A Writer’s Garden Plans Announced With A Taste Of “Authentic Texas”

There’s a mistaken belief that the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s only claim to fame is its annual Mad Hatter’s Tea in the spring. Not so. For 35 years, the organization has been responsible for A Woman’s Garden’s development, maintenance and endowment and that takes more funding than a tea party can provide.

That’s why they established “A Writer’s Garden” Literary Symposium and Luncheon 11 years ago. It provides the opportunity for authors and speakers to share their “rich histories about gardens, architecture and art and illuminating stores of extraordinary individuals and events.”

Kay Weeks, Nancy Bierman and Susan Adzick*

On Monday, August 28, Symposium Co-Chairs Susan Adzick and Kay Weeks held a kick-off party at Ginger and Rod Sager‘s home to announce 2017 Symposium plans to a crowd including Women’s Council President Melissa LewisMichelle Mew, Lisa Laughlin, Ramona Jones, Sharon Barbee, Cynthia Beaird, Linda Huffines, Judy Birchfield and Barbara and Bob Bigham.

Dorothea Meltzer and Melissa Lewis*

Barbara and Bob Bigham*

In addition to Nancy Bierman’s serving as honorary chair, this year’s theme will be “Authentic Texas… Food and Gardens” to coincide with the opening of the Arboretum’s new “A Tasteful Place.” To support the theme, Susan, Kay and Program Chair Dorothea Meltzer have arranged for a pretty heady lineup of speakers, who will “showcase the cultural influences that shaped the distinct styles of Texas food, heartfelt stories about the farming and ranching families that are in the forefront of the organic food movement, and personal experiences that celebrate the value of using native plants and flowers in the planned landscape.”

The presentations and luncheon will take place on Thursday, November 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Arboretum’s Rosine Hall, the following speakers will be on the program:

  • Jessica Dupuy of Austin is a native Texan who writes about wine, spirits, food, and travel. In her latest book, “United Tastes of Texas: Authentic: Recipes from All Corners of the Lone Star State,” she shares her rich knowledge of the cultural and regional diversity of the state and how it has impacted the Texas culinary experience. Jessica is a contributing columnist for Texas Monthly magazine and has written other cookbooks including “The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family and Love, “Uchi: The Cookbook” and “Jack Allen’s Kitchen Cookbook.”
  • Pamela Walker of Santa Fe local farm and food activist, and author of “Growing Good Things to Eat” in Texas, has spent years researching the farming and ranching families who have been a driving force in the organic and sustainable farming food revival in Texas. Pam is a retired Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Cultures at Rice University, Houston and a former academic librarian and college English teacher.
  • Andrea DeLong-Amaya of Austin is Director of Horticulture at The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, garden columnist and teacher. She teaches classes in native plant horticulture and has contributed to many magazines, including Taunton’s Fine Gardening, Rodale’s Organic Gardening, Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazine as well as the American Public Gardens Association’s Public Garden.

Individual tickets start at $125, but consider upgrading to the patron level or a sponsorship, because there will be a sponsors/patron party earlier in the week and you know your gene pool is the patron level.

* Photo credit: Deborah Brown

A Writer’s Garden Featured Three Authors Plus A First Look At The Dallas Arboretum’s 12 Days Of Christmas

Judge Clay Jenkins

Judge Clay Jenkins

Everyone was in various stage of election recovery on Thursday, November 6. In the shadow of downtown Dallas, CitySquare had celebrated the official opening of its much-needed 52,000-square-foot expansion with a host of dignitaries and supporters like County Court Commissioners Clay Jenkins and John Wiley Price.

Over at the Dallas Arboretum, the annual Writer’s Garden commenced starting at 9:30 with writers galore. Here’s a report from Rosine Hall:

A Writer’s Garden

“The Dallas Arboretum was in full fall color for ‘Treasured Legacies’, the eighth annual A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon presented by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Attendees got an extra bonus because it was also the preview day for the 12 Days of Christmas exhibit which opens November 16.

“With three noted authors, the program featured vivid portraits of two of the most widely read and beloved writers in literature and compelling personal stories exploring our gardening heritage. Each speaker had captivating and varying stories to share from their books.

Kathleen Cunningham and Greg Grant*

Kathleen Cunningham and Greg Grant*

Greg Grant, a seventh generation Texan and co-author of Heirloom Gardening of the South, lives in deep East Texas in an old dogtrot house of his great-grandparents. He renovated it through the years and transformed the grounds with heirloom gardening from seeds that have been passed down through the generations. He has dedicated his entire lift to gardening, nature and family and has successfully introduced dozens of plants to the Texas nursery industry.

Kelsey Mullin is the Director of Public Programming and Education for the Mount and author of The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home. Edith Wharton was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Age of Innocence. Mullin shared the transformational effects of Wharton’s magnificent home and gardens on her success as a writer.

“Author Kim Wilson’s new book At Home with Jane Austen was published less than two months ago.

“’Jane’s life was deeply influenced by her surroundings and travels in Southern England,’ said Wilson. ‘The importance of house and home to her characters is a noted hallmark of her brilliant and endearing stories.’

Books selling briskly*

Books selling briskly*

“Their books were available for purchase and were bought by the armload! Several were sold out before the program even began.

Dorothea Meltzer and Linda Huffines*

Dorothea Meltzer and Linda Huffines*

“The event was chaired by Dorothea Meltzer. Marena Gault is president of the Women’s Council.

“Proceeds from the event make possible the continued expansion and improvement of A Woman’s Garden. Since 1986, the major goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the centerpiece garden of the Arboretum.  A Woman’s Garden is the only public garden in the nation conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women and dedicated to the spirit of women.”

* Photo credit: Danny Campbell