Take a trip around Texas with us during this year’s virtual tours! We will travel north, south, east, and west to see the diversity of Texas. Open to all attendees, these tours are a sure way to expand your knowledge of Texas and create a sense of wanderlust that will leave you planning your next vacation!
The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute was established in 1973 as a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting awareness, appreciation, and concern for nature and the natural diversity of the Chihuahuan Desert region. The 507-acre site serves as a field station for research and a place for visitors to enjoy the area.
During the tour, attendees will be taken through the Wildscape Gardens, the Pollinator Garden, areas of the Trans-Pecos Natives Path, and the Cactus & Rock Gardens. The tour guides will give a live presentation focused on native plants, the reasons why it’s important to use native plants, and how Master Gardeners can reach out to local nurseries to encourage providers to offer native plants.
Tour Guides: Lisa Fargason Gordon, Executive Director and Seth Hamby, Head Gardener
SFA Gardens, Nacogdoches, TX
Visitors, students and lifelong learners are drawn to the natural beauty of the SFA Gardens. Together, the five gardens contain 128 acres of green space. Those who experience the gardens leave with a new sense of discovery and wonder.
The SFA Gardens consist of the Mast Arboretum, the Mize Azalea Gardens, the Pineywoods Native Plant Center and Jimmy Hinds Park.
Trails wind under Loblolly pines and lead you to see the many plant species housed at these gardens. The Mast Arboretum started as a project of the 1985 landscape plant materials class and has grown into a 10 acre garden that houses more than 7,500 species of plants. At the Mize Azalea Gardens you can see collections of azaleas, camellias, Japanese maples, and others. Endangered or near-endangered plants, native to East Texas, are collected, propagated, and displayed at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center.
Tour Guides: Dr. David Creech, SFA Professor Emeritus and Director of SFA Gardens and Dawn Stover, SFA Research Associate
The John Fairey Garden, Hempstead, TX
The John Fairey Garden (formerly Peckerwood Garden) has been widely acclaimed for the originality of its design, the breadth of its collections, and its education and conservation programs.
The garden features an extraordinary variety of plants that are well-suited to the climate of central Texas and the Texas gulf coast, including agaves, magnolias, oaks, and many other species collected by John and his colleagues during their numerous plant expeditions in Mexico.
The garden features more than 3,000 plants (1000 unique taxa) from Mexico, Asia, and the United States.
Tour Guides: Randy Twaddle, Executive Director and Wally Wilkins, Vice President of the Board of Directors and Nursery Consultant/Manager
Texas Tech University Gardens and Greenhouse Complex, Lubbock, TX
The Texas Tech Greenhouse is a 30,000 square foot teaching and research facility located in the middle of a 2.5 acre horticultural garden on campus at Texas Tech University. We host a number of classes and labs in our classrooms and regularly teach over 500 students here every week.
The virtual tour will take participants through research and teaching greenhouses and will show off tropical and desert plant collections, student research, hydroponics, and much more.
Additionally, viewers will get to see the horticultural gardens in bloom and learn about the different teaching efforts in which we’re involved.
Tour Guide: Dr. Vikram Baliga, Research Associate and Greenhouse Manager