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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
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Can you dig it?

Photo by Photo by Asha Fuller

The Gardens at Texas A&M are set to open July 15. 

After years of planning and construction, The Gardens at Texas A&M University will become a reality as phase one of the project, The Leach Teaching Gardens, is set to open Friday, June 15.
The Gardens is a 27-acre collection of garden facilities which will display the history and heritage of horticulture while highlighting the disciplines and essentials of gardening. The project is part of a master plan that will cover the area behind the AgriLife Complex on West Campus and extend all the way to George Bush Library. Phase one of the project is The Leach Teaching Gardens, a seven-acre space which will serve as an outdoor classroom where faculty can teach the concepts of food production, landscape beauty and other horticulture practices. The Gardens are a public space and can be reserved for events such as weddings, fundraisers and party gatherings.
Joseph Johnson, Class of 1988 and manager of The Gardens, said the project was intended to have multiple functions.
“We wanted to have something we could show off, but also have something we could use for teaching, research and learning the essentials of gardening. With this, you have just that,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he would have loved to have the gardens on campus when he was a horticulture student.
“This is something that we had talked about that was a need even when I was a student,” Johnson said. “I always envied other universities and colleges that had gardens on campus. Now finally having that and being a part of it makes it special.”
The Leach Teaching Gardens are made up of 30 different sections that each highlight a specific theme, ranging from vineyards to cultural heritage gardens.
The site also includes an overlook of White Creek and features bridges which will allow easy access for students living in White Creek Apartments. Several advancements in agriculture are showcased throughout the gardens, including designs with water-wise irrigation techniques and a fully functioning scale-to-size center pivot irrigation system.
Johnson said the variety of functions and facilities provided by the gardens create a sense of community.
“Having this to utilize is essential because it brings and connects so many at the university together, from organizations like Howdy Farm who can come volunteer, to the horticulture department teaching their students, to even hosting a wedding on the weekends,” Johnson said. “We look to make use of this area in so many different concepts and ways.”
One of the most prominent features of The Leach Teaching Gardens is its 1,600 square foot pavilion. The pavilion is set to hold groups of around 100 people, depending on the type of event being hosted. Inspired by 19th-century German architecture, the pavilion is equipped with Wi-Fi, a catering kitchen and sliding doors and windows to increase airflow throughout the summer months.
The plan for the rest of The Gardens will include the restoration of White Creek and the design of the rest of the area. The plan was developed by Texas A&M architecture graduate students and revised by Rhotenberry Wellen Architects and the White Oak Studio.
Mark A. Hussey, former dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, helped approve and put the project together.
“The future of the gardens is always expanding,” Hussey said. “We want this space to be a place that the local community can enjoy and where are students can get a hands-on experience as well as showcase the products of our research.”
The grand opening event, which will take place Friday, June 15 at 9:30 a.m., is free and open to the public and will feature refreshments. Weekly walking tours are available without reservation on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m. starting this fall.

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  • The Gardens at Texas A&M are set to open July 15. 

    Photo by Photo by Asha Fuller

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