.org/wp/guadalupe.

La Marque: "Pruning Roses" with GC Master Gardener, Consulting Rosarian, and American Rose Society member John Jons presenting, 9:00-10:00 a.m., February 16, at Galveston County Master Gardeners' Research & Demonstration Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main St., La Marque; Ph 281-534-3413; email reservations to galvcountymgs@gmail.com, further details see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/. Free.

San Antonio: Rosarian Ed Bradley will present "Roses for 2017," Thursday, February 16, 1-3 p.m., at 3355 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. Free. Bexar County Master Gardener (BCMG) Educational Seminars/General Meetings are held on the afternoon of the third Thursday every other month at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, Suite 208. Bradley will share his expertise his wealth of knowledge on growing roses in San Antonio. For more information email President@bexarmg.org, or call 210-699-0663.

Houston : "Daylily Sale" offered by Lone Star Daylily Society at the Texas Home & Garden Show February 17-19 at the NRG Center, 1 NRG Park, Houston. Times for the sale are Feb 17, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.; Feb 18, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Feb 19, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Offering 55 varieties, ranging from oldie-goldies, to newer releases by well-known hybridizers, such as Bell, DeVito and Trimmer. Prices range from $5-$12. For more information, visit lonestardaylilysociety.org and see a copy of our color flyer to see samples of what you can expect to find. Any questions, call Debbie Pike at 979-236-1478.

Hitchcock: "Galveston County Master Gardeners 2017 Spring Plant Sale" with pre-sale seminar 8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m., plant sale 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., February 18, at Jack Brooks Park Rodeo Arena, 10 Jack Brooks Rd and Hwy 6, Hitchcock (Galveston County Fairgrounds).

La Marque: "Galveston County Master Gardeners Annual Spring Fruit & Citrus Tree, Vegetable, 'Texas Tough' Perennials, Bulb, and Craft Sale," 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., February 18; pre-sale seminar 8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m., at Jack Brooks Park Rodeo Arena, 10 Jack Brooks Rd and Hwy 6, Hitchcock (Galveston County Fairgrounds) For a complete list of plants included in the Sale, visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/Galveston/index.htm.

Pasadena: Harris County Master Gardener "Fruit Tree and Tomato" Sale will be held February 18 at Campbell Hall, Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7600 Red Bluff RD., Pasadena. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu .

Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their monthly meeting on February 21 at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Kathryn Bryant, Management Chair, Lindheimer Chapter Plant Sale. Kathryn will speak on "Plant Sale Primer." Kathryn will review native plants of interest for the sale and propagation techniques. The meeting is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call Martha Guethle, 830-438-5996.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

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.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.
 
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
 
Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.
   
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.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.org
 
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually mee tat 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at  3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at kayleetl@sbcglobal.net.
 
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.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Peckerwood Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is required. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
SECOND WEEK
 
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.org.

Glen Rose: The Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
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.
 
Denton:  The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month . Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit  http://dcmga.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's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 
 
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.or g 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 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.
 
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 Kathy Henderson at kshend@verizon.net or visit http://www.npsot.org/wp/wilco.
 
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 new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. 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.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 
 
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.
  
Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.
 
Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
 
Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.
  
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the  GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/ .

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com.
 
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.
 
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third 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 254-471-5860. 
 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer Note : there will be no meeting in June or December.
 
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 Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, 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) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/Houston.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a free presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct., Dec.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1-3:30 p.m. Check http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
 
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture series at 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Tickets are available online. Tickets are $10, $5 for members.For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.

FOURTH WEEK
 
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
 
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
 
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
 
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
 
Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.
 
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
 
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. 7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit http://thegardenclubofaustin.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 h ttp://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.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, holds an Open Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Tours start at 10 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 2 p.m. Tickets available online or at the gate. $10, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
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