Classes

Be Informed!

The Arbor Gate's frequent and wide-ranging classes, workshops, and special events provide enriching information and experiences throughout the gardening year. Our participants gain not only knowledge, but also inspiration and the incentive to get gardening! get cooking! get landscaping! get building that compost heap! get welding! and the list goes on!

Presenters range from published authors to local experts, some Arbor Gate favorites and others brand new to our audiences. Numerous authors of the books we stock are popular class and workshop presenters.

During the fall season until early December, and beginning again in the new year, a full and descriptive schedule, including speakers' credentials and specific topics, are posted on the website at arborgate.com. Website sign-up makes it easy and convenient to get involved.

Whether your interest is horticultural, culinary, or artistic, there's a class (or two or three) for you! So sign up, mark your calendars, and be ready to be energized and renewed.

As Buckminster Fuller said, "You can never learn less, you can only learn more."



Slow Gardening

For our Spring 2015 class series, we're continuing to focus on Slow Gardening.

Slow Gardening means taking our time, enjoying the journey, savoring every moment. Slow gardeners don't work less - just different. It's gardening we do ourselves, one step after another.

Join us at The Arbor Gate for our Spring class series built around the Slow Gardening movement and learn to enjoy the journey and the destination!

"But to be perfectly blunt, there isn't a whole lot that you have to do to be a pretty successful gardener. For the vast majority of gardeners down through history, there have been only three basic rules needed to grow most plants: dig wide holes, set plants in green side up, and, if they need it, water them a few times during the first few months. The rest is what I call horticultural finesse." -pg 116

Please use the chart below to read about our classes. Click on the name of the class to expand it and read a full description. Use the form on the right-hand side of this page to sign up for classes. If you prefer to print out our class list with descriptions, please use the printer friendly version.



Lunch with the Experts

Don't forget to check out our "Lunch with the Experts" series too! Take your lunch break at The Arbor Gate on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from Noon until 1PM. Bring your sack lunch and we'll provide the drinks! Read more here.



MGCEU: Classes marked with an "MGCEU" are eligible for Master Gardener Continuing Education. The counties that responded to our request are noted. All classes have possible eligibility for MGCEU, please check with your local agent for approval.

All classes are free unless otherwise noted. To guarantee your reservation in a class with a fee, payment must be paid in person or by phone.

Class NameDate/Time
Gunter's Heirloom VegetablesSaturday, January 31, 9am - 1pm

Sorry we missed you!

Leah and Pam Gunter, Gunters Heirloom Vegetables

The Gunter's will be on hand to answer all of your questions about selecting and growing heirloom vegetables in your garden and landscape.

We must warn you - Pam and Leah's love for the vegetable garden is contagious. Along with their knowledge, their selection of heirloom vegetables is unsurpassed. Don't miss this opportunity to meet them both!!

MGCEU: Brazos, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Leah and Pam are experts in the growing of these traditional varieties and graciously pass along their knowledge.


Fruit Culture DaySaturday, January 31, 10am - 4pm

Sorry we missed you!

Fruit Culture Day

Enjoy a day of tips and tricks to treat your fruit!

This is a great opportunity to learn about growing your own fruit, managing pests and diseases, and taking care of your home orchard.

The Arbor Gate will have a large selection of fruit available. You'll leave with the knowledge and supplies for success - you really will find your green thumb at The Arbor Gate!"

10:00AM - High-Density Home Orchard Management with Angela Chandler

11:30AM - Pest and Disease Management with Professor Seth Knight

1:00PM - Growing Fruit in Containers with Angela Chandler

2:30PM - Pruning and Training Fruiting Trees and Vines with Bill Adams

MGCEU: Brazos, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Angela Chandler is a lifelong gardener with a passion for learning and teaching. She tends a 1/2 acre garden in Highlands, Texas that includes ornamentals, fruits, a small experimental nursery, a flock of Buff Orpington chickens, and a Lab mix named Harley. Her gardening adventures would not be possible without her husband, Fred - always willing to help unload leaves, compost and help build beds. Angela is a member of the Harris County Master Gardener Association - Retired, and a member of the Garden Writer's Association.


