Nacogdoches has many beautiful gardens. From compact pocket parks to the native landscapes at historic sites to the extensive network of gardens and trails on the SFA campus, our notable green spaces provide peaceful spots for relaxation and reflection and opportunities for edification and discovery.
For centuries, the people who have called these lush forests home have cultivated the land, tending gardens that have nourished the body and spirit. Nacogdoches is on the site of a Caddo village occupied by a tribe whose culture centered around farming. In the 1850s, Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park, made note of the town’s gardens in his travel diary, calling them “the first exterior sign of cultivation of mind since Red River.”
Today, the many gardens across Nacogdoches allow visitors to look both backwards and forwards in time. Many of our historic sites have traditional, period-appropriate landscaping that preserves the state’s horticultural heritage, while the Mast Arboretum on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus is dedicated to testing and promoting new plants for the landscape and nursery industry.
The many green spaces across Nacogdoches also provide an opportunity to pause and enjoy the present. Parks offer quiet refuge from the hard edges of the modern world, and the Lanana Creek Trail links the Ruby M. Mize Azalea garden to the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, allowing visitors to wander leisurely through a breathtakingly diverse collection of plants, from picturesque Japanese maples to the elegant yet hardy species native to the region.
Each of these gardens can stand alone as a peaceful oasis and a delightful attraction; collectively they serve as an example of Nacogdoches’ dedication to “the thoughtful cultivation of the splendor of nature.”* We hope you enjoy your visit to the many beautiful landscapes that have made our city the official Garden Capital of Texas.
*From TX HCR24 | 2013-2014 | 83rd Legislature, officially designating Nacogdoches as The Garden Capital of Texas.
To view the Garden Capital of Texas Brochure, click here.
Access from Univeristy Dr.
On the campus of SFA, between Homer Bryce Stadium and the Commuter Parking Lot.
304 North St.
The historically accurate garden surrounding this circa 1835 wood-frame house help portray what life was like in Texas during the 1840s. Plants include fruit trees, pecan trees, sugarcane, herbs, vegetables and Louis Phillipe antique roses.
Main St. and University Dr.
This 7.3 acre tract on the site of the old Aqua Vitae Park includes a butterfly garden, a Good Bug Garden, a bulb garden, a vegetable garden, a Memory Walk surrounded by roses, azalea and camellia beds and several varieties of baldcypress, maple, oak, sycamore and crapemyrtles. Its structures include a rainwater collection system, multiple benches and a gazebo.
200 N. Lanana St.
Oak Grove Cemetery is one of the most famous in Texas. It is the final resting place for a number of legendary Texans, including four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
515 N. Mound St.
A formal 19th century garden blooming with period-appropriate Old Garden Roses. It includes the the first China Rose in America, “Old Blush” or “Parson’s Pink,” introduced in 1752
2900 Raguet St.
Features of this 42-acre garden on the north end of the SFA
campus include Tucker Woods Trail, with more than two miles of universally accessible pathways through a native bottomland hardwood forest; the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Demonstration Garden, which grows more than 100 species native to the East Texas Pineywoods; and the Healing Memorial Garden.
200 E. Main St.
The beautifully landscaped town square is shaded by crapemyrtles, camellias and includes show stopping azaleas. You will find a variety of other seasonally planted color throughout the year.
University Dr. (between Starr Ave. and College St.)
The largest azalea garden in Texas, this eight-acre garden in a loblolly pine forest contains 46 planting beds, 1.25 miles of universally accessible trails and 50 benches. Explore more than 550 varieties of rhododendron, 100 varieties of camellia, more than 200 varieties of hydrangea, Japanese maples and other unique collections. Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is the highlight of the Nacogdoches Azalea Trail; it hosts special events and guided tours each spring. For details, visit www.NacogdochesAzaleas.com. Nacogdoches was named the first "Azalea City of America" by the Azalea Society of America in 2004 and was recertified in 2012.
Dedicated to testing and promoting a diverse collection of plants for the landscape and nursery industry in the South, This 18-acre green space boasts more than 7,500 different plants and features more than 20 theme gardens.
211 S. Lanana St.
Built by Adolphus Sterne, this structure is believed to be the oldest frame house of major historical significance still standing on its original site in Nacogdoches. Crapemyrtles, Chinese parasols and dogwoods are just a few of the tree varieties growing on the property. The surrounding gardens include azaleas, hydrangeas, roses and camellias and a living espalier fence.
Starr Ave. (between North St. and University Dr.)
SFA’s lab gardens include small farm-production and commercial-sized plots, as well as several raised beds. Used for research projects on sustainable vegetable production practices, much of the project’s fresh produce supplies local food banks.
11825 US HWY 59N
Open anytime, but please call before you come. This nine-acre farm north of Nacogdoches has a Community Supported Agriculture program that offers organically grown vegetables. Crops include u-pick and already picked beans, broccoli, cucumbers, herbs/spices, melons, onions, peas, peppers, pumpkins, rhubarb, summer squash, winter squash and tomatoes. Directions: We are located a little north of Nacogdoches toward Garrison, 2 miles east of the Highway 259 & 59 intersection/loop. Our sign & driveway is on the north side of Highway 59. Cash and check payments are accepted.
Birdwell’s Blueberry Busy
983 Shady Acres
Pick-your-own blueberries and buy your own blueberry plants. Directions: From Nacogdoches High School, go North on Appleby Sand Road. Go 4 1/2 miles to Appleby City Limits sign, take the next street to the left which is Shady Acres. Go to the end of the street (about one mile). Take the left driveway, #983.
451 CR 2052
Pick-your-own blueberries and purchase your own blueberry plants. Directions: Go northeast on FM 1878 3 miles past Loop 224. Turn left into Carrizo Creek Estates. Take the first street to the left. Turn into the third driveway on the left at 451.
6427 S. FM 225
Open: Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm.
Pick-your-own plums in late May peaches first of June to late July. Blackberries, blueberries, figs, flowers, melons, nectarines, peaches and plums are also available when in season. We also sell blueberry and blackberry plants. Always call before you visit. Directions: From West Loop 224 Take FM 225 west toward lake Nacogdoches for 3.1 miles, look for old green and white Sinclair gas station sign on the left hand side of the road. Cash and check payments are accepted.
451 CR 2052
The Blueberry Place is a small pick-your-own blueberry farm with two acres dedicated to three different varieties of blueberries: Tifblue, Climax and Bluebell. Since no pesticides of any kind are used, the berries can be eaten right off the bush (and you can eat all you want while you pick). Cash and check payments are accepted. Directions: Approximately 3 miles from Loop 224 to Carrizo Creek Estates; left turn into subdivision; left turn on County Road 2052; third mail box on left.
10056 HWY 7W, Center (22 miles east of Nacogdoches)
One of the largest daylily farms in the United States, with more than four acres of daylilies
Nacogdoches is a year-round destination for gardens, arts, entertainment, recreation, shopping and other special events. Check out our calendar at VisitNacogdoches.org for more information. Stephen F. Austin State University hosts the SFA Gardens Lecture Series on the second Thursday of each month. The Nacogdoches Master Gardeners host a "Lunch and Learn" event on the second Thursday of each month.
WHEREAS, The thoughtful cultivation of the splendor of nature is one of the most sublime expressions of the human spirit, and the skill and devotion with which the city of Nacogdoches has for many years showcased its lovely trees and flowering plants is indeed deserving of special recognition; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 83rd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate Nacogdoches as the official Garden Capital of Texas. TX HCR24 | 2013-2014 | 83rd Legislature