The Leach Teaching Gardens are named for our lead donors, Amy and Tim Leach, and comprise Phase I of The Gardens construction. We broke ground in June 2016 and opened The Gardens on June 15, 2018. With more than seven acres for both outdoor teaching and demonstrations, this area is one of the nation’s premier teaching gardens.
1. Rose Bed*
2. Mexican Heritage Garden
3. Wine Grape Vineyard*
4. a.German Heritage Garden*
b. Czech Heritage Garden*
5. Butterfly and Bee Garden*
6. Grand Arbor*
7. Texas Superstar® Garden*
8. Homestead Garden*
9. Herb Garden*
10. Century Oak II*
11. Citrus Grove*
12. Pavilion Terrace*
14. Farmer’s Market*
15. Vegetable Garden*
16. Bird Garden*
18. Tree Park*
19. Pecan Bottom*
20. Maroon and White Garden*
21. Food and Fiber Fields
1. Edna Fuchs Memorial Rose Bed*
The Rose Bed provides a highly visible splash of color next to the lush, green Leach Wine Grape Vineyard and across from the AgriLife courtyard. The 800 square-foot bed is filled with Belinda’s Dream, a Texas-tough rose designated as an Earth-Kind® Rose by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. This feature includes a bench to take a break from a busy day on campus. Given by the Monroe H. Fuchs ’56 Family and Ideal Poultry, Inc.
2. Mexican Heritage Garden
This private oasis is in high demand for small weddings, intimate receptions and elegant events. Rich in the cultural influence of Mexican and Spanish architecture and horticulture, this hidden gem contains an open plaza, water feature, vibrant plants and ornamental specimens. Given by the Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation – Fort Worth, Texas.
3. Leach Wine Grape Vineyard*
As the wine grape industry skyrockets in Texas, this vineyard is both educational and beautiful. Three varieties are being grown to promote this blossoming industry. Given by Amy ’84 and Tim ’82 Leach.
4.a. The Marjorie Ann Klaevemann Memorial German Heritage Garden*
Well-placed ornamental plants, vegetables and fruits, and modest lawn space are just a few of the elements of German-influenced landscapes. Visit this garden for its eye-catching vegetation and its quaint charm. Given anonymously.
b.Czech Heritage Garden
Fruit trees, grapes, vegetable plants, and flowers are featured in this garden. Landscaping elements found here are reflective of the Czech-influence seen throughout Texas. Given by Quad-Tex in honor of Susan and George Chmelar.
5. Butterfly and Bee Garden*
Providing nectar and pollen throughout the year, this garden attracts and supports important pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The plant collection is displayed in two sections as an aesthetic and relaxing garden setting. Given by Elizabeth A. ’79 and Gary B. ’77 Young.
6. Bobbitt Family Grand Arbor*
This shady gathering spot is easily be one of the most picturesque places in the Gardens. Nestled between the colorful Butterfly and Bee and Texas SuperStar® Gardens, this metal arc provides some shade while looking into the heart of the Gardens. Given by Jackson, Kate Liv, Nora, Cassie and Matt Bobbitt ’99.
7. Tim M. ’84, Holly C. ’84, Kindall A. ’14 and Taylor S. ’17 Stephens Family Texas Superstar® Garden*
A dazzling display of colorful blooms and vibrant foliage, this garden showcases flowers, plants and trees that Texas A&M AgriLife identifies as the toughest, most reliable and best looking plants in Texas. Given by Tim M. ’84, Holly C. ’84, Kindall A. ’14 and Taylor S. ’17 Stephens Family.
8. The Sharon and Kelly Burt Family Homestead Garden*
Located next to the German Heritage Garden, the Homestead represents what is left of the dog-run home, showcasing large porches that stood on the original property. The Homestead is a peaceful green space for students to relax on a busy day. The lawn is set for students to enjoy and the rock foundation provides an area for classes to gather outdoors on a beautiful day. Given by Sharon and Kelly Burt, Brian Burt ’02 and Lindsay Burt Ratliff ’08.
9. Sally Young Johnson Herb Garden*
In its broadest definition, an herb is any plant used by humans. This garden displays culinary and medicinal species as well as herbs used for dyes, oils and fragrance. The Sally Young Johnson Herb Garden showcases techniques and varieties that are Texas tough. Given by Barry Johnson ’87, Joy ’20 and Jesse Johnson ’23 and Blooming Colors Nursery & Landscaping.
10. Dan D. Clinton, Sr. ’21 Memorial Century Oak II*
No one knows exactly how old the Century Oak is, but consensus is that it dates back to about 1900, not too long after the 1876 opening of Texas A&M University. While this stately tree is an iconic part of campus, and many hope it will last for decades to come, it’s no secret that all trees can be weakened by age, construction activities, disease or other stress. The Gardens has begun the work of preserving the legacy of the Century Oak and the traditions surrounding it by planting the Century Oak II. Given by Daniel D. Clinton Jr. ’52 and Kenneth B. Clinton ’53.
11. Martha and James H. Ware Citrus Garden*
This collection of citrus varieties for the home garden serves as inspiration for gardens large and small. Be sure to visit in the spring when it’s full of fragrant blooms! Given by Anna ’86 and Mike ’87 Martin in honor of Sue and Kenneth L. Martin.
12. Kelleher Pavilion Terrace*
Adjacent to the iconic pavilion and its plaza, the sloping Pavilion Terrace is a shady respite just steps from White Creek. The Terrace was given by J. Michael Kelleher ’81 and the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation.
Set to hold groups of up to 100 people, this octagon-shaped Pavilion is not only an iconic silhouette for The Gardens at Texas A&M University, but also an illustrious symbol for the community. The versatile structure is perfect for both outdoor and indoor events, such as banquets, cooking demonstrations and receptions.
