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Four experts on gardening and the environment will share information about growing plants and contributing to nature at the Denton County Master Gardener Association 2017 Fall Garden Fest from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Denton County Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. in Denton. Admission is free for the entire family.


The four one-hour educational presentations begin at 9:30 a.m. with Ricky Linex of the National Resource Conversation Service discussing “Prairie Plants and Pollinators.” Linex, a wildlife biologist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service based in Weatherford, encourages conservation throughout 51 North Texas counties and is the author of “Range Plants of North Central Texas.”   


At 10:45 a.m., Roger Sanderson, director of horticulture at the Discovery Gardens in Fair Park, will explain how to “Create a Butterfly Garden.” Sanderson was the director of botanical gardens and a wildlife biologist at the Heard Natural Science Museum for 11 years before joining the Discovery Gardens in 2012.  He is an expert on butterflies and pollinator plants.


At 12:15 p.m., a panel moderated by Christian Dieterich will discuss “Urban Beekeeping,” and at 1:30 p.m. Janet Smith, Dallas County Master Gardener, will speak on “The Monarch Highway.” In 2007, she traveled to the winter home of the monarchs in Mexico and later created her own butterfly garden, researching and teaching others about the species. Named Texas Master Gardener Volunteer of the year in 2010, Smith has over 4,000 volunteer hours as a Master Gardener and averages 30 talks a year as a garden and nature educator. 


In addition to education, there will be dozens of opportunities to shop for foods, books, crafts, gardening items, art and more. Several supervised, hands-on activities for children – all of them free - will educate and keep youngsters entertained. For details, visit or look for the Denton County Master Gardener Association on Facebook.  














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Learn more about gardening, enjoy shopping and keep your kids occupied with crafts at the Master Gardener 2017 Fall Garden Fest from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Denton County Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd. in Denton. Admission to the annual event is free for the entire family.

One-hour educational presentations begin at 9:30 a.m. with Ricky Linex of the National Resource Conversation Service discussing “Prairie Plants and Pollinators.” At 10:45 a.m., Roger Sanderson, horticulturalist at the Discovery Gardens in Fair Park, will explain how to “Create a Butterfly Garden.” At 12:15 p.m., a panel moderated by Christian Dieterich will discuss “Urban Beekeeping,” and at 1:30 p.m. Janet Smith, Dallas County Master Gardener, will speak on “The Monarch Highway.”

Shopping opportunities will include Angee and Teresa’s hand-crafted gardening stones, North Texas Compost with assorted compost products, Sky Homes Texas handcrafted bird houses made of recycled fence, Painted Flower Farm native plants, Pottery and Plants for Home and Garden, Perennial Favorites Art Glass, Scarlett Penny’s handmade home and garden treasures, Basket Jacket & Books colorful plant container covers, Unique Yard Art’s one-of-a-kind garden objects, Earth Kind Services for lawns and gardens and DL Building Solutions’ bird feeders. 

Other merchandise being offered is Harris Whole Food Works’s Tower Garden, Living Earth’s sustainable products, Denton Farmers’ Cooperative foods, Usborne books, Expressive Creations’ wine bottle crafts, DK Creations’ handmade decorative items, fragrance-free products from Busia’s Balm, doTERRA Essential Oils, Salted Sanctuary Soaps and Outdoor Wooden Furniture from Stan Poole. Members of the Denton Hi Noon Lions Club will be on hand to pass out brochures and discuss activities of the organization. Several supervised, hands-on activities for children will educate and keep them entertained. For details, visit or look for the Denton County Master Gardener Association on Facebook.  



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Master Gardeners participate in a variety of events throughout the year, including a spring plant sale.

The Denton County Master Gardener Association invites potential new members to the annual “Round Up” social event from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St., Room 115, in Denton. The event welcomes interested Denton County residents to ask questions and learn more about the volunteer organization that promotes horticulture countywide.  

Applications for the 2018 class of Master Gardener interns will be accepted through Oct. 20, 2017.  An interview with each applicant will be scheduled in the following weeks, and selected interns will be notified no later than Dec. 5. Each one will be required to attend a minimum of 70 hours of specialized training, which is held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each Tuesday from Jan. 30 through May 1, 2018. Training includes instruction in Earth-Kind garden management, integrated pest management, soil management, water conservation, lawn care, ornamental trees and shrubs, plant nutrition and more. Classes are held at the Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Frwy. in Corinth. The $250 tuition for training includes the manual, class t-shirt, badge, field trips, instructor fees and graduation dinner. 

