September 22, 2021
Roosting pockets provide some needed insulation for birds and are easy for them to enter and exit. (Photo: Melinda Myers, LLC)
Gift ideas for bird watchers and gardeners
By Melinda Myers

Give a gift that provides beauty, entertainment, and health benefits throughout the year. With the recent increase in people gardening and bird watching, what could be more perfect than a gift that supports both interests?
Birds visiting feeders, munching on the coneflower seeds in the garden and perching in the shelter of evergreens help brighten the long, often dreary days of winter. Just like gardening, bird watching helps us connect with nature, reduces stress, and elevates our mood. Plus, the gardeners on your list will appreciate the help birds provide managing insect pests. Protein-rich insects and spiders are an essential part of the diet of 96 percent of North American terrestrial birds.
Growing a landscape filled with plants that provide seeds, berries and shelter is a great way to attract these welcome guests to our gardens. Providing additional sources of food, water and shelter can increase the number and diversity of the winged visitors.
Help your gift recipient create a bird feeding station so they can easily watch the birds and enjoy their songs. Include a variety of feeders suited to the birds they want to attract. Select feeders that are easy to fill and clean and protect seed from weather and squirrels.
You’ll attract a wide range of birds with tray and platform feeders. Look for ones like the Gardener’s Supply Twigs Platform Bird Feeder which has a cover to protect the seed from rain and snow and a removable mesh floor for easy cleaning. Platform feeders like this, with excellent drainage, help minimize the risk of wet seed sprouting or supporting bacteria and fungi that can harm the birds. Help keep seeds safe and fresh with regular cleaning and by only providing enough seed for a day or two.
Hopper or house feeders protect seed against the weather and bird droppings. But if the seed gets wet, the closed environment is perfect for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Plus, they are more difficult to clean.
Tube feeders are cylinders with perches and feeding ports. Those with perches above the openings attract birds like goldfinches and chickadees that can feed upside down. Those with small perches discourage large birds from feeding. Select tube feeders with small ports for smaller seeds like Nyjer thistle and ones with larger openings for large seeds.
Look for ones with wire surrounds to keep out squirrels and those that are easy to clean like the Gardener’s Supply Cleaver Clean Tube Feeder with a removable bottom. Reduce problems on other tube feeders by blocking the bottom of the tube that extends below the lowest feeding port. Seed and water can collect there, increasing the risk of fungi and bacteria.
Clean feeders regularly with a 10% non-chlorine bleach solution, commercial birdfeeder cleaner or mild solution of unscented dishwashing soap. Wash the inside and outside of the feeder, perches and feeding ports. Once cleaned, rinse with clear water and dry before refilling.
Provide some shelter from wind, snow, rain, and predators for birds spending the winter in your landscape. Supplement what trees and shrubs provide by including a few roosting boxes and pockets. Gardener’s Supply fair trade roosting pockets ( are attractive, easy to hang, provide some needed insulation and are easy for birds to enter and exit.
Make sure to provide water throughout the year. Those in colder climates will need to add a heater, bubbler, or aerator to prevent the water from freezing. Providing fresh water reduces the calories and body heat a bird uses when melting snow and ice.
Select a birdbath that can be left outside year-round to avoid cracks and leaks as water freezes and place it in a sunny area. Add a few stones so the birds can take a sip without getting totally wet. Keep these clean just as you do during warmer months.
Looking for more ideas? Help your favorite birder prepare for the nesting season with a gift of one or more birdhouses. These make attractive additions to any landscape while providing more homes for visiting songbirds.
When selecting the right gift for your favorite bird watcher or gardener consider creating or expanding your own bird-friendly landscape. A small investment in creating a bird habitat reaps wonderful benefits all year round.
Melinda Myers is the author of over 20 gardening books, including The Midwest Gardener’s Handbook and Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her web site is
Rosewood Community Orchard in Columbia, SC, illustrates the potential multifunctionality of urban agroforestry systems. Nest boxes offer habitat for native bees and opportunities for visitors to engage with nature. The layering of fruit trees with herbs, fruiting vines and shrubs, and other crops provides food for people. A clear path system with a central axis enhances the legibility and psychological appeal of the site. (Photo: John Taylor)
Closing food and nutrient loops within cities benefits several facets of city life
American Society of Agronomy

