October 26, 2016
  
What we now know - and don't know - about honeybees and colony collapse disorder
 
By Robbie Shell
 
1. First, a definition: Colony Collapse Disorder is a phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony (hive) disappear, leaving behind a queen, food, nurse bees and baby bees. Without the mature worker bees to bring nectar and pollen back to the hive, it collapses (dies). CCD was first identified in 2006. Ever since, it has been a huge concern for the agricultural industry - which relies on bees to pollinate crops - and for commercial beekeepers, who earn most of their money renting out their bees to big farms around the country.
 
For example, California's almond crop - estimated at somewhere around 800,000 acres - relies almost exclusively on billions of bees trucked in to pollinate almost 400 miles of almond groves stretched across the state's Central Valley.
 
2. Keep in mind that CCD does not have just one cause: Many factors contribute to its presence, but two major culprits seem to be: overuse of pesticides (see next paragraph), and attacks from parasites (especially the deadly varroa mites) and pests (such as small hive beetles and wax moths).
 
3. The debate over what causes CCD frequently turns on the question of pesticides, or more specifically, insecticides, a type of pesticide designed to kill insects. Scientists are paying increasing attention to a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (neonics, for short). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking into whether and how they disrupt bees' nervous systems. Neonics are manufactured by chemical companies and sold to farmers who use them to eradicate pests on cotton, citrus plants, wheat and corn, among other crops. Chemical companies say the risk from neonics is overstated, and that they are necessary to protect our food supply.
 
What many scientists, environmentalists, and organic beekeepers do agree on is that all the different insecticides and herbicides used on farms and in fields - as well as those sprayed in hives to fend off mites, fungi and other intruders - create what has been called a "toxic soup" of chemicals. Chronic exposure to these chemicals, say opponents of pesticide use, can make it difficult for bee colonies to breed and resist disease.
 
4. Colony Collapse Disorder remains the subject of continually evolving new theories. Some scientists now suggest that climate change could throw off pollination schedules because warmer weather affects where plants grow and when they bloom. Bees may not be primed to meet the needs of these new schedules. Recent decisions by big agricultural producers to use all available soil for growing crops, thereby removing acres of land once filled with wildflowers and other sources of nutrition for bees, are cited as another potential contributor to CCD.
 
Then there are the spooky "ZomBees," a term used to describe bees infected by parasitic "zombie flies." Eggs laid by zombie flies in a bee's abdomen hatch into larvae that eat away at the bee's brain and wings. Disoriented by these attacks, the bees begin to behave in uncharacteristic ways. They leave their hives at night (which healthy bees rarely do), dance (not the helpful waggle kind), and then fall to the ground, crawling around blindly in circles until they die.
 
5. Some interesting, and discouraging, numbers: The U.S. Agriculture Department's (USDA) latest figures on honeybee mortality rates estimate that between April 2014 and April 2015, 42% of U.S. honeybee colonies died. This compares to 34% the preceding year. For the first time last year (2015), the number of honeybee deaths during the summer was greater than in the winter - not a good sign given that hives are expected to be stronger and healthier in warm weather, and more stressed in the cold months.
 
The total number of managed honeybee colonies has decreased from 5 million in the 1940s to 2.5 million today, according to the USDA.
 
What's clear is that everyone - no matter what they choose to blame CCD on - needs to work together to save the bees. As Sam's father says in Bees on the Roof: "We've managed to create a society that's in danger of killing them off. Bees have been around for what, millions of years? And here our highly sophisticated, technologically advanced, space age civilization seems to be doing nothing as they're all destroyed."
 
Robbie Shell is a former business journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer. She has worked and lived in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Philadelphia. Bees on the Roof is her first work of fiction. Connect with Shell at www.beesontheroof.com.
Online platform helps citizen scientists transform outdoor space into wildlife-friendly habitat
 
The Nature Conservancy
 
Did you know that your front yard, office patio, or city park could provide important habitat for dozens of plants and animals?
 
Recently, The Nature Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornothology launched Habitat Network, a free online citizen science platform that invites people to map their outdoor space, share it with others, and learn more about supporting wildlife habitat and other natural functions in cities and town across the country.
 
Forty million acres of U.S. land are covered by lawn - short grass that has minimal ecological function and costs property owners more than $30 billion to maintain. Habitat Network offers alternate solutions for yards, parks and other urban green spaces to support birds, pollinators, and other wildlife, plus manage water resources, and reduce chemical use like pesticides and fertizers to keep nature in balance. Habitat Network can be used on properties of all sizes and types - from a shared urban garden in a city park to a large suburban backyard or nature preserve.
 
What can a Habitat Network help you do?
  • Attract a variety of birds to your home, school, or business
  • Manage rainwater
  • Help protect bees and other pollinators
  • Compare your map to other network members' and get inspired with our new goal-setting feature
"Science shows us that small changes in the way properties are managed can make a huge impact towards improving our environment," said Megan Whatton, project manager for Habitat Network at The Nature Conservancy. "Creating and conserving nature within cities, towns and neighborhoods are key to global conservation."
 
