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Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden

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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 community vitality and the education process.

This 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. It wasn't long until longtime resident Dottie Wisely lent a helping hand - with a garden endowment. Construction began in an overgrown loblolly pine forest in winter 1997. Dedicated in April 2000, most of the plantings were completed 2 years later.

Today, the garden contains 46 planting beds, 1.25 miles of universally accessible trails, and 50 benches. The garden features over 550 varieties of Rhododendron, 100 varieties of Camellia, two hundred plus Hydrangea varieties, and a wealth of other unique collections. After a decade in existence, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden is a highlight of the Nacogdoches Azalea Trail. Special events each March include guided tours during azalea season, an annual Azalea Symposium, and a Little Princess Tea Party.

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