NACOGDOCHES - The Garden Capital of Texas will showcase some of its most beautifully landscaped gardens during the Tour of Home Gardens from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 30. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Charles Bright Visitor Center, 200 E. Main St., at Shelley’s Bakery, 112 N. Church St., and from any Garden Capital committee member. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the tour at any Garden. 

This exclusive tour is thoughtfully curated by the Garden Capital of Texas Committee and includes three stunning private home gardens and one community garden. 

“The gardens we're spotlighting this year are absolutely breathtaking," said Diana Walker, Garden Capital of Texas Committee member. "We have some very passionate, dedicated gardeners in Nacogdoches, and we're fortunate that they're willing to share these beautiful outdoor spaces they've created with the rest of us." 

The money raised by the tour will help fund the Garden Capital committee's tree-planting effort. The Arbor Day Foundation officially designated Nacogdoches as a Tree City in 2015, after the city partnered with the Garden Capital committee and Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful to meet four core standards of urban forestry management. The Garden Capital Committee hopes to build on that success by planting 300 trees this year, in honor of Nacogdoches' 300th anniversary.

"Donations help us plant more trees," said Angela Wiederhold, Chair of the Garden Capital of Texas Committee. "Even if you can’t attend the tour, please consider buying a ticket to support our goal of planting 300 trees. We're well on our way, but we have to pay for the trees before our volunteers can plant them." 

Following the tour, attendees can present their ticket at Shelley's Bakery between noon and 2 p.m. for a complimentary dessert with purchase.

Gardens featured on this year’s tour include:

Charles and Sharon Bradberry, 3018 Skyline Drive

Located on Hob Nob Hill, this English country garden could easily come from the pages of Southern Living. Granite paths wind through collections of Japanese maples, hydrangeas and a variety of ornamental shrubs, and flowers. A greenhouse and potting shed that includes reclaimed wood from the hospital where both homeowners were born and the window from the church where they married complete the idyllic scene. Mr. Bradberry has created most of the gardens within the last five years.

Tim and Lynn Howell, 2915 Colonial Dr.

Built in the 1960s by the Collins family, this home was purchased  in January 2000 by the Howells, who began landscaping by trial and error that next spring. The back boundary of the property is lined by azaleas that were planted on the original home place before there was a neighborhood. The Howells have added three azalea beds to the back yard and one in the front, incorporating Japanese maples, dogwood, crepe myrtles, camellias, hydrangeas, cannas, roses, salvias, lilies, daylilies, iris, and other perennials and annuals. Many of these were added to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, which are in abundance in the summer. In the past three years, the Howells have attempted to civilize what they refer to as “the ditch”;  they've been told the backyard was the origination of Nacogdoches Creek until the neighborhood was developed, and the water department diverted most of the water into the drains that end at the property line. Tim had a vision that this could be a beautiful water feature and began clearing land. His vision now includes two new decks, a bridge, a terraced vegetable garden, and multiple steps to make this steep ground useable. 

Bill and Mary Louise Jobe, 305 Deerfield Dr

Bill describes his garden as an urban cottage garden that peaks in summer and fall.  As an avid gardener, he designed, installed, and maintains the landscape himself, having relied heavily on the advice and example of SFA's horticulture department, especially Greg Grant.  When he’s not working in his home garden, reading, or working at M&S Pharmacy, he’s producing vegetables in his sizable plot near Appleby. Bill’s former garden in Northfork Estates was featured in Southern Living.  He and Mary Louise downsized in 2008. The Jobe's say their street is aptly named, since protecting their plantings from an ever increasing deer population is their greatest gardening challenge.

SFA Sprout Garden 1924 Wilson Drive (south side of the ag building)

Sprout is a pleasure garden on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, where tangible growth for plants, students, and the community is cultivated. The garden’s focus is to beautifully provide food for not only students and the community but also for pollinators and beneficial insects. The garden is maintained by students with Jared Barnes, Ph.D. overseeing the design and development.  

For more information about the Garden Capital Tour of Home Gardens, contact the Garden Capital of Texas Committee at Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful,  936-560-5624 or by email at info@keepnacbeautiful.org. You can also friend them on facebook at www.facebook.com/gardencapital. The mission of the Nacogdoches Garden Capital of Texas Committee is to educate, engage and inspire Nacogdoches area citizens to become involved in beautifying their community green spaces. The Nacogdoches Garden Capital Committee is a part of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful.