Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 25

2018 International Award of Excellence in Conservation Gala

Honoring Dr. Sylvia A. Earle

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Honorary Hosts Sasha and Ed Bass, Ramona and Lee Bass, Laura and Greg Bird, Stephanie and Billy Brentlinger, Event Chair Grant James, and Executive Director Edward Schneider invite you to join us at the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel for an evening of inspiration. Our International Award of Excellence in Conservation recipient, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, is a pioneer in the areas of ocean exploration, ocean conservation, and women in science. Come hear Dr. Earle speak about her daring undersea adventures and why, after decades of observing over-fishing and increasing environmental damage, our oceans need to be protected now.

Dr. Sylvia Earle  Dive 2  

The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel is partnering with BRIT to provide guests with a reduced rate of $189 per night for reservations made for the event by September 25th. Call (800) 433-5677 and ask for the BRIT Gala special event rate.

For more information, contact Sara Richardson srichardson@brit.org 817.332.2748.

Friday, October 26

Acquiring an Orphaned Herbarium: The R. Dale Thomas Plant Collection (NLU)

BRIT Research

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Join us for a special event celebrating the R. Dale Thomas Plant Collection, a collection of 470,000 plant specimens that was previously housed at University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University). In March 2017, the university announced it could no longer care for the collection, and BRIT was selected as the new home. During this lecture, we'll discuss the security, accessibility, and repatriation of the herbarium.

A reception begins at 4pm, followed by a lecture at 4:30pm.

Click here to read more about the NLU Herbarium.

fern specimen


Saturday, October 27

Decorating with Botanicals

Welcoming your family and friends for the holidays.

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Join instructor Barbara Baker as she shares her tips, tricks and ideas to achieve that special look for your home during the holidays. Take home a wreath for your front door and a fresh flower arrangement for your dining table. All flowers and other materials are included.

Barbara Baker is former President of Fort Worth Garden Club and Texas Garden Clubs.  She incorporates English gardening ideas from her travels into her own garden. Barbara has taught flower arranging as a National Garden Club Flower Show Judge and Instructor from Oregon to New Hampshire. 

Please note: This class will take place at the FWBG.

$40 members/$45 non-members

Color Studies from the Fall Garden

A watercolor workshop with focus on drawing, design, and color.

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The fall garden displays a mix of fading and drying plants with interesting pods and bursts of color in the last blooms and changing leaves. In the morning we will draw and study the structural and gestural shapes of stems and leaves exploring design possibilities by cutting up our drawings and rearranging them. Using a palette of colors limited to primary colors, we will mix secondary colors and then mix complementary colors to create the more nuanced colors of the season. In the afternoon we will draw and paint several studies of different plants.

Instructor Carol Ivey is a still life painter who gathers plants from her garden for her subject matter. Her studio is animated by towering forms of dried sunflowers and the eleven-foot tall stalk of a century plant and vases with a myriad of plant forms. She enjoys observing and painting their changing states.

Please note: This class will be held at BRIT.

$100 members/$110 non-members


Materials list:

Watercolor Paint
Daniel Smith Essentials Watercolor Set (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi-Twv-atgQ)

  • Hansa Yellow Light
  • New Gamboge
  • Quinacridone Rose
  • Pyrrol Scarlet
  • Phthalo Blue GS (green shade)
  • French Ultramarine

Watercolor Paper
Arches Watercolor Pad, cold pressed, 140 lb., 10 x 14”
Or other professional quality watercolor paper of your choice

Watercolor Brushes
Sable, sable blend, or synthetic.
Large Brush for backgrounds a larger round like #12 or similar
Round #8
Round #4
Flat - 1 inch (suggest - Winsor & Newton Cotman Series 777 Aquarelle)
3/8 inch flat or similar
Angle shader - ¼ inch
Look for a soft bristle with a good spring. Watercolor brushes have short handles, brushes for oil painting have long handles.


