Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden
Welcome to the Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden, a collection of gardens designed to convey landscape design and maintenance ideas, to showcase plants which are outstanding performers in central Florida, and to provide a beautiful, serene setting for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of visitors.
The garden is a “living lab” which demonstrates the nine principles of the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program.
Each small garden features many non-plant elements including, different kinds of paving and mulches, trellises, containers, lighting, screening, seating, and other decorative features such as water elements.
The garden enhances and expands the educational outreach of the Hillsborough Extension Service, which offers free pamphlets, personal consultations, workshops, displays, and demonstration gardens.
Who is Bette S. Walker?
Bette S. Walker dreamed of a teaching garden that could showcase the horticulture industry and educate the public. The Discovery Garden blends her dream with the education and outreach mission of the Hillsborough Extension.
Mrs. Walker was the first Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers (TBWG). Upon her retirement, the TBWG gave Mrs. Walker seed money and a promise of plant material for establishing her ambitious project.
See how to create a lovely, tropical setting you can enjoy with family and friends. This garden is beautiful and practical with its gas grill, flagstone table, and screened wash-up and storage area. View eco-friendly fertilizers and pesticides in the garden shed.
Touch, taste, smell and see an assortment of herbs, flowers, fruits and many other interesting plants. Children and disabled gardeners will especially enjoy this easy-to-access garden. Sit a spell on the raised planters, use all your senses...and enjoy!
It’s easy to create a Florida-friendly landscape. Just use the nine principles of the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program in this brochure and you will be well on your way to creating a garden like this one! Enjoy viewing this area from the gazebo. And don’t miss the recycled rubber mulch between the composite decking and gazebo.
Several water gardens are featured, including a waterfall, a pond with Koi, a still pond with native Killifish and aquatic plants, a bog garden filled with carnivorous plants and ferns, and three bubbling pots.
Asian Influence Garden
Relax in this simple, meditative garden filled with shade-loving plants. Walk on granite stepping stones to the granite bench, where you are invited to sit and enjoy the tranquility. The hand-carved brick pagoda and bamboo screening add to the simplistic beauty of this garden room.
Wildlife Habitat Area
Learn the three basics for attracting wildlife: food, water and shelter/cover. Look for the bat house, two nesting boxes, bird feeder and bird bath. Walk or view the stone path and enjoy the bog garden, watered by the rain and AC condensate collected in the cister