Check the archive for past Spotlights.
Our newest project is the Pollinator Garden Assistance and Recognition Program lead by Richard Coleman and Pam Lienhard. The program unites our chapter and the Native Plant Society of Texas Kerrville, Fredericksburg, and Boerne Chapters to promote small plot gardens to protect native pollinators and increase the use of native plants.
PGARP has a network of Texas Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society (NPSOT) volunteers who educate local homeowners, groups, institutions, and organizations about the importance of native plants and habitat in our unique Hill Country environment. Gardeners receive information about nectar and habitat for native pollinators and advice about garden plans and plants.
Pam says, “It’s easy to plant a pollinator garden anywhere – at your home, school, business or church, and it doesn’t have to be a large garden. A chain of little gardens throughout the area will provide food and habitat for native pollinators. Your garden will be an important part of that chain.”
PGARP recognizes and rewards gardeners’ important contributions to pollinator conservation by awarding “Pollinator Champion” certificates of recognition during Hill Country Chapter and/or NPSOT meetings.
If you would like help with your pollinator garden, submit the PGARP form Request a Pollinator Garden Consultation or Garden Recognition or email PollinatorChampion@gmail.com
The Dr. John Lipe Memorial Garden is located on the highly-visible county-owned property at Frederick Road and SH 16 Llano Highway in Fredericksburg. The large beds around the USDA service building and parking lot are planted with native and adapted plants, all low water and low maintenance.
Many plants were planted by Dr. Lipe in the 90s. He was the first Ag agent to promote native plants in the Hill Country. Texas Native Plant Society Fredericksburg Chapter (NPSOT) installed more native plants and worked the garden for many years. The Hill Country Master Gardeners took over the entire garden a few years ago – it’s a worthy project. The grounds of the Ag building contain native trees, shrubs, and native grasses, including an American Smoke Tree Cotinus obovatus.
Joyce says, “It’s one of the best collections in Fredericksburg and is often used as an outdoor classroom.”
The USDA service center is heavily visited and folks stop by and ask questions, especially when we are tending the garden. We have seventy or so plants on our list and plant lists are available. Most plants have identification signs. The nearby nursery reports that people bring in plant samples and smart photos of the signs and plants asking to purchase a like plant.
Joyce continues, “A master gardener friend who is a horticulturist in Ingram quickly volunteered plants when he heard I had taken over the garden. Dr. Lipe was his mentor and had encouraged him to grow native.”
Joyce has submitted the Lipe Garden for certification in The Best of Texas Backyard Habitats Program. This program is a joint effort of the National Wildlife Federation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Texas Wildscape program allowing Texans to certify under both programs with a single form. Best of Texas Backyard Habitat took the best of the two individual programs and pushed the bar a little higher, challenging Texas wildlife gardeners to create a habitat that seeks to maximize wildlife benefits and highlight sound conservation stewardship within the bounds of urban restrictions.
We can always use volunteers in the garden! Our regular service mornings are fourth Wednesdays. We usually start at 8:30. Our gardeners come when they can and we usually put in two to three hours.
Most volunteers are master naturalists, NPSOT, and master gardeners. Many of these same members volunteer at the Pioneer Museum NPSOT Garden. Tell your fellow master naturalists and friends to join us!
Email Joyce to start gardening at the Lipe! She states, “I can answer any questions you have.”
Check back next quarter to learn about other exciting projects!
Would you like to see your project in the Spotlight? Send a brief article and images to our webmaster.