September 2, 2020
The garden reader:
Nature activities for youngsters and the young at heart
By William Scheick
With so many of us practicing the new normal of staying at home as much as possible, closer observation of our front and backyards seems impossible to avoid. We have not only been pruning and clearing out more of nature's excess and clutter, we have also been noticing more of what has been voluntarily growing nearby.
It might seem, sometimes, as if a particular plant has suddenly showed up at our place, although in fact it has long been present and has simply gone unnoticed until now. As an unsurprising result, the heading "What's this plant" has popped up again and again on Nextdoor during the last several months.
Twice, for instance, I have identified Ampelopsis arborea (peppervine, cow itch, buckvine), which some Nextdoor contributors had recently spotted with alarm over the possibility that it might be a poison-ivy mutation. A naturalized Texas invasive, peppervine has been with us a long time, and the odds are that it's climbing somewhere in your yard, too.
Actually, our backyards contain many generally underappreciated natural features. The following books reward a closer look at nature's bounty and how it provides opportunities for fun family activities.
Monica Wiedel-Lubinski and Karen Madigan. Nature Play Workshop for Families. Quarto Publishing, 2020. 144 pp. $22.99.

Helpfully arranged by season and winningly illustrated, Nature Play Workshop for Families emphasizes young children's natural curiosity about the world around them. "Our bodies and minds were designed to relate to nature for survival, and nature play continues to manifest this basic human instinct," Monica Wiedel-Lubinski and Karen Madigan believe.
During late autumn, for instance, preschoolers can construct leaf lanterns and crowns, make magnolia-pod birdfeeders, create seed spirals, forage mints for tea and build stick forts. Maybe they might simply observe the seasonal changes in the sky - indeed, the sky seems the limit in the authors' rich array of nature-play activities for very young kids.
Rachel Jepson Wolf. The Unplugged Family Activity Book. Quarto Publishing, 2020. 144 pp. $22.99.
Likewise arranged by seasons, The Unplugged Family Activity Book describes projects for elementary-school children. "When we make time to connect with nature," Rachel Jepson Wolf maintains, "both children and adults feel a greater sense of peace and a reduction of stress."
Autumn activities (with useful instructions and timely tips) include mulled cider, spiced honey, homemade applesauce, planting bulbs, leaf rainbows, acorn necklaces and waxed-leaf garlands. Of special interest: "a simple tree branch bearing an assortment of paper leaves, each one noting something that one of us appreciates," centered on a table.
That ornamented branch is called a "gratitude tree," and parents will likely be just as grateful for Wolf's guide to many recipes and nature-based crafts.
Patricia Buzo. A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids. Cool Springs Press, 2020. 112 pp. $19.99.
"Kids who learn to care for nature grow up to be adults who care for nature." With that outcome in mind, Patricia Buzo explains the basics of terrarium-keeping and also details, step-by-step, 15 cute family projects.
Several demonstrations prove to be really easy, such as a mini-Japanese garden with lithops and a dinosaur-bones diorama with creeping fig. A moss landscape with tiny horse figurines and also a winter-scene display with micro-miniature children and snowman ranked among my favorite exhibits.
The prettiest options often require hard-to-find terrarium-sized objects and plants, especially many species of moss. To help overcome that problem, the author usefully provides a page of resources.
William Scheick is a Texas Gardener contributing editor and the author of  Adventures in Texas Gardening (Texas A&M University Press).
Deciding when to remove a tree
By Paul Schattenberg 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Knowing when and how to remove a tree is more complicated than it may appear, said Texas A&M AgriLife experts.
"While dead or dying trees in natural areas are not usually dangerous to people or property, those near homes, roads and power lines can be hazardous if they have structural defects that could cause the tree or a significant portion of it to fall," said Gretchen Riley, Texas A&M Forest Service staff forester and a certified arborist, College Station.
