Richmond City Hall Park Earth-Kind® Demonstration Garden
By Peggy d’Hemecourt, Advanced Master Gardener: Earth-Kind® Landscaping
New landscape projects are a little bit like children – it takes a few years for them to grow and fill out and begin to make a mature statement. Four years after its installation, it might be said that the Earth-Kind® Landscaping Demonstration Garden at Richmond City Hall Park has come of age. In mid-March after a relatively mild, wet winter, the garden is looking the best yet for the time of year.
Larger shrubs have filled out the space provided. Dwarf Barbados Cherry, Malpighia glabra ‘Nana’, are anchoring their spaces. The two Marie Daly Rose, Rosa x polyantha ‘Marie Daly’, have lush healthy-looking foliage and are budded to bloom. Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, is full and in bloom. The smaller Shooting Star Lily, Anthericum saundersiae, is lush green and full and has recently bloomed. Last year’s additions of two Thyrallis, Galphimia glauca, are producing new growth. The Trailing Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’, added to the historic horse trough has filled the space and begun trailing over the edges, just as intended. Just to brag on some of the plants in the garden.
This is a challenging space to maintain, and we have had some failures along the way. The small garden comprises small triangular beds on each of the four corners of a square, alongside a horse-trough-turned-planter. The beds are surrounded by concrete and sit atop the root system of two majestic old oak trees. Half of the gardens and the horse trough are in the blazing west sun. The competition for resources is fierce!
The successes we’re experiencing are a testament to the Earth-Kind® Landscaping techniques employed: compost-enriched soil, hardwood mulch, drip irrigation fed by a rainwater collection system, and selection of plants with high Earth-Kind® ratings for our growing region, meaning they are heat tolerant, drought tolerant, pest tolerant, and have minimal soil or fertility requirements.
The garden is located at the corner of Morton Street and 5th Street, sharing the block with Richmond City Hall. It’s maintained by Keep Richmond Beautiful volunteers, with advice and assistance from Fort Bend County Master gardeners. Visitors are welcome! For more information on Earth-Kind® Landscaping, visit https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/.
The table below lists the plants used in this garden along with each plant’s Earth-Kind® rating.
|Common Name||Botanical Name||Earth-Kind
|Dwarf Barbados Cherry||Malpighia glabra 'Nana'||10|
|Indian Hawthorn||Rhaphiolepis indica 'Clara'||8.2|
|Maiden Grass||Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'||not rated|
|Marie Daly Rose||Rosa x polyantha ' Marie Daly'||E-K Rose|
|Mexican Feather Grass||Nassella tenuissima||not rated|
|Pink Skullcap||Scutellaria suffrutescens||not rated|
|Prostrate Abelia||Abelia grandiflora 'Prostrata'||8|
|Red Yucca||Hesperaloe parviflora||7.2|
|Shooting Star Lily||Anthericum saundersiae||not rated|
|Trailing Rosemary||Rosmarinus officinalis 'Prostratus'||8|