Bill is a well known professional photographer and Extension Agent Emeritus for Harris County. Bill writes regularly for our blog, and you can read his articles here.



Seth Knight, Professor of Horticulture, ret., was a horticulturist with the state of Texas for six years and a Professor of Horticulture with Houston Community College for 30 years. Seth taught courses in many different areas of horticulture, entomology and working with insects and plant health problems. He was Department Chairman of the Agriculture/Science program with Houston Community College and worked with local school district's Horticulture Programs.


Rose Pruning Made SimpleSaturday, February 28, 10am

Gaye Hammond, Houston Rose Society

Rose pruning made simple. Learn the how, when and where to prune to keep your roses at their best year round.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About Instructors:

Gaye is the Past President of the Houston Rose Society and an international lecturer and writer. She is involved in a number of rose trials around the country and has evaluated Kordes' roses in trials in Oregon, New York and Texas. She is also a contributing author to A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast and The Sustainable Rose Garden.


Tomato GraftingSunday, March 1, 11am

***THIS CLASS IS FULL***

Tom LeRoy, Montgomery County Extension Agent Emeritus & Asst. Texas Master Gardener Program Coordinator

Increase productivity and disease resistance by learning this method of combining desirable tomato varieties. By grafting heirloom tomatoes onto a hybrid rootstock you are able to produce the quality of the heirloom with the disease resistance and vigor of a hybrid tomato. This workshop will include all the tools you need to graft a tomato yourself. Each participant will go home with a plant they grafted themselves.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County


Cool Trees and Shrubs for HoustonThursday, March 5, 10am

Dr. David Creech, SFA Gardens, Nacogdoches

Dr. Creech has been testing trees and shrubs for many years at SFA Gardens. He delivers a fast, fun, and fact-filled run down on a good number of Texas-tough performers - some you will recognize and some you won't. A basic how-to on how to site them, plant them, and grow them.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About Instructor:

Dr. David Creech, Professor of Horticulture, has been at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas since September, 1978. His teaching responsibilities include courses in fruit and vegetable production, greenhouse management, landscape plant materials, plant propagation, and nursery management. His effort has focused on blueberry germplasm and production studies, alternative crop/alternative technology work, crop nutrition studies, new plant introductions for the ornamental horticulture industry, endangered plant rescue, research and reintroduction, and finding sustainable solutions to environmental concerns. Dr. Creech is a contributing writer to numerous scholarly and trade publications. Dr. Creech has enjoyed numerous international consultancies since 1981 to Pakistan, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal, Israel and China. His latest work in China collaborates with colleagues at the Nanjing Botanical Garden and has a focus on Taxodium improvement and research, nursery production and blueberry potential. Dr. Creech was President, 1991-1992, of the Native Plant Society of Texas, an 1800 member, 31 chapter organization dedicated to the conservation, selection and use of the native plants of Texas.He is currently the Director of the ten-acre SFA Mast Arboretum, an on-campus resource that has enjoyed steady growth, development, utilization and visitation since its inception in 1985. Dr. Creech's also directs the 8-acre SFA Ruby Mize Azalea Garden which opened in 2000. The garden features over a mile of trails, 6000+ azaleas, over 200 varieties of Japanese maples and 400 varieties of camellias plus a wide assortment of companion trees and shrubs. He is also co-Director of a new 40-acre forest resource on the SFA campus, the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, only the third garden affiliated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. He signs all his letters, "Keep planting."


Gunter's Heirloom VegetablesSaturday, March 7, 9am - 1pm

Leah and Pam Gunter, Gunters Heirloom Vegetables

The Gunter's will be on hand to answer all of your questions about selecting and growing heirloom vegetables in your garden and landscape.

