Dallas County Master Gardeners Plan New Local Garden
By Elizabeth Wilkinson, Dallas County Master Gardener
A new garden planned by gardening experts will offer residents of Dallas county a chance to see what grows well in Dallas’ climate, clay soil, and restricted water. Volunteers with the Dallas County Master Gardeners joined with Midway Hills Christian Church (MHCC), 11001 Midway Road, in November 2014. The Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills, an Earth-Kind® Water/Wise Demonstration Garden is a collaboration of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, the Dallas County Master Gardeners, and MHCC.
The garden will take up the now empty field on the north end of the MHCC campus and a courtyard connecting church buildings. Once the Raincatcher’s Garden is installed, residents will be able to view areas demonstrating vegetables, perennials, butterfly host and nectar plants, urban trees, wildlife habitat, compost, and low water use turf grass.
The courtyard area will give residents ideas to use in shady parts of their yard. Plantings will include lovely Japanese maples accented with hardy amaryllis and daffodils.
Classes on such topics as rain barrel installation, composting, heirloom bulbs, and vegetable gardening will be offered to residents at a low cost by master gardeners and gardening experts.
At the new site, the Master Gardeners will host preschoolers, schoolchildren, and at-risk kids for garden visits. Children can enjoy seeing what’s ready to harvest in the vegetable beds or understanding how kitchen scraps can turn into compost.
The Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills is not the first garden for the volunteers. For nine years, this group of Master Gardeners maintained a large garden at Royal Lane and I-35. The property was sold last summer, and gardeners found a new site at MHCC. The previous garden was a popular draw for educational classes and school children, with about 700 guests visiting the site during the 2013-14 school year. The garden was featured on the Dallas Water Utilities WaterWise Garden Tour and in The Dallas Morning News. It was named one of the outstanding Master Gardener projects in Texas at the 2010 Texas Master Gardener Convention.
As plans for the Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills take shape, the Master Gardeners are looking forward to building a new garden to serve the citizens of Dallas County. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our blog, www.dallasgardenbuzz.com.
The Dallas County Master Gardeners are part of an educational volunteer program conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M University System. The Certified Master Gardeners receive 84 hours of horticulture training and contribute their time to provide horticultural information to their communities.