Today’s cities don’t have walls for protection like ancient ones, but they are separate from less urban and rural land. Most goods that city-dwellers purchase are brought in from rural farms and manufacturers. There is an active community of urban gardeners and landscape architects who are trying to bring more of the “country” back into the city. And for good reason.
Urban landscapes combining trees and crops — urban agroforestry — can offer ecological, cultural, economic benefits and more.
Researcher John Taylor recently published a paper about methods for designing multifunctional urban agroforestry with people in mind. The paper was published in Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems Journal, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America.
“Many city landscapes have a narrow range of functions and don’t encourage interaction” says Taylor. “We aim to incorporate the human aspect into designs that include crops and trees.”
“In addition to their productive and diverse cultural functions, these spaces have the potential to infiltrate stormwater,” says Taylor. “They can also lessen the effects of urban heat islands and conserve biodiversity. The plants and soils store carbon, contribute to soil formation, and recycle urban wastes.”
Finally, by bringing crop production back into cities, urban agroforests can help close the nutrient loops between consumers and sites of food production.
Taylor and co-author Sarah Lovell wanted to develop an evidence-based approach to the design of these urban agroforests. Their preliminary framework integrates theory, principles, and practices from urban agroecology with environmental psychology and landscape architecture.
They propose fourteen guidelines to design multifunctional, culturally preferred urban agroforests. When applied, the resulting urban agroforests would be socially sustainable. They would also be equitable and promote the circular “metabolism” of the city.
“Our work isn’t comprehensive or exhaustive,” says Taylor. “Instead, we hope it engages members of relevant disciplines in an ongoing dialog on this emerging topic and stimulates future research.”
The design of multifunctional urban agroforests faces several challenges:
  • Biophysical challenges — cities are warmer than their rural counterparts. The asphalt and cement of buildings and roads can increase temperatures, as well as block rainfall from getting to its natural destination — soil. Where there is unsealed or uncovered soil in cities, it is often compacted and lower quality, which affects how well it serves the environment.
  • Sociocultural challenges — cities have higher property values than rural areas. Thus, the land may be expected to perform at higher levels. Urban agroforestry sites may need to be productive and economically sustainable…and beautiful, psychologically restorative, and culturally acceptable. Some sites may even be expected to be all these and provide recreational and/or educational opportunities.

Despite these challenges, cities offer opportunities for urban agroforestry, too. “Urban agroforestry systems can be woven into the urban fabric,” says Taylor. “They can provide opportunities for residents to experience the restorative properties of interacting with everyday nature. If designed properly, these sites can be an antidote to urban ‘blandscaping,’ the aesthetic, ecological, and biological ‘sameness’ common in cities in developed countries.”
Among many of the ideas proposed in the paper are:
  • Connect some waste streams to the urban agroforest. Crops and trees can be watered with safe forms of wastewaster, like greywater or rainfall collected from buildings. The sites could be used as drop off sites for recycling food wastes, which can be made into compost. Compost can also rehabilitate urban soils.
  • Improve the environmental psychology of cities. Open spaces can be separated by masses of vegetation. Swales (small ditches to collect precipitation) can wind through parks to collect water. Swales can also create a diverse habitat as well as provide visual interest. Small scale systems, like community gardens, have many benefits, including creating emotional bonds between gardeners and others involved.
  • Make ecological processes visible by creating experiments in landscape architecture that the public can see.

Urban agroforestry—particularly in the form of edible forest gardening—is a powerful concept with popular appeal. “It can inspire diverse people to imagine urban food systems in new ways,” says Taylor.
“Cities are full of potential for creating urban agroforests at a wide range of scales,” he says. “These could be current residential lots, bland public spaces, and even vacant lots. Harnessing public enthusiasm for food forests could create a potent force for social-ecological change and transformation in the urban environment. Urban agroforests can even reduce the ecological footprint of cities.”
While the future of urban agroforestry is bright, advancing this agenda will require the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders and experts. This will include community members, social and natural scientists, designers, and university outreach.
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 or rescheduling of many events this past year. If you wish to attend any of the events listed below, please contact the presenters in advance to determine if the event has been cancelled or postponed, or if it will take place as scheduled.

Online: The Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas on September 23 Chapter Meeting and Program: Uncommon Finds in the LBJ Grasslands by Suzanne Tuttle. Tuttle has spent many hours roaming the hills and ravines of the LBJ Grasslands, assisting with plant community inventories. She is enchanted by the rich jewel box of wildflowers to be discovered there and is excited to share some of her less common finds. The Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands conserves 20,309 federally owned acres straddling the junction of the Fort Worth Prairie and the Western Cross Timbers. This patchwork of 64 parcels north and west of Decatur was originally called the Cross Timbers National Grasslands, reflecting its location in this transition zone. It was renamed for President Johnson in 1974 and is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. Despite the name, the Grasslands consists of more than just prairie. It includes Cross Timbers woodlands, streams, lakes and ponds, with diverse wildlife habitat and multiple recreational uses. Via Zoom – go to: Meeting ID: 895 7437 6038 Passcode: 666360 One tap mobile +13462487799,,89574376038#,,,,*666360# US (Houston) Dial by your location +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) 6:30pm – Socializing 7:00pm - Brief Business Meeting with Program to follow.