We must warn you - Pam and Leah's love for the vegetable garden is contagious. Along with their knowledge, their selection of heirloom vegetables is unsurpassed. Don't miss this opportunity to meet them both!!

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Leah and Pam are experts in the growing of these traditional varieties and graciously pass along their knowledge.


Growing Your OwnSaturday, March 7, 10am

Dave and Trish Whitinger

Dave and Trish share with you their tips for growing your own herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Eating healthy and saving money can be easy and fun!

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Dave is the founder of the DavesGarden.com and AllThingsPlants.com websites and the current president of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners Association. He and Trish live on a 90 acre farm in Jacksonville, TX with their 5 children.


Spring Vegetable GardeningSunday, March 8, 11am

Tom LeRoy and Bill Adams, authors of The Southern Kitchen Garden

The experts are back!!! Prepare to be entertained as well as educated! Tom and Bill have many years of gardening experience as county extension agents. Advanced and beginning vegetable gardeners alike will benefit from this class.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About Instructors:

Tom is the Extension Agent Emeritus for Montgomery County and his new website is www.gardeningwithtomleroy.com. While Bill is a well known professional photographer and Extension Agent Emeritus for Harris County. Together, they have co-authored Vegetable Gardening for the South. Bill is also a contributor to the Arbor Gate's blog. Read his articles here.


Choosing the Best Herb for the Purpose - Class AThursday, March 12, 10am

Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs

With such a plethora of herbs available for great growing in our region, choosing is difficult for all of us. Join this class for an exploration of the many different purposes that can be fulfilled by the members of even a single family, such as oregano, thyme, or basil. Whether your garden is in the ground or containers, whether you cook or not, there are great choices to fit your purpose. Come and explore the wider world of herb use, and bring your own experiences to share.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Ann Wheeler of Log House Herb Farm is consultant of fine culinary and ornamental herbs to The Arbor Gate.


Choosing the Best Herb for the Purpose - Class BSaturday, March 14, 10am

Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs

With such a plethora of herbs available for great growing in our region, choosing is difficult for all of us. Join this class for an exploration of the many different purposes that can be fulfilled by the members of even a single family, such as oregano, thyme, or basil. Whether your garden is in the ground or containers, whether you cook or not, there are great choices to fit your purpose. Come and explore the wider world of herb use, and bring your own experiences to share.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Ann Wheeler of Log House Herb Farm is consultant of fine culinary and ornamental herbs to The Arbor Gate.


No Till GardeningSunday, March 15, 11am

Angela Chandler, The Garden Academy

Gardening is more fun when it is less work. Tilling and deep cultivation are not necessary, and may actually be doing more harm than good. Partner up with nature to build and repair soils the easy way. We'll show you how!

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Angela Chandler is a lifelong gardener with a passion for learning and teaching. She tends a 1/2 acre garden in Highlands, Texas that includes ornamentals, fruits, a small experimental nursery, a flock of Buff Orpington chickens, and a Lab mix named Harley. Her gardening adventures would not be possible without her husband, Fred - always willing to help unload leaves, compost and help build beds. Angela is a member of the Harris County Master Gardener Association - Retired, and a member of the Garden Writer's Association.


Attracting Bluebirds To Your GardenThursday, March 19, 10:00am

Linda Crum

Learn the habitat and nesting habits and how to protect bluebirds with this popular presentation by Linda Crum. You may join the Texas Bluebird Society, and with a new membership receive a free nestbox.

MGCEU: Waller County

About Instructor:

Linda is a Texas Master naturalist and has monitored bluebirds in her backyard for years. She also monitors a bluebird trail at a nearby State Forest and reports all data to Cornell Laboratories, NestWatch program.


