Scion -February 2020

Volume 30, Issue 2 – February 2020

Lynn Cox,
BCMG President

It’s February… Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and Rodeo!

The Lil Buckaroo Tent is under construction with landscaping taking place in the next couple of days. The Rodeo Tomato, Red Snapper, and other plants for sale will be moving in this week. I hope everyone has signed up for shifts to work! And keep checking our Rodeo page for last-minute openings. (Rodeo Page click here.) This is going to be a great event!

Did you know? CULTIVATE! is moving to Trinity University Coates Student Center! The Coates Student Center has larger classrooms, which give us the ability to accommodate more gardening enthusiasts. All CULTIVATE! sessions will earn WaterSaver Rewards points (SAWS program) as well as providing unbiased, researched-based, gardening information that is locally relevant!  MGs who attend classes will also earn CEUs (Code 001). Mark your calendars and watch for more information!

In addition to CULTIVATE! and Rodeo, we have great outreach programs going on… Culinary Docents at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, Speakers Bureau, Hotline Volunteers, Brown Bag, and more! There is something for everyone. Get involved!

As always, my virtual door is always open! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, and ideas.

Step up and step out to great gardening opportunities!

Glorious gardening,

Come On Out and Rodeo, San Antonio!  
We have tickets for free admission to Rodeo on Tuesday, February 6, 2020 and free parking from 12 noon – 2 p.m. Click here to download the free ticket. Remember, you must print out and present one ticket for each member of your party. Offer them to family and friends, everyone is welcome!    


BCMG BOARD MEETING will take place 3 – 5 pm on Feb 20, 2020 at 3355 Cherry Ridge 78230. If you are interested in placing items on the agenda, email  President Lynn Cox  ([email protected]) by Friday, the week before the meeting.  All members are welcome to observe the meetings; however, in order to accommodate seating, please email Lynn that you will be attending.

January Membership Meeting Announcements

  • 2020 Dues:
    Thank you to all who paid their dues on time!  Just a reminder that we are in the grace period where you can still pay your dues of $25. As of Feb 1, dues are assessed a late fee of $15 making them $40.
  • New Name Badges:
    Name badges are available for those who paid their 2020 dues by Dec. 31st  and recorded their required certification hours on VMS by Dec. 15th. Name badges can be picked up in the BCMG Office during business hours (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)  If you re-certified but did not pay your dues on time, you will need to pay your dues and pay $8 for the new name badges. 
  • Membership Cards:
    As a BCMG, we are required to complete and sign a Volunteer Agreement form and have another background check before you are issued your membership card. Membership cards will be issued by Denise Perez in the AgriLife Extension office during business hours. You can fill out the forms at that time. Forms and cards will also be available at our February 20th membership meeting.
  • On a related note… we have realized that the membership cards  distributed at our January membership meeting have the wrong expiration date. The cards are being reprinted and will be available for pick up from Denise or at the February membership meeting. Sorry for the inconvenience!
  • 2019 Poinsettia Sale:
    BCMGs made a net profit of $3,781.70. This compares with our 2018 net profit of only $1,714.73. Great job everyone!
  • 2019 Volunteer and Continuing Education Hours:
    BCMGs volunteered 16,365 hours of service to the community last year. That is equivalent to over 8 full time employees! Fantastic job, everyone! We also earned 2,506 continuing education hours!
  • Merchandise Sales:
    The shirts and aprons with our new logo were available for pickup. Items not picked up yet are available for pickup in the BCMG Office during business hours (remember, the office is closed from 12 noon-1 p.m. daily for lunch). The next sale will begin in February, with a tentative pick-up date of our March membership meeting. Hats will be for sale this next go-around.
  • Champions fore Charity:
    We are still taking donations for our Champions fore Charity fundraiser. You can make a donation online or contact Barbara Lutz ([email protected]) for a mail-in form or for more information.
  • Amending BCMG Bylaws:
    We are amending our bylaws. The membership vote will take place February 20th at our next membership meeting. For more information, please see the article in this issue of the Scion.
  • New Membership Appreciation Event:
    The Board is sponsoring a new Member Appreciation Event. We don’t have a name for the event yet, and we don’t know exactly when it will be (although we are looking at late spring or early summer). But we will be looking for volunteers to help plan it. Stay tuned and watch the Leaflet and Scion for upcoming details. One detail which we can share is: we will have a really good raffle (details to be decided… wink, wink). Members will each be given one ticket, but you can earn additional tickets through your recorded VMS recorded volunteer hours. You will receive an additional ticket for each additional 30 hours you have recorded. So, start volunteering and recording!
  • Brown Bag Lunch & Learn:
    On January 10th, Karen Gardener spoke on Planting Spring Vegetables. We had over 70 people in attendance, standing room only! For those who were unable to attend, Karen’s presentation will be available on the BCMG YouTube Channel this month.
  • Rodeo:
    Preparations are underway for the BCMG plant sale at Rodeo and our support for the AgriLife Extension’s presence at this year’s Rodeo! Please check the website’s Rodeo page  for volunteer opportunities. Check often, as opportunities open up all through the event. The San Antonio Livestock Exposition presented the Master Gardeners with a free admission ticket for Opening Day. This ticket is available for use by MGs, their family and friends, and all. Make sure you print one per person. Ticket can be found here.
  • 2020 Rodeo Tomato:
    David announced that this year’s Rodeo Tomato is Red Snapper!
  • 2020 BCMG Budget:
    The BCMG budget for 2020 will be presented by Kathann El-Amin, Treasurer, at the February 20th membership meeting.