  • Palette – large white plastic with lots of wells and cups
  • All-purpose sketchpad 11x14” or similar (Canson Mixed Media pad is great!)
  • Sponge – small natural preferred (such as Artists Sea-Silk , size #2)
  • Drawing pencils - 2B and HB
  • Medium Kneaded Eraser
  • Masking tape
  • Painting or drawing board, 16 x 20 inches or larger – needs to be stiff and light weight and must withstand moisture and repeated taping.
  • 2 small white tubs for water containers

Asel Art Supply offers a 10% discount to students.


Saturday, November 3

Bring Color into your Home with Terrariums

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Join Begonia experts in creating your own terrarium using begonias from the nationally recognized Begonia Species Collection.  You will learn the method of creating and caring for a miniature tropical habitat for rare and exotic species and hybrids.  You will take home your glass terrarium for instant color.

Instructor Bobbie Price is a 20 year volunteer in the nationally recognized Begonia Species Bank along with Don Miller who has spent his life searching for new species and conserving rare begonias. Debbie Garrett, the staff curator for the collection, studied horticulture at the University of North Texas.  Her love for begonias centers on the conservation of the species. 

Please note: This class will take place at the FWBG.

$30 members/$35 non-members

Seed Starting 101

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Join Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic of Barking Cat Farm for this hands-on seed starting workshop that will be taught in the FW Botanic Garden greenhouse. Tuition covers a variety of seeds and planting materials. You’ll go home with an understanding of seed starting and seeded pots that can become the foundation for your home garden.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Please note: This class will take place at the FWBG.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Miniature Gardens

Create your own world in a planter.

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Join Master Gardeners in this hands-on class as they discuss how to create an attractive and sustainable miniature garden. With step-by-step instructions and practical tips, you will design and create your own miniature garden during the class and take it home with you. All plants and other materials are included. Just bring yourself!

Instructor Hester Schwarzer is a native East Texan. She grew up with a mother who loved and grew flowers, vegetables and fruit and taking the Master Gardener classes the year after retiring from a teaching career has given her the opportunity to return to her roots. Miniature gardens have fascinated her since playing in the soil making roads, designing tiny buildings and finding small plants to populate her landscapes. Instructor Kay Sekio is a native of Japan. She received a Ph.D. in Public Administration from UTA and is currently working as a trilingual linguist. She became a Master Gardner in 2003 and a Plant Propagation Specialist in 2013. Garden craft including miniature gardens is one of her specialties. As the 4th generation of Bonsai-loving family, she was interested in moss and was certified as a moss craft (Kokedama) instructor in 2016 in Japan after completing a special training session.

Please note: This class will be held at the FWBG

$20 members/$25 non-members

Registration opens soon!

Urban/Suburban Permaculture

Applying permaculture to the home garden

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Join us for this three hour class and take the first steps in applying Permaculture design to your property. The class will cover Zones and Sectors, Climate and Topographical Effect, Soil Building, Water Harvesting, System Succession, and Design. Students will learn several techniques that will help you get started designing your own yards and making the most of your space. 

Instructor Jason Ramsey of Perma-Scape Landscape Design and Management, a consultancy firm dedicated to regenerative agriculture practices and the Permaculture philosophy. Jason received his Permaculture certification in February of 2014 through Permaculture Denton. Jason has been a practitioner of Permaculture since 2008.

Please note: This class will take place at BRIT.

$30 members/$35 non-members


Monday, November 5

Basic Upright Moribana, a Classic Expression of Ikebana

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Join instructor Judy Ratzlaff as she shares her love of Japanese flower arranging using the Ikebana technique of Moribana.  she will supply the flowers, kenzan (frog), and other supplies.  You will need to bring a shallow container for your arrangement.  You may also bring flowers with long stems from your own garden.  Not only will you leave with an Ikebana arrangement but with instructions to create your own at home.

