The demonstration garden is divided into several areas with every plant labeled with the common and botanical names. A project to add a code to indicate water requirements to each plant label is ongoing. The butterfly and hummingbird habitat is one of our most popular attractions. The rose garden is next to the herb garden filled with more than 70 varieties of herbs, followed by the shade garden. All are great places to get ideas for your home garden. On the south end of the garden are the raised vegetable beds, composting bins, and the rainwater harvesting project providing avenues for education and testing. Handouts are available in the extension office lobby during normal business hours.
The garden is full of plants that will show you how your garden can be more beautiful. You will find plants that will fill different needs, including drought tolerance, brilliant color, full sun loving, plants for shade, and plants of varying heights. There are ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, perennial flowers, Earth-Kind® roses, vines, herbs, vegetables, grasses, and groundcovers. The garden is home to many species of insects, including the approximately 95% of all insects that are beneficial.
The Earth-Kind® approach used in the garden means that chemical products are rarely used. Instead, well-adapted, disease resistant plants are grown. Plants that attract beneficial insects are planted throughout the garden to eliminate the need for chemical pesticide sprays. Regular applications of mulch, which decomposes into compost, provide the only fertilizer. An automatic drip irrigation system below the mulch allows for even watering throughout the garden with minimal loss of water to evaporation.
This is not a static garden; change is always present. We continue to introduce plants into the garden to increase water efficiency and make the garden more interesting.
The Earth-Kind® Demonstration Garden is located in front of the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service offices at 1600 B Smith Road, one block west of Hwy 183 and two blocks north of Bolm Road, near Austin-Bergstrom Airport and just north of the Colorado River.. The garden is cared for by Travis County Master Gardeners and Interns providing an excellent place for you to see the Earth-Kind® approach to gardening being applied with very good results. Come see native and adapted plants being used with water-efficient design and regular maintenance. Check the calendar, on our website, for dates public educational gardening demonstrations. (http://www.tcmastergardeners.org)