November 2, 2016
  
The garden reader:
Some like it hotter than hot
 
By William Scheick
Book Reviewer
 
David Floyd. 101 Chilies to Try Before You Die. Firefly Books, 2016. 224 pp. $18.95.
 
"Chilies and peppers are one of the fastest-growing areas in food, with new brands and products launched all the time," David Floyd observes in his new book. A pepper expert, Floyd operates the Chile Foundry.
 
His 101 Chilies is attractively produced. Each pepper is illustrated in a luminous full-page photograph and each is profiled in rewarding detail (including growing information and culinary features).
 
The peppers are arranged by category: sweet and mild (such as apricot habanero), warm (such as Serrano), hot (such as our hard-to-germinate native pequin) and very hot (such as habalokia). There is also a list of pepper-seed and plug suppliers.
 
Recently in Texas, even chile ice cream has appeared. HEB, under its Central Market brand, has been offering 'Chile Pepper Pecan' as a small-batch craft ice cream, which my daughter loves.
 
Judith Finlayson. The Chile Pepper Bible. Robert Rose Inc., 2016. 448 pp. $27.95.
  
"I love the way chiles enhance so many dishes by adding just the right degree of pungency, along with subtle flavors," Judith Finlayson writes in her new, amazingly resourceful cookbook. It includes more than 200 recipes that she collected from across the globe and then tweaked for enhanced outcome.
 
Finlayson provides a brief culinary history of chile cultivation. There are five major pepper species, but even today the precise species identification of every chile eludes certainty.
 
And did you know that "the very first San Antonio chili contained neither tomatoes nor beans"? Instead, it mimicked some South American adobos (marinades/sauces).
 
Finlayson's entry for "Original San Antonio Chili" is a slightly amended version of a document she found in the research library of the Institute of Texan Cultures. She also advises how to modify the recipe to prepare this dish the way President Lyndon Johnson liked it.
 
The bulk of Finlayson's handsomely designed and illustrated cookbook is devoted to step-by-step recipes. Generous sidebars label recipes as "vegetarian" or "gluten-free" and offer "tips" on substitutions or special preparation.
 
The recipes are arranged by category: appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, poultry, meat, meatless, sides, salsas, drinks and desserts. No review can do justice to these tempting recipes.
 
However, maybe a few titles can entice you to pick up this cookbook for a personal look: "Turkish-Style Yogurt-Baked Fish," "Malaysian-Style Eggplant Curry," "Tagine of Chicken with Apricots" and "Moroccan Chickpea Soup."
Do you know where your potting soil comes from?
 
By Rebecca Warner
 
Today home gardeners are taking a second look at the way we garden, aiming to upgrade to more sustainable practices and bring our passion for gardening in line with our environmental principles. Leaving peat moss out of our gardens is one meaningful step we can take toward combating climate change.
 
If you grew up gardening in the last century, you probably cherished peat moss as the next thing to Mom and apple pie. When my dad taught me to garden, he showed me how to dig bales of peat moss into the vegetable beds to improve the soil's ability to hold air, water, and nutrients. Peat was the main ingredient in every growing medium I bought.
 
I never stopped to ask where my peat moss was coming from. I thought of it as a naturally good thing, like adding cow manure or compost to my soil. Then I got some bad news: peat is not a sustainable product, at least on a human time scale. It was time to kick the peat moss habit.
 
Peat comes from wetland plants-sphagnum moss but also sedges, grasses, and reeds-decomposing very slowly in oxygen-poor water. What we call peat moss forms from sphagnum moss; it serves many gardening purposes because it holds water like a sponge. But there's a dark side to this story. In peat bogs, peat forms at less than one millimeter per year. The peat we garden with took thousands of years to form. Besides, peat sequesters one-third of the world's soil carbon, more than all the forests in the world. Draining the bog and extracting the peat releases carbon into the atmosphere. Extraction eliminates the carbon sink that the peat provides. That means that by using peat-based potting mix, I was contributing to climate change.
 