Flower Mound: Texas Native Plant Sale hosted by Trinity Forks Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas in conjunction with the Keep Flower Mound Beautiful Trash Off and Environmental Fair, Saturday, September 25, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. or sell-out at Flower Mound High School, 3411 Peters Colony Road, Flower Mound. Outstanding selection of Texas native plants for your home landscape or restoration project. Over 1,200 plants in 175 species will be offered. Some will be nursery stock, and some will be pass-alongs from the gardens of our members. There will be knowledgeable volunteers on hand to help you make your selection. This is the primary fundraiser for the Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Cash or check are preferred, although credit cards will be accepted.

La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardener Robert Marshall will present “Backyard Citrus,” Saturday, Sept. 25, 9-11 a.m. His presentation will feature the following topics: variety selection of citrus trees that grow well in this area, root stocks, nutrients, disease (citrus canker and citrus greening), insect problems, control of birds and critters, and freeze protection. Marshall, our citrus go-to person has years of experience in many facets of growing and propagating citrus trees in this area. Many of the citrus trees included in the presentation will be offered for sale as transplants at the Galveston County Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale on October 15 and 16. Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located inside Carbide Park, 4102-B Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Preregister here:
La Marque: Galveston County Master Gardeners Nancy Langston-Noh and Hazel Lampton will present a hands-on workshop on T-bud grafting, “T-Bud Grafting of Citrus & Fruit Trees,” Saturday, Sept. 25, 1:00-3:00 p.m. This method is used on smaller peach, plum, pear, apple and other trees as well as roses. Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located inside Carbide Park, 4102-B Main Street (FM 519), La Marque. Hands-on workshop is limited to 20 participants, others are welcome to observe. You must pre-register to participate. Preregister here:

Tyler: The award-winning Smith County Master Gardeners “From Bulbs to Blooms” sale will be held on line, with, shopping beginning on Wednesday, September 27. and order pick-up on Saturday, October 9 at the Pollard United Methodist Church, 3030 New Copeland Rd, Tyler. Prior to the event, Greg Grant, Smith County Horticulture Agent and bulb expert, will host a virtual presentation showcasing the bulbs that will be available in this year’s sale on Monday, September 20. The online store will open for shopping at 7:00 a.m. September 27 through 10:00 p.m. October 5. Bulb sale pick up is October 9 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Pollard United Methodist Church, 3030 New Copeland Road, Tyler. In addition to bulbs, the sale will offer autographed copies of Greg Grant’s gardening books: Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, Heirloom Gardening in the South, and The Rose Rustlers. The 2022 Calendar and Gardening Guide and the Smith County Master Gardener’s Cookbook will also be offered in the sale. Finally, an heirloom bulb – “Mrs. Parcell” narcissus (purportedly Narcissus x ‘Klondyke’) from Cecilia Jones and the former Sisters Bulb Farm in Gibsland, Louisiana. Tickets are 3/$5.00 with no limit on ticket purchases. The drawing will be held October 8 and the winner will receive their bulb with the rest of their bulb order on October 9. This event features heirloom and hard-to-find bulbs that are hardy and suited for Texas and the Southern zones of the United States. Plan on shopping early as many items sell out quickly. Links to Greg Grant’s talk, the online store, and a list of all the bulbs offered for sale can be found at

Bastrop: Bastrop County Master Gardeners is hosting our 2021 Fall Plant Sale. Large selection of member-grown native grasses, perennials, shrubs and adapted succulents, including many Texas Superstars. Saturday, October 2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or until sold out. Mayfest Park, 25 American Legion Drive, Bastrop. Wearing a mask is recommended. Bringing your own cart or wagon is recommended. Parking is free. For more information, visit or Proceeds benefit the Bastrop County Master Gardener Association’s garden & horticulture education programs.

La Marque: “Growing Blueberries” with Robert Marshall, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, 9-11 a.m., October 2, at Master Gardener Discovery Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. Free, but pre-registration required. NOTE: Class is limited to 32 attendees. To pre-register and for additional information, visit In person presentation only.

