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Arboretum Annie

Now that the Dallas Arboretum is preparing for Dallas Blooms, the Southwest's largest floral festival, many are wondering when spring arrives in 2020. What better way to find out than to bring in everybody's favorite meteorologist, the groundhog!

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts its second Groundhog Day celebration on Sunday, February 2, 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., in its newest garden, A Tasteful Place, which overlooks White Rock Lake and the Dallas skyline. Those interested in joining the festivities and shadow-watching are welcome to attend the event for free with paid garden admission. General garden admission is $5 from February 1 to 28.

 

Guests are invited and encouraged to wear any type of hat (Texas-style for Groundhog Day) for a hat contest. Materials are provided on site, and attendees are welcome to further embellish their hats. At the end of the event, a hat contest winner is selected and receives a prize.

 

Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, "Being a botanical garden and outdoor venue that is open 362 days a year, the Dallas Arboretum revolves around the weather. That said, we want to know whether we'll have an early spring or not, so our groundhog, Arboretum Annie, helps us predict the weather."

 

According to folklore, if a groundhog comes out of hiding and sees her shadow, she is scared and runs back inside, meaning six more weeks of winter. If she doesn't see her shadow, spring arrives early, which for the Arboretum would be just in time for Dallas Blooms. Themed Sounds of Spring, Dallas Blooms, presented by IBERIABANK, opens on February 29 and runs through April 12, 2020.

 

For Groundhog Day, guests are encouraged to come as early as 6:30 a.m., where there are breakfast items and beverages available for sale. After the sun rises at approximately 7:22 a.m., Kalee Dionne, WFAA meteorologist and emcee, and Ken Barth, Dallas Arboretum Public Events board chair, releases Arboretum Annie to see if she sees her shadow. After that, guests are welcome to take selfies with the famous groundhog, make groundhog crafts, and watch the iconic "Groundhog Day" movie with Bill Murray.

 

Barth said, "We invite schools and encourage teachers and parents to help children write and submit a proclamation for the event, just as the Inner Circle in Punxsutawney script one in a language known as 'Groundhogs,' whether he has seen his shadow or not. This proclamation is a contest for any children under 18 years old can participate in, and the selected one is read that morning." For those who would like to participate, up to 200 words can be sent to ktrail@dallasarboretum.org or sent to the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Rd., Dallas, TX 75218). The deadline for submission is January 29, 2020.

 

About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden is closed through February 28 for preventative maintenance. On-site parking is $15, or $10 if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. It is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.  WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.  

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Mary Brinegar

At its annual conference in Galveston in late October, the Texas Society of Architects announced its 2019 Honor Award recipients, including Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum president and CEO, who was presented with an Honorary AIA Membership. This membership is the highest award that the organization bestows on an individual for outstanding achievements in support of the profession of architecture, the built environment and quality of life in Texas.

According to 2019 Texas Society of Architects President Mike Hellinghausen, AIA, “Mary has served as president and CEO of the Dallas Arboretum for more than 20 years. In her time there, she has transformed the park from an underfunded local attraction into an internationally acclaimed public garden. Working with architects and designers, she’s restored historic structures in the park and create new environments to elevate the public’s experience. The park now draws more than one million guests each year. For her stewardship of the Dallas Arboretum, and for her appreciation for the enduring value of good design to Dallas and Texas, we are pleased to present Honorary Membership to Mary Brinegar.”

J. Mark Wolf, AIA, former Dallas Arboretum chairman, who was involved in the nomination submittal, added, “Mary has devoted her career to growing and managing nonprofits at a high level of excellence.  She has done so with careful attention to detail and an ability to create new structures while preserving historic ones. Mary is first and without fail a diligent steward of the organization’s resources as well as an outstanding ambassador for its mission. Her attitude and commitment enables the organization’s goals and successes to be paramount.”

At the Dallas Arboretum, Brinegar is responsible for the management of a full time staff of 170 and for the annual operating budget of $24.6 million. She has won many awards for her fundraising leadership and accomplishments while at the garden. Since she joined the botanic garden, the board and staff have raised more than $100 million dollars for capital improvements including new buildings, gardens and the renovation of onsite historic homes.

Two notable accomplishments include award-winning gardens dedicated to teaching and growing plants and children’s minds:

The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden: This eight-acre garden set the gold standard for children’s outdoor educational facilities when it opened in fall 2013. This garden provides an innovative place for preschool through middle school children to learn about life and earth sciences.