Amending Your BCMG Bylaws – Lynn Cox, President

Last year, it was discovered that the state has our organization registered under the name ‘Bexar County Master Gardeners’, but our bylaws state our name is ‘Bexar County Master Gardeners, Inc.’  You wouldn’t think that a little thing like an ‘Inc.’ would be such a problem but it is! After some research, it was decided that it was far easier to change our bylaws than to get the state to change our name. Therefore, we are amending our bylaws.

Since we had to go through a bylaw change, the board decided it was a good time to really look at our bylaws and see if anything else needed an update. The answer was yes

In addition to the correction of punctuation and the standardization of titles and committee names, the following articles have been amended:

  • Article I – Name, to change the name of the organization from Bexar County Master Gardeners, Inc. to Bexar County Master Gardeners, in accordance to the name filed with the State.
  • Article III – Membership, to change the wording in the bylaws for the procedure of inactive members to return to active membership to match the standing policy.
  • Article IV – Board of Directors,
    • Paragraph 2, to change the limit of number of consecutive years a director can serve on the board from 5 years to 6 years.
    • Paragraph 3, to change the serving of a Past President on the Board from a requirement to a by-request.
    • Paragraph 5, to change the requirement for removal of an officer from the Board from three consecutive absences to three absences during a term of office. The vote requirement for removal was changed to a simple majority.
  • Article VII – Duties of Directors
    • Paragraph 1, to change a duty of the Membership Director from “entering and retaining” members’ volunteer hours to just “retaining” their hours. And to change the duties of the Member at Large.
    • Paragraph 2, to add language that makes clear the Parliamentarian is an appointed position and is not a voting member of the Board.
  • Article VIII – Meetings
    • Paragraph 2, to change the language so that elections can be held in accordance to the published policy. And to change the quorum from 8% to 15% of the active membership
    • Paragraph 4, to add language to address the use of the Executive Committee meeting and the resulting Executive Committee meeting minutes.
    • Paragraph 5, to change the number of members needed to call a special meeting of the Board or General Membership from 25 members to 15% of the membership.
  • Article X – Fiscal Year, add “upon request” to availability of financial records.

You can read a full copy of the proposed amended bylaws here. I have highlighted the text in blue to make it easier for you to see the amended portions of the bylaws.  To complete the process of updating our bylaws, there will be a vote by the membership at the February 20th Monthly Meeting.

I appreciate your participation in our governance process and look forward to seeing you February 20th!

Lynn Cox. President

Policy Updates from Your Board of Directors

One of the responsibilities of your Board of Directors is to establish policies that pertain to the business of the Bexar County Master Gardeners. Organizations that do not have written policies end up in chaos because sharing policies by word of mouth ends up with mixed messages. Ouch!

