This eight-acre garden is the result of a partnership of the Stephen F. Austin State University horticulture program and members of the Nacogdoches community, nurtured by several local families who believe beautiful gardens are an important part of the education process. The garden was developed as a project of the SFA Mast Arboretum, and was begun in response to the wishes of Nacogdoches residents Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Mast, Jr. that the university beautify its eastern entrance. Construction began in an overgrown loblolly pine forest in winter 1997 and most plantings were completed 5 years later. Today, the garden contains 46 planting beds, 1.25 miles of universally accessible trails, and 50 benches. The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is a highlight of the Nacogdoches Azalea Trail, now in its 10th year. Special events each March include guided tours during azalea season, an annual Azalea Symposium, and a Little Miss Princess Tea Party.
We stopped here and the late cold snap had the Azaleas still blooming in mid-April when they would normally be all gone. We also found some Camilias blooming. I’ve been here before, but never noticed the artwork.