Named gardens at the Arboretum create a lasting legacy for everyone to enjoy.
The Dallas Arboretum opened its doors in 1984, combining the 44-acre DeGolyer estate and the 22-acre Camp House to begin a tradition of horticultural excellence in North Texas that continues today. The original estates transformed over the years into a horticultural masterpiece like none other. Eight separate named gardens, and numerous garden areas within, combine to engage and delight visitors of all ages with premier color displays.
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
Since its founding, the Arboretum has been committed to education as a part of its mission. In that time, the Arboretum has become a major educational facility within the City of Dallas and the North Texas region, teaching earth and life sciences to 100,000 children in 2012. The opening of the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden will set the gold standard for children’s outdoor educational facilities. The garden is designed for preschool through middle school children to learn about life and earth science in exciting, interactive displays, based on established state and national standards. The 8 acre laboratory contains 17 outdoor and indoor galleries, each designed around a key science theme. Outside, the children will be immersed in nature while strolling on the boardwalk, roaming through the grass tunnel, exploring a full-acre of wetlands, crossing through the tree canopy along the Texas Skywalk, and exploring under a waterfall. The indoor Discovery Center will enable children to use technology while participating in a plant and soil lab, learning in a 3-D mini theater and solving a C.S.I. mystery.
This amazing and innovative new garden sits perched atop the north end of the Arboretum on the hillside overlooking White Rock Lake. This precious lake-view will also encourage children to see the beauty of nature while unlocking its mysteries.
The Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion and Entry Plaza
The Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion and Entry Plaza opened in the Autumn of 2003 to welcome visitors from the outside world into the serene beauty of the Arboretum. The naturalistic architecture comprised of native Texas limestone, wood, and copper sheathing integrates the hard structure into the landscape, creating a harmonious environment and gateway to the gardens. The Ginsburg Family Oak Plaza and Junkins Fountain are encompassed by a menagerie of lush flora that conveys a glimpse of what visitors will view as they stroll the gardens.
Jonsson Color Garden
The Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden, nestled gracefully on 6.5-acres, is home to more than 2,000 varieties of azaleas. Designed by Naud Burnett II, the large sweeping beds bloom lavishly in the spring with daffodils, tulips, and azaleas. Summer brings the gorgeous foliage of bananas and tapioca plant, while autumn ushers in the vibrant colors of chrysanthemums. The Waterwise display, donated by Region IV of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, provides a valuable educational tool for home gardeners wishing to install and manage a low-water landscape. The Palmer Fern Dell, a shady respite in the Jonsson Color Garden, boasts collections of ferns, camellias, azaleas and many other shade loving perennials and shrubs.
A Woman’s Garden
This 1.8-acre formal garden, which opened to national acclaim in 1997, was a gift to the Arboretum by the Women’s Council of Dallas. Designed by landscape architect Morgan Wheelock, phase 1 of this amazing garden is composed of terraced walkways and exceptional views. It is comprised of several small garden rooms, including the Poetry Garden, the Pecan Parterre, and the Majestic Allee which provides a dramatic water-on-water view of White Rock Lake from the reflecting pool.
Phase 2, designed by Warren Johnson, opened to the public in the spring of 2006. It boasts yet more alluring features such as a native Texas limestone Bridge, Rockery, and Genesis Pool, filled with water plants and goldfish, and surrounded by towering Dawn Redwoods. These two beautiful gardens celebrate the strength, courage, nurturing and creative aspects of woman.
The 21,000 square foot, Latin Colonial Revival style home of Mr. and Mrs. Everett DeGolyer serves as the center piece to this luxurious garden. Landscape architects Arthur and Marie Berger designed the 4.5-acre DeGolyer Gardens for the DeGolyer family in 1940. Many of the original garden features are still in the garden today, including the Magnolia Allee, the Sunken Garden and the Octagonal Fountain. The McCasland Sunken Garden and the Boswell Family Garden, both renovated and reopened in 2006, are favorite spots for intimate weddings. In 2012, the existing entry landscape gave way to a new design with lush, hardy tropicals and palms now flanking the home's entry. The DeGolyer Home is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Texas Register of Historic Places. It is open daily for tours.
