|TAKE A TOUR
Victoria Educational Gardens
has something for everyone
July 29, 2011
by Dick Nolen, Victoria County Master Gardener
edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Editor's note: Last week's article was Part I of a two-part series. You were "toured" through the various areas of the Master Gardener Victoria Educational Gardens on the west side of the Officer's Club at Victoria Regional Airport. Today's article concludes with sights and scenery of VEG on the east side of the Officer's Club.
|PHOTO BY DICK NOLEN/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
The rose-covered arbor at the back (south) side of the Officer's Club provides blooming roses and other plants, benches and shade, and a view of the patriotic garden on the left and heirloom garden on the right.
|A focal point on the east side of VEG, the gazebo can be accessed via a pathway of pavers honoring family and friends. With turfgrass varieties on both sides, this site provides a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding in VEG.|
|The water garden exists today in what used to be the large swimming pool of the Officer's Club. It has a bog filtration system and is home to numerous plants and fish. A natural bridge allows one to cross the garden to and from the gazebo and military honor garden.|
|The military honor garden exists at the base of the patio container garden at the Officer's Club. Pavers, honoring family members or friends who served our country, fill this area with a legend kiosk to locate names.|
|The hot, dry weather is still with us - with much-needed rain not only for gardeners, but also for farmers and ranchers. Rest assured, however, that the Victoria County Master Gardeners have VEG well-kept for your enjoyment. Refer to last week's article at www.vcmga.org, and continue now to the rose-covered arbor in back of the Officer's Club where this week's tour will begin.
ROSE ARBOR, RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM
Imagine strolling down the brick walkway through a rose-covered arbor when roses are in full bloom. Here you can sit on the benches and enjoy the colors and fragrances of roses and other flowering plants in this area. On your left is the patriotic garden with different plants that bloom red, white and blue. On the right is the heirloom garden, which contains plants that would have been passed down through generations of families. Exiting the rose arbor, notice the painted cistern, which is part of the rainwater harvesting system that catches rain (when we have it) from the Officer's Club roof.
The daylily garden is on the left as you leave the rose arbor and enter the eastside gardens. They were magnificent in bloom in May. There is a new daylily area with seating to the right.
As you continue down the path toward the meditation arbor, notice the labyrinth on your right. The meditation arbor is located where you can view a wide area of the garden while seated. From here, you can see the turf grass demonstration plots and a first view of the perennial garden at the gazebo.
Next, on your left, is the xeriscape garden which contains plants that require very little water, many of which are native to Texas or at least acclimated to Texas. This is very important, especially during long periods of drought.
On your right is the Texas Superstar garden. These plants are proven to be able to survive and flourish in Texas growing conditions.
CHIMES, ORNAMENTAL GRASSES
Just adjacent to the Superstars area, at the farthest part of the garden, are chimes that are surrounded by the ornamental grass garden.
Next, on your left, you will find the gazebo, which is a focal point of the garden. There is a long brick walkway approaching it from the pond with well-maintained turf grass demonstration plots on each side. This area has provided a picture-perfect setting for several weddings.
The bearded iris, Siberian iris and Louisiana iris can be found here. Bearded irises have been known to bloom three times per year. The Siberian irises have attractive foliage with flowers growing on thin stems, and are long-lived once established. Louisiana irises require six to eight hours of sun a day to bloom at their best.
These plants have their origins from all over the world. They have numbered signs, and as in all other sites, the plant lists from adjoining mailboxes will have the corresponding descriptions.
Japanese Zen gardens are made entirely of stone and sand, without the use of water or vegetation. Raked in patterns meant to symbolize mountains, water, etc., the lack of vegetation and water is meant to force the viewer to contemplate their symbolism and metaphorical value.
A groundcover is any low, mat-forming or trailing plant that can be used to cover the ground surface. Again, utilize the plant information list found in the mailboxes as they are very descriptive; this one is exceptionally so.
TERRACE, SHADE GARDENS
The terrace garden is slightly raised above the rest of the gardens and features seating that allows you to see most of this side of VEG. Adjacent to the terrace garden, the shade garden features plants such as ferns, hostas and bulbs.
WATER, TROPICAL GARDENS
The water garden is a focal point of the garden complex with many varieties of plants that require a damp to wet area to grow.
The pond features a bog filtration system. You will see a large number of Koi and goldfish swimming in the pond that is separated by a land bridge. The tropical garden surrounds this area.
MILITARY HONOR GARDEN
Dedicated to the men and women who have served our country in the military, a display of bricks donated by family and friends are engraved and placed with the names of sons, daughters, husbands and wives, who are remembered.
I hope you have enjoyed your tour and will return with seasonal changes, as well as with those we make in an effort to improve the gardens.
|POINTERS TO LOOK FOR IN
VICTORIA EDUCATIONAL GARDENS
Plant Information Sheets
Mailboxes or clear plastic boxes contain plant information sheets for each garden area.
Grandma's Yellow Rose
Pride of Barbados
Texas Lilac Vitex
Source: VCMGA President Dick Nolen
Call the Victoria County Extension Office at
|The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.|