Herb Green SmoothiesThursday, March 19, 11:30am

Linda Franzo, Passionate Platter Herb Gardens

Renew, Recharge, Refresh with Herbal Green Smoothie Superstars! Worth the Squeeze! Linda Franzo, owner of Passionate Platter Herb Gardens & Cooking classes, Slidell, La. Returns this season to blend herbs and veggies to make the Yummiest, Healthy Potions! Tasting & recipes included!

About the Instructor:

Linda Franzo is the owner and cooking/garden instructor of Passionate Platter, located in Slidell, La. Linda is married to her husband, Rick, and has 3 sons - 2 married and one attending LSU. Linda and Rick have 4 grandchildren. Linda is a retired Speech Communication Specialist from St. Tammany Parish. She has attended several cooking schools around the country including CIA, St Helena, NECI, Vermont, & Cooking School of the Rockies, with emphasis on bread making and brick oven baking. At Passionate Platter, Linda provides garden tours of culinary themed herb and vegetable gardens & cooking classes for kids and adults. Herbs and vegetables are harvested from the gardens and served "Garden to Table" style. Linda is a member of the Herb Society of America, New Orleans and Baton Rouge units. She is also a n Advanced Master Gardener for St. Tammany Parish. Her specialty, developing community herb gardens and edible school yard gardens. Linda wants everyone to put Herbal Pizzaz in their food and their gardens.


The Greg Grant CollectionSaturday, March 21, 10:00am

Greg Grant

New introductions to add to your collection! Come here the stories and history behind his plant introductions directly from the man himself!

Greg Grant is a horticulturist for SFA Gardens in Nacogdoches. He writes the "Greg's Ramblings" section of The Arbor Gate blog. Read his articles here.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

This class is approved for Fort Bend County Master Gardeners


Gardening with ChildrenSunday, March 22, 11am

Stephanie Baker

Gardening is a healthy outdoor activity fun for the whole family! Come learn how to create a backyard space where children and parents will enjoy spending time together!

Learn ways to introduce your children to the love of healthy food and the love of gardening by growing colorful and interesting flowers, fruits, and vegetables. We will cover both vegetable and butterfly gardening to give you the tools for engaging your children in a world of fun family time right in your own backyard!

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Stephanie Baker completed her Master Gardener certification in 2002 and is the owner of Ready to Grow Gardens.

In the last thirteen years Stephanie has designed and created beautiful school learning gardens at 17 elementary schools and 3 early education centers in and around Houston. She also developed a unique garden based curriculum that she teaches students K- 5th that was integrated into the science curriculum at each school. During the school year Stephanie visits a different school every day of the week enjoying her time with students planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and investigating wildlife!


Butterflies in the GardenThursday, March 26, 10am

Nancy Greig, Cockrell Butterfly Center

Butterflies bring the garden alive with color and dance. Nancy will share tips on attracting and keeping butterflies to your garden.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County


Lemonade Gardening: What to do when your climate hands you lemonsSaturday, March 28, 10am

Dee Nash

We grow in a difficult climate. Learn which plants love our hot weather and drought along with strategies to grow things "outside the zone" in spring, summer and fall.

MGCEU: Brazos, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Dee Nash is an award-winning, professional writer, speaker and garden coach, born and raised in Oklahoma. She lives with her husband, children, two dogs, Tap and Maddie, one cat, Sophie, and twenty+ chickens on 7.5 acres between the Great American Prairie and the beginning of the deciduous forest. She gardens on approximately an acre and grows vegetables, fruit, roses, daylilies, native plants and other favorite perennials, trees and shrubs.

Dee is a frequent contributor of writing and photography to Oklahoma Gardener magazine. She's also written for Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, flower magazine, the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society's Horticulture Horizons, and the Daylily Journal. Dee has also written online for Proven Winners Plants and Lowe's Corporation. She currently writes for Fiskars Corporation on their company website and HGTVGardens.

Her first book, The 20/30-Something Garden Guide, a no-fuss, down and dirty Gardening 101 for anyone who want to grow stuff was published in February 2014.