A Tasteful Place:  Opened in 2017, A Tasteful Place, designed to mirror an ornamental kitchen garden or "potager" as it is called by the French, is an edible display garden, complete with a lagoon and meandering walkways. The 3.5-acre garden, comprised of artfully arranged features, includes a pavilion with event space, a teaching kitchen, an orchard, beds of ornamental display vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as shaded porches and walkways. 

Every year, the Dallas Arboretum has received accolades from national and local media outlets noting the garden’s superlative work – from its festival design to permanent garden developments and outstanding buildings.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218 and is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.  WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

 

 

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Judy and Mike McIlwain

Judy and Mike McIlwain are practically Lake Highlands natives, having moved to Dallas in 1981. Their two children no longer live in the area, so they’ve “adopted” the children and grandchildren who visit the Dallas Arboretum and tell them more about a garden they also adopted. They love being around the children who visit so often. The McIlWains enjoy the garden so much that they celebrated their 50th anniversary at a Cool Thursdays concert last year and together have volunteered more than 7,500 hours.

 

This fall they are taking on another volunteer role, co-chairing Autumn at the Arboretum, the garden’s fall festival, which runs from September 21st through October 31st. This year’s nostalgic theme is “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” which includes many themed topiaries based on the Peanuts gang and Halloween.

 

Formerly a speech pathologist, Judy started volunteering at the Dallas Arboretum in spring 2005 after she retired. “I volunteered in several areas, but settled primarily on the information booth. I love greeting the brides, quinceañeras and babies as they come through the gate.” She also enjoys meeting the many foreign visitors who come from 90 countries around the world. “It's amazing how far-reaching the reputation of the Arboretum stretches!” Naturally, Judy leads the garden’s visitor service steering committee. In addition to volunteering at the Dallas Arboretum, she is active at her church in the knitting/crochet ministry. Judy also leads a book club, and she and her husband enjoy bridge. She added, “We were surprised to learn we will have close to 100,0000 pumpkins in the garden, and feel this festival will be and more popular than ever.” 

 

After Mike retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2006, he also started volunteering. Judy calls him “a jack-of-all-trades.” Mike adds, “and master of none!” He works at the greenhouse, takes pictures of the plants in the trial gardens, works with the Volunteer Advisory Board (VAB) photo project at various times of the year, works at the membership table, and joins Judy in the information booth on Friday afternoons. He is the VAB chair elect. Mike enjoys the ever-changing beauty of the gardens and the personal association with the other volunteers, staff and Arboretum visitors. He also volunteers with ESL students at Richland College, and he and Judy are facilitators with an engaged couples program at church.

 

Both love to walk, especially to their local coffee house, White Rock Coffee, several times a week. They consider themselves fortunate to travel and to see many wonderful places all over the world, but they always return to volunteer at the Dallas Arboretum.

 

Although they both like volunteering at the Dallas Arboretum, neither considers themselves a big gardener. Mike says, “I think we like to ‘pretend’ that the Arboretum is our garden! 

 

For more information about Autumn at the Arboretum, including volunteer opportunities, visit dallasarboretum.org.

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OmniGlobe

The public is invited to blast off on July 20 and 21 at the Dallas Arboretum's Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden as the garden celebrates 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon and paved the way for space exploration. Tour the solar system in our OmniGlobe Theater, blast off with our Egg-stronauts Adventure Program, and watch Apollo 11 videos in the OmniGlobe Theater. The first 200 families will receive official NASA goody bags (based on availability).

Schedule:

12:00-12:30pm
Adventure Program: Constellation Creation: Located in the OmniGlobe Theatre

For a long time, people have seen pictures among the stars and created dazzling stories! Learn all about the constellations using our OmniGlobe.

 

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Creativity Corner located in the Entry Plaza of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden from
Three, Two, One! Blast Off! Let’s celebrate the 50th year of the first moon landing with your very own spaceship!

4:00-4:30 p.m.

Egg-Stronauts from in Moody Oasis

The astronauts need your help building their next space craft. Create a safe landing with your expertise skills.

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children under two. On-site parking is $15 or $9, if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. 

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Plant Trials Day Megan Proska, Dallas Arboretum; Debra Eckel, Abbot IPCO; Jennifer Morrow, Abbot IPCO

Known internationally known as one of the premier places to test plants for extreme weather conditions, especially high heat and humidity, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden held its annual Plant Trials Field Day on June 26 where more than 300 industry professionals attended.  Thousands of plants are tested annually including bulbs, perennials, shrubs, trees, groundcovers and vegetables.

 

Jenny Wegley, Dallas Arboretum vice president of horticulture, welcomed guests and introduced the various speakers. She discussed landscape and design trends used in plantings, sharing photos from the Dallas Arboretum as examples.

