Texas Master Gardener Newsletter                       February 2017
Magnolia-1 3TGMA logos2
Letter from the President:

Peggy  3And here it is, early February and the TMGA is off to a fantastic, or is it a busy, a slow, or a hectic start? What would you say?

Some of you have planted early vegetables and started seedlings inside, planted with the hope of them growing and producing a crop. Some may be like me and have procrastinated, thinking it's too early!

Some associations have started new Texas Master Gardener classes, planting and growing new trainees with the hope of new MG's and members.

This is a different kind of year with the state conference being a cruise and Awards Luncheon held after disembarkation in Galveston. Dates for the February and August Directors Meeting meetings are being held on the second Saturday instead of the traditional first Saturday.  Woohoo, we can handle this!

My hope for this year is that we all are happy Texas Master Gardeners and that all we plant will grow and flourish!

Peggy Rogers
Get to Know Your Executive Committee:

Peggy  5President - Peggy Rogers (Wood County)

Who am I?  How can I even start to answer the question so that you all would know who I am?  So, I asked my husband to describe me.  His answer:  I love you with all my heart, but you are loud, bossy, tend to wear gaudy jewelry, you want everything to have its place to the point where I can’t ever find anything, you get involved in the organizations/clubs that you belong to, and you never know when to quit when you are working in the garden.  Read more!

profile1 (3) 21st Vice President - Nicky Maddams (Waller County)

This is my fourth year on the Executive Committee, having held the office of Secretary for two years, one year as 2nd VP and now as 1st.  I also manage the TMGA website, newsletter, and social media.  How do I come up with something new to say?   I’m a life-long gardener; I remember my late mother giving my sister and I our own plots in the garden at a very young age in which we could plant whatever we wanted, or whatever would grow on the Canadian Prairies!   Read more!

jack downey 22nd Vice President - Jack Downey (Bexar County)

Downey served for 26 years in the U.S. Air Force where he was a distinguished graduate of the Officer Training School and advanced military education.  Upon leaving the U.S. Air Force, Jack worked with Christian Senior Services, a United Way nonprofit providing Meals-on-Wheels and Alzheimer's Daycare, doubling the number of daily meals delivered and tripling the care provided by Alzheimer's Daycare.

Jack then became the President/CEO of The Children's Shelter and under his guidance, The Children's Shelter successfully undertook a $14,700,000 capital campaign and built a 24-acre campus for children.  Read more!               

pat allen 2Secretary - Pat Allen (Bell County)

I grew up in East Texas, got a degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin, got married and lived in both Mississippi and Colorado for several years before settling in Bell County, TX in 1982.  I developed a love for gardening at a young age from being around my grandmother who could stick anything in the ground and grow amazingly beautiful plants and flowers.  I always have enjoyed working outside rather than in the house.  Strange as it sounds, I even enjoy mowing the yard.  After my daughter and son were born, I always had a garden because I wanted my children to experience growing their own vegetables and loving to eat them.  Read more!

elisabeth1Treasurer - Elisabeth Castro (Montgomery County)

Where are you from? Invariably I’m asked this question followed by “why would you ever want to leave?”  Aruba is indeed a beautiful island and anyone who has ever been there marvels at the white beaches and cool breeze in the evenings.  When I married, I moved to Puerto Rico where my husband was from. Not long after that we moved to Dallas and from there to Caracas, Venezuela.  Back we came to Texas before moving to Chicago and then Denver, Colorado to finally settle in Texas again.  In between we traveled all over South America both for his job and then mine, although my work took me mainly to Sao Paolo and Bolivia.  Read more!

Next month:  Jayla Fry, State Coordinator and Commitee Chairs

Submission Deadlines!

DUE MARCH 1, 2017:



logoThe Galveston County Master Gardeners are ready for you!  Registration for the Awards Luncheon and tours is open and some tours are already close to selling out!  For registration, tour bookings and orders for commemorative t-shirts, visit The Galveston Connection on the cruise website.

We have also secured special pricing for our attendees at the Moody Gardens Hotel which will also include free parking and shuttles for cruisers.  You may book your hotel rooms now through the conference website.

Demo Aerial View
Galveston Demonstration Gardens
   150x150         150x150 cemetery

Propagation - March 24-25 in Arlington, TX

Did you inherit your mother’s prize begonia and would you like to pass it on to your children and grandchildren? Or do you have a large area to landscape and a limited budget for plants? Do you just want to learn more about how to make ten plants from one?

The Master Gardener Propagation Specialist course provides two full days of hands-on learning of a variety of propagation techniques:
  • Seeding
  • Air layering
  • Stem cutting
  • Soft & semi hardwood cuttings
  • Root cutting
  • Bulb chipping
  • Dividing
  • Simple layering
  • Tree grafting
  • Read more


Vegetables - February 8-10 in Dallas, TX
Gonzales - Home Fruit Specialist for Southern Texas  February 9-10

Comanche - Commercial Vegetable Production  February 10
Smith County - Master Gardeners at the Library  February 10
Kaufman County - Home Landscape Design  February 18
Brazos County - Blue is the New Gold  February 25

Bush Library - Landscape Design School  February 27/28
A&M - National JMG Teacher/Leader Training  February 28-March 1

International Master Gardener Conference 2017IMGC jpg
July 10-14, 2017
Portland, OR

Don't delay!  Some hotels and tours have already sold out.

There are so many choices for the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference including 44 concurrent session classes, 16 tours, and extra add-on events.  With this many options, it can take some time to consider your preferences and register.



William distinguished careerCongratulations to Dr. William M. Johnson, who was recently presented an award for his distinguished career.  Dr. Johnson is the County Extension Agent for Galveston County.  Come to the Awards Luncheon in Galveston on May 1st to shake his hand and congratulate him in person!

(Dr. Doug Steele on the left; Dr. William M. Johnson on the right)

Photo credit:  Ginger Benson


Next Directors Meeting:  Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 12:30pm (11:45am Social Time)
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