Dee has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism-Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma with an emphasis in Botany, and she's a member of the Garden Writers Association, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society and Great Garden Speakers.


Hey Gardeners! Create a Vegetable Garden Wherever You AreSunday, March 29, 11am

Dee Nash

Learn what a kitchen garden can look like in an urban setting. Why turn part of your urban lot into a garden full of food and flowers? In this companion talk to my book, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide, I'll get you thinking of food as "backyard to table" instead of "farm to table." With a plan and few tried-and-true techniques, you too can have a beautiful and abundant garden just outside your back or front door.

MGCEU: Brazos, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Dee Nash is an award-winning, professional writer, speaker and garden coach, born and raised in Oklahoma. She lives with her husband, children, two dogs, Tap and Maddie, one cat, Sophie, and twenty+ chickens on 7.5 acres between the Great American Prairie and the beginning of the deciduous forest. She gardens on approximately an acre and grows vegetables, fruit, roses, daylilies, native plants and other favorite perennials, trees and shrubs.

Dee is a frequent contributor of writing and photography to Oklahoma Gardener magazine. She's also written for Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, flower magazine, the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society's Horticulture Horizons, and the Daylily Journal. Dee has also written online for Proven Winners Plants and Lowe's Corporation. She currently writes for Fiskars Corporation on their company website and HGTVGardens.

Her first book, The 20/30-Something Garden Guide, a no-fuss, down and dirty Gardening 101 for anyone who want to grow stuff was published in February 2014.

Dee has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism-Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma with an emphasis in Botany, and she's a member of the Garden Writers Association, the Oklahoma Horticultural Society and Great Garden Speakers.


Ornamedible ClimbersThursday, April 9, 10am

Angela Chandler, The Garden Academy

Cucumbers, squash, melons and pumpkins are easier to grow than you think. They take less space and have fewer problems if we let them climb. We will learn about varieties, soil prep, trellis options, planting, and disease management for a bountiful harvest of these garden favorites all summer and into fall.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Angela Chandler is a lifelong gardener with a passion for learning and teaching. She tends a 1/2 acre garden in Highlands, Texas that includes ornamentals, fruits, a small experimental nursery, a flock of Buff Orpington chickens, and a Lab mix named Harley. Her gardening adventures would not be possible without her husband, Fred - always willing to help unload leaves, compost and help build beds. Angela is a member of the Harris County Master Gardener Association - Retired, and a member of the Garden Writer's Association.


The Southern GardenSaturday, April 11, 10am

Dr. William Welch, Texas A&M
Chris Wiesinger, Southern Bulb Co.

Sharing their love of gardening, Dr. Welch and Chris will give you insights on design and plant selection for our southern landscapes.

About Instructors:

Chris is a 2004 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he majored in horticulture and floriculture, and was a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Chris founded the Southern Bulb Co. from a college project upon graduation.

Dr. Welch is the Texas Agrilife Extension Landscape Horticulturist at Texas A&M, and co-author of Heirloom Gardening in the South-Yesterdays Plants for Today's Gardens (Texas A&M University Press) with Greg Grant.


Together, Chris and Bill co-authored The Bulb Hunter. The book details Christ Wiesinger's adventures in bulb hunting, telling stories of the bulbs he has discovered and weaving in his own life story. He then teams with veteran horticulturist William C. Welch to provide advice on how to grow and appreciate the bulbs that have been rescued and reintroduced.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

This class is approved for Fort Bend County Master Gardeners


Landscape DesignSunday, April 12, 11am

Gaye Hammond

Is your landscape tired and in need of a face-lift, but you just don't know where to start? Have you poured money into landscaping projects and then been unsatisfied with the result? Do you have a new home and are in need of developing a landscape plan? If so, this course is for you! The approach that you will learn combines techniques used by professional landscape designers with the latest horticultural landscape management practices recommended by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service (part of the Texas A&M system) to provide the homeowner with a beautiful year-round landscape requiring only minimal maintenance. The class covers how to build your own design, plant and color selections and things to avoid for a successful landscape, and includes course materials.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About Instructor:

Gaye is the Past President of the Houston Rose Society and an international lecturer and writer. She is involved in a number of rose trials around the country and has evaluated Kordes' roses in trials in Oregon, New York and Texas. She is also a contributing author to A Garden Book for Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast and The Sustainable Rose Garden.


