Demo Garden

 The Johnson County Master Gardeners have voted to pursue a long term demo garden project in the city of Cleburne. The county has an empty parcel of land near Buffalo Park that may be available for this purpose. The following posts will outline the progress of the JCMG efforts to establish a demo garden that will serve as a beautiful, relaxing and educational site.

October 25, 2012

Hi Master Gardeners
This is a forward from Robert Tate, the architect for the county property on which the new demo garden sits.  He originally sent it to Paul Murphy.  At Paul’s request I am forwarding it to the JCMGA membership.
Nancy Hillin
Here are the plans that were sent from the architects.
Hope they help,

From: “Robert Tate” <>
Subject: 1537 JCAP – East area of property w/ 10′ grid
Date: October 2, 2012 3:59:22 PM CDT
I hope this basic  layout can give you some indication of what is going on for that portion of the  property.  I will have 4 full size prints at the jobsite at 9:30 AM,  Wednesday.  The sheet size is 30×42 if you want to be able to scale from  the attached pdf.
Thank  you,
Robert Tate, AIA
Magee Architects,  L.P.
2824 W. 7th Street, Suite  100
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Ph: 817-731-9392
Fax: 817-731-9397

October 24, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
Today we added 27 more plants to our collection for the spring plant sale.  There are a few more of some species that we should pot up for the sale and then we should have enough of each species.  It was such a perfect day to be at the new demo garden site.  The ideas are flowing and several people have presented their ideas on the scaled down plans that were passed out at the last monthly meeting.
Sue Matern and Ben Oefinger planted pansies and spruced up the site around the Ag office for Chris Schneider’s dedication ceremony.   Sue told us that the Lantana in the Ag beds really looked beautiful today.   Ben brought his chain saw to trim up the large Crape Myrtle in the county garden that had an exchange with a piece of heavy equipment sometime this last week.  Not to worry, it still looks good!   The rest of the group today stayed at the new garden site to pot up plants and exchange ideas for future features for the new garden.
A special Thank You to Corrine Arnold, one of our frequent visitors, for her attendance today.  Corrine brought her shovel and put it to good use by helping us to dig the existing plants and potting them up for the plant sale.   Thanks, so much, Corrine. 
Those in attendance today were: Corrine Arnold Elaine Bell Pat Kriener Sue Matern Paul Murphy Ben Oefinger Karen Sarver Nancy Hillin
We packed up and left the county demo garden site and headed south to the building we will be using for the spring plant sale, which is located on the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse‘s Rodeo grounds. Steve Matern, Sue’s husband, met us there to help measure the room and tables.  Thank You for helping, Steve!  This new location will certainly meet our needs for the sale.  Sue is steadily working on the set-up and details of the sale.   You are greatly appreciated, Sue.
Enjoy this beautiful weather and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin

October 17, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
Yesterday was another discovery day at the demo garden.   We potted up 30 plus plants from the demo garden site.   Millie Ruby found and identified two other species of plants for us to dig and include in the roundup for our spring sale.  They are Pigeon Berry and Horse Herb.  Thanks, Millie!   Sue Matern took us straight to the spot by the old concrete driveway curb where two clumps of School House Lillies were thriving nicely.  Thanks, Sue!  Paul Murphy found two small Mimosa trees. Thanks, Paul!
Most of the plants we potted were the Wild Petunias, Crape Myrtles and Trumpet Vines.  Sue Matern, Sharon Bates and Millie Ruby have taken these plants home to care for them until our spring plant sale.  Thank you all, ladies!
Ben Oefinger, Karen Sarver and Sue Matern spruced up the area near the bank building where Chris Schneider’s dedication signage is to be placed at our next monthly meeting.   Thank You all for your help and faithfulness.
Those in attendance were: Sharon Bates Pat Kriener Sue Matern Paul Murphy Ben Oefinger Millie Ruby Karen Sarver Nancy Hillin
Enjoy this beautiful weather and Happy Gardening to You All. Nancy Hillin

October 15, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
We will meet this Wednesday, as usual, at the Demo Garden site at the corner of Chambers and Buffalo Streets at 8:30AM.  This week we are going to follow-up on a suggestion that Paul Murphy and Randy Thomas proposed to pot up some of the existing plants on the demo garden site.  If you have one gallon empty containers that you are willing to donate and any kind of potting soil, please bring them with appropriate tools for transplanting.  Also, if you have space and are willing to care and store some of these plants until our spring plant sale, it will be a great help.
Also, we need to spend some time sprucing up the site where the dedication sign in honor of Chris Schneider will be placed.   We should have plenty of time for both projects.
Best Regards and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin

October 4, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
Our first project in the demo garden is complete. The stones we found that were original to the site are now in a prominent position around the existing Crape Myrtle. Those that were in attendance were Barbara Halbert, Paul Murphy, Sue Matern, Karen Sarver, Ben Oefinger, Randy Thomas, Emily Burgwyn, Joan Leach, Ann Compton, Pat Peterson, Ethel Henry and yours truly.    We had one special guest, Robert Tate.  He was invited by Paul Murphy and is the architect for the Johnson County project.  Robert left us a copy of the plans for the entire project.  A big Thank You to Robert and Paul for all their insight on this project.  Thank You to Paul for bringing the tags to mark some of the plants on site for future use. Thank You to Karen Sarver for bringing her trailer and moving dolly.  Our project was made much easier and quicker with proper equipment.
Ben Oefinger conducted a soil test and those that were not familiar with doing one watched the procedure and learned the correct way to gather soil samples for the test.  Thank You, Ben.
Thank You So Much, Carla Oefinger for the delicious blueberry muffins and the iced cold water.  We all enjoyed the refreshments so much.
Next week we are deviating from our usual Wednesday meeting in order to make a field trip to some nurseries in Fort Worth that will not be open that day.    So, we will not have a meeting at the demo garden site next Wednesday, but will take a field trip to Fort Worth on Tuesday, October 9th.  Meeting time is still 8:30AM at the demo garden site.  I will be sending out a reminder and more details later.
Enjoy this beautiful weather and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin

September 30, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
This is your weekly invitation and reminder to the official JCMGA demo garden and meeting on Wednesday, October 3rd.   We will begin our first small project in the garden this Wednesday.  We are going to decide where to move some stones that were original to the site.  So, please wear appropriate gardening attire.  Karen Sarver has offered to bring her trailer in case we need one.  Also, Ethel’s husband, Don, has some tools that we tried last week that worked very well.  If you want to bring a rake or other tools, you may do so.  I will be bringing some long-handled tools, also.  The main thing is to just come and get an idea of what we are going to be doing in our new space and visit with your fellow Master Gardeners.  This week refreshments will be provided.
Those of you that attended the meeting last week received a map of the garden.  This would be a good time to bring your completed map with your design ideas, themes or anything you would like to see implemented in the garden.  Copies of the map will be available at the meeting.
If anyone is interested in seeing the photos taken at the Lake Granbury Master Gardener’s Demo Garden field trip we took on September 19th, they are posted on the JCMGA face book page under Jennifer Jacobs.  Look specifically for the building with garden benches under the front.  It also serves as a secured storage and rain water catchment with two large storage tanks directly behind it.  There are many great ideas in the Lake Granbury Master Gardener’s demo garden to draw from for consideration in our own demo garden.  Another great feature they incorporated is a post oak fence in an “X” configuration with beautiful vines such as Hyacinth Bean to block unwanted views.   It was a most excellent field trip.
See you all Wednesday
Best Regards and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin – Johnson County Master Gardener

September 27, 2012

Hello Again Master Gardeners
Please note that I failed to include one of our members that was present at our meeting yesterday.  My apologies to you Garey Wylie.  I had you on my list in alphabetical  order and then failed to carry through.

September 26, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners
Now the excitement is really setting in!!  We officially can start doing things at the new Demo Garden site.  Yeah!! Karen and Alan Sarver have provided maps taken from a GPS.  This will help us so much.  Thank You Alan and Karen!    Each MG will be able to present their ideas for the garden on these maps. Ben has made some extra copies to give out at the next monthly business meeting.  Thank You, Ben.   Karen has also suggested that the stones found nearest Chambers Street, be preserved and used somewhere in the garden.  This will be one of the decisions to make at our meeting next Wednesday.   This will be our first project in the garden, so I suggest that you wear your garden attire.
We did our previously planned, short field trip to Ulrich Barn Builders on Hwy 67.  Of course, this part of the garden is many months down the road.   We met with Dave Ulrich and gave him the short story of the demo garden.  We did ask him to consider a donation or a discount when the time comes for a building on the demo garden site.  He was most receptive.  The quality of the material and workmanship of the buildings are outstanding. Paul Murphy arranged for us to meet the construction supervisor on site today.  He brought with him the proposed plans for the entire project.  We were able to see that the sidewalk will be on Chambers and Buffalo with a retaining wall to interior side of the sidewalk.  There will be a catch basin on the corner where the two streets align.  These are just a few of the things we saw on the plan.   Thank You, Paul!
I want to Thank those of you that have been in touch with me via email or phone.  It is good to know that even if you are in school, working, etc., and can not make every meeting, that you are still interested and are a big part of this project.  It means a lot to know that you support the endeavors of this new demonstration garden.
There were ten Master Gardeners and two guests in attendance today.  There were Diane, Ethel & Don Henry and their Grandson Michael, Sharon Bates, Joan, Patty M., Sue, Paul, Karen Sarver, Jerry and yours truly.
Best Regards and Happy Gardening

