Visitor Center Demonstration Gardens

The William Reed cabin was built in 1850, restored and relocated by County Commissioner Tim Brown in 2008 as the Salado Visitor’s Center. The structure is made of hand-hewn oak logs cut from the bottoms of the Little River. Larger than most frontier cabins, it is designed in the dogtrot style, with two main rooms separated by an open breezeway. Fireplaces made of native limestone provided heat and cooking. The house was windowless except for small openings from which to fire a gun. It was designed for both shelter and security at a time when attacks from Indians, was a recurring threat. Through successive generations, members of the Reed family protected and preserved the 1850 homestead and made possible its current use.

This is the backdrop for the KSB Demonstration gardens, featuring native and adaptive plants. Central Texas Master Naturalists and Bell County Master Gardeners redeveloped the gardens in 2014 with the help of Tim Brown. Eagle scouts will tap into the rain barrels to develop drip irrigation that will allow the plants to withstand summer heat. Compost bins help maintain adequate mulch. This is a study in living with deer in the garden; some days it works. The gardens are maintained by the KSB First Monday Gardeners.

KSB has offered classes on Native Plants and plans include classes at the Demonstration Gardens on Composting, Rain Catchment, and Drip Line Sprinklers.

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