Very sick or badly damaged trees may be candidates for removal. Closer inspection shows this tree has ganoderma fungus at its base. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Dave Appel)
"Trees that could possibly injure people or damage property should be given immediate attention to determine if and how they should be removed."
Riley said badly damaged, sick or seriously injured trees, as well as some invasive species, may also be candidates for removal.
"If the tree owner has doubts about the general health of the tree, it should be evaluated by a certified arborist," she said. "Certified arborists are experts in various aspects of tree care and should be consulted when evaluating the health of a tree to determine if it should be removed."
Some of the main reasons for removing a tree include:
  • It poses a potential danger to people or property.
  • It has been badly damaged and likely will not survive.
  • It has experienced a significant amount of decay.
  • It has succumbed to disease or insect pressure.
  • It is the wrong type of tree for the environment in which it was planted.
  • It is an invasive species that will negatively impact native species.
  • It has structural deficiencies that will eventually cause it to fall on its own.
Evaluating a tree for removal
Riley said it's usually easy to determine if a tree is truly dead or well on its way to failing and needs to be removed.
"A tree is dead if it has had no green leaves for a full growing season," he said. "It needs serious attention if it has new, unsealed gaping wounds or long vertical cracks in the trunk or abnormally peeling bark, multiple branches with no living buds and 'fruiting bodies,' which are types of fungi, growing at the bottom of the trunk near or along the tree's roots."
She said another circumstance that will likely warrant removal is if the entire trunk is leaning 30 degrees or more off-center.
However, she said, determining whether or not to remove a tree becomes more complicated if the tree is still living but has been badly damaged or is in a state of poor health or decay.
"Again, a certified arborist has the knowledge and experience to evaluate the health of the tree and help you decide if it can be saved or should be removed," she said.
Applying the 25% rule
Riley said the "25% rule" is a good general rule to use in assessing a large tree's survivability after damage.
"If 25% or less of the crown of the tree is damaged, the tree will likely survive," she said. "You can probably prune the damaged branches back and reshape the tree. In some instances, even if 50% of the crown is damaged, especially if the damage is mostly to smaller branches, the tree can still survive. It depends on the location and extent of damage."
However, she said, if the tree has a new gaping wound that won't seal, as well as a significant amount of crown loss, the tree likely will not recover. The same is true if a trunk has a large vertical crack down the trunk caused by a lightning strike or wind torqueing.
Riley also noted the 25% rule applies to tree root systems that have been damaged by excavation or other means, especially if the damage is to smaller, less supportive roots.
Trees should be watched from year to year, Riley said. Property owners should become familiar with their overall health and look for signs of decline to help determine if they may need removal.
"Knowing your trees will help you decide whether there is some time before you need to remove it or whether its removal should be imminent," she said.
Location, location, location
Planting the wrong type of tree for a location or planting a tree in the wrong location can also lead to the need for tree removal, said David Rodriguez, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist for Bexar County, San Antonio.
"The wrong tree for a location can potentially pose a danger to people," Rodriguez said. "For example, a tree growing under an electrical line can create a serious safety hazard if one of its branches fails and causes the line to break. For such a location, it's best to choose a suitable tree that will mature at a height of less than 25 feet."
Rodriguez said if a tree is not well adapted for the area where it is being planted, it may survive for several years, but it will often be sickly, have limited growth and have a less-than-optimal appearance.
The Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas A&M Forest Service provides helpful guidance for proper tree selection throughout the state.
