Tom Wilten was one of the first volunteers to be actively involved in the Master Gardener’s Garden at Texas Discovery Garden (TDG). In 2011 he literally broke ground for the site of the garden, bringing his own tractor and plowing the lawn to help create the stunning garden beds that continue to delight visitors to TDG, especially during the Texas State Fair.
Tom was also a practicing general dentist who maintained a long-time interest in plants and horticulture. From 1993 to 2003 he submitted twenty original articles on various aspects of horticulture to a national club’s magazine.
Faced with the project of landscaping his home, Tom became interested in horticulture, later to become intrigued. His first venture involved the growing of annuals and germination of seeds with grow lights in his garage. During this time, he accumulated an extensive library of books related to horticulture.
In 1985 he joined the First Men’s Garden Club of Dallas, serving two years as their president. He also served as a national Director and a regional president. In 2007 he became a Dallas County Master Gardener.
Perhaps Tom’s greatest interest in gardening was in the teaching of plant propagation to the Master Gardener students each year. . He genuinely loved to watch plants grow, a passion that was truly infectious. Many of us remember fondly how he engaged his students by creating a perfect blend of facts interlaced with humor.
As a long-time member of the Speaker’s Bureau, his topics included Best Trees for North Texas, Tons of Tomatoes, How to Prune Trees and Shrubs, Starting Plants from Seed, Vegetable Gardening, Plant Propagation and more. He became a Certified Propagation Specialist in 2008 and was named Dallas County Master Gardener Speaker of the Year in 2010.