A Tree for Every PlaceSaturday, April 18, 10am

Paul Cox

Move over live oaks, we have a better idea! A creative new take on tree selection for any landscape.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructor:

Paul W. Cox is a consulting botanist and lecturer, drawing from 3 decades of Southwestern United States Botany.

His experience began in the 1970's with research at the Heard Natural History Museum. By invitation, he served as Horticulturist for the City of San Antonio, then supervisor of the Botanical Gardens where he led the construction and development of this reknowned garden. Over the next 30 years, he served as interim Director and Assistant Director, continuing his leadership and development of the Garden's resources and programs.

Today, Paul continues to serve the botanical community through his writing, lectures and consulting for legal, municipal, commercial and residential clients.


Bee-Friendly ForumSunday, April 19, 11am

Angela Chandler, The Garden Academy
Dean Cook

An informal meeting to discuss all things BEE!

This forum is a casual meeting of beekeepers, bee gardeners, new-bees, and wanna-bees. Everyone is welcome regardless of experience. The forum is hosted by The Arbor Gate and is facilitated by Dean Cook and Angela Chandler. Dean is a professional beekeeper and bee wrangler. Angela is a hobby beekeeper and bee gardener. All questions are welcomed and the forum encourages members to share their challenges, experiences and ideas.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Angela Chandler is a lifelong gardener with a passion for learning and teaching. She tends a 1/2 acre garden in Highlands, Texas that includes ornamentals, fruits, a small experimental nursery, a flock of Buff Orpington chickens, and a Lab mix named Harley. Her gardening adventures would not be possible without her husband, Fred - always willing to help unload leaves, compost and help build beds. Angela is a member of the Harris County Master Gardener Association - Retired, and a member of the Garden Writer's Association.

Dean Cook is a beekeeper and a gardener when he's not helping his wife Nell in her metal rain tank shop. Dean is presently caring for 20 top bar beehives. He uses no chemicals and doesn't feed his bees sugar water. Dean teaches classes at his bee yard during the cooler parts of the year.


The Evergreen Herb GardenThursday, April 23, 10am

Henry Flowers, Festival Hill Gardens

Evergreens are the stalwarts of all gardens - having a background presence during the ebullience of spring and summer and coming to the forefront in the winter when all the ephemeral plants take a rest. This is no different with evergreen herbs. They are always there and thus they usually require less work than their flighty cousins. In this class we will look at how to use evergreen herbs in the landscape, how to manage them in the long-term, how to select the best varieties for your needs, and, of course, how to use them as well.

About Instructor:

Henry Flowers is a native Texan and a graduate of Texas A&M University. He holds both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Horticulture. He is currently the Garden Director at the International Festival-Institute in Round Top, Texas where, with the help of many volunteers, he oversees the gardens and herb collections. He is the 2009 recipient of the Herb Society of America's Joanna McQuail Reed Award for the Artistic Use of Herbs.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

This class is approved for Fort Bend County Master Gardeners


Easy Herbs, Easy RecipesSaturday, April 25, 10am

Ann Wheeler, Log House Herbs
Chef Chris Crowder

Time is always short, whether you're a gardener, a cook, or both. Chris and Ann have some good ideas about choosing easy-to-grow herbs for this year, paired with easy-to-make recipes using them. Plus, the fun-loving twosome will pass along ideas about how to combine these easy herbs for landscaping effect AND culinary raves. Come along, bring your best ideas and questions, and enjoy a fresh take on herbs in the garden and the kitchen.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, & Waller County

About the Instructors:

Chef Chris Crowder is a professional chef and long time friend of The Arbor Gate. He prepares delicious dishes for many of the Arbor Gate events and specializes in herbal recipes.

