The Master Gardner IDEA Garden is located in southeast corner of the Tyler Rose Garden and is a project of the Smith County Master Gardeners. IDEA stands for Innovate, Demonstrate, Educate, Apply in keeping with the mission of the garden. It has no door; it is open to those seeking inspiration as well as to those seeking solitude.

The plants are as diverse as the visitors. Some thrive in the parching sun; others welcome the cool shade and the calm after the rain. Some thrust themselves forward; others plod along.

While the plants prosper and wither, the visitors come and go, and the workers eventually pass on. The words exchanged between the friends who have gathered in the IDEA Garden remain a testament to the power and beauty of nature.

Susan Boyer, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


Gardeners always welcome new plant and landscape ideas. Now there’s a place right here in Tyler – The IDEA Garden – where you’ll find plenty of inspiration.

Located in the southeast corner of the Tyler Rose Garden (1900 W. Front), The IDEA Garden – for Innovate, Demonstrate, Educate and Apply – is laid out in a residential-style design to help stimulate ideas for use in your own yard.

Among the garden’s many features is a large perennial “Rainbow Border” designed by Tyler artist and Master Gardener Charline Perlewitz. The 120-foot border presents year-round blooms that mirror the arcs of color found in rainbows.

Altogether, The IDEA Garden has more than 90 varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs, grasses, ground cover and bog plants, including test beds for the evaluation of new flowers and different types of turfgrass. A special demonstration area features several composting methods, with examples of bins you can build or buy. Information is also provided on vermicomposting, a method that uses worms to turn household waste into rich compost.

In keeping with its educational focus, The IDEA Garden has interpretative signs and free brochures on many gardening topics. Guided tours are also available (call the Texas Cooperative Extension to arrange for your group).

A joint project of Smith County Master Gardeners, Smith County Extension Service and City of Tyler Parks & Recreation, with support from East Texas Council of Government, The IDEAGarden is a unique and beautiful setting you’re sure to enjoy.

Judy Heinrich, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Area Gardens