The “Magic” of Elmwood Gardens
By: Valerie Martin/Ask a Master Gardener
I recently took a tour of the fabulous Elmwood Gardens, which is tucked away in the small town of Elmwood, off of CR 315, just outside of Palestine. This majestic facility primarily serves as a wedding venue, and was established in 2000 by owners Jim and DeeDee Turnage. When I arrived I was greeted by Dee Dee and her on site wedding coordinator, Kelly, who were both gracious enough to give me the grand tour.
I was amazed to find out that they only had one full time gardener that worked on the abundant gardens with the help of Dee Dee. The amount of work that these two must put in is truly inspiring. When Dee Dee first moved to this location, in 1980, she was told by neighbors that nothing would grow here. Man did she prove them wrong!
The facility has acquired several vintage cottages that date back to the late 1800’s, called dogtrots. They were moved to this location locally from the same area. All of the cottages have beautiful gardens around them, and several of them serve as the main areas where the bride, with her bridesmaids prepare for her big day. This particular cottage is the bridal suite.
To enter the bridal cottage you must pass through a trellis with beautiful climbing jasmine, and are surrounded by lush greenery everywhere you look. Just off the porch on the outside of the iron fence, is yellow lantana to attract the butterflies, and there were butterflies a plenty this day!
On the other side of the bridal suite, right past the blooming white Crepe Myrtles, is the cutting garden. They get the wildflower seeds from Fredericksburg, called the Texas/Oklahoma mix. The toadflax comes up around the end of February, and is a cool weather flower. They have typically yellow and red poppies, zinnias, different varieties of sun flowers, and a whole assortment of different and beautiful cutting flowers all year round to dazzle the visitors.
They not only have tons of beautiful plants and flowers, but also have several koi, and frog ponds as well. The beautiful water gardens add an Asian feeling in this primarily European style landscape.
This is what they call the wedding walk, in the early spring there are tons of snap dragons, but with it being summer time, there were and assortment of other flowers, like daylilies, and knockout roses. This area is constantly changing.
This tree is actually a bush called Chinese Fringe, but Dee Dee had a gardener working for her at one time that trained it to grow into a tree.
They have even put together their version of Stonehenge, they planned the perimeter just like the pattern of the actual Stonehenge, but with theirs, they just call it a Stonehenge “start.” It has a beautiful pond and waterfall, and lights that make the stones glow at night.
This is called the “Rebecca House” which is the oldest house on the property, and it has beautiful blue salvia, and knock out roses around it. All of the roses that they have are either knock-out, or earth-kind roses.
This is just a sampling of the beautiful gardens and landscape you can see while at Elmwood Gardens. If you are looking for a wedding venue, that will inspire you as well as your guest, I believe I have found it for you! Tucked in a small town just outside of Palestine Texas, is magic! Magic, is what they should have named it, but Elmwood Gardens will do as well.
Thank you so much to Dee Dee and Kelly for taking the time and showing me around your beautiful place.
Do you have a place locally that you would like for me to visit, and write about? Have you gotten married at this amazing facility? Let us know!!
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