Social distancing has turned everything on its head. I’m sure we could all name a couple of people we know who have, or are going a bit stir crazy. I know I would include myself in that list. We typically attend various conferences throughout the year to learn about new landscape design trends and products, but those were all cancelled due to COVID.

To beat some of the quarantine blues last summer and gain inspiration for our client designs, we took a trip to the Dallas Arboretum on what happened to be one of the hottest days of the year. We arrived at the Arboretum close to the opening time. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to buy our tickets online ahead of time and that is still the case today. Donned with masks (still required for those 5 years of age and older), shorts and sunscreen we began our adventure.


Dallas Arboretum Trial Garden Finds Proven Performers for Your North Texas Garden

As soon as we entered the gardens the smell of blooming flowers welcomed us. My eye was immediately drawn to the taro plants that lined the entrance area, they were massive. We started down the path and entered an open space that had plant beds strewn around.  There were Periwinkle, new guinea impatiens, cone flowers, Zinnia, lantana, and more I couldn’t name. The beds had two to three layers. There were low growing plants along the edges, with the plant’s increase in height towards the center.

My favorite space within the arboretum is the Trial Gardens. This is where the Arboretum test out new plants and gardening techniques. The trial between 3,000 and 5,000 plants yearly! I loved seeing all the new and interesting varieties. A personal favorite was the ‘Jumbo Caladiums’. Their leaves were huge and had a beautiful full shape that was different from more common varieties.

Hardscape Elements Add Texture, Visual Interest, and Shade

As we made our way further along the main path the areas began to shift from large open blooming gardens to enclosed pathways lined by trees and shrubs. There was also a heavier hardscaping presence with pergolas, edging, water features, pots, and different metal products.

Landscape Design Should Consider Height, Color and Shape of Plantings

As the gardens shifted an English-styled space came into view. The shrubs outlining the space are boxwoods trimmed low and uniform. The trees that line the two sides were patio holly trees (the term “patio” is used to describe a tree that is grown without low hanging branches). The taller shrubs underneath the holly trees and outside the boxwoods are ‘Texas Sage’. I loved the geometric aspects of this space. It didn’t feel as if it was ridged due to the plant choice. The muted green colors weren’t jarring and let the space meld together in a beautiful way.

After this we went through tall hedges into a circular stone area under a tall pergola with vines. There were large pots along the outer rim of the circle planted with pyramid boxwoods and potato vine. It felt as if we entered a secret meeting spot. There was a romantic air about the space.

Water Elements Are a Wonderful Addition To Any Garden Design

As we continued, we were led through winding paths lined with different trees such as a blue cider tree and different types of Japanese maple. The paths curved around a constructed stone river and pond. The sound of rushing water was a wonderful addition to the ambiance of the garden.

We could’ve spent all day in the gardens, but the heat was beating down on us and we were definitely ready for a tall glass of ice water. If you haven’t gotten the chance to get over to the Dallas Arboretum, we highly recommend it. A fun day with the family, a relaxing catch up with friends, or a date night. It is a beautiful solution to our ‘stuck inside’ woes and as an added bonus, their famous “Dallas Blooms” event is still going on through this Sunday, April 11th!

Dallas Arboretum

Splendid Gardens provides professional landscape services to Dallas and surrounding cities in North Texas. We take great pride in delivering customized services to each client and are dedicated to staying abreast of new trends in landscape design such as those that can be viewed at the Dallas Arboretum.

Our experienced teams provide a variety of services including landscape design, installation, scheduled maintenance services, custom flagstone, and redesign of existing landscapes.  We actively give back to the community by volunteering our services to local projects in need.


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