Ann Wheeler of Log House Herb Farm is consultant of fine culinary and ornamental herbs to The Arbor Gate.


Texas Month-by-Month GardeningSunday, April 26, 1pm

Skip Richter, Harris Co. Extension Agent

If you're a home gardener, knowing what to do when can be overwhelming--that's where Texas Month-by-Month Gardening comes to the rescue. Houston horticulturist Robert "Skip" Richter makes it easy with a in-depth month-by-month breakdown of what to plant, when to plant, and how to take care of it in order to have a beautiful Texas garden all year round. Skip will be available for a book signing following the class.

About the Instructor:

Skip received his master's degree in Horticulture from Texas A&M University. He has been with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service for 24 years in Montgomery, Travis and Harris County where he currently serves as a County Extension Agent in Horticulture.

He has helped develop a variety of environmental gardening programs including Extension's "Don't Bag It" yard waste recycling programs, the Composting for Kids educational web page, and the Grow Green environmental education program which educates Austin residents on landscaping practices that protect water quality.

His media experience includes gardening columns and articles for newspapers and magazines, an internet column for the National Gardening Assn., and a regular segment on the "Central Texas Gardener" television program. He also created a television segment called "Gardening with Skip." Many of these brief gardening segments can be seen on his "Gardening with Skip" YouTube channel.


Feng Shui in the GardenSaturday, May 2, 10am

Katherine Ashby

In honor of Mother's Day let's explore some Feng Shui secrets to enhance the home and garden with shapes, colors, and symbols that inspire the feminine aspects of both men and women. Come and unleash your creative side with plants, colors, shapes and symbols that make us feel nurtured and loved. Find out which corner of your garden should encourage togetherness, receptivity and even marriage. Everyone will receive a Feng Shui template to use for their home and garden.

MGCEU: Brazos & Waller County

About Instructor:

Katherine Ashby has training and experience in both Western and Eastern Feng Shui practices. For 18 years Ms. Ashby has specialized in residential feng shui, helping clients buy and sell real estate, and designing, renovating, and rearranging their homes for using the art of placement. She is part of the Classical Chinese Wu Chang Feng Shui Lineage. Ms. Ashby has taught Feng Shui classes for University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Houston Community College. Ms. Ashby is the author of Facing Prosperity: The Power of Your Personal Feng Shui Directions.


Art In The GardenSaturday, May 9, 10am-3pm

The Incomparable Felder Rushing - Felder will be speaking at 10am, be here early for a good seat!

Special Guests Include:
Lorenzo
Felder Rushing
Stephanie Shroyer
Houston Llew
Randy Lemmon

The gardens at The Arbor Gate are dressed out in all their finery just for this annual event. Enjoy the day strolling through our display gardens and visiting with our gardening staff and talented artists. Highlighting the day will be our Arbor Gate artisans as well as guest artists who will be displaying some of their newest works.

MGCEU: Brazos, Fort Bend, & Waller County


Tomato ContestSaturday, June 6, 10am

Judges will choose winners in the categories of largest fruit and best tasting fruit. Don't miss out on the fun!

Judges:
Bill Adams
Jeremy Kollaus
Chef Chris Crowder
Tom LeRoy

Categories are:

  • Best tasting small (2"diameter or less)
  • Best tasting large (2" diameter or more)
  • Largest ( determined by weight)
  • Prettiest Single Tomato (10 ounces or more)
  • Most Uniform Sample of 4 Tomatoes (single variety/2" diameter or more)
  • Best tasting salsa
  • Best tasting marinara

Entry tomato must have been grown personally by the registrant, and not have been used in any previous tomato contest. Tomatoes may be any color, shape, or size.