Online/Kyle/Dripping Springs: Annual Plant Sale by Hays County Master Gardeners: large selection of HCMGA-grown grasses, adapted perennials, shrubs and succulents, including many Texas Superstars. Online sales October 4-12 at Purchases to be picked up in person at the Kyle Public Library (Saturday, October 9) and the Dripping Springs Farmers Market (Wednesday, October 13). More information at

La Marque: “Fall Favorite Vegetables” with Gene Speller, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, 9-11 a.m., October 9, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office in Carbide Park, 4102-B Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. Free, but pre-registration required. To pre-register and for additional information, visit In person presentation only.

McKinney: The Collin County Master Gardeners Association will present The 2021 CCMGA Fall Plant Sale, on Saturday, October 9, from 9 a.m.–Noon or until sold out. The sale will be held in the Stall Barn at beautiful Myers Park & Event Center in McKinney. Proceeds from the sale benefit community outreach programs, horticultural education programs, and water conservation education throughout Collin County. Attendees will find dozens of varieties of locally grown perennials, shrubs, ferns, grasses, groundcovers and annuals — not typically found at big box stores. Collin County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice to help homeowners plant with success. There is no sales tax, and purchases can be made by cash, check, or credit card. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended. Bringing your own cart or wagon is recommended. Parking is free. The 2021 CCMGA Fall Plant Sale will be held rain or shine inside the Stall Barn at Myers Park,7117 County Road 166, McKinney. To learn more, visit

Nacogdoches: Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host its annual Fabulous Fall Festival Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, 2900 Raguet St., Nacogdoches. The sale will feature a remarkable array of hard-to-find, “Texas-tough” plants, including natives, edibles, heirlooms, perennials, shrubs and trees, with an emphasis on native, pollinator-friendly selections, as well as exclusive SFA introductions. The featured plants are extensively trialed before being offered to the public and are produced by staff members and volunteers of the SFA Gardens. This popular event raises money for operations of all the gardens under the SFA Gardens umbrella: SFA Mast Arboretum, PNPC, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Gayla Mize Garden, Jimmy Hinds Park and the alternative fruits research program. Parking will be available at SFA’s Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center, 2428 Raguet St., and visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring a wagon for their plants. For more information and a list of available plants, call (936) 468-4404 or visit two weeks before the sale.

Online: Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series: Plant Propagation by Harris County Master Gardeners with Houston Community College, October 11, 10:00-11:30 a.m., FREE Virtual Lecture, Register early at

Online:Keep the Rose Disease Burglar Away!” presented by David Zlesak, October 14, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. David Zlesak, Ph.D., Professor of Horticulture of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has an exemplary history of supporting and promoting rose horticulture in the U.S. and abroad. Not only is David a member of the Houston Rose Society, he is a rose hybridizer who has created notable roses such as Gaye Hammond, Oso Happy Smoothie Rose, Oso Happy Petit Pink Rose, Oso Happy Candy Oh! Rose, Above & Beyond, Pretty Polly Pink, Pretty Polly White and Pretty Polly Lavender. The focus of his work to create roses that are hardy, disease resistant and easy for anyone to grow. In addition to teaching, David serves on the Earth-Kind Rose Research team and is also a director of the American Rose Trials for Sustainability. Both of these rose trialing programs are designed to identify the hardiest easy-to-grow roses for gardens around the country. David will present an entertaining and informative program on the interaction between roses and the fungus that causes black spot and how breeders are using that information to create extremely disease resistant and beautiful new rose cultivars for us to enjoy. The meeting link will be available on The Houston Rose Society website at

Online: Green Thumb Gardening Lecture Series: Plant Propagation by Harris County Master Gardeners with Harris County Public Library System, October 19, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., FREE Virtual Lecture, No Registration Required. Watch via Facebook Live at

Waco: Whimsy in the Garden will be presented by Rianna Alvarado-Palmer and the Farmers Market gang, noon to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20, at MCC Emergency Services Education Center, 7601 Steinbeck Bend Dr., Waco. They are bringing a presentation about how to create fun in your garden with easily found supplies and beautiful plants. Rianna, a Waco native and Master Gardener since 2012, is a student of gardening, who loves to teach both children and adults ways to combine art and nature in the MCMG booth at the Downtown Waco Farmers Market and in her home studio Artphoria. She is committed to living in harmony with nature. ring your lunch and enjoy exploring creative ways to perk up your garden.

La Marque: “Kokedama (a hands-on workshop)” with Kat Tondre, Galveston County Master Gardener presenting, 9-11 a.m., October 30, at Master Gardener Discovery Garden in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. NOTE: Cost is $20 per person, fee will be collected at the event and covers cost of plants, soil, peat & sheet moss, and twine. Class limited to 15 attendees. Pre-registration required. To pre-register and for additional information, visit In person presentation only.