 

Megan Proska, Dallas Arboretum horticulture manager, shared unique landscaping plants, showed how they used plants throughout the seasons in creative displays, and announced the annual and perennial winners that received FlameProof® or Arboretum Approved awards– for plants that have thrived and outperformed others. FlameProof is awarded only to plants that survived extreme conditions in the Texas summer. Arboretum Approved is awarded to plants that scored the highest in its class and are the best of its kind during that season. (For a complete list, see attachment).

 

For more information on Dallas Arboretum’s Trial Program, including the latest winners, visit www.dallasplanttrials.org.

 

A special thanks to the following sponsors:

Green Leaf, Suntory Flowers, Ltd., Benary+, Berger Peat Moss, Eason Horticulture, Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery, KBW Supply, Steve’s Leaves, Texas Nursery & Landscape Assoc., Abbot IPCO, Ball Hort, Calloway’s, Green Lake Nursery, J Berry Nursery, PDSI, Proven Winners, Express Seed Co., Living Earth, Southwest Landscape Wholesale Nursery, Syngenta.

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children under two. On-site parking is $15 or $9, if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. 

 

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Pierce Rose Reception The Pierce Family: Jack Pierce, Nancy Pierce, Robert Pierce, Chip Pierce

Recent rains helped water the 200 rose bushes that were given to the Dallas Arboretum and transplanted this past fall in the Boswell Family Garden. The Dallas Arboretum on May 29th held a rose ceremony to honor the gift, donated by Nancy and Robert Pierce and their sons Chip and Jack Pierce. This rose collection enhanced the already established Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden, and as all the roses are now blooming with magnificent colors and scents.

 

The permanent plaque reads, “Donated by Nancy and Robert Pierce in honor of her mother Cherrie Perkins Wells.” Wells encouraged Nancy to start this collection decades ago, and it fueled her passion for roses. When the Pierces recently moved to a home with limited space for her roses, she called Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum president and CEO, to see if the garden would like to have them, and she accepted.  

 

Brinegar welcomed everyone to the ceremony and thanked the Pierces for their donation, which enhances an already lovely garden that overlooks White Rock Lake. “This area was developed because a wonderful man named George Boswell wanted to make a major contribution honoring his wife and daughters, so we call this the Boswell Family Garden.” The family was represented by Veta Boswell and her daughter Kama Koudelka.

 

Dave Forehand, Dallas Arboretum’s vice president of gardens, spoke about the particular garden’s vision. He met Dr. George Boswell and Warren Hill Johnson, a landscape architect, who served on the Gardens and Grounds Committee. “Warren was very good at coming up with interesting names, so one day he called Dr. Boswell and said, ‘I think we should call the garden El Inesperado,’ and Dr. Boswell hung up on him. When Dr. Boswell called Warren back, he said the name of the ranch where he grew up was called El Inesperado, which means the ‘unexpected.’ So that was how the garden was named.”

 

As more than one million visitors come to the Dallas Arboretum annually, they can enjoy

this ‘unexpected’ garden with clipped topiary bushes, landscaping by Warren Johnson and a curving stacked stone wall along where more than 200 new rose bushes make their home.

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Caroline Rose Hunt Society Dinner Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman; Joan Walne, Anne & Steve Stodghill, hosts.

On May 15, members of the Dallas Arboretum’s Caroline Rose Hunt Society had an exquisite dinner at Anne and Steve Stodghill’s art-filled home in Preston Hollow. These members share a deep commitment to the garden and contribute at the highest level, offering them the opportunity to interact with one another at some of the most beautiful places in the city. After touring the home with its collections of memorabilia and art, the attendees enjoyed dinner, dessert and cocktails. The evening was underwritten by Bank of Texas. For more information on the CRHS membership, visit dallasarboretum.org.

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Galleries at DeGolyer Barbara Bigham, Mari Epperson, Kaki Hopkins, Sharon Ballew

On April 23, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden held a reception for sponsors and special guests to get a sneak peek at the ‘Galleries at DeGolyer,’ a new area of the Artscape festival, before this juried fine art and fine craft show and sale opened over the weekend.

 

Set up in the historic DeGolyer House, Galleries at DeGolyer is a curated area featuring select works from the following galleries:

  • Afterimage Gallery
  • Alan Barnes Fine Art
  • Dian Malouf
  • David Dike Fine Art
  • Riddell Rare Maps & Fine Prints
  • Southwest Gallery
  • Samuel Lynne Gallery featuring J.D. Miller
  • Dutch Art Gallery

 

Artscape featured more than 90 outstanding artists from around the country showcase their art in the garden including 46 new artists showcasing painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass and more. Named by Architectural Digest as one of the "15 Most Breathtaking Botanical Gardens to Visit This Season,” the Dallas Arboretum is a perfect complement to the beautiful artwork selected for the show. In addition to art, the festival included live music, a university zone, adult beverages, food concessions, packaged treats and a Children’s Art Escape. 