Instructor Judy Ratzlaff was trained in Ikebana in Japan where she lived for many years. She is a Sogetsu school teacher and also studied Ohara school. As 2nd VP on the International Board of Ikebana, headquartered in Tokyo, from 1995-1998 she oversaw 174 Chapters in 60 countries. She was one of only 2 foreigners on the board. She was 1st VP of the Nagoya Chapter in 1991. Judy represented and co-hosted Ikebana International at the American Embassy for a tea and tour and co-chaired the Tokyo Founding Chapters Christmas Fundraiser for three years. She attended 4 International Conferences in Tokyo over 20 years, the Sixth Asian Conference in Manila, Philippines and the North American Conference in Ottawa while an officer. Judy was also 1 of 2 representatives from the North American Conference at the International Conference in Yokohama.

Please note: This class will be held at the FWBG.

$40 members/$45 non-members

Saturday, November 10

Creating Thanksgiving Floral Arrangements

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Join us for this exciting hands-on class in the principles and basics of floral design including color, balance, proportion, scale, and rhythm with Fort Worth Botanic Garden employee, Agnes Slociak Knasiak.  Dr. Slociak Knasiak will share the history of floral arrangements along with the containers, tools and mechanics of designs. Each student will take home the design on which they work along with a 4” potted fern that Agnes propagated to use in future flower designs.

Instructor Agnieszka Slociak Knasiak, has degrees from two universities in Europe including a PhD in Horticulture. During her doctoral study in Wroclaw, Poland she took special classes for “The Art of Floral Design.” She creates the flower designs each year for the Japanese Garden Festivals and designs arrangements for special events in the Botanic Garden such as birthday parties, anniversaries, funerals, holidays tables, etc. She is currently a Greenhouse Attendant for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

Please note: This class will be held at the FWBG. 

$40 members/$45 non-members

Monday, November 12


A behind the scenes look at this holiday favorite.

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Join Trip Smith in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Conservation Greenhouse as he shares the history of poinsettias including their introduction into commercial production and how they have become the default Christmas flower. He will take you through a typical production cycle using the crop that is currently in production for the Garden as his visual aid. He will look at culture in the greenhouse and also in the home or hobby greenhouse. He will also discuss best practices to maintain them through the Holiday season and into the New Year!

Instructor Trip Smith is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Horticulture. He has extensive experience in a number or Horticultural areas including wholesale floral production of Chrysanthemums and Poinsettias and leads the Poinsettia program at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

Please note: This class will be held at the FWBG.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Tuesday, November 13

Soil Health Evaluation in Three Texas Rangelands

Jennifer Moore-Kucera, Kristie A. Maczko, Jeff Goodwin

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How do different grazing management systems affect soil health? To address this question, this project evaluated a suite of soil health indicators, and interrelationships with vegetation, under three different grazing management systems in northcentral Texas. Soil samples (0-15cm) were collected in April 2017 from ranches with three different grazing management systems: Ranch 1 (HSHF): high stocking rate and rotation frequency, Ranch 2 (MSMF): medium stocking rate and rotation frequency, and Ranch 3 (LSCG): low stocking rate with continuous grazing. Sampling sites were selected using soil maps and expert knowledge to identify locations with similar soil type, landscape position, and climate. Soil samples were shipped within 48 hours to Cornell Soil Health Lab for the Comprehensive Assessment for Soil Health (CASH), University of Missouri for microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid profiling, and, Dr. Haney’s lab in Temple, TX for the Soil Health Tool (SHT) Index. Plant community composition, diversity, and production potential were measured along each transect at the same time soil samples were collected.

In general, measured soil health differences (SOM, WHC, WEON) were slightly greater in MSMF system compared to LSCG system. Although sampling locations targeted similar soil types, clay content was an important covariate, indicating adjustments for this variable were necessary for proper interpretation of SOM and WHC. SOM and aggregate stability measures were decoupled from each other with the highest SOM ranch having the lowest aggregate stability score.  From a soil health perspective, all three ranches exhibited effects of sound grazing management, with only subtle differences in a few soil health indicators; none of the ranches were in a degraded condition. Future analyses to explore economic differences and relationships among vegetation data and soil microbial community composition using molecular tools are pending.


Presenters: Jennifer Moore-Kucera1, Kristie A. Maczko2, Jeff Goodwin3

Affiliations: Soil Health Division, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services1; Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable University of Wyoming2; Noble Resources Institute3

Monday, November 19

Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!