Waco: Growing Healthy Vegetables in Central Texas will be presented by Carol Wood, noon to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17, at MCC Emergency Services Education Center, 7601 Steinbeck Bend Dr., Waco. Wood, a Texas Master Gardener vegetable specialist and a MCMG since 2004, grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and Tupelo, Miss., and graduated from the University of Memphis. She has experienced all the obstacles of gardening in Central Texas: rock hard soil, spider mites and bugs, drought, even feral pigs. She knows gardening skills do not come quickly. It takes time and experience to master the art. She is happy to share her secrets Bring your lunch and discover how to grow plump, delicious vegetables in your garden.
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 each 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.
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
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.
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 Johnson. County Agricultural Office, 109 W. Chambers, 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

Alvarado: The Alvarado Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month during the months of September through May (excluding December). The meeting time is 1 p.m. and the locations vary for each meeting. The club hosts a different and exciting speaker each month that focuses on enriching the lives of all gardeners. Meetings are free and include a light lunch. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, please contact 817-680-4291. 

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.
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  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 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

Mineola: The Fannie Marchman Garden Club meets at the Mineola Civic Center, 9:30-11:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month from September through May. For additional information, find them on Facebook or email

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.

Denton: The Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the fourth Thursday of each month to share information about native plants. Excellent programs are heard each month. Social time begins at 6:30, program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit

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
Planning Guide & Books of Interest
2022 Planning Guide & Calendar
Only $14.95 per copy (includes tax and shipping) 
Make gardening easier and more enjoyable in 2022. No more keeping it in your head or, worse yet, juggling all those wrinkled, sweat-stained pieces of paper that seem to accumulate and end up lost. It's time to get organized and the perfect way to start that off is with your very own copy of the 2022 Texas Gardener Planning Guide and Calendar. No more guessing when to plant or do different activities. You will find everything you need in one simple but informative guide and calendar. Plus plenty of room to record your own planting dates, rainfall events and other data for future reference.
Here's a sample of what you will find in this information-packed guide:
  • Many, many practical and timely garden tips that are for Texas - not Maine or California!
  • Organic, earth-friendly tips to make your garden grow and prosper
  • Lots of space to record your own activities for future reference
  • Planting dates and tips for vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruit and lawns
Order today, while it's fresh on your mind. Don't forget to order copies for your gardening friends and relatives!

Easy Gardening for Texas
By Joseph G. Masabni

Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)

Gardening in the Lone Star State has unique challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't grow vegetables here. This new book tells what varieties are best, how to handle insect and disease problems, and how to control weeds with a minimum of work, plus detailed growing information on a host of vegetables that do well in Texas. This is the perfect guide for gardeners new to the state as well as those more-experienced gardeners looking for a handy guide of research-tested advice. 220 pages with lots of color photos! Click on this link to order

Easy Edibles
By Judy Barrett

Only $29.75 (includes tax and shipping)

Eating fresh and eating local has really caught on! Easy Edibles: How to Grow and Enjoy Fresh Food focuses on ways to grow some of your own food without devoting a lot of space, time and work to the project. Barrett also covers how and where to find the bounty offered at local farmers markets, farm stands and pick-your-own operations. This book is the perfect gift or guide for folks new to gardening or those who have limited time and resources but still want to eat fresh! Click on this link to order

The Texas Tomato Lover's Handbook
By William D. Adams

Only $31.94 (includes tax and shipping)

The best thing for tomato enthusiast since the tomato itself! Adams draws on more than thirty years' experience to provide a complete, step-by-step guide to success in the tomato patch. Learn everything from soil preparation, planting, feeding, caging and watering. Liberally sprinkled with the author's easy humor and illustrated with his own excellent photographs, the must have book has everything you'll need to assure a bumper crop! 189 pages. Lots of color photographs! Click on this link to order

And check out these other great books available from Texas Gardener:

Worms Eat My Garbage

Grow Great Vegetables Texas

Wicked Bugs

Wicked Plants

Wicked Plants Coloring Book

A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens
Texas Gardener's Seeds is published weekly. © Suntex Communications, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. You may forward this publication to your friends and colleagues if it is sent in its entirety. No individual part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. 

Texas Gardener's Seeds has been published each Wednesday since April 26, 2006.
Publisher: Jay White ● Editor: Michael Bracken 
Texas Gardener's Seeds, P.O. Box 1676, Brenham, Texas 77834-1676