 

The Artscape co-chairs were Dallas Arboretum volunteers and community leaders, Sharon Ballew and Mari Epperson.

 

A special thanks to the 2019 Artscape Sponsors:

Graff Chevrolet, Automobile Sponsor

BNSF, Boulevard Sponsor

Mari and Don Epperson and Sharon and Maurice Ballew, Picnic Area Sponsor

JHP Architecture and Urban Design, Entertainment Sponsor

Accurate Signs, Entertainment Sponsor

Olmsted-Taylor Foundation, Children’s Art Escape

Joe Buskuhl, Artist Concierge Tent

Mary Spencer – University Booth Sponsor

RLG Consulting Engineers, Street Sponsor

Michael and Wendy Jenkins – Street Sponsor

Sandra Estess

 

In addition to Artscape, guests enjoyed the newest summer exhibit, “Celebrate the Children,” created by acclaimed sculptor Gary Lee Price, which is on display through October 15. The collection features more than 25 different, hand-produced, bronze sculptures of children playfully interacting. The “Celebrate the Children” exhibition, presented by Reliant, is also supported by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District.

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children under two. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $9. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.  WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

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On April 27 and April 28, the Dallas Arboretum presents Artscape, a juried fine art and fine craft show and sale, where more than 90 outstanding artists from around the country showcase their art in the garden.

 

This year, Artscape features 46 new artists and a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass and more. The layout for the art fair is architect-designed for maximum visibility of artists and audience flow. Named by Architectural Digest as one of the "15 Most Breathtaking Botanical Gardens to Visit This Season,” the Dallas Arboretum is a perfect complement to the beautiful artwork selected for the show.

 

The Artscape co-chairs are Dallas Arboretum volunteers and community leaders, Sharon Ballew and Mari Epperson. Ballew said, “With the garden in bloom for spring, Artscape has become one of the best art festivals to attend in the area with some of the finest artists showcasing their work.”

Artscape has something for everyone:

92 Artists & 12 Mediums:

Watercolor, 2D Mixed Media, Painting, Ceramics, Fiber, Glass, Drawing/Pastel, 3D Mixed Media, Photography, Sculpture, Wood and Jewelry.

 

Galleries Represented:

Afterimage, Alan Barnes, Dian Malouf, David Dike, Riddell Rare Maps, Southwest Gallery, Samuel Lynn and Dutch Art Gallery.

 

Live Music:

Saturday, April 27

9-11 a.m.-Tomas Sclar

12-2 p.m.-Hello Shannon

3-5 p.m.-Mountain Natives

 

Sunday, April 28

9-11 a.m.-Dallas Unity String Orchestra

12-2 p.m.-The Gibbonses

3-5 p.m.-Bridge the Gap

 

Dallas County Community College District Art Department Demonstrations and Sale:

Saturday, April 27: North Lake, Cedar Valley and El Centro

Sunday, April 28: North Lake

 

A Children’s Art Escape: This booth features hands-on art activities for the young to make and take, overseen by retired DISD art teachers.

Craft Beers:

Saturday, April 27, 12-4 p.m.: Austin East Ciders, Bishop Cider, Texas Ale Project

Sunday, April 28, 12-4 p.m.: Celestial Beer Works, Pegasus City Beer

 

Concessions: Smoky Rose, Ziziki’s, Empanada Cookhouse, Chick-fil-A, Fletch Concessions, Gils Bar, Greenville Ave Pizza Co.

Local Bites: Baldo’s Ice Cream, Pajama Sweets, North Texas Wildflower Honey, One Day Bakery, Steel City Pops, Snow Baby Ice, White Rock Granola

See a full list of artists attending. To learn more, visit the Artscape website. Artscape is free with paid garden admission.

 

2019 Artscape Sponsors:

BNSF, Boulevard Sponsor

Mary Spencer, Boulevard Sponsor

Mari and Don Epperson, Picnic Area Sponsor

Graff Chevrolet, Automobile Sponsor

JHP Architecture and Urban Design, Entertainment Stage Sponsor

Accurate Signs, Entertainment Sponsor

Olmsted-Taylor Foundation, Children’s Art Escape

Joe Buskuhl, Artist Concierge Tent

RLG Consulting Engineers, Street Sponsor

Sharon and Maurice Ballew

Sandra Estess

 

In addition to Artscape, guests will be able to enjoy the newest summer exhibit, “Celebrate the Children,” created by acclaimed sculptor Gary Lee Price, which is on display through October 15. The exhibit features more than 25 different, hand-produced, bronze sculptures of children playfully interacting. The exhibit, presented by Reliant, is a part of Summer at the Arboretum.