I suspect that most American gardeners, like me, haven't been aware of the environmental impact of peat mining (yes, mining, because it's resource extraction, not harvesting of a renewable resource). As far back as 1971, Europeans sounded the alarm about loss and degradation of peatlands. The Ramsar Convention, an international treaty named for its origin in Ramsar, Iran, addresses conservation and wise use of wetlands including peatlands. The US has designated dozens of Ramsar sites, important wetland areas from Vermont and New Jersey to Texas and California. But American consumers have been late to appreciate the connection between peat moss at garden centers and loss of the environmental services provided by peat bogs.
 
It's true that peat makes an excellent growing medium. An ideal potting mix is dense enough to keep plants from tipping over, retains water and nutrients, but also allows water and air to flow through easily. Peat in commercial mixes has these qualities, and it decomposes slowly. It's not the only option, though. A number of materials, from coir (coconut fiber) to composted bark to byproducts of food processing, prove to be equally effective media for growing plants commercially and in home gardens.
 
In Britain this issue gets more attention, and peat-free garden products are already widely available. Prestigious gardening organizations including the Royal Horticultural Society use and advocate peat substitutes such as coir. Early American adopters include Swarthmore College. The college's Scott Arboretum stopped using peat-based potting soil in 2007 and switched to a locally-produced mix of coir, worm castings, mushroom compost, and rice hulls. Coir holds water even better than peat and decomposes more slowly.
 
You might be able to find peat-free potting mix at your garden center. One such product has recently appeared at my local Whole Foods Market. If you can't buy it, you can make a basic peat-free potting mix at home by combining one part coir with one part screened compost from your own compost pile. Coir is the pith left over from coconut processing after longer fibers are separated out. If not used for a growing medium, the coir would otherwise be waste, so we can feel good about putting it to use.
 
These coconut fibers have almost the same color and consistency as peat moss. Blending them with compost yields a rich brown, highly absorbent potting medium. I find that my summer container plants do just as well with the coir-and-compost mix as they did in previous years with peat-based potting soils.
 
Coir can be found at hydroponic growing outlets. It comes loose or in pressed bricks, not unlike small bales of peat moss. It's easy to hydrate a coir brick by soaking it in a large trash barrel. Whatever form of coir you use, you want it to have been washed to remove salt. Some coir has been processed in sea water. If you object to the carbon cost of coir shipped from coconut-growing areas, more local materials such as leaf mold, composted bark or wood chips, or rotted sawdust may do the trick. Once we give up peat, we're going to find innovative and economically viable uses for lots of materials that have heretofore had to be disposed of as waste.
 
If you don't have homemade compost to use for peat-free potting mix, you can combine bagged commercial compost with coir. Even better, ask your garden center to stock peat-free products. Once there's demand, the market will respond, and we won't need to make our own potting mix at home to spare the peat bogs and the planet.

Rebecca Warner is a home gardener in Newton, Massachusetts with thirty years' experience working toward a sustainable ornamental garden. When she's not gardening, she's a geriatric psychiatrist. Her book, The Sustainable-Enough Garden, is the story of her quest to make a beautiful garden that's environmentally friendly. In the last five years she has overhauled her garden practices, from composting to mulching, lawn care to irrigation. She blogs weekly at http://thesustainable-enoughgarden.blogspot.com.
Gardening tips

"Researchers at the University of Florida recently published a study about tomatoes in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," writes William Scheick. "The abstract for this report reads, in part: 'Commercial tomatoes are widely perceived by consumers as lacking flavor. A major part of that problem is a postharvest handling system that chills fruit. Low-temperature storage is widely used to slow ripening and reduce decay. However, chilling results in loss of flavor. Flavor-associated volatiles are sensitive to temperatures below 12° C [53.6º F], and their loss greatly reduces flavor quality.' In short, for an optimal taste experience, grow your own tomatoes and never refrigerate them."
    
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 copy of the latest issue of Texas Gardener magazine. 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.
NOVEMBER

Nacogdoches: Vintage Market Days returns the first weekend in November with "Woodland Romance." The upscale vintage-inspired market features three days of vintage shopping including home décor, outdoor furnishings, seasonal plantings and much more! The market will also have live music and food trucks throughout the duration of the event. Friday is the Early Buying Event for $10 per ticket. Saturday and Sunday general admission is $5 per ticket. Children 12 and under and parking are free, in addition to free readmission all three days. Tickets will be available at the door each day of the event. Vintage Market Days will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 4-6 at the Nacogdoches County Expo and Civic Center, located at 3805 N.W. Stallings Drive. Follow Vintage Market Days on social media for the latest updates or visit www.VintageMarketDays.com for more information.

