Texoma Living! Magzine senior editor, Master Gardener, author and newspaper columnist Jessie Gunn Stephens has organized a new guidebook to the gardens in Texas into her new book Touring Texas Gardens. At 270 pages, it is a handy reference book showing the reader how to discover the “best kept secret in Texas.” Texas has lots to offer, whether it is the elaborate Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth or San Antonio, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, or the cacti gardens in Alamo or Hale Center.
This review was written by Steve Labinski.
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Stephens catalogs over 100 different gardens in Touring Texas Gardens.
Stephens obviously put lots of time and car mileage into collecting complete information on gardens, located from Amarillo to El Paso, and from Marshall to Victoria.
Stephens visits each one, detailing useful information for the potential visitor – fees, operating hours, garden size, driving instructions, and lengthy descriptions of the gardens.
The first chapter of the book describes Texas gardening in general. She details getting through the Texas summers, some native plants, and proper etiquette on visiting gardens, especially if they are on private property. Stephens writes, “Time is a precious commodity, but today gardening for pleasure is a lot more doable…Texans love to garden. And we get some of our best ideas by visiting public gardens in our areas.”
The Antique Rose Emporium tops the list of Don’t Miss Gardens For Rose Lovers
The gardens are organized into the five geographic regions of the state – north Texas, east Texas, central Texas, south Texas and west Texas.
For north Texas, Stephens explains the dominent savannah and prairie of the countryside. She also briefly lists a number of wild bird species frequently seen while driving, and to keep the Eastern versions of a national bird field guide. Not only does she chronicle gardens to visit, but also includes helpful information like birding advice, which many people will find handy when making day-trips to these gardens.
There are numerous photos as well. The Zilker Botantical Gardens in Austin has four nice photographs showing the oriental touch of the gardens. There are a number of photographs for the Weston Gardens In Bloom in Fort Worth, plus many others.
Stephens also includes some lists at the back of the book of the “personal garden awards.” The Most Exuberant goes to the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence and the Most Passionate goes to the Sunken Garden in San Antonio. Of course, the “Best Public Rose Garden in the USA, Maybe The Whole World” is the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.
Gardening can sometimes be tough in Texas. However, using Touring Texas Gardens, budding gardners will love the tips, insight and beauty of the many gardens beautifying the Lone Star State.
Purchase Touring Texas Gardens at Amazon.com