What Is Horticulture?
Horticulture, by definition, is the art or practice of garden cultivation and management, but what is horticulture, really? What does it mean to the horticulture staff at the Dallas Arboretum? To us, it’s more than planting and watering. It’s a labor of love. When we plant and maintain these 66 acres, we’re working so you will enjoy a beautiful experience, and it’s an act of sharing with you, our guests. We put our best foot forward to give you something exquisite.
How Do We Do It?
We start each day at 6:30 a.m., manicuring every space and paying close attention to what you’ll encounter when you visit the garden. Most garden areas require attention from two to three horticulture team members every day. This is why we have 35 people on staff including about 15 degreed horticulturists at any given time. Much like our guests in their own yards, we blow, mow, trim, weed, water, prune and plant. But instead of once a week, we return to our “back yard” every morning, taking pride in our display. These discrete tasks, repeated daily, weekly, hours of love and attention from dozens of staff—something like 12,000 total hours to create and maintain each of your favorite festivals—all together, this is public horticulture. It allows us to create an amazing environment where we can interact with and reach out to the public.
Hours of planning each season go into every flower bed and display. From the initial color concepts and bed maps, to spreadsheets and bids, to ordering, growing, implementation, and maintenance, our staff carefully handles every step from the ground up to create an amazing product. As each season wraps up, we’re already carefully planning the next year’s display in the hopes of creating an experience our visitors will cherish.
The Public Is Our Barometer for Sucess
It’s the look on your face and your reaction when you see the beauty of what we cultivate. We don’t plant half a million spring-blooming bulbs and decorate the garden with 100,000 pumpkins and gourds just for our own edification and enjoyment. We do it because we know our visitors, you, will bring your family and your friends and take thousands of pictures and go home with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for horticulture. We hope to fan the flames of horticultural passion or even ignite a new love in our guests. We cherish the moment you inquire about new flower varieties for spring, how we keep the rye grass such a brilliant green in winter, where we find so many pumpkins for autumn, or even just when you say hello and ask how we’re doing.
We’re more than degreed horticulturists, experienced landscapers, and seasoned gardeners. We’re the face of the garden, as well as the heart, and our task is to take a plant, familiar or phenomenal, and make it something amazing for you to appreciate. We make horticulture more than just a passive visit, we make it an enjoyable experience, and we are proud of our hard work!
The next time you visit, feel free to say “hi” to one of us if you see us, and tell us about your favorite plant, flower, or display in the garden. And don’t be afraid to take a photo and share it on social.