Austin: " Using Water Wisely - Demonstration Field Day," will be held Saturday, November 5 , 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County, 1600-B Smith Road, Austin. Learn about the entire spectrum of water-saving solutions from high tech to no tech at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office Demonstration Field Day in Austin. You determine the best answer for your situation and pocket book. Travis County Master Gardeners and Horticulturist Daphne Richards will be available to demonstrate and answer your questions on a one-on-one basis. Discover various rain water catchment methods. See examples of various watering methods from a wicking bed to drip irrigation. Understand the importance of compost for water conservation and plant health. Gain knowledge about the importance of selecting the right plant for the spot. Look at ways to control heat (summer and winter) to increase vegetable garden production. Stroll the diverse garden and ask questions. Enjoy watching the butterflies, bees, blooming flowers, and growing vegetables. Take home lettuce seeds and how-to knowledge to accomplish your next project. Demonstration Field Day is FREE and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Travis County, 512-854-9600. Visit Central Texas Horticulture.

Conroe: The Montgomery County Master Gardeners are hosting Texas Gardener Contributing Editor Greg Grant on Saturday, November 5, at 9 a.m. Greg's topic will be "Gardening Naturally: Landscaping with Native Plants." Enjoy Greg's unique style of presentation. Limited seating! Register at http://montgomery.agrilife.org/horticulture-gardening/mcmga-event-registration/. $25.00 per person before October 28; $30.00 after. 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. For more information, call 936-539-7824 or visit www.mcmga.com .

Dallas: Save water and money with commonsense landscaping. Plan to attend one or both of seminars presented Saturday, November 5, at Richland College - Wichita Hall, Room WH-103,
12800 Abrams Road, Dallas 75243 . Landscape designer and author Bonnie Reese of Beautiful Landscapes will be the speaker at both sessions. First-time seminar attendees at each session will receive a copy of Ms. Reese's book, "Common- Sense Landscaping" (limit one per household). Attendees can also enter a drawing for free bags of GreenSense organic fertilizer from Rohde's Nursery and Nature Store . There will be three drawings per session. Water-Wise Landscape Design 101, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Whether you have a new landscape or plan to update an existing area, it is critical to begin with a good design. This program teaches the principles of landscape design with an emphasis on how to create a beautiful landscape that will save resources - natural and financial! Fantastic Plants for North Texas, 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Using colorful photographs, Bonnie demonstrates the natural beauty of native and adapted plants that thrive in the North Texas region. Learn when, where and how to plant each of the recommended plants, their size and height at maturity, seasonal color, texture and more. This program provides information on trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, groundcovers and turf grasses. Making a reservation. Space is limited, so register online at SaveDallasWater.com or by calling 214-670-3155.

Dallas: Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, presents its annual Pollinator Plant Sale Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale features more than 500 species of native and adapted plants! Texas Discovery Gardens members can shop early (Nov. 4 from 4 pm to 7 pm) and save 10% on plants. Want to learn more about the plants and see established specimens in our Gardens? Arrive early for the popular Plant Sale Safari. This pre-sale tour by Director of Horticulture Roger Sanderson shows you how to incorporate native and adapted plants into your landscape. $16, $12/members. Tours are Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 9 a.m. Plant Sale list: http://texasdiscoverygardens.org/plant_sale.php.

Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University's SFA Gardens will host a hands-on container gardening seminar featuring Sharon Lee Smith from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 5 at the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St. Smith will help home gardeners learn the "hows" and "whys" of container gardening, as cheerful container gardens provide beauty and color during the winter. Participants will then put their knowledge to use by creating their own exquisite container garden to take home. Smith is an SFA graduate and co-owner of Blue Moon Gardens in Edom. She has been a garden designer for many years and loves working with color. Pre-registration is required, and seminar space is limited. The cost is $55 for SFA Gardens members and $65 for non-members. Register by calling SFA Gardens at 936-468-1832 or email sfagardens@sfasu.edu  .