Nancy Hillin

September 24, 2012

Hello Master Gardeners The Johnson County Commissioner’s Court at their monthly meeting today gave their approval for our association to have a demonstration garden at our proposed site.  They also agreed to put a water line in for use in the garden.  Now, we may put some more concrete ideas in place for the new garden.
We will meet again this Wednesday, September 26th at 8:30AM at the new demo garden site.  We will take a short field trip to Ulrich Barn Builders on Hwy 67 between Cleburne and Keene.
Alan and Karen Sarver have plotted a current aerial view of the demo garden site and put it to paper for us.  Karen will bring copies for you to take home to map out your ideas for the garden.   Thank you Alan and Karen!
Thanks to Ben for representing us so well at the Commissioner’s Court this morning.  Thanks to Zach for being at the Commissioner’s Court today to support us in this project.   And, Thank You to the JCMGA members and guests that were in attendance today.  They were Elaine Bell, Ethel and Don Henry, Joan Leach, Paul Murphy, Ben Oefinger and Ann Turner.
Best Regards and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin

September 20, 2012
Hello Master Gardeners
This is a reminder about the Commissioner‘s Court meeting this coming Monday, September 24th.  It is being held at the old courthouse on the square and starts at 9:00AM.  This is our chance to show that we are committed to the new demo garden project.  I know many of you are planning on being in attendance.  It would be nice if everyone would wear their Master Gardener badges.
Have a wonderful week-end and Happy Gardening to you All. Nancy Hillin Johnson County Master Gardener
September 19, 2012
Hello Master Gardeners
What a wonderful trip today.  We have come home with some new ideas and a lot of inspirationThe Lake Granbury Master Gardeners President, Lynelle Whitney gave us the tour of the demonstration garden and Marty, the Extension Agent for Hood County also came by and offered other valuable information.  We learned  some more of the must-haves  and some of the pitfalls of starting a demo garden.  Tarrant County gave us valuable information on starting a demo garden when we visited their gardens, also. If you did not get a chance to go today, try to stop by if you are in the area.  It is a beautiful garden and worth the trip.
The next field trip we have discussed is Rosedango on October 20, but if anyone would like to go to another place at another time, please suggest it at the next demo garden meeting on Wednesday, September 26th.
There were nine Master Gardeners on this field trip and three visitors.  They are:
Karen Sarver    Guest – Sarah Sue M Ben Ethel                   Guest – Michael Rhonda T Emily Elaine Diane Nancy                  Guest – Jennifer
Best Regards Nancy Hillin Johnson County Master Gardener
September 12, 2012
Hello Everyone,
Just an FYI.  We had 13 members at today’s demo garden meeting.  We took a walk along Buffalo Creek Trail to get some ideas about how to incorporate our garden to the existingsurroundings.  We are going to take a field trip next Wednesday to the Granbury Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden.  Four members have volunteered to take their vehicles so we will car pool to Granbury.   It would be appropriate if each “rider”  would offer the ” driver”  $5.00 or whatever they can.  I will include this information to the entire membership when I send out the weekly e-mail reminder this Sunday.
Even though our attendance was down this week, I did get a lot of positive feed-back as I made my weekly reminder calls to the membership.   I even had several folks call or e-mail me to let me know that they could not make it today.  On the other hand, we had several people come today that had not previously attended a demo garden meeting.  So, I am encouraged that a lot of our membership will participate in some fashion.
Those in attendance today were: Laura S.  Jack R.   Ethel H.   Paul M.  Rhonda T.  Barbara Halbert  Ben O.   Diane A. Sue M.   Patty M.   Karen S.  Garey W.   Nancy H.
I am sending this e-mail to the core group that started this project and as we grow I will send it to the entire membership.
Thank You all for your support and participation. See you all next Wednesday Best Regards and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin, Johnson County Master Gardener
Just sent Ben an email about the meeting today with a list of the concerns that were mentioned. Also, asked him if two MGs could go with him to the next meeting with the Judges.   We had 20 MGs in attendance!  How about that!  Sorry, I could not go on with you all to Chaf-Inn, I had other family obligations awaiting me.  I have sent Sharon Smith an e-mail requesting the October meeting for discussion and planning of the demo garden, if there is not a speaker solidly in place. Also, received a text from Garey stating that he would like to be on the design committee.  Thank You, Garey! A big Thank You to Pat Peterson for the design she presented.  She was the only one to do the assignment.  It really seemed to get the point across about what we want for this demo garden, with some new excellent ideas. It seemed to get everyone thinking about all the possibilities of this new project.
Let me know if I have left anyone off of this list.  These are the members that attended today’s meeting:
Ethel, Karen J., Bob and Carolyn, Karen S., Emily, Barbara Halbert, Garey, Diane, Elaine, Pat P., Patty M., Joan L., Randy, Monte, Sue, Sharon B., Jerry, Linda T., Nancy
Best Regards and Happy Gardening Come on cool front!! Nancy
What a great showing! We had at least 15 of us on this field trip today!
We met with Steve, the Ft. Worth agent, at his demo garden. Their garden is a community planting garden where spaces are rented for a period of time by citzens. The purpose of this garden is for community planting and education.  Steve shared some information with us that would help in the development of the property on Buffalo and Chambers. Eventhough our purpose is a bit different ( beauty, serenity and education) his advice still applies.
His advice included:
Define the space for esthetics and security. He used a combination of chain link and iron fencing. He mentioned that they are now locking the gates in the evening and reopening them in the morning. They have had issues eventhough there is 24 hour security around the whole complex.
Build a shed.
Be sure to make all paths at least 6 feet wide. When they are more narrow, vehicles and equipment necessary to build and maintain the garden are not able to be used. Steve regrets he made this mistake.
Work with local business and encourage sponsorships and donations. (They have many donated materials and signs recognizing the donors.)
They use a team approach. The area is sectioned off into many different work areas. There is a team leader and a team that are responsible for maintaining each of the work area.
We also went to Weston Gardens where our creative juices were really flowing! So many great ideas, with the consensus being a hardescape master plan addressing our purposes.
Aug. 26, 2012