Rodriguez also noted September through November is the ideal time for tree planting in Texas because planting during that time allows the roots to establish before the ground freezes and winter sets in. However, he said, it's best not to continue planting trees later into the fall as this may negatively affect plant health.
Invasive and 'undesirable' trees
Riley said there are some invasive tree species that may grow well in the state but are problematic for native trees.
"I'm pretty welcoming when it comes to most types of trees, but I usually recommend people stay away from Chinese tallow, chinaberry trees and Bradford pear trees," she said. "I also suggest removing these trees if they somehow find their way onto their property."
Chinese tallow can quickly eradicate and replace native tree species and its leaves and fruit are toxic to humans and cattle. Chinaberry trees are very messy due to the dropping of their leaves and berries, and those berries can be poisonous to humans and livestock. Bradford pear trees can grow to 30 feet tall but have a weak branch structure and can break apart in less than 20 years, posing a potential danger to anyone near them when they finally fail.
Riley said the site provides information on these and other invasive tree species.
Some characteristics that may make some trees "undesirable" to their owners and therefore potential candidates for the chopping block include those that:
  • Are prone to breakage.
  • Drop a large quantity of debris.
  • Have shallow roots that can damage lawns and pavement.
  • Are more susceptible to disease or insect pressure.
Insect and disease pressure, environmental stress
"Insect and disease pressure can often weaken or kill a tree, depending on how strong or pervasive that pressure may be," said David Appel, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension plant pathology specialist, College Station, College Station.
Appel said tree diseases and aggressive insect pests can badly weaken or kill trees as well as cause further complications with tree removal.
Oak tree with advanced case of oak wilt. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Dave Appel)
"For example, oak wilt can kill a tree," he said. "If 30% or more of the crown is symptomatic for oak wilt, the tree is probably beyond treatment and will eventually need to be removed. However, some trees can survive oak wilt without treatment, and then it becomes a personal choice as to whether it looks good enough to keep."
He also noted ash borers and other wood boring insects can kill weakened trees over time, and heart rot fungi can weaken the structural integrity.
Appel said recently planted young trees may also need to be removed if they are improperly planted and/or fail to establish once they have been transplanted.
"Both younger and older trees try to let you know when they are ill or in distress and exhibit certain symptoms that can tell you what's wrong with them," Appel said. "Some signs of distress include drooping branches, lack of foliage, premature leaf drop, wilting or brown leaves, scorched or spotted leaves, and the presence of fruiting bodies near the base."
Riley said it's important to learn how trees may react under certain environmental conditions or stresses.
"For example, in times of drought many trees will refrain from producing leaves to save on water, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are in great distress," she said. "Different tree species behave differently under certain conditions, so it's good to know your trees and understand their biology and what's normal for them."
She said the TreeMD web application can be helpful in determining if a tree has a serious health issue. Additional help is available through AgriLife's Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
Tree removal not a do-it-yourself project
Rodriguez said the vast majority of tree removal is unsafe for the average person to attempt.
"Professional removal companies have a certified arborist on staff or available to them to assess the health of the tree as well as the equipment and expertise needed to safely remove it," he said. "Most homeowners do not have the proper equipment or skill level to do such work. Tree work is actually very complicated, technical and potentially dangerous, and many homeowners have been injured or even killed trying to do it themselves."
Rodriguez said some of the factors leading to accidents during attempts by non-professionals to remove trees include the misuse of ladders, insufficient restraints for avoiding falls, improper use of tools and lack of knowledge of physics and/or tree structure and biology.
Gardening tips