At our January 16th Board meeting, we passed one new policy and amended another.

  • The new policy, B-5 BCMG Office Keys and Codes, which details who in BCMG has keys and codes (and the responsibilities thereof).
  • The amended policy, F-6 Travel Reimbursement, which details who can have what travel expenses reimbursed (and the responsibilities thereof).

We encourage all members to take time to make themselves more aware of the current policies. For our members benefit, a file of all of our policies is kept in an easily accessible file on our website. Look for ‘File Cabinet’ under the ‘Members’ tab and select Policy Directory.  Or click here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any other board member!   

Thank you all!

Submitted by Lynn Cox, President 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Bexar County Master Gardeners offices are closed on Monday, February 17, 2020 for President’s Day

Become a Champion and help Bexar County Master Gardeners make a difference! Donate to Champions fore Charity and BCMG receives your donation PLUS an extra 7% from the Valero Texas Open. Donation flyers will be available at the BCMG office and at Rodeo, or you can contact Barbara Lutz for one.

You can also find information about the program and donate online to Bexar County Master Gardeners here. Click on Donate Now. Donors have the ability and flexibility to pay in advance or to be billed after the tournament.

Thanks for your support.


Hello Fellow Master Gardeners,

This month, I would like to highlight one of the opportunities that is available locally to improve our academic knowledge of the various facets of Horticulture. There is a new program at Palo Alto College that is the first of its kind in our corner of Texas. The program will give people an opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree in Viticulture and Enology. Viticulture is the science of grape growing and enology is the process of making wine.

Texas currently has approximately 4,400 acres of grape growing vineyards. This means that there is a steady demand for the various types of employees needed in the Texas wine industry. This Viticulture and Enology program will educate about the various grapes and wines around the world and students will be exposed to winery operations and equipment. There will also be special “behind the scenes” tours of local wineries.

These classes are being taught by Yessica Labay, who is a Viticulturist and very passionate about both Viticulture and Enology. She is also married to Andrew Labay, who is a Horticulturist for the San Antonio Botanical Garden. In fact, Andrew will give a featured presentation at our March Cultivate! on Backyard Grape Growing.

This degree program is just one of the many opportunities for formal educational classes at Palo Alto College, the only local college offering horticulture classes. There are also certification programs in Landscape Design, Nursery Operations, Small Organic Farming, Landscape Irrigation,  Floral Arrangement, and Horticultural Science. These classes can be taken by anyone interested in learning more about the topic, not just someone pursuing a degree or certificate.

I hope I have increased your curiosity about opportunities to gain more knowledge about the subjects that we love. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Conservationally Yours,

Anna Vogler,  Water Conservation Coordinator

Fruit Tree Seminar

February 8 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am. The Garden Center, 10682 Bandera Rd., San Antonio, TX 78250. Free.

 Fruit Tree Seminar with David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. David will be here to teach you everything you need to know about fruit trees!  When and what to plant plus fertilizing, pruning and more. 1.5 BCMG CEUs.  Code 001. Find out more »

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Growing Texas Superstar® Plants

February 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Bexar County Master Gardeners, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX 78230. Free.

Speaker:  Lynn Cox President, BCMG. Free and Open to the Public. It’s February…which means 3 things:  It’s cold, it’s Rodeo, and it’s time to plan the spring garden.  Bring your lunch and join us. 1 BCMG CEU.  Code 001. Find out more »

Spring Clean-Up “To Do’s” for Your Lawn and Landscape

February 15 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am, Milberger’s Landscaping & Nursery, 3920 North Loop 1604, San Antonio, TX 78247. Free.

Spring Clean-Up “To Do’s” for Your Lawn and Landscape With David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  Join David and learn what needs to be done now to get your yard looking good this spring. 1.5 BCMG CEU.  Code 001.  Find out more »

30 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know

February 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Pl., San Antonio, TX 78209. $15.

Join Molly Keck, Program Specialist in Integrated Pest Management and Board Certified Entomologist, and find out more about spring and summer bugs.  Learn which ones you are likely to come across, what roles they play in your garden, how to manage them.  2 BCMG CEUs.  Code 001.  Find out more »

Pruning Techniques for Roses

February 15 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Rainbow Gardens, 8516 Bandera Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78250. Free.

