COLLEGE STATION — The Gardens at Texas A&M University hosted the Texas Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta annual meeting recently, bringing together 65 attendees representing 28 public gardens and industry partners throughout the state.
The three-day event included a tour of The Gardens at Texas A&M and expert talks from each of the industry partners with updates and news of their latest endeavors to enhance the industry.
“This is the first time that TAMU hosted this group,” said Joseph Johnson, gardens manager for The Gardens at Texas A&M. “It is an honor for me to gather my colleagues and peers to come see the new Gardens and Leach Teaching Gardens and show the passion we have for agriculture with our teaching, research and outreach programs.”
Presenters and representatives of 17 public gardens from around the state spoke on topics addressing:
- Review of Valuation Tools to Determine Environmental and Socio-economic Benefits of Urban Green Spaces.
- Mobile Classroom – School of Gardening.
- Innovative New Plants for Texas Landscapes.
- The Texas Master Naturalist Program – Who, What, Why and Where?.
- Working with Master Gardeners in Your Garden.
- Growing Good Kids – Junior Master Gardener Program.
- Utilizing Dinner Tonight and Wellness in Your Garden.
Many of the discussions addressed the ever-changing world of horticulture and the economic importance of gardens and green spaces.
“Horticulture has always been taught as both an art and a science,” said Berry. “The science component is very important, but the art component is now equally as important.”
Berry discussed how the Black Diamond Crepe Myrtle, as well as the multi-flowering azalea, have transformed his business. He also extolled the benefits of the association’s yearly meetings.
“Since the early days, the annual meetings usually held in February have been well attended,” Johnson said. “These meetings provide directors and staff the opportunity to get together, review the past year, and share in both the joys and tribulations of gardening in Texas.”