Begun in August of 2008, the Garden Learning Center (GLC) is a work in progress. It was designed to be used as an educational center for workshops and guided tours, as well as an area open to the public for self-guided tours. Signage is constantly being improved, and additional demonstrations and displays are being added, and under-performing ones removed. For example, the bog garden constructed in 2008 frequently flooded because of too much runoff from the nearby building. It is being reconstructed as a water feature, a more practical and economical solution than re-routing the excessive runoff.
The GLC demonstrates best practices in plant selection, pest control, fertilization, water conservation, effective irrigation and water-wise landscaping principles. Specific plants in each garden change; when a plant does not do well, it is replaced with another cultivar or species until one that thrives if found.
All irrigation at the Garden Learning Center is provided by harvested rainwater stored in two 3,000-gallon tanks and two 55-gallon rain barrels. Drip irrigation systems are used to deliver water to those garden areas that are irrigated. This layout allows Master Gardeners to show examples of all the concepts we emphasize. The GLC currently consists of several distinct garden areas:
- Rain garden,
- Butterfly garden,
- Cactus and succulents garden,
- Bulb garden,
- Shrub garden,
- Herb garden,
- Grass garden,
- Easy-to-grow garden,
- Texas-native and -adapted plants and a
- Greenhouse, currently under construction.