Pruning Techniques for Roses with Holly Hodgins, BCMG and Certified Rosarian. This is a great class for the novice and the Master Gardener, as well.  Come get some expert pruning advice. 1 BCMG CEU.  Code 001. Find out more »

Growing Backyard Fruit, Berries and More

February 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Northeast Community Learning Center, 8750 Tesoro Dr., San Antonio, TX 78217. $35.

Growing Backyard Fruit, Berries and More With David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Wouldn’t it be nice to go out to your backyard and pick some fresh fruits and berries?  Mid-winter is an excellent time to plant a fruit tree in your yard.  Find out everything you need to know to grow delicious fruit. 2 BCMG CEUs. Code 001. Find out more »

Earth-Kind®Garden & Landscape Series: Trees – Selection, Planting, Maintenance of Shade Trees

February 19 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste. 208, San Antonio, TX 78230. $15 – $30.

Earth-Kind® Garden & Landscape Series: Trees – Selection, Planting, Maintenance of Shade Trees Speaker: David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Come learn how to maximize your garden while preserving and protecting the environment.  This 3-session mini series is designed for homeowners, residents of San Antonio, and professionals. Must register online, no walk-ins allowed. 2 CEUs per session.  BCMG Code 001. Find out more »

Spring Clean-Up in the Landscape

February 22 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Rainbow Gardens, 8516 Bandera Rd.,San Antonio, TX 78250. Free.

Spring Clean-Up in the Landscape with David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  Start your 2020 gardening season off right and join David, our local gardening expert, for soil and landscape prep, a few gardening tips, and a whole lot of inspiration. Novice and experienced gardeners alike will learn at this seminar. Gardening questions welcome!  1.5 BCMG CEU.  Code 001. Find out more »

Landscape Design School: Series XXVI, Course IV (Seats still available – Register Now!)

February 24 – February 25. George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, 1000 George Bush Drive W., College Station, TX 77845. $145.

Landscape Design School: Series XXVI, Course IV   February 24-25, 2020. 12 CEUs.  Code: 001. Fee: $145, payable to Landscape Design School, by February 1, 2020; $165 after Feb. 1, 2020.  These courses offer an opportunity to learn from professional landscape architects and horticulturists about how successful landscapes are designed. Taking all 4 parts of this course earns 48 CEUs and qualifies Master Gardeners for the designation of “Landscape Design Steward.”  Find out more »

MG Advanced Training: Junior Master Gardener

February 24 @ 8:00 am – February 26 @ 12:00 pm. Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843. $420.

 If you are interested in attending, please email David Rodriguez ([email protected]), Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. Junior Master Gardener Advanced Training is open only to certified Master Gardeners. Fee: $420, through February 9th; $480, February 10-21, 2020.  Find out more »

Spring Clean-Up in the Landscape

February 29 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Rainbow Gardens – Thousand Oaks, 2585 Thousand Oaks, San Antonio, TX 78232.  Free.

Spring Clean-Up in the Landscape with David Rodriguez, Horticulturist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service FREE. Start your 2020 gardening season off right and join David, our local gardening expert, for soil and landscape prep, a few gardening tips, and a whole lot of inspiration.  Novice and experienced gardeners alike will learn at this seminar.  Gardening questions welcome! 1.5 BCMG CEUs. Code 001. Find out more »

Another Cashier Training session will take place on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Cashier training must be taken by anyone who will be handling sales at rodeo or at any other BCMG events held through the year, such as CULTIVATE! or Spring Bloom, etc. Sign up in VMS. 1.5 volunteer hours. Code 400.  


BCMG is now on YouTube! Watch classes at home (or on your smartphone)!

The Bexar County Master Gardeners have a YouTube channel! The YouTube channel will include some of the the BCMG Brown Bag presentations and also presentations given at our general meetings. Watch Karen Gardner’s “Planting Spring Vegetables” from the January 10th Brown Bag Lunch & Learn. And check often for new videos! Just click HERE.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden (SABOT) has lots of educational programs available to members and non-members. Try out some of their Texas Native Trails and Texas Bird Walking Workshops, and get some exercise while you learn! To see a calendar of all their activities, click here.

