Leach Teaching Gardens Visit by Kay Angermann

Entrance to the Leach Teaching Gardens

The entrance to the Leach Teaching Gardens

Texas A&M Campus-More than tailgating and football

When most folks from central Texas think about Texas A&M, they think about the days of big football rivalries, core cadets and not so funny Aggie jokes. I spent quite a few weekends at A&M with my Aggie friends in my 20’s going to bonfires, games and doing what college kids do.


Texas A&M horticultural school and greenhouses

I did not realize until a few recent visits how large and beautiful the Texas A&M campus is. As of 2021 it has a total undergraduate enrollment of 56,723, and the campus size is 5,200 acres. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Texas A&M University – College Station handed out 57 bachelor’s degrees in horticulture. Due to this, the school is ranked in the top 5% of all colleges and universities that offer this degree, according to College Factual. There has been an increase each year with students entering this field.

Recently Julie and I, two Longhorn fans, joined our Aggie friends for a weekend in College Station, and were treated to a field trip to West Campus where the Leach Teaching Gardens are featured. The teaching gardens are situated right next to the horticultural school and greenhouses and you will pass the impressive AgriLife Buildings at the entrance.

About Leach Gardens

Amy and Tom Leach were the lead donors of now one of the premier teaching gardens in the country. The initial phase began in 2016 and opened to the public in 2018. There are currently 21 teaching gardens and a total of 33 teaching areas to enjoy on the 7 acre development with more to come in future phases.

steel wall with butterfly silhouettes

Steel wall as a backdrop to the butterfly garden

wall of pumpkins

Fun farmers market display and photo op

irrigation in cotton

Farming and Fiber display garden complete with mock-up irrigation system

The gardens consist of bird, bee, butterfly, rose, herb, cottage, Texas Superstar, citrus, cottage, vegetable gardens and more. In addition, there are specialty heritage gardens, a farming field display (the current display is a cotton field), a farmers market photo opportunity and even a vineyard. Within the gardens you will see unique pathways, extraordinary hardscape, creeks, pavilions, outdoor classrooms, arbors, steel walls, screens and even a bird blind that all provide special focal points along the paths. There are many demonstrations for water catchment systems that are clever and intriguing. Make sure you visit the AgriLife building courtyard too. The water collection system there is pretty impressive.

water catchment along path

One of many creative water catchment areas and gardens

pink coral vine blossoms

The coral vine and milkweed in the butterfly garden was swarming with butterflies

Worth the Trip

pot person sculpture sitting on garden bench

Our new friend, “Tara” Cotta

The seven-acre area is an easy walk and is wheelchair accessible with wide crushed granite pathways and ample sitting areas and shade. I have never seen so much butterfly activity in my life and there are photo opportunities around every corner. The gardens spark great ideas and excitement for all types of gardening. I highly recommend this two hour trek to College station to explore The Leach Teaching Gardens on the A&M campus. The garden also has tours twice a week at 9:30 am. See the website for details.

Additional Resources

Our Favorite Gardening Resources for Austin and Travis County

Ornamental Plants for Austin

About Kay Angermann

East Austin Garden Fair Activities. Fun at the photo booth. Kay has been a Travis County Master Gardener since 2018. She and Julie (also a Travis County Master Gardener) have had their “Katy Bird Farm” garden featured on Central Texas Gardener.  They have two miniature donkeys, chickens, dogs, cats, and 15 different gardens on 2.7 acres. When she’s not busy on the farm, she’s out gathering vintage signs and decor for her Hipbilly business.

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