If in the Panhandle, it's nearing the last possible time to plant Bermuda grass seed to assure establishment before cold weather arrives.
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 Gardener's 2021 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Gardening 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.

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has caused the cancellation of many events. Because SEEDS has a long lead time, events listed below may have already been cancelled. We strongly encourage you to take care of yourself by practicing social distancing. If you do wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or if it will take place as planned.

Online: Master Gardener Classes Start Thursday, September 3. Master Gardeners are volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Fort Bend County in promoting research-based horticultural practices to help residents succeed in creating and maintaining their home landscapes. Classes begin with 35 hours of comprehensive training conducted by Texas A&M professors and Extension specialists and delivered over 10 weeks. That training is supplemented with Fort Bend County local classes to round out the training. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 classes will be held online on Thursday mornings starting at 9:00 a.m. on September 3. Each online class will last no longer than four hours. The class schedule will continue through mid-December with breaks for holidays. The enrollment fee is $250 per individual or $420 for two people if the Texas Master Gardener Handbook is shared. An online orientation session is scheduled for Thursday, August 27, for those whose applications have been accepted in time. For additional information contact the Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Margo "Mac" McDowell, by phone (281) 633-7033 or by email mmcdowell@ag.tamu.eduVisit for more information about the training and the application.

Fall is the season when roses start blooming after the summer heat. Houston Rose Society will promote an annual product sale this September, with two senior Master Consulting Rosarians presenting in this program. Gaye Hammond will discuss three types of fertilizer (granular, water soluble, slow release) and the pros and cons of organic and synthetic fertilizers. She will also discuss the products used in her garden. Gaye is the former president of Houston Rose society, as well as a life member of American Rose Society. As an avid writer, she published more than 300 articles and also has been a special section editor to the American Rose magazine. Robbie Tucker will discuss the use of fungicides and pesticides and answer any related questions. Robbie and his wife, Marsha, have grown roses for more than 30 years and won dozens of queens of show, including one at a national convention and four times with his own varieties. He has also hybridized more than 30 varieties with 4 now in the mini hall of fame. As the owner of Rosemania for over 20 years, he has many customers and deep knowledge on the products. This meeting is going to be a virtual meeting held at GoToMeeting on Sept. 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (CDT). 
Joint meeting using computer, tablet or smartphone with access code: 257-506-565 or you can also dial in using the phone: United States +1 (571) 317-3122. If you are new to GoToMeeting, you can get ready before the meeting starts by downloading the app at: For additional information, visit

Online: The Concho Valley Master Gardeners in San Angelo are presenting their annual Fall Landscaping Symposium. The speakers will be presented online on Saturday, September 12 from 9 a.m. until noon. This year's symposium will be free to join online. Participants must pre-register online at Deadline to register is Friday, September 11. Speakers include: Robert "Skip" Richter-Organic Practices That Work; Vikram Baliza-Multi-Purpose Landscape Design; Tim Hartman-Fruit Production for the Home Landscape. For additional information, call (325) 659-6522.

Online: From Bulbs to Blooms Fall Conference and Sale. Greg Grant will video his bulb talk. The video will be posted to the SCMG website: and linked to Facebook: The sale will be conducted online with curbside pickup at Harvey Hall in Tyler. The pertinent dates are; Sept. 14 - Greg Grant's bulb talk video goes live; Sept. 28 - Online sale begins; Oct. 7 (5:00 p.m.) - online sale closes; Oct. 10 - curbside pickup. For more information call: (903) 590-2980 or email

Montgomery County Master Gardeners are having a virtual Plant Sale! Shop for plants from the comfort of your home, beginning Tuesday, September 15, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Starting on September 16, you'll get an email to arrange your plant pickup details. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe. Visit for plant list and more details.


Buda & Dripping Springs: Hays County Master Gardeners will host their annual Plant and Tree Sale on Sunday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buda Farmers Market and Wednesday, October 14, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at  Dripping Springs Farmers MarketThis year they will feature native and adapted perennials, herbs and Texas SuperstarHCMGA will also be selling Ornamental & Small Trees and Shade Trees on a preorder only basis. Details and order forms are available on the HCMGA website. To ensure availability, order early. The last date to order trees is September 30, 2020. While we remain optimistic, we cannot guarantee that this sale will occur as scheduled due to the uncertainties around COVID-19. Payment for trees will be accepted from September 1-30, closer to the actual sale date. Payment must be received by September 30 in order to take delivery at the Dripping Springs Farmers Market on October 14, 2020. Payment may be made by cash or check.
Weekly Meetings

Galveston: The Young Gardeners Program is a school garden and healthy eating program operating on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula. Every Saturday, 9-11 a.m., they host a garden Community Day at one of the schools. It's an opportunity for community members to work and play in the garden and it's kid-friendly. First Saturday - Crenshaw, 416 State Hwy 87, Crystal Beach; Second Saturday - Rosenberg Elementary, 721 10th St., Galveston; Third Saturday - Morgan Elementary, 1410 37th St., Galveston; Fourth Saturday - Oppe Elementary, 2915 81st St., Galveston.
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. 
Jasper: The Jasper County Master Gardeners meet on the first Monday of each month at St. Michael's Catholic Church from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The evening begins with pot luck social and then guest presentations and/or educational class to conclude. Visit 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; Visit to become a member.
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, call 972-932-9069 or email to

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at a location in Houston to be determined. For additional information, visit or call 713-274-0950.

