If you have visited Blanco State Park in recent weeks you may have noticed a new garden being installed in the large circular rock-edged area seen just before crossing over the river to the park pavilion. Years ago there was a stately pecan tree in the circle, but after it's death and removal the area succumbed to weeds. So finally, this year the circle has been transformed from the patch of heavy weeds (and a few wildflowers) to a Texas native plant demonstration garden.
The new garden is the result of a joint effort by members of the Blanco County Master Gardener Association and Blanco County Master Naturalists (who are members of the Highland Lakes Chapter of Master Naturalists).
The garden was designed to include plants that are native to the Hill Country, and once established require little maintenance and are relatively drought tolerant. Some of the plants are also beneficial to wildlife in that they provide berries or nectar for birds and butterflies. All of the plants are labeled so that visitors to the park will be able to determine if the particular plant species would be suitable for their own yard or garden.
The project received funding from the Blanco County Master Gardeners' Association and from Citizens for Blanco State Park. In addition, materials were donated by Klepac Greenhouses, Inc. and by local resident (and Master Gardener) Carol Rankin. And although Mother Nature was very helpful watering the plants the first couple of weeks after planting, a special thanks goes to Arlyn Cook for helping make the watering chore relatively painless for those of us tending the garden.
If you haven't been to the park lately, you are invited to stop by and enjoy the garden and learn more about plants native to the area.