Beyond the Garden Gate: Brazos County Master Gardeners Tour

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Courtesy of Brazos County Master Gardeners

Brazos County Master Gardeners will host their annual garden tour on Saturday, April 29, from 9am to 2pm featuring three local gardens. For the second year in a row this tour will be held in the spring instead of the fall and should inspire gardeners to be successful in their own yards. Although there are several short runs of steps, most of the gardens can be viewed from handicapped-accessible paved areas. Only service animals will be allowed into the gardens. The houses on the tour are not open to the public.

In case of inclement weather, a rain date has been set for May 6.

Classic Texas

6C4J1040An echo of the Hill Country is found along a picturesque bend of the Brazos River. These gardeners started with a cow pasture and some trees; their labor over several decades has resulted in the highly diverse and water-wise landscape seen today.

Two million pounds of limestone imported from Central Texas provide the structure of this garden cut into the side of a hill on which Native Americans camped for several thousand years. Drought-tolerant plants lead to and surround a 21st-century “dog run” house that, on the river side, commands a panoramic view of an ox-bow, green pastures, and pecan orchards.

Water-wise Texas natives predominate, but it is not all cactus and succulents. Pollinators, including Monarch Butterflies, are provided with an extensive menu of their favorite flowers. Fruits and vegetables are mixed among the ornamentals.

Given the slope and clay content of the site, channeling and retaining water run-off is critical to this garden. This sprawling country garden has inspiration for the suburban homeowner.

Texas Best Practices Exemplified

Edwards poolThis gently rolling 10-acre property checks all the boxes in the Texas Master Gardener’s manual:  pollinator-friendly; composting; rainwater collection; run-off drainage and retention; trees, ornamentals, and edibles; Texas natives; outdoor living rooms; and recreation.

The plant diversity is impressive and colorful. It provides not only beauty and tranquility for the gardeners, but nurture and refuge for the non-human residents. Visitors are led naturally through the property by following the curves of the landscaping. No straight lines here.

These elements are unified by a thoughtful and elegant design that enhances the environment to the benefit of the homeowners, the wildlife, and the community. See what following “best practices” can achieve in your garden.

Visitors allergic to bee stings should note that active hives are kept on this property.

The Demonstration Idea Garden
Brazos County Extension Office

DIG veg garden - credit SwordThe Demonstration Idea Garden is the beneficiary of thousands of volunteer hours by local Master Gardeners. Over the years it has grown and been improved upon and now includes: a rose garden, butterfly garden, shade garden, Texas Superstar garden, veggie garden, an arboretum, and rainwater harvesting.

There will be hands-on activities at this garden for pruning, propagating, saving rainwater, and growing plants in the Brazos Valley.

Ticket Information
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults; up to two children ages 12 and younger will be allowed in free with any paying adult. Tickets can be purchased at the Brazos County AgriLife Extension Office located at 2619 Highway 21 W. in Bryan or at any of the gardens on the day of the tour.  Checks only will be accepted at the office and cash or checks will be accepted at the gardens.

For More Information
Brazos County Extension Office:
(979) 823-0129 or