The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill
The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill offers stunning beauty the likes of which you ordinarily may not find in the Dallas area. This premier addition, which opened on October 6, 2011, was designed by H. Rowland Jackson, FSLA, of Newman, Jackson, Bieberstein, with construction services by The Beck Group. A new entry and a large gathering plaza welcome visitors to the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage from the Paseo de Flores. A meandering creek and numerous waterfalls span the hillside, flowing into a beautiful lily pond. A stone bridge crosses the midst of the stream, connecting the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn to its north and the Magnolia Allee to its south.
“The most impressive feature is a fabulous collection of over 80 varieties of 200 Japanese Maples,” commented Dave Forehand, Vice President of Gardens. “Two hundred trees are planted up and down the stream with an understory planting beneath the canopy. An especially large weeping Japanese maple nearly 100 years in age anchors the center of this new garden area.”
The Red Maple Rill increases the Dallas Arboretum’s collection of Acer species and cultivars to over 120 varieties, making this serene oasis a horticultural masterpiece.
Paseo de Flores
The Lyda Bunker Hunt Paseo de Flores, known simply as the Paseo, is the central walkway of the Dallas Arboretum. This meandering pathway, designed by Luis Santana, begins as you leave the Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion, and concludes near the circular Fogelson Fountain. The fountain was donated by the late Greer Garson in memory of her husband, Buddy. Tucked away along the path are many favorite locations for photos and fun such as the Magnolia Glade, the Crape Myrtle Allee, the Toad Corners Fountain, the Shadow Garden, and the Pecan Grove. The Pecan Grove's shady canopy sets the scene each season for family fun whether it's a verdant setting for picnics or home to the autumnal splendor of the Pumpkin Village.
Lay Ornamental Garden
The Lay Ornamental Garden is a 2.2-acre Texas cottage garden filled with hundreds of perennials and woody plants. It was designed by Boyd, Heiderich, Armstrong and Berger for Mrs. Amelia (Mimi) Lay Hodges in honor of her husband, Herman Lay, co-founder of Frito-Lay Company. The Garden's centerpiece is undoubtedly the Water Walls, water windows framed by native Texas limestone and covered by metal vines that intertwine to form a Pergola. The hardy Palm and Tropical Plant Collection, funded by the First Men's Gardening Club of Dallas with Nancy and Tom Wilten, opened in 2005, featuring hardy palms, crinum lilies, and many more hardy tropicals that are adaptable to our climate.
Boswell Family Garden
For Christmas in 2004, Dr. George Boswell surprised his family by giving them the joyous gift of the Boswell Family Garden at the Dallas Arboretum. This marvelous renovation, designed by landscape architect Warren Johnson of Fallcreek Gardens, reopened in spring of 2006. This charming garden comprises the area north of the McCasland Sunken Garden and is surrounded by the Gazebo, Octagonal Fountain and Magnolia Allee. As guests enter the garden from the Octagonal Fountain, an overlook offers a beautiful vista of the area. A stacked stone wall provides the backbone of the garden and is mirrored by serpentine plantings of a myriad of rose varieties. Carefully trimmed hollies and a low double helix hedge align the walkway joining the Boswell Garden to the McCasland Sunken Garden.
McCasland Sunken Garden
Since their first visit, Tom and Phyllis McCasland have considered the Dallas Arboretum a unique and special place. Their affinity for the garden is evident in their commitment to see the continued expansion of the Arboretum by funding the McCasland Sunken Garden, which opened in March 2006. This garden renovation, designed by Warren Johnson of Fallcreek Gardens, is an upgrade of the original Sunken Garden. A central aisle, aligned with Italian jardinières, steps down to a sunlit grass court surrounded by seasonal plantings. The Chico y Chica de la Playa sculpture and accompanying fountain provide a tranquil setting for the many weddings that take place in this secluded gem.
