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If you will be vacationing with a gardener, here are a few tips to make them happy.

Botanical gardens are always nice to tour. Although non-gardeners may believe they are all alike, to a gardener, they will yield new plants to explore, research, and possibly acquire. There will be garden designs to imitate, pathway ideas, and edging options.

If you are bored with botanical gardens, take your gardener on an unusual farm tour. There are various ones around the country, and some can be quite surprising. For instance, organic vegetable farms may also offer a dinner option. On a recent trip, I was delighted to find that Kentucky has several lavender farms. Looking for something romantic? Try a winery. You can also look for specialized farms such as daylily, peony, herbs, tropicals, or wildflowers.

National parks are a good way to appreciate nature. Many have hiking trails to explore. Do a little research beforehand and impress your gardener friend by pointing out some of the area’s native plants. Boating or kayaking is another way to enjoy nature. Some parks may offer biking, horseback riding, snorkeling, rock climbing, or spelunking.

If you will not be near a national or state park, try to fit in even a city or local park. Even taking a walk after dinner can allow your gardening friend to get close to plants.

A great souvenir to a gardener is a plant from the place you visited. No room to take home a plant? Purchase a pack of seeds from the local agricultural store. If you collect seeds or cuttings along your travels, however, be certain you are not introducing an invasive species. Identify the plant and check to see if it is listed on invasiveplantatlas.org or invasive.org for both Texas and the state the plant came from. You do not want to be introducing a monster like kudzu into your garden.

When you get back home, do not be offended if more plants are in your vacation photos than your family’s faces. Even if you can only spare an hour or so out of your vacation plans to schedule in time to check out the area’s plants, your gardener friend will be thrilled you thought of them.

Make a gardener happy. When on vacation, stop and smell the roses along the way.

For more information, call 903-675-6130, email hendersonCMGA@gmail.com, or visit txmg.org/hendersonmg

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