Motorists along Garland Road who are tired of the construction at the Dallas Arboretum won’t have to wait much longer.
Rows of oak trees separated by native stone pedestals bedded with seasonal foliage and backed by a wall of holly will line the near half-mile face of the Arboretum when its $750,000 improvement project is completed this month.
Before the Arboretum was established, the property had been neglected for a number of years, says director of horticulture Bob Brackman. In addition to a thicket of underbrush and vines, many trees were disfigured by utility pruning and disease.
“We will preserve as many quality trees as possible,” Brackman says, “but the enhancement project will so dramatically alter the Arboretum’s appearance by taking out the underbrush that it may appear we’ve removed more trees than we actually will.”
Officials broke ground May 5 for the road enhancement, which is a 2,900-foot-long project being created by Matrix Environmental Contractors. The addition will be an open, grassy parkway up to 35 feet wide, spotted with a row of 67 Bur oak trees, interspersed with 6-foot stone pedestals crowned with cast iron pots of colorful plants. A 6-foot fence behind the trees will hold a wall of Needlepoint holly.
“The bur oak trees will grow to a majestic height and will become a landmark along Garland Road,” Brackman says.
“We’ve long wanted to have seasonal color plantings along the street, but the irregular, rough terrain and the occasional wayward vehicle precluded these installations. With the pedestal containers, we can share seasonal color with passing motorists.”
The project also includes a new pink crape myrtle walkway with plants from the original DeGolyer Gardens. Located between the new road enhancement and the Paseo de Flores, this major pedestrian way of the garden also leads to the new tram path.
At the east end of this new floral alley, landscapers are planting American hornbeam trees, native to East Texas. When mature, these trees will develop twisted, sinuous trunks forming a compact hedge.
In each of the four corners of the “outdoor room” will stand a 4.5-foot bronze toad spitting an arched-stream of water into a center pool.
Financial support for the improvements were provided by bond money from the City ($500,000), the Communities Foundation of Texas ($239,000), and the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust ($35,000) for the tree purchase.
“The Garland Road Enhancement Project will give the Arboretum a visual identity to motorists and visitors,” says president Jack Gorman.
“We’ve been responsive to neighborhood input and believe this installation will provide the beauty, serene environment and security desired.”