The mapping tool is also a social network, inviting participants to share information and learn from their neighbors. And over time, the self-reported information from citizen scientists using the Habitat Network will provide data the Conservancy and the Lab can use to understand how much habitat exists in our cities and towns and what role that habitat can play in benefiting wildlife and humans.
 
"The number and diversity of butterfly species on our property is impressive, especially considering there were essentially zero when we moved in," said Richard Barry, of Essex, Massachusetts, who has mapped his property with Habitat Network. "The other big success has been the bird life visiting us ... often there is a big crowd of birds using the stream as a birdbath," he said.
 
The Habitat Network website, which builds on prior habitat programs at the Lab and the Conservancy, already has 345,000 users - primarily in the United States - who have mapped more than 20,000 yards, gardens and parks.
 
"It's a great way to get to know your yard better. You are really the expert about what's going on around your house or neighborhood, and we want to tap into that expertise in a way that can benefit the scientific community," said Rhiannon Crain, project leader for Habitat Network at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
 
The Nature Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology are also launching a two-year initiative in a handful of pilot cities where they will work with local organizations to test best practices for creating habitats in urban areas. For example, in Seattle, The Nature Conservancy will use the Habitat Network to track the progress of an initiative to install 20,000 rain gardens across the city.
 
Additional projects could include planting native trees for shade or to improve air and water quality, and efforts to boost pollinator populations. Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. will develop Habitat Network pilot projects in coordination with local partners over the coming year.
 
Go to www.habitat.network to sign up for an account and get started mapping, sharing, and learning about sustainable practices you can implement in backyards, schoolyards, parks, and corporate campuses.
The Compost Heap
Winter rye

"There is another compelling reason to refrain from planting winter rye ('Gardening tips,' October 18)," writes Bob Dailey, Montgomery County Master Gardener. "With our Texas aquifer levels dropping, the population in the state growing, fewer options for drinking water sources, and rising water prices, water conservation should be on everyone's mind. Most of the water used to irrigate lawns is potable. Winter rye needs a large amount of water to survive and thrive. Using drinking water on an annual grass is contrary to good conservation practices. It also saves money."
Gardening tips

Avoid pruning trees and shrubs in the fall. Doing so now would stimulate new growth that would be susceptible to freeze damage as we enter winter. For most perennials, the best time to prune is as after winter has arrived and the plants are dormant. One important exception would be plants that bloom on last's years growth, like climbing roses. Those plants should only be pruned immediately after they bloom.   
 
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.
OCTOBER

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin (TGCOA) meets October 27, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments, meet and trade gardening tips with members all while bidding on some fantastic items such as plants, books (gardening, birding, etc.), garden sculpture, etc. Andrew Cook will address rain water collection, greenhouse and composting systems. Zilker Botanical Gardens Auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin. Details can be found at http://www.thegardenclubofaustin.org/.

New Braunfels: The 5th Annual Texas Fruit Conference will be held October 31 (1:00 to 5:00 p.m.) and November 1 (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), at New Braunfels Civic & Convention Center, 375 S Castell Ave. Now in its fifth year, the Texas Fruit Conference features renowned AgriLife Extension experts and industry professionals, and encompasses a wide variety of cultural information and best management practices regarding fruit and nut crops. Whether you currently own an orchard, are considering the potential of establishing one, or are simply a fruit enthusiast, there's something for you at this conference. This opportunity to learn from the best experts on all things fruit should not be missed! Cost: $80 through 10/21 ($95 late and onsite). Register online: 5th Annual Texas Fruit Conference Registration. Agenda: 5th Annual Texas Fruit Conference Agenda. For additional information, contact Monte Nesbitt, 979-862-1218, mlnesbitt@tamu.edu.
NOVEMBER

Brenham:
The Washington County Bluebonnet Master Gardeners continue their 2016 Lunch-N-Learn series with "Native Trees & Wildlife Habitat," presented by William Amalang, noon to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 1, at the Washington County Fairgrounds Sales Facility, 1305 E Blue Bell Rd., Brenham. No pre-registration required. Free to the public. For additional information, contact Kara Matheney, County Extension Agent. 979-277-6212 or kjmatheney@ag.tamu.edu.

Smithson Valley: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold their monthly meeting on November 1 at the GVTC Auditorium located at 36101 FM 3159, Smithson Valley. Please note that this is not on the usual Tuesday of the month. The doors open at6:30p.m. and the meeting starts at7:00p.m. The speaker will be John Davis, a New Braunfels Master Naturalist, and a member of Lindheimer Chapter of NPSOT and the New Braunfels Men's Garden Club. Jay will speak on "Better Landscapes through Land Management." The meeting is free and the public is welcome. For more information call Martha Guethle at 830-438-5996.

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.

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.

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.

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 Billye Adams at 512-863-9636 or visit http://www.npsot.org/WilliamsonCounty/default.htm.
 
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the
second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the 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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