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What's Happening in the Earth-Kind® Gardens at Myers Park?

By Diane Sharp, Collin County Master Gardener and Myers Park Gardens Project Co-leader — June 2022

The Annual Research Garden was planted April 20th this year. Thank goodness there wasn’t a freeze one week later like last year! However, this year it has been very windy and very warm the gardens.

For 2022, we planted 36 different plant varieties or colors, including 14 new plants. There are 14 Texas Superstars®, four ornamental peppers, four vincas (including cascading plants), coleus, gomphrenas, lantanas, purslane, pentas, zinnias and more.

Old favorites like NuMex Twilight Peppers, Cora Vinca, Batface Cuphea, Gomphrenas, Pentas and Zinnias are back. Some new plants for 2022 are Explosive Embers Peppers, Nirvana Cascade Vinca, Lemon Zest Bandana Lantana, Cupcake Lemon Chrome Purslane and Lavender Cat Whiskers. From Allyson Mexican Heather to Zinnias, we have great ideas for your garden and containers!

Blooming and beautiful, the international award-winning Earth-Kind® Perennial Research Garden was installed in 2010 as the first research garden planted at Myers Park. It was also the first Earth-Kind Research Garden (other than roses) in the country. After two years with February freezes, we have had to add quite a few new plants to the garden this year including twelve new plant varieties.

What is Earth-Kind? it is a landscape management system developed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension that produces beautiful landscapes while protecting the environment. In our Earth-Kind gardens we amended the soil with compost, use no fertilizer or pesticide, maintain a three inch layer of mulch and water only when absolutely necessary. These methods conserve water and help protect ground water quality. 

The Earth-Kind Gardens in Myers Park illustrate that many types of plants can be successfully grown following Earth-Kind methods, as well as determine which plants are well suited for our area. We have lists of recommended plants from our gardens and Earth-Kind information to share at A Walk in the Park held each spring.

The 2022 Walk in the Park will be held on Saturday, June 4th from 9am to Noon in the many gardens of Myers Park & Event Center in McKinney. Master Gardeners will be in the gardens to answer your questions, discuss the gardens, plants and Earth-Kind landscaping principles. Please come enjoy the beautiful Myers Park and gardens!

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