 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children under two. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $9. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.  WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit www.dallasarboretum.org.

 

 

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Dallas Arboretum Greenhouse

Every great botanic garden needs an outstanding greenhouse facility to establish and acclimate the many varieties of plants, florals and vegetables it plants. For more than a decade, the Dallas Arboretum searched for appropriate land and greenhouse space, and in 2017 found it just seven miles away on an eight-acre parcel that straddles Dallas and Mesquite.  After preparing the land and installing approximately 17,000 square feet of climate-controlled greenhouses, the Dallas Arboretum is now ready to dedicate the space at a private event on April 3 at 2 p.m. (press is welcome to attend with RSVP).

 

According to Dallas Arboretum Board Chairman Alan Walne, “Owning our greenhouses allows us to grow many small batches of unique specimens our guests look forward to seeing in the gardens. We can now cost-effectively grow 60 percent of the plant specimens used in our gardens. With installation of the first greenhouses, we have achieved a major goal of our master plan and protected ourselves for the future.” 

 

The land was acquired in 2017, and the greenhouses were built in 2018, through the support of generous sponsors, including Phyllis and Tom McCasland, the Jeanne R. Johnson Foundation and the Hoblitzelle Foundation.  The Horticulture staff moved onsite in November 2018 and started producing in December 2018.

 

Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum president and CEO, said, “This facility is a game changer. Tom and Phyllis are among the most generous supporters of the Dallas Arboretum—from seed money for the Chihuly exhibition, the impetus behind The 12 Days of Christmas celebration and the renovation and permanent site of the sunken garden. They provided the money for the land purchase for these greenhouses, paid for fencing, security, utilities, communications and a portion of the greenhouses with a challenge grant to encourage others to complete the greenhouse construction as it is today. The McCaslands ask for no publicity, but our Executive Committee voted to name the Horticulture Center and acreage in honor of them as a tribute to their generosity.”

 

Jenny Wegley, Dallas Arboretum vice president of horticulture, said, “These greenhouses have tripled how many high-quality plants we can grow and that our visitors have come to expect. Before, we had limited capacity at the Arboretum and another facility. We’re now able to grow different varieties of plants, larger and better quality produce for A Tasteful Place, and a variety of cereal plants (i.e., wheat, oat, rice, etc.) for our Incredible Edible Garden in the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden.”

 

One highlight of the Horticulture Center is the new technology incorporated into the greenhouses. Called the Wadsworth Control System, this system operates the greenhouse at the touch of a screen, increasing the quality of plants grown.  Ana Swinson, Dallas Arboretum greenhouse manager, said “This new technology is a first for us, and it’s helped us become better growers.”

 

Swinson and other staff can regulate the following functions right from a tablet screen:

  • Temperature: ability to heat or cool the greenhouse via heaters
  • Irrigation: how much water to use for various plants
  • Humidity: ability to control the percentage of humidity based on plants’ needs
  • Lighting/Automatic Shade: An automatic fabric shade uses less labor than when the staff had to manually cover and uncover plants. Shades are also used for heat retention in the winter/early spring. In the summertime, using the shade helps keep the greenhouse cool for Horticulture staff and volunteers working.
  • Pad pumps.

 

Swinson added, “In addition to being able to control many functions, the system provides us with information to monitor how the greenhouses are working and send this information to a computer. If I have a successful grow one season, I can reestablish my greenhouse for the following season using the same variables. This technology allows us to grow, control and see what we’re doing and how we impact what we’re growing. Plus, a controlled environment is more predictable than being outside in the elements.”

 

Speaking of elements, the plant cuttings have a process for making it outside:

  1. Staff plants cuttings in large trays until the root systems are developed.
  2. Once root systems develop, plans are transplanted to pots until they reach the appropriate size.
  3. Once at the right size with a solid root system, the plants are carried to the outside gardens, where they’re acclimated.
  4. Once acclimated, those plants are transplanted into the Dallas Arboretum.

 

Wegley added, “Our biggest asset is climate control in the greenhouse, so now we can inspect our plants more carefully, an important part of what we do. Now we can step back and look at our plants, how we’re growing them and the quality of what’s being produced. These greenhouses give us the ability to do it accurately and precisely.”