Inside Austin Gardens Tour set for May 6

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Daphne Richards, 512-854-9600, drichards@ag.tamu.edu

AUSTIN — The Travis County Master Gardeners Association will present the Inside Austin Gardens Tour from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 6.

The Inside Austin Gardens Tour on May 6 will focus on creative ways to use native and adapted plants for Central Texas. Tour sites include five private gardens and one public experimental garden.(Photo courtesy Travis County Master Gardeners)

Coordinators said the tour provides a rare look inside five private gardens and one public experimental garden, which demonstrate realistic, sustainable gardening practices for Central Texas.

“Native and well-adapted plants require less water and maintenance and can survive the region’s erratic temperature swings and occasional drought conditions,” said Daphne Richards, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Travis County. “They grow in different soils and are remarkably varied in style and structure. These plants, which provide food for animals and insects while establishing a unique sense of place, are the foundation of all the sites on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour.”

Richards said as many as 2,500 people typically attend the tour, which is held every 18 months and provides a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most interesting and unique gardens in the Austin area.

She said this year’s theme is “For Gardeners, By Gardeners,” and the tour will focus on the “vast variety and practical beauty of native and well-adapted plants in the garden.”

“Each garden has a theme that highlights a particular set of characteristics Central Texas gardeners are likely to encounter in their own gardens,” she said.

Among the gardening and horticultural aspects being addressed in the tour are Earth-Kind landscaping; wildlife restoration and preservation; birds, butterflies and Zen gardens; sun and shade; and the Texas A&M AgriLife demonstration garden. The tour will also include a whimsical “Journey through Fairyland” display of unusual design and plant diversity.

A pass to all six gardens is $20 in advance or $25 on the day of the tour. The cost to see individual gardens is $5 each. The tour of the AgriLife Testing Ground and Demonstration Garden is free.

“These distinctive private gardens have never been open to the general public before,” said Travis County Master Gardener Wendy Buck, tour chair. “Our aim is to educate and enthuse. Interested gardeners can experience a wide array of ideas, learn the details from the Master Gardeners who created the gardens and know how to execute those ideas successfully in their own gardens.”

Travis County Master Gardeners is a volunteer horticultural program of AgriLife Extension in Travis County.

For a map of the tour stops, go to: http://www.insideaustingardens.org/iagt-2017/tour-map/. To purchase tickets, go to: http://www.insideaustingardens.org/purchase-tickets/.

For more information, contact Richards at 512-854-9600 or drichards@ag.tamu.edu

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