MGCEU: Brazos & Waller County


Summer Children's Camp - Fun Garden Stepping StonesWednesday, June 17, 9am-12:30pm

Summer Children's Camps!
Class A: Fun Garden Stepping Stones

Ages 6-12 | $50 each

Join us for an exciting camp day where we will learn about summer wildflowers, vegetables, and insects and then make beautiful stepping stones to reflect our favorite things!

Every garden needs art and at this camp day everyone will create their own unique stepping stone masterpiece to take home! (Stepping stones also make a great Father's Day gifts for Dad or Grandpa!)

This half day camp will include a garden walk, fun garden games, your own stepping stone art, plus a packet of seeds for growing in wildflowers at home!

Bring water and your own sack lunch to enjoy a picnic under the big tent.

About the Instructor:

Stephanie Baker completed her Master Gardener certification in 2002 and is the owner of Ready to Grow Gardens.

In the last thirteen years Stephanie has designed and created beautiful school learning gardens at 17 elementary schools and 3 early education centers in and around Houston. She also developed a unique garden based curriculum that she teaches students K- 5th that was integrated into the science curriculum at each school. During the school year Stephanie visits a different school every day enjoying her time with students planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and investigating wildlife!


Summer Children's Camp - Whimsical Wind ArtFriday, July 17, 9am-12:30pm

Summer Children's Camps!
Class B - Whimsical Wind Art

Ages 6-12 | $50 each

Join us for a fun camp day exploring beautiful gardens, learning about summer butterflies and their connection to herbs that are easy to grow in your backyard, plus make a whimsical piece of wind art to take home!

Children love butterflies and art projects and this camp will connect the two and the art will make a colorful addition to any garden!

This half day camp will include a garden walk, fun garden games, child friendly butterfly and herb information, your own whimsical wind art, plus a 4" butterfly plant to grow at home!

Bring water and your own sack lunch to enjoy a picnic under the big tent.

About the Instructor:

Stephanie Baker completed her Master Gardener certification in 2002 and is the owner of Ready to Grow Gardens.

In the last thirteen years Stephanie has designed and created beautiful school learning gardens at 17 elementary schools and 3 early education centers in and around Houston. She also developed a unique garden based curriculum that she teaches students K- 5th that was integrated into the science curriculum at each school. During the school year Stephanie visits a different school every day enjoying her time with students planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and investigating wildlife!


Summer Children's Camp - All About HummingbirdsTuesday, August 4, 9am-12:30pm

Summer Children's Camps!
Class C - All About Hummingbirds

Ages 6-12 | Min: 10, Max: 18 | $50 each

Join us for a super camp day where we will learn about the incredible hummingbird! Learn how to attract these beautiful birds to your backyard with their favorite nectar plants, about their amazing migration south through Texas each fall, plus make a unique hummingbird feeder to take home!

Learn what hummingbirds like and don't like, take home a nectar recipe, and create a hummingbird feeder that will provide hours of backyard entertainment while you observe the hummingbirds that visit!

This half day camp will include a garden walk, fun garden games, your own hummingbird feeder, plus a 4" hummingbird attracting perennial to take home!

Bring water and your own sack lunch to enjoy a picnic under the big tent.

About the Instructor:

Stephanie Baker completed her Master Gardener certification in 2002 and is the owner of Ready to Grow Gardens.

In the last thirteen years Stephanie has designed and created beautiful school learning gardens at 17 elementary schools and 3 early education centers in and around Houston. She also developed a unique garden based curriculum that she teaches students K- 5th that was integrated into the science curriculum at each school. During the school year Stephanie visits a different school every day enjoying her time with students planting seeds, harvesting vegetables, and investigating wildlife!


MGCEU: Classes marked with an "MGCEU" are eligible for Master Gardener Continuing Education.

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Summer Children's Camp - Fun Garden Stepping Stones
Summer Children's Camp - Whimsical Wind Art
Summer Children's Camp - All About Hummingbirds

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