As part of our mission to educate and share effective and sustainable horticultural practices, the Denton County Master Gardener Association supports a number of on-going programs and special events.
The annual Garden Tour has become a much-anticipated event with Denton County residents. All gardens on the tour belong to DCMGA members or showcase DCMGA project gardens. The tour allows visitors to view the gardens for inspiration and to see how the owners have solved common gardening problems. Many hours of volunteer time are contributed to ready the gardens and organize the event. Educational demonstrations are set up at the gardens to provide additional information on a variety of gardening topics. Along with the Plant Sale, ticket sales from the Garden Tour provide the bulk of the income needed to fund our community projects.
The Plant Sale offers plants recommended for North Texas, some of which are difficult to find at local nurseries. The Plant Sale is always a hit with Denton County residents and provides income for our other community projects.
Fall Garden Fest
The Fall Garden Fest is held in October each year. Themes from recent festivals include Water Conservation, Pollinators, Vegetable Gardening and Eating Locally. Master Gardeners present informational booths, local experts speak on a number of topics, local vendors provide shopping opportunities, and music and children’s activities contribute to the festive atmosphere. Admission is free.
Community Beautification Projects
Bayless-Selby Victorian Garden
The Bayless-Selby Victorian Garden is a period-authentic landscape garden that includes herbs, flowers and vegetables found around North Texas homes in the early 1900’s. In 1998, the Denton County Historical Commission was given the Bayless-Selby home for restoration as a museum in the downtown Denton Historical Park. In 2001, the Historical Commission invited the Denton County Master Gardeners to create an authentic Victorian landscape garden around the house. The Master Gardener project team researched plants that were used around Denton County homes in the early 1900’s and presented a master landscape design to the Historical Commission. The design included an antique rose garden and several beds with perennials, herbs and pass-along plants. Planting began in the spring of 2002 and improvements are ongoing. Master Gardeners frequently meet at the garden for workdays. See the Denton County website for more information about the Bayless-Selby House Museum.
DCSWD Tree Seedling Distribution
Master Gardeners help distribute tree seedlings to Denton County residents who purchased the seedlings.
Fair Oaks Independent Living Center
Fair Oaks is an independent senior living community located in North Denton. Master Gardeners meet for regular workdays with the goal of providing residents with small individual garden areas, a community vegetable garden and general landscape beautification. Master Gardeners have provided planting material for residents who are able to do their own planting, and assisted those who are unable to plant their own garden areas. Over the years, lawn has been converted to gardens and many trees have been planted. Fair Oaks was on our Spring Garden Tour in 2009.
Children’s Arbor Day
Working with Keep Denton Beautiful, DCMGA offers third grade Denton ISD students information on the planting and care of redbud trees in North Texas. Each student is given a tree seedling with planting instructions to take home and plant in his or her own yard. This project is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the Denton third grade students and their teachers to the importance and beauty of trees in our community.
This project is a hands-on garden for children, providing a supervised experience for children in preparing gardens and growing vegetables. Master gardeners and parents assist children in planting, watering, and harvesting a variety of vegetables, flowers, and fruits. The children also play games about nutrition and learn about good and bad bugs and worms.
Cool Shade for the Third Grade
Working with the Lewisville ISD and other school districts, Master Gardeners provide information about planting and care of trees in North Texas to third-grade students. Each child receives a shade tree seedling to take home and plant. Several thousand trees are distributed each year.
Denton County Youth Fair
Working with Denton County 4H and Future Farmers of America, DCMGA coordinates the horticultural show and judges horticultural entries in 10 categories for quality and conformance to standards. A few weeks prior to the show, entries are registered and documented, and Master Gardeners discuss the plants with the entrants and give them a handbook to serve as a guide for managing the plant to obtain the best result by show time. On show day, DCMGA volunteers judge the entries.
SWAt: Science With Attitude
SWAt is a year-round program providing individualized supplemental education on a variety of horticultural and environmental science topics for the classroom and other educational and community venues. Master Gardeners, working jointly with Elm Fork Master Naturalist and 4-H volunteers, utilize research-based curricula, which aligns with standardized tests, to enhance science, reading and math. In addition to working with youth, SWAt conducts professional development workshops for teachers and parent volunteers from area public and private schools and home-based education programs. Monthly planning meetings offer continuing education for volunteers on project-related topics.
SWAt received the 2010 Texas Junior Master Gardener Community of the Year award. In 2016, it was awarded 2nd Place in the Youth Category by the International Master Gardeners’ Search for Excellence. In 2017, Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) awarded the City of Denton, Denia Center, its award for Excellence in Programming for their Junior Master Gardener and Junior Master Naturalist Summer Camp Programs. Both camps are staffed by SWAt volunteers. For more information, see the SWAt web page.
Ask a Master Gardener Booth
Master Gardeners provide a question and answer booth at various events and fairs throughout the county, as requested. See this page to request a booth.
Master Gardener volunteers assist Denton County residents in identifying and solving horticultural problems and answering questions. The help desk can be contacted by phone or email.
Red Bud Festival in Denton
The Red Bud Festival is held in Denton in the Spring and sponsored by Keep Denton Beautiful. Denton County Master Gardeners host informational booths for the event. For more information, see the Red Bud Festival page.
DCMGA members and specialists share their science-based knowledge and experience on a variety of topics by speaking at meetings or events, by request. See the Speakers Bureau page to request a speaker.
Fruit, Vegetable, Herb & Flower Show
The Fruit, Vegetable, Herb and Flower Show is held in June each year in the Denton County Historical Park near the Bayless-Selby House in Denton. Local residents of any age are encouraged to enter products from their gardens for judging. DCMGA Master Gardeners organize and set up the show, which is judged by independent judges.
Special Interest Groups
DCMGA’s special interest groups provide our Master Gardener members with the opportunity to share knowledge and explore ideas for community outreach. Group topics include:
- Landscape Design
- Native Bees
- Plant Propagation
- Water Conservation