You can earn 1 CEU (of the minimum 6 CEUs required for Master Gardener re-certification) by listening to at least 1 archived podcast of WOAI 1200 AM Lawn & Garden Show.
All of the Saturday morning episodes are available. And they are fun! Listen on your phone while you drive.
Or you can earn 1 CEU (of the minimum 6 required CEUs) by listening to a LIVE radio broadcast of the WOAI 1200 AM Lawn and Garden
from 7 am-10 am on a Saturday morning.  You can only record 1 CEU per year using the radio broadcast option!   VMS CEU Code 001.

2020 Texas Master Gardener Conference – Waco

Dear Master Gardeners,

Please join us for our 2020 Texas Master Gardener Conference, taking place from Tuesday, May 12th through Thursday, May 14th at the Waco Convention Center on the banks of the Brazos River. The annual conference provides an opportunity for Texas Master Gardener volunteers from around the state to receive continuing education hours, participate in hands-on workshops, go on fascinating tours unique to the area, shop specialized vendors, and converse and fellowship with Master Gardeners — all during a three-day event. 

Please consider coming a day early to partake in the Leadership Training. This year, we are bringing in a professional trainer to lead attendees in an interactive workshop on developing a vibrant volunteer environment fostering collaboration, empowerment and communication to help you nurture and grow your people.
On behalf of the McLennan County Master Gardener Association in Waco, Texas, please plan on joining us!
For lodging information, please visit the conference website.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!
Louie McDaniel
2020 Texas Master Gardener Conference Chair
TMGA President


And remember, you can find all the TEXAS MASTER GARDENER ADVANCED TRAINING (formerly Specialist)  COURSES offered at the TMGA website.  If you are interested in attending any courses, please email David Rodriguez ([email protected]), Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. BCMG CEU Code 001. 

Some of the offerings in 2020 are:

  • Vegetables – February 19-21, 2020; hosted by Dallas County in Dallas, TX.
  • Plant Propagation – April 17-18, 2020; hosted by Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Vegetables – May 5-7, 2020; hosted by Bexar County in San Antonio, TX.
  • Texas Superstars® – May 26-28, 2020; hosted by Bexar County in San Antonio, TX.
  • Rainwater Harvesting – September 24-26, 2020; hosted by Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Greenhouse Management – October 15-17, 2020; hosted by Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX.

This is only a sampling of the events scheduled for February, as there are way too many to list here, and new ones are being added often. Please check the Calendar for a list of all the events! Click here for calendar.

It’s EASY to Volunteer!

  • To sign up as a volunteer, go to your VMS – Volunteer Management System, log in and click on GENERAL EVENT CALENDAR from the left column.
  • To record your CEUs or volunteer hours, click on ADD NEW HOURS from the left column.

If you need help learning how to use VMS or have a question, contact Lisa Nixon, ([email protected]) 

If you have not volunteered recently, please pick a date, or dates, and sign up on VMS today. 
  – February shifts are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
VMS has all dates/times for sign-ups! VMS Code 0100. 
Please come and use your training, and at the same time strengthen our partnership with the San Antonio Botanical Garden.  And have some FUN, too!!  Email Grace Emery ([email protected]) if you have any questions. 

Spring Refresher Culinary Docent Training at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on Friday, February 13, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This class is for new and existing Docents. Sign up on VMS Culinary Docent Training at the volunteer office, just to the right of entry kiosk and wear your badge. The door is marked private. Rain or shine. Please sign up on VMS AND register here. – limited to 30 participants. Sign up soon, there aren’t many slots left open!


  • San Antonio Botanical Gardens (SABOT) CVG – Saturday mornings, February 22 – June 6, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon. Volunteer orientation is Feb 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Mary Fernandez ([email protected])  or John Mayer ([email protected]) .
  • Phil Hardberger Park (PHP) CVG – Tuesday mornings, February 25  – June 9, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. If you are interested in volunteering, or joining the water team, contact Kathy Breniman ([email protected]).

To find out more about our CVGs, click here.  To read the CVG Blog, click here.

MORE Volunteer Opportunities available on the VMS Calendar! Check it often.