At the demo garden meeting last Wednesday, it was suggested that we take a field trip to Tarrant County Master Gardeners Demonstration and Community Gardens, called the Resource Connection in Fort Worth, and then to Weston Gardens which is just a few miles from the Resource Connection.  If you want to car pool, meet in Cleburne at our new demo garden site on Buffalo and Henderson Streets, just across from the Guinn Justice Center ( the old high school building ) at 8:30AM Wednesday, August 29th.
If if is more convenient you may go directly to the Tarrant County location between 9:15 and 9:30AM that morning.
Here are the directions: Take I35W North (towards Fort Worth) to I20E (towards Dallas) Stay to your right.
Take the Campus Drive exit and turn left across the bridge heading north.  I believe it is the first exit after you get on I20E.
As soon as you cross the bridge there are two stop lights close together that change quickly, so be cautious of that.  There is a car dealership on the left and Tarrant college on your right.
Stay straight on Campus Drive and travel approximately a half a mile or so and be looking for a church on your left.  Turn left at the church.  It will lead to a stop sign. There will be speed bumps.
Turn right at the stop sign.  This is a large circular drive and it is well patrolled as the Tarrant County Sheriff’s office is also located there.  Speed limit is 20MPH.
Follow the circle drive to the far back of the property.  You will see several buildings, an orchard and many plants. There is parking on the north side of the gardens.
It has been a while since I have been to the Tarrant site, but these are the directions that will get you there.
Just a suggestion and not to scare anyone off, but consider wearing something with long sleeves, but cool, and bring insect repellent with you.  Tarrant County has had more cases of west nile virus than we have had in Johnson County.
Both gardens are well worth the trip and if you have been you probably want to go again. We do not want to mimic other demo gardens, but we need this visual impact to get things started.
Hope many of you can make the trip.  If it is not a good time, there will be other occasions that will come up in the future regarding this exciting new project, but would love for everyone to come if at all possible.
Best Regards and Happy Gardening Nancy Hillin, Johnson County Master Gardener



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