In the center of one of the busiest cities in America lies a beautiful oasis known as the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
The gardens were created around the natural Rock Springs, believed to have been used by the Native Americans. Construction of Rock Springs channeled three natural springs into streams, ponds and waterfalls.
The Rose Garden came next, with construction beginning in the late 1920s. The garden finished completion in 1933 when it was redirected as the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
“The Rose Garden was constructed in the late 1920s and early 1930s and built by depression workers. They would work for food vouchers. There’s a plaque that thanks all of the men that were a part of this,” explained Teal Delli Gatti, marketing coordinator for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Today, the garden provides an oasis right in the middle of Fort Worth and a means as an escape of the hustle and bustle of city life.
“I think it is a very important way to connect with nature in the middle of a city, and it gives a way to have new experiences with your family,” said Delli Gatti.
From its beginning the garden has grown exponentially to include an abundance of gardens and collections, including the Begonia Species Bank, the only nationally accredited begonia garden in the United States.
“There are only a few begonia collections worldwide bigger than ours,” explained Delli Gatti. “Begonias are an endangered species and are going extinct in certain areas due to climate change.”
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden begonia collection includes 1,700 species in the genus Begonia, made up of more than 300 species and more than 1,100 taxa, making it the largest begonia collection in North America and serving as insurance against their extinction.
For Delli Gatti, The Japenese Garden is a favorite.
“I’m partial to the Japanese Garden, it’s so whimsical,” said Delli Gatti. “I also really like the Fuller Garden. It always has something blooming and was named after Adelaide Polk Fuller. Her husband helped design the garden after her death, so it is the life of a woman. Everything in there represents a different mile point in your life.”
The Japanese Garden also includes more than 1,000 koi fish guests are allowed to feed on their visit.
“I think our koi fish are the most loved koi fish in Texas. When guests get to feed them you can see the light on people’s faces. It doesn’t matter if they’re two or 92,” said Delli Gatti.
To read the full story, pick up the March/April issue of LiveIt.