Schulenberg: Schulenburg Garden Club meets the first Tuesday of the month, at 11:30 a.m., September-May, at the Schulenburg First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 110 Upton Ave., Schulenburg.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month, Sept.- May, at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas, 75230. The club hosts different speakers each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Come early and order lunch from the The Cafe, which features a healthy menu, fresh local produce and sustainably produced meats and fish (or call in advance to order 972-338-2233). For more information about Garden Masters Inc, email Marcia Borders at
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
Midland: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners (Ector/Midland counties) have monthly meetings at noon on the first Wednesday of each month at the West Texas Food Bank, 1601 Westcliff Drive in Midland. For more information call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.

Navasota: The Navasota Garden Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month (September through May) at 10:00 a.m., usually at the First Presbyterian Church Family Life Center, 302 Nolan Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door of the Family Life Building. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
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

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

Fort Worth: The Native Plant Society of Texas - North Central Chapter meets the first Thursday of each month, excluding January and July, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., program begins at 7:00 p.m. Guest speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Members, friends, family, guests and the public are welcome. For a list of speakers and topics or more information, visit
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually meet at 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 or call 979-826-7651.
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 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 Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is encouraged. $15, free for members. For more information, visit
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. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; club business begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation. For more information, visit

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at The First Methodist Church, 1031 TX-456 Loop, Jacksonville. For additional information, contact Kim Benton at
Cedar Park/Leander/Liberty Hill: The Hill Country Bloomers meet the second Tuesday of each month (except December) at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Park Recreation Center, 1435 Main Street, Cedar Park. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. to socialize and swap plants and seeds. Meetings feature guest speakers on a variety of topics for the home gardener or landscaper. They host a plant sale in the spring and a garden tour in the late summer/early fall. Throughout the year they contribute time and expertise to local projects. Those with any level of experience are welcome. Non-members are invited to their first meeting at no cost. Membership and speaker info is available at

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

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
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
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 or contact
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
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
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, 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 and
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
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 or visit
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 for more information.

Pasadena: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month at The Genoa Friendship Garden Educational Building at 1202 Genoa Red Bluff, Pasadena. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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

San Marcos: The Spring Lake Garden Club meets the second Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m., September-May, at McCoy's Building Supply Headquarters, 1350 IH-35, San Marcos. Contact Terri Boyd (512) 395-66644 x6134.

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
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:00 a.m. 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.

Killeen: Youth Backyard Gardening Initiative holds community engagement meetings the second Saturday of each month at 2:30 p.m. at Monarch Academy, 4205 Old Florence Road, Killeen. To learn more, visit
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
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
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 Elaine Bell at 817-309-8052.
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

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

Abilene: The Master Gardeners meet the third Tuesday of each month at the Taylor County Extension Office, 1982 Lytle Way, Abilene. For more information, contact Big Country Master Gardeners Association at

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 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 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
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
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

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 or call 817-454-8175.
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 107 Fink Street, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses afterwards. Visitors are welcome!  Please email Sharon Harrigan at for more information.
Houston: The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston Chapter meets at 6:45 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the American Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Fwy. For more information about meeting presentations and native plants, visit

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 with presentation is held 6:00-8:00 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Check 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
Fort Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society meetings are held the third Saturday of each month at Texas Garden Club Inc, 3111 Old Garden Club Rd., Fort Worth (located next to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden), 10:00 a.m. to noon, September through June. For more information, email
New Braunfels: The New Braunfels Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the fourth Monday of each month except July and December. Meetings are held at the Westside Community Center, 2932 S. I-35 Frontage Road, New Braunfels. Meetings start at 6:15 p.m. with a meet and greet time, followed by a short business meeting. Programs begin around 7:00. Native plant and seed exchanges are held monthly. Expert speakers present educational programs on topics of interest. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information or to join, visit
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
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 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
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 or email
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except November and December) at the Houston Red Cross Building, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston. Refreshments served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact

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

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except June, July and August) at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room of the Leander Presbyterian Church, 101 N. West St., Leander, unless there is a special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, there is a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call President Kathleen Tully at 512-422-8580 or email .
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
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, hosts a garden Open Days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Drop-in tours are permitted but pre-registration is encouraged. Docent led tours are $10 for guests, free for members. For more information,
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month (except November and December) at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Road, Dallas. For more information, visit 
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Texas Gardener's Seeds has been published each Wednesday since April 26, 2006.
Publisher: Jay White ● Editor: Michael Bracken 
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