14. Joe and Shirley Swinbank Farmer’s Market*
Students and visitors can enjoy monthly or weekly visits to the Farmer’s Market for fresh produce. This not only serves the community as a great source for nutritious groceries, but also provides a venue where students can put entrepreneurial theories into practice. Given by Shirley and Joe ’74 Swinbank.
15. Eleanor and Curtis Taber ’62 Vegetable Farm Garden*
From asparagus to zucchini, the vegetable garden demonstrates how to grow vegetables successfully at home, at school, or in a small farm garden. It aims to reconnect students and visitors with the rewarding experience of gardening. Given by Wendy ’91 and Steve Taber ’89 and Southwest Wholesale Nursery.
16. Bird Garden*
This bird-friendly habitat features flowers and plants that attract beautiful birds, along with bird houses and feeding and watering settings. In addition to being a venue for bird watching, this garden is a place of solitude and respite for students. Given by Elizabeth A. ’79 and Gary B. ’77 Young.
The overlook provides a serene view of White Creek and the flora and fauna that reside in that area. It is the perfect place for students and visitors to be introduced to land management, water stewardship, and best practices to preserve endangered riparian areas.
18. Landmark Nurseries Tree Park*
Two dozen trees are currently growing into a united tree canopy throughout the park area used for picnics, studying, or simply relaxing on a busy day. Given by Landmark Nurseries, Inc., Jim Prewitt and Kevin Norris.
19. Morris and Lydia Norman Pecan Bottom*
From a healthy hobby to a budding business, pecan trees have something for everyone. The Pecan Bottom supports educational programs for the growing industry and showcases the contribution of Texas A&M faculty over the past century. Given by Christie and Stephen ’82 Norman.
20. Harriet and Joe B. Foster ’56 Maroon and White Garden*
This colorful garden is a must for Aggie ring pictures, graduation pictures, and family photos. Each plant in this garden either is made up of or will bloom in either maroon or white. With many of the maroon plant varieties developed right here at the University, this space will be full of science as well as beauty.
21. Food and Fiber Fields
Small sections of field crops, such as sorghum, corn, and cotton, demonstrate agricultural production for numerous crops throughout the year. Complete with a single-span center-pivot irrigation system, this feature gives a small glimpse into the production process for these crops.
22. Ben ’99 and Barbie ’99 Collinsworth Landscape Design and Construction Demonstration*
The demonstration area is changed periodically as new classes put their landscape design and construction skills to the test. Given by Barbie ’99 and Ben ’99 Collinsworth.
23. Fruit Orchard*
Your favorite fruits are high in vitamins and antioxidants, but is a home orchard right for you? From a couple of trees to rows of savory goodness, the orchard inspires many to include fruit plantings in their landscapes. Given by Elizabeth A. ’79 and Gary B. ’77 Young.
24. Texas Nursery & Landscape Association Outdoor Classroom*
The outdoor classroom is perfect for students of all disciplines, whether it be an accounting class that just needs some fresh air, or a horticultural class observing the natural environment. Given by the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association.
25. Mary Helyn’s Rain Garden*
This rain garden shows that rain collection methods and drought preparation can be eye-catching as well as responsible and practical. Learn how to incorporate a rain garden at home to conserve water and create unique beauty. Given by Susan L. Humble.
26. Texas Master Gardeners Earth-Kind® Garden*
Showcasing the environmental stewardship of Earth-Kind®, this residential-scale landscape highlights beautiful, inviting designs with water-wise irrigation and appropriate fertilizer and pesticides. Given by Texas Master Gardener Association, Inc.
27. Patty and Joe Hlavinka, Jr. ’56 Farm Trail*
The Farm Trail winds through The Gardens and wraps around the Food and Fiber Fields. From this relaxing trail, visitors can learn more about production agriculture. Given by Sarah E. Hlavinka ’86 and Mark McConnell.
28. McCord Pavilion Plaza*
Wrapping around the iconic pavilion, the Pavilion Plaza is the perfect place for reception overflow, cooking demonstrations, and outdoor classroom space. Given by McCord Engineering, Inc. and Jimmy D. McCord ‘69.
29. Garden Walk
As a main thoroughfare from the new White Creek Apartments, the Garden Walk is traveled by hundreds of students every day. The walk crosses White Creek via the Upstream Bridge, passes by the Food and Fiber Fields, winds through the Fruit Orchard, breezes past the German Heritage Garden and ends at the main entrance by the Event Lawn. Given by the G. Rollie White Trust.
30. Bethancourt Family Kitchen Garden
Not long ago, a garden was a family’s main source of food and tending it often seemed like a chore. As part of the teaching garden complex, the kitchen garden aims to reconnect students and visitors with the rewarding experience of gardening, showcasing how easy and fun it can be. Not only is this a healthy activity for families, friends and neighbors, it also gives us a chance to share our bountiful crops with those we love. Given by Deborah F. ’76 and John E. Bethancourt ’74.
31. Dr. Sam Cotner ’64 Memorial Floral Border
Named for Dr. Cotner, former head of the Horticulture department at Texas A&M, the Floral Border showcases colorful annuals and provides a smile to all passersby.
As part of a cross-functional team from the departments of Civil Engineering, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and Horticulture, the Bioswale demonstrates the process of phytoremediation, by which the plants act as a natural filter and velocity reduction mechanism for stormwater runoff. This helps reduce the toxicity of the runoff from the nearby parking lot, and provides a fascinating learning opportunity for all ages.
*All donor named gardens are subject to approval by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.