The Southern Garden History Society, along with SFA Gardens, Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present 300 Years of Plants on the Move in Texas in historic Nacogdoches, Texas Friday and Saturday October 5&6, 2018 to celebrate Texas’ Tricentennial in gardening with tours, lectures, a book signing, and a reception. As a special treat, attendees will be able to attend the famous annual fall plant sale at the SFA Gardens’ Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Lectures will cover a broad sweep of horticulture and garden history in Texas beginning with the Spanish era through pass-a-long Narcissus, garden scenes from the past, and modern introductions. Speakers include Jeff Abt, Dave Creech, Greg Grant, and William C. Welch. The event will be held at the prestigious, newly restored Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center (936-564-1234) where they have blocked off a number of rooms for the event.

The program starts off Friday morning with optional walking tours of historic downtown Nacogdoches or the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden at Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens. The Ruby Mize Azalea Garden is the largest and most diverse azalea garden in the state featuring hundreds of cultivars and thousands of plants.

After lunch, the program begins at the Fredonia Hotel where Southern Garden History Society board member Jeff Abt will present “Images from the Past-Lumber Town Landscapes and What They Tell Us.” Jeff has used a microscope to look at the landscape details of old black and white lumber town photographs for a visual trip back into a horticultural bygone era.

Following a break, lifetime Southern Garden History Society member Greg Grant will present “From Arcadia to Arcadia-Grannies, Kissing Cousins, and Narcissus.” Greg will tell the fascinating story of his serendipitous connection to his long lost distant cousin Celia Jones and their mutual love of heirloom Narcissus spanning from Arcadia, Texas to Arcadia, Louisiana.

Following Greg’s lecture, premier horticulturist and director of SFA Gardens, David Creech, will present “Plants with Stories and Other Tall Tales.” Dr. Creech will share his usual entertaining stories of the past, present, and future of SFA Gardens, the first botanical garden at a University in Texas.

After a break and checking into the hotel, William C. Welch, honorary board member and past president of the Southern Garden History Society, will present “The Spanish Influences in Our Gardens-Celebrating 300 Years.” Dr. Welch is author of numerous gardening books including Heirloom Gardening in the South with Greg Grant which will be available for purchase along with their latest book The Rose Rustlers.

At 9 am Saturday morning at SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, participants will have the opportunity to participate in SFA Gardens’ annual Fall plant sale, which features hundreds of heirloom, hardy, and hard to find plants for Texas and the South, grown by SFA Gardens’ volunteers, staff, and student workers. All proceeds from the plant sale support SFA Gardens’ development, maintenance, and educational programming.

Nacogdoches, Texas, first a Caddo Indian settlement, then a Spanish village and mission in 1716, later grew into a thriving Anglo town and, therefore, is considered the “Oldest Town in Texas.”

Set amongst the East Texas forest between Lanana and Bonita Creeks, Nacogdoches was also designated “The Garden Capitol” of Texas by the state legislature. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear great speakers, enjoy local history, and to experience the interesting horticulture of this charming East Texas town. For more information on the program or a registration form, email: [email protected].