Notable Texas Public Gardens, Continued by June Morgan
Venturing further from the Greenville area and going east and south are The Tyler Rose Garden, The East Texas Arboretum, The Riverside Nature Center, Peckerwood Garden, The Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum, The San Antonio Botanical Garden, Moody Gardens, Shangri La Botanical Gardens, Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Mercer Arboretum, and The Houston Arboretum.
The Rose Garden Center, with its museum and gift shop, serves as the gateway to the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden and is located at 420 South Rose Park Drive in Tyler. The garden covers 14 acres with over 38,000 roses plus azaleas and camellias. The museum has memorabilia of the rose parades including many of the beautiful dresses worn by participants. The garden is open from dawn until dark seven days a week with free admission. The Garden Center admission is $3.50.and is open 8-5 weekdays, 9-5 Saturdays and 1-5 Sundays. While the azaleas will be blooming in the spring, the best time for the roses is in October. This purports to be the largest rose garden in the U.S. Available for special events. Phone: 903-531-1213.
The East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society covers over 100 acres at 1601 Patterson Road, Athens, TX. This non-profit centers on education, preservation and conservation, and includes historical buildings, many native plants, hiking trails with a combination of wetlands and forest. Children will enjoy a large play area and especially the replica of a one -room school house. The 1851 Wofford house is a living museum complete with period furnishings and a backyard kitchen garden. This place is surely a jewel of Henderson County. Admission is $2.00 and is available for private events. Phone: 903-675-5630.
The Riverside Nature Center is a non-profit arboretum with a wildlife and native plant sanctuary located on the Guadalupe River at 150 Francisco Lemos St. Kerrville, TX. Since 1992 after extensive clearing and planting it has become an arboretum with over 140 tree species, 200 species of wildflowers, cacti, shrubs and native grasses. In addition to a butterfly plant garden there is a unique sensory garden with signs in Braille. The river trail is a great place for a picnic, bird watching and identifying native and drought resistant plants. Improvements are always in the works. Free admission. Open 9-4 weekdays, 10-3 Saturdays, 1-4 Sundays. Phone: 830-257-4837.
The Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, located on FM 359 just a few miles south of Highway 290, is another gem hidden in plain view. The design skills of architect Professor John Fairey are fundamental behind the fluid and graceful arrangements of the numerous beds with their unusual juxtaposition of shapes, textures, and colors. Of special interest is a large collection of endangered plants from Texas and Mexico which are now in a painstakingly recreated ecosystem. While the garden is not set up for unrestricted access, private tours can be arranged as well as visits on open days for a 1 hour guided tour. This season’s open days are mostly on Saturdays and tickets can be purchased online for $10 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone can purchase seeds online at www.peckerwoodgarden.org/seeds. Phone: 979-826-3232.
To be continued……….