LaGrange: The Bluebonnet Master Gardeners of Fayette County will host " Tree Management " by Daniel Lewis at noon Tuesday, November 8, at the County Extension Agent '
s office, 255 Svoboda Lane, LaGrange. Free and open to the public. Bring your own lunch and drink or take part in light refreshments courtesy of the Fayette County Master Gardeners. For more information, call 979-968-5831.

Georgetown: Meeting of the Native Plant Society of Texas, Williamson County Chapter Thursday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m. upstairs in the Georgetown Library on 8th Street. Report on the annual symposium Conservation and Climate Change, held in Glen Rose on October 14 and 15. Kathy Galloway, Walt Henderson and Kathy Henderson will share highlights from the excellent speakers as well as the winning video. See pictures of the symposium events, including the field trips. Arrive early to chat, explore the seed board, or help yourself to free literature. Meeting is free and open to the public.
 
Houston: "The American Rose Society and You" will be the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, November 10, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. The program will be presented by Laura Seabaugh, the American Rose Society Executive Director. The program will cover outreach programs being done by the ARS and its benefits to members. Free admission. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

San Antonio: Mark Fanick will present "Winter Gardening in South Texas" at the Thursday, November 10, meeting of the San Antonio Herb Society. Mark Fanick, and his brother Mike, are third generation owners of Fanick's Garden Center on San Antonio's East Side. Customers come from all across the city and as far away as the Rio Grande Valley to tap their knowledge on plants grown in South Texas. Fanick's, which has been in business for more than 75 years, has a diverse selection of fruit, nut and citrus trees as well as herbs, roses, vegetables, and other plants that adapt well to this area. It is also known as a source for hard-to-find varieties. Mark and his staff are knowledgeable of both organic and conventional methods of gardening. At the presentation, Mark will address your plant questions. There may be a few items for sale from his demonstration. So mark your calendars and don't miss this opportunity to interact with a local plant expert. The meeting will be held at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels at Parland from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome. For more information, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Tyler: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Smith County will continue its 2016 East Texas Garden Lecture Series at 9 a.m. Saturday, November 12, at the Tyler Rose Garden, 420 Rose Park Drive, Tyler. Dr. Jared Barnes, assistant professor in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present "Foodscaping with Incredible Edibles." At SFA, Barnes pursues how to best cultivate plants and connect students with horticulture and manages the Sprout Garden, a trial ground for edibles and perennials in East Texas. Barnes, who began gardening at age 5, joined the SFA faculty in 2014. Prior to his arrival, he participated in a summer internship at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and has also traveled around the U.S. and to 10 different countries to gain a national and global perspective on horticulture. Barnes received his doctorate in horticultural science from North Carolina State University. His work has been recognized in Organic Gardening, Greenhouse Grower, and Ken Druse's Real Dirt, and in 2016 he was recognized with Greenhouse Products News' 40 Under 40 award and the Perennial Plant Association's Young Professional of the Year. Barnes' love of teaching extends beyond the classroom as he delights in giving gardening talks around the country. His articles have been published in Fine Gardening and Carolina Gardener. Registration for the lecture begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 9 a.m in the Rose Room. Tickets are $15 per person and may be purchased at the door or in advance at the Smith County AgriLife Extension office (Cotton Belt Building), 1517 W. Front St. Suite 116, Tyler. Each attendee will receive a packet of heirloom Crawford reseeding lettuce seed. The lecture series is a collaborative effort between the Smith County AgriLife Extension Environmental Horticulture Committee, the Smith County Master Gardeners, and the city of Tyler Water department. For more information about the lecture series, call the Smith County AgriLife Extension office at 903-590-2980 or email Greg.Grant@ag.tamu.edu.

Woodway: Anecdotes from the Garden will be presented by Patricia Goaley, Master Gardener November 16. An amusing romp through the garden, discussing gardening influences on life from the dark ages thru the 1700s from England, some of Europe, and finally, to our survival in America. The program runs from noon to 2:00 p.m. at The Pavilion at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, Woodway. Free. For more information, call 399-9204 or email jschaffer@woodwaymail.org.
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. 
 
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.

Bastrop/Lockhart : Texas Sage Master Gardeners meet the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Bastrop or Lockhart. Visit their Facebook page for location and educational topic of the month: https://www.facebook.com/TexasSageMG . For additional information, or to become a Texas Sage Master Gardener, email TexasSageMG@gmail.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.
 
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.
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