Not hurricanes, nor heat and tired feet could stop us from our appointed rounds as we spent the afternoon and evening touring the Dallas Arboretum. The clicking of hundreds of cameras and the collective oohs and aahs resounded everywhere. As we entered, I was struck by the precision of pumpkins on the march. They were also floating in fountains and made into a gazebo for kids to play in. Speaking of children, the arboretum is getting ready to build an entire new children’s garden which will also focus on helping children learn about gardening while they play. I am always excited about anything which involves kids and gardens for I think they were made for each other.
As I wandered throughout the sixty-six acres, around a corner here, and up a stairway there, I was struck by the color. We often hear the word “breathtaking,” but the autumnal finery was enough to take your breath away (if the humidity hadn’t already). Only last weekend, Hurricane Hermine dropped buckets and sheets of rain upon this landscape, but you couldn’t tell it by me.
After our tour of the lovely DeGolyer home which was air conditioned, we walked again outdoors to brave the heat. I don’t what the temperature was, but people were melting. However, the garden had stationed refreshments centers throughout, and we all appreciated it. Inside the home, I was surprised they allowed us to take photographs, and we were also allowed to bring our drinks indoors. Those Texans are a trusting bunch.
The arboretum opened in 1984 on the former DeGolyer and Camp estates. As arboretums go, it is in the springtime of its youth. What I found amazing was the garden is only staffed with seventy-five full-time employees. The remaining work is performed by over 400 volunteers. The dedication of these volunteers some of whom came in especially to drive us around in trams, tells me Dallas loves its arboretum. I wish I could say the same of Oklahoma. I’m not even sure many of our citizens know we have more than one arboretum, one of which is located at Will Rogers Park in Oklahoma City. I wonder what it takes to make citizens care so much for their public spaces. The arboretum was immaculately groomed, and I saw no trash anywhere.
While I mused, the dinner bell rang, and we were treated to a fabulous meal in air conditioning which made everyone feel better. GWA, the arboretum and our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Dallas, have worked very hard to give me and several other members gluten and dairy free meals. I thank them all.
People ask me what attending the GWA annual symposium is like, and Bear even texted me to see if I was having fun. I texted back, “Imagine having 400 or so of your favorite friends over for four or five days. It’s fun, exciting and exhausting, but in a good sort of way.” She texted that it would be too much for her. I’ve got three more days and a lot more gardens to visit, so I better rest up.
I’ll leave you with more pictures of the beautiful Dallas Arboretum, and I’ll do my best to check in again as soon as I can.