A Walk Through The Gardens

18010812771_fdf1697928_oI thought I would start by introducing myself because that’s the way any good relationship starts. I graduated with honors from Chapman University, a private liberal arts school in Southern California, where I majored in Organismal Biology with a minor in Environmental Science and Chemistry. A wildlife rescue internship brought me to Texas about 5 years ago, and although the stifling summer heat almost scared me away, the gorgeous rolling hills painted with wildflowers convinced me to stay. I stopped at a bookstore that first evening and bought my very own Texas Wildflower identification booklet, and I have been hooked ever since.

My name is Savannah Lane, but you probably know me best as the girl who is seen from time to time wandering through the Texas Botanical Gardens picking weeds, watering plants, and keeping up maintenance on this amazing project. I became involved with Legacy Plaza a little less then a year ago, when I moved out to the country to follow my heart. When I heard about Goldthwaite opening up a botanical gardens, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I started looking into the project only to find that they were in need of a gardener. With my background in Biology and my passion for plants and conservation, I knew this was a perfect fit for me. I have watched the garden go through all 4 seasons now, and its natural beauty continues to amaze me.

With the Welcome Center now open, the gardens will be available to educate and inspire you the same way it has for me. My goal in this column is to teach you about one of the native plants in our gardens each week.

This week I have picked the verbena plant. We have two varieties of this plant in the gardens, moss verbena (Verbena tenuisecta) and prairie verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida). This wildflower was my first pick because its beautiful purple flowers will stay in bloom all summer long. It thrives in hot, sunny locations, is drought tolerant, and can grow in sandy, infertile soil (talk about low maintenance). Although the plant and its flowers are not edible to humans, its nectar is a great food source for honeybees and butterflies.

Come on by this week to try and locate some of the moss and prairie verbenas that are growing. I will be working in the Welcome Center in the afternoons and would love to see pictures or talk to you about the verbenas you’ve spotted in the gardens.

Republished with permission of the Goldthwaite Eagle. By Savannah Lane.

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