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Free Garden Classes, Native Plants & Water Conservation

in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano

crape myrtles in Collin County, TX

There's a few things you need to know when landscaping your yard and maintaining your irrigation system in North Texas. To assist homeowners with this process, several of the area cities have provided demonstration gardens that are open during daylight hours. Some offer free classes. Be sure to visit all of the area gardens, because each one seems to offer something a little different.

Plant Hardiness Map

USDA Agricultural Research Service

Wouldn't it be great if you could know if a plant is going to make it in our area--before you purchase it? You can. Most plants sold at commercial growers (or reviewed online) will carry a Plant Hardiness Zone tag. Collin County is in Zone 8a, which means winter plants must be able to withstand cold temperatures 10 to 15 (F) or -12.2222 to -9.44444 (C).

Education Gardens in Allen

Allen Public Library Courtyard Research & Demonstration Gardens

The project demonstrates Earth-Kind® gardening which combines organic and traditional gardening to obtain results in Texas' harsh weather. Free and open to the public.
300 N Allen Dr, Allen TX 75013 (Allen Public Library Courtyard)

Education Gardens in Frisco

Shawnee Trail Demonstration Garden

Blooming examples of what you can successfully plant in your own garden, demonstrating over seventy varieties of plants. Free and open to the public daily.
10701 Preston Vineyard Dr, Frisco TX 75035

Education Gardens in McKinney

Craig Ranch Veterans Memorial Park

Garden is diagonal from Craig Ranch HOA office and across from Veterans Memorial Park. There is a flag retirement box and a pet waste station in the center of the flower bed.
7951 Collin McKinney Pkwy, McKinney, TX 75070

McKinney Community Center

Garden is located on north (back) side of building. There are directional signs from the parking lot and from the playground sidewalk area.
2001 S Central Expy, McKinney, TX 75070

Rural Heritage Trail at Myers Event Center

Walk the path through multiple gardens in one location featuring crape myrtles, roses and perennials. Free self-guided tours of the gardens are available to the public when Myers Park is open and when not closed for an event, so do call ahead before heading out. Guided tours are available on the first Wednesday of each month beginning at 9:00 am.
7117 Co Rd 166, McKinney TX 75071

Crape Myrtles Trail World Collection Park

This seven-acre park was planted in 2011 as a showcase of all known varieties of crape myrtles. Pack a picnic lunch. (No restrooms.) Free and open to the public daily. If you have a crape myrtle in your yard, and you probably do, this website is an excellent resource for caring for your crape myrtle.
6452 Collin McKinney Parkway, McKinney TX 75070

Education Gardens in Plano

Texas SmartScape® Demonstration Gardens

Native and well-adapted plants are showcased here as well as interactive educational exhibits for water efficient irrigation and drought-tolerant landscaping. A children's Nature Explore® garden is adjacent to the "adult" garden which encourages children to dig for worms or crawl through a tunnel like a worm--along with other learning play opportunities. Free and open to the public during daylight hours. Free classes are also offered on everything from DIY irrigation to gardening.
4116 W Plano Pkwy, Plano TX 75093

Education Gardens in Prosper

Water Tower Demonstration Garden

There are three gardens located in close proximity: the Research Garden, Demonstration Garden, and Jana Thomson Garden. The first two are designed for adult learning. The Research Garden includes dwarf shrubs and ornamental grasses. The Earth-Kind Demonstration Garden has a variety of plants for homeowners to view and determine what they'd like to plant. Earth-Kind is a manner of gardening that preserves and protects the environment, yet yields beautiful results for the homeowner. The Jana Thomson Garden is located at Rucker Elementary School and it appears there is access to the area even when the PISD campuses are closed.
432 South Craig Road, Prosper TX 75078

Additional Gardening Assistance

Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension

As the name implies, this center focuses on everything agriculture. The center serves the DFW area including Collin County

Water My Yard

Enter your address and you'll receive instructions on how to water your yard, removing the guess work and resulting in a healthy lawn! This site is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension.


Also sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension, this is a free digital tool which provides design and plant recommendations for the specific areas of a home landscape.

Updated Augut 17, 2019

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