Check out what you can learn at the Leon County Extension demonstration garden – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Surrounding the Leon County Extension Office are demonstration gardens that have been maintained by Leon County Master Gardener Volunteers since 1999. I believe these gardens are a Leon County treasure.

If you’ve never seen them or didn’t know they were here, you should head to the Extension Office.

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The gardens are an educational tool, an experimental garden and a wonderful resource for local residents. They are open to the public and you can come by anytime and enjoy a stroll through the gardens. The Leon County Extension Office is located at 615 Paul Russell Road. It is directly east of the Fairgrounds and the entrance is directly across from Jack L. McLean Park.

The demonstration gardens are a fantastic resource for (1) what grows well in Tallahassee, (2) ideas for how to deal with problem areas in your garden, and (3) inspiration for your next fun gardening project. The gardens are divided into seven labeled beds plus an orchard.

Water pond in the Leon County Extension Office demonstration garden.

rain garden

Do you have an area in your yard that collects water when it rains? The demonstration gardens have a rain garden in bed 3 that you can look at and see if that’s something that would work for you. You will see a spiraling design of blue flag irises, highland blueberries, muhly grass and golden ragwort. It’s both beautiful and functional.

Would you like to create a wild pond? See bed 5 for ideas for planting around and in the pond. These may include irises, ferns, yarrow, and pitcher plants.

Would you like to create a desert (dry) garden? Between beds 3 and 4 is a desert area with cacti, century plants, bromeliads, aloes and succulents.

White and blue hydrangeas adorn the David W. Marshall Demonstration Garden.
A flowering Chinese fringe tree at the entrance to the Leon County Extension Office's demonstration garden.

fruit trees and art?

Would you like to add some fruit trees to your garden? The open space west of the entrance to the Extension Office is an orchard. There are over 20 species of fruit trees there, labeled so you can see what the trees look like and how well they do in the full sun in Tallahassee.

Do you like a whimsical garden and want to add art or unique features? Bed 5 features a canoe converted into a planter and stunning artwork that will grab your attention.

There are seven garden beds and an orchard that comprise the demonstration garden. Within these areas you will find the diverse conditions and habitats that exist in Leon County and the surrounding areas. Every garden bed has a slightly different approach to incorporating plantings, and different beds can appeal to different tastes.

The vegetable garden in the Leon County Extension Office demonstration garden.

Beds 1, 2 and 3: trees and undergrowth

Bed 1 is located in front of the extension office entrance. The bed itself features three large trees and contains a variety of undergrowth plants. These include those that like partial shade, such as caladia, variegated cup ginger, hydrangeas, and cast iron plants. The sunny areas on the outside of the large trees include showy specimens such as the Chinese fringed tree, Grand Crinum lilies, and many flowers such as sage, Stokes’ aster, liatris, and angel’s wing begonia.

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