During their first year, Master Gardener interns are required to volunteer a minimum of 70 hours for projects provided and supervised by DCMGA. Projects range from working with area schools, assisting in gardens at senior centers, staffing the Master Gardener Help Line, sharing gardening knowledge or participating in any of several major community events. Interns become certified Texas Master Gardeners after completing the required training and volunteer commitment. Members of DCMGA maintain their certification by attending 12 hours of advanced training and completing 12 hours of volunteer service each year after their initial training year. To apply for the 2018 DCMGA intern class, complete and submit the online application found at

 The DCMGA is an educational initiative affiliated with the Texas Master Gardener Association and Texas AgriLife Extension Service within Texas A&M University. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

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You can design your own landscape with training from the Denton County Master Gardener Association.
Denton County Master Gardeners will be conducting a “Design Your Own Earth-Kind Landscape” course at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday from Sept. 5 through Oct. 10 at the Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton. The course concentrates on creating beauty using Earth-Kind practices that conserve time, energy, water and money through thoughtful planning of your yard or garden.
Fee for the class is $100 for one person or $125 for a participant and spouse. A book and basic drawing supplies will be provided, as well as snacks and drinks. Spouses will share materials and design the same yard. Laptops, tablets and smart phones are welcome for Web searches.
Prior to the class, participants must make a copy of their lot survey, usually a part of your property deed. If you can’t find a copy of your survey, check with the realtor who sold you the property. You may also download Google Earth for free, type in your address and look at plan and street views of your property. You may also wish to go to and follow the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service information to have your soil tested before the class. The Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form will tell you with how and where to collect samples, cost and how to mail your sample.  You may also bring a soil sample to class.
For questions or to register online, contact or call the Master Gardener help desk at 940-349-2892. Persons with disabilities who require auxiliary aids or services are asked to contact DCMGA at 940-349-2883 five working days prior to the event.
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Everyone is invited to hear Sher Harnish speak on “Adaptive Gardening” at the next Denton County Master Gardener Association meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at the Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton. 
The program starts with a social at 9:30 a.m. The business meeting at 10 a.m. is followed by the presentation.
Harnish was a clinical professor at TWU for 22 years and an occupational therapist for 45 years. She bases her adaptive gardening techniques on her experience as an OT. Her presentation will cover the most common limitations to gardening and include tips and tools to make gardening easier. There is no charge to attend the presentation.
After the meeting, a no-host lunch will be held at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, 821 N Locust St. For lunch reservations, contact Barb Prins at
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Denton County Master Gardeners invite everyone to learn more about landscaping with native plants at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12 on the first floor of the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory in Denton. Admission is free. 

According to guest speaker, Katie Wilcox from Painted Flower Farm in Denton, native plants thrive best in the soils, moisture and weather of North Texas, while providing vital habitat for birds and other wildlife. She will talk about her 10 favorite native plants for this area. 

The meet and greet begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by a business meeting at 10 a.m. The program starts at 11 a.m.


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Samples of flowers entered in the 2016 Fruit, Veggie, Herb and Flower Show.

Urban gardeners and area farmers are invited to enter the 2017 Denton County Fruit, Vegetable, Herb and Flower Show, which starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 10 at the Denton Community Market, 317 W Mulberry St. This educational event is co-sponsored by the Denton County Master Gardener Association and the Denton Economic Program to recognize county growers of all ages who raise the best local flowers and produce. All county residents are eligible to compete, and there is no entry fee.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. in two divisions: youth ages 18 and under and adults over 18. The contest focuses on best of species, and judging starts at 10 a.m. All entries will be judged on a combination of market qualities: maturity, appearance, fragrance, color, size, uniformity and freedom from blemishes, pest damage and disease. Difficulty of growing in the North Texas environment will also be a factor. Fruits and vegetables will also be judged on flavor. Each fruit and vegetable entry must include a sufficient number of samples to fill a dinner plate, which is provided. Contestants may enter as many classes as they like but only one entry per class. No combination of species is allowed.

Herb and flower entries are restricted to a single species. Vases will be provided for single-stem entries. Both potted flowers and herbs will be accepted. At the end of judging, ribbons will be awarded for the first three places in each class. Division champions and Best in Show winners receive rosettes and cash awards.

Supporters of this year’s show include Harold's Transmissions, Zenith Cleaners, Life Credit Union, Marvin’s Automotive, Becks Garage, Perennial Path, Dennis’ Farm Store and Ultimutt dog grooming.

 Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions. For more information, contact the Denton County Master Gardener Help Desk at (940) 349-2892 or visit the DCMGA website at  


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Learn about the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly and how to help the struggling population survive when Carol Clark, Monarch Watch conservation specialist, speaks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at the Flower Mound Public Library, 3030 Broadmoor Lane in Flower Mound.
Because Texas sits between the principal Monarch butterfly breeding grounds in the north and the overwintering areas in Mexico, the colorful butterflies funnel through the state in both spring and summer. Clark will explain historic and current threats to Monarch population and outline easy ways North Texas residents can help support the butterflies. Free resources and information necessary for starting a residential butterfly garden will be available.
The presentation is free and open to all, but reservations are required. Email the library at fmpl@flower-mound to reserve a space.
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Five private residential gardens and two public gardens will be showcased on the 2017 Denton County Master Gardener Association spring garden tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. “Passport to Nature” is the theme of this year’s tour. 

“Journey through the City Cottage Garden” at 3005 Terry Court in Denton, which has evolved in response to Mother Nature. Since this garden’s debut on the 2011 garden tour, it has grown and filled out. Vines have thrived, and hardscaping has minimized the turf areas to reduce watering requirements. The flower beds feature Earth-kind plants, plus many varieties of perennials, heirloom plants, bulbs, ground cover and colorful annuals to create a cottage garden atmosphere. It also has a water feature that can be easily reproduced in most any yard or on a patio. 

“Treasures on Leisure Lane” at 3852 Leisure Ln. in Denton is four acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat. Visitors are greeted by shade gardens and splashes of color as they study a variety of native, pollinator and vegetable plants. Take a stroll among the tall trees, and then visit garden-related vendor booths, a refreshment stand and stations with supervised educational children’s activities. 

“Pollinator’s Paradise II” at 2005 Burning Tree Ln. in Denton is an explosion of beloved plants and colorful flower, all tried and true Texas survivors. There is minimal lawn because the owner had gradually replaced turf with raised beds. Enjoy old-time favorites, including daylilies, sedum, daisy, lambs ear, coneflower, chrysanthemum, rosemary, yarrow, salvia, Mexican milkweed, lemon thyme, parsley, oregano, nandina and seasonal annuals. Native plants flower in succession from February into December, creating a paradise for the bees, butterflies, moths, ladybugs and lizards.  

“Texas Tropical Resort” at 1520 Hunters Ridge Circle in Denton was created using interior design principles: size, shape, texture and movement. The lush landscaping includes lemon, lime, orange and avocado trees, kitchen herb gardens and various types of palm trees, all grown in large containers. The containers make gardening convenient for anyone with physical constraints.

 “Lazy Gardener’s Oasis” at 1306 Ballycastle Ln. in Corinth is a compact garden with a meandering path. Soak up the beauty of native and adaptive flowering plants that provide color from early spring to late fall. The garden features minimal grass and little or no supplemental water for easy care. This gem is an oasis for human visitors and provides abundant shelter and food for its animal visitors. The tour’s two public gardens are the Courthouse on the Square, 110 West Hickory Street in Denton and the nearby Denton County Historical Park at 317 West Mulberry Street in Denton.

 Tour tickets are $10 each and available from Master Gardeners, at the Denton County Extension office at 401 W. Hickory St. in Denton, at the Redbud Festival in Denton on April 22, at the DCMGA Plant Sale on April 29, at Denton County Calloway’s locations or online from the Denton County Master Gardener website at Tickets also may be purchased at any of the homes on tour day. Admission to a single garden is $5 at the gate. There is no charge for children aged 12 and under. Admission to both public gardens is free. Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer questions. This garden tour is the Association’s major fund-raising event for the year. Money raised is used to fund educational horticultural programs for Denton County residents.

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Dozens of bargain hunters ignored cloudy skies and lined up for admission to the 2016 Master Gardener plant sale.

Spring gardeners and plant lovers are invited to the Denton County Master Gardener Association’s plant sale from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. – or sell out - on Saturday, April 29 on the grounds of Trinity United Methodist Church, 633 Hobson Lane in Denton.  

This popular annual event offers a wide range of native and North Texas-adapted plants, including hundreds of varieties of shrubs, ground covers and bedding plants. Shoppers can choose from herbs, tough perennials and colorful roses. Many pass-along plants from the homes of local Master Gardeners will be available. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their wagons and carts in order to transport their purchases. Early birds have the best selection since the plants go quickly. All funds generated by the sale helps fund DCMGA educational activities for Denton County residents.