The lovely gardens continue around the building and parking lot in Texas style with this windmill and tank pond garden.
There are several apple trees nearby. These are low chill apple trees, probably Ein Shemer.
The landscape near the parking area is more xeric than the nearby gardens.
The 12-acre complex also includes a 6-acre area known as Freedom Park. This entry garden is planted with heat loving plants like four-nerve daisies and autumn sage.
Opened in 2011, this area adds many wonderful amenities for recreation. Freedom Park was also designed by Brian Bainnison of Quatrefoil Design in Portland, Oregon.
There's a 1.1 mile fitness trail
Fitness stations with shade structures along the way blend beautifully with the natural surroundings.
The fitness stations circle a lawn with hammocks for relaxing in the shade
Yes, they get used quite a bit.
The beautifully planted borders along busy Binz-Engleman Road were the first part of the garden I noticed. I knew at once there had to be real gardeners behind this.
These Texas hill country style berms add interest to the walking trails and are also visible from the road.
You can take a walk in the Texas hill country without leaving the facility.
Even a a glimpse of a mountain lion that you might encounter while hiking in the Texas hill country. Not as far-fetched as it might seem. During the recent drought mountain lions and bobcats were spotted quite close to the city.
Comfortable and private seating areas are placed throughout the gardens and along the fitness trail.
Other amenities include a putting green
Volleyball and sandy play area
At the far end of the trail is a beautiful, shady picnic area making it almost like an escape to a local park. The stonework is similar to rock work visitors would find in our local parks.
These pretty stone walls add interest and varying surfaces continue throughout the park.
A stunning amphitheater provides a convenient venue for performances. Faux turf is used in the seating areas.
The stage plays host to a number of well-known performers
The soaring canopy on the stage is inspiring
A large rock waterfall and pond reminiscent of hill country springs is along the fitness trail nearby.
A small rock stream is on the other side of the path
Birds enjoy the water
Bald Cypress grow here just as you would find near natural springs and waterways in the Texas Hill Country.
It's a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the sights of sounds of nature.
These gardens are a fitting setting for wounded service members and their families to enjoy during rehabilitation treatment while at nearby Brooke Army Medical Center. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to tour this well-designed facility and meet the volunteers who help keep it in such outstanding condition.
There's a need for volunteers to help maintain the gardens and park. For more information contact Melody McMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org or meet up with the crew any Tuesday to help out. If you would like to help in some other way donations of plants, mulch, soil and other gardening items are welcomed.