The Palmer Fern Dell
The Eugenia Leftwich Palmer Fern Dell, designed by Naud Burnett II, is an enchanting mini-garden located within the Jonsson Color Garden. More than 90 varieties of ferns, camellias, azaleas and mature trees border a meandering brook. The Palmer Fern Dell is a welcome oasis during the summer months as a micro-fine mist system regularly envelops the garden.
Originally a shady lawn along the Paseo de Flores, this amazing new space, opening September 2013, features a meandering waterway and picturesque lily pond amid a new Magnolia collection. The existing row of gorgeous 100 foot tall Magnolias, planted in 1936 by the DeGolyers, creates an amazing backdrop for this serene space. The winding pathways connect the Paseo de Flores with the McCasland Sunken Garden via the Magnolia Allee.
Located within the DeGolyer Gardens, Nancy’s Garden was originally Mrs. Nell DeGolyer’s personal garden. Renovated in 1986, and dedicated to the children of Nancy Dillard Lyons, it now includes child-sized benches as well as the sculpture Thank Heaven for Little Girls by Gary Price. The Bill Dillard Family has renovated the plantings and lighting of this treasured area of the Arboretum, known affectionately as “Nancy’s Garden”. The garden is embraced by soft pink Crape Myrtles and Azaleas and filled seasonally with pastel annual color.
The Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden
The Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden, located in the DeGolyer Gardens, is a classically designed rose garden. This pocket garden contains over 200 Hybrid Tea Roses of 16 different varieties. This beautiful space comes alive in spring and autumn with hundreds of blooms, setting the scene for an intimate wedding in this charming space.
Crape Myrtle Allee
“Crape Myrtle Allee” was conceptualized by SAW Group, a Dallas Landscape architectural firm and funded originally by the Communities Foundation and opened to the public in 1994.The Allee features a replaced lane of crape myrtle trees, originally planted by the DeGolyers. Marking the entrance to the Allee are the water features entitled Polliwogs, showing the tadpole which will later become a toad. Paved with Pennsylvania bluestone, the Allee runs from the Paseo to Toad Corners.The Crape Myrtle Allee is dedicated to John and Thelma Black by their daughter Peggy Braecklein.
The Chandler Lindsley Shadow Garden is a classic strolling park set amongst a large expanse of lawn and covered with mature shade trees. The path and lawn are bordered by azaleas that will provide stunning color in the spring. A row of stately magnolias provides a verdant backdrop to one side and the Paseo de Flores adjoins it on the other, creating an ideal picnic spot.
The shady canopy of the mature Pecan trees in the Pecan Grove sets the scene each season for family fun whether it's a verdant setting for picnics or home to the autumnal splendor of the Pumpkin Village. Each spring ushers in the luminous beauty of over 100 blooming Japanese Cherry Trees that surround the Pecan Grove.
The Martha Brooks Camellia Garden
The Martha Brooks Camellia Garden, located along the Paseo, was designed by Warren Hill Johnson, a Dallas landscape architect and dedicated to Martha Brooks, wife of Dick Brooks, retired CEO of Central and South West Corporation. Funded by the employees of Central and South West Corporation, the garden was opened to the public in January 2000. The plantings feature 200 camellias and over 30 different cultivars.
The Trial Gardens
The trial gardens offer new visibility for plant selections currently on the market and those soon available. Visitors can observe how plants perform under Dallas’ extreme conditions.
One part of the mission of the Dallas Arboretum is to research and develop new plant selections for use in displays at the Arboretum, providing information for institutions, commercial plant producers and home gardeners. In order to identify plant varieties that will flourish under low maintenance conditions.
The Dallas Arboretum designated an “All-America Selections Trial Garden” in 2002, and opened the exhibit to the public in March, 2003. The Dallas Arboretum is the 31st trial site.
The Dallas Arboretum Trial Program has become the premiere site for testing new plant materials ability to withstand extremes of climate. Over 3000 plants each year are submitted for evaluation by over 350 gardening companies worldwide.
For more information, visit the trial garden website at www.DallasPlantTrials.org.