“Nacogdoches has many beautiful gardens. From compact pocket parks to the native landscapes at historic sites to the extensive network of gardens and trails on the SFA campus, our notable green spaces provide peaceful spots for relaxation and reflection and opportunities for edification and discovery.
For centuries, the people who have called these lush forests home have cultivated the land, tending gardens that have nourished the body and spirit. Nacogdoches is on the site of a Caddo village occupied by a tribe whose culture centered around farming. In the 1850s, Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park, made note of the town’s gardens in his travel diary, calling them “the first exterior sign of cultivation of mind since Red River.”
Today, the many gardens across Nacogdoches allow visitors to look both backwards and forwards in time. Many of our historic sites have traditional, period-appropriate landscaping that preserves the state’s horticultural heritage, while the Mast Arboretum on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus is dedicated to testing and promoting new plants for the landscape and nursery industry.”
The Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, located on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, is the largest azalea garden in Texas.
The Gayla Mize Garden was initiated in 2011 and honors Gayla Mize, a long time supporter of Nacogdoches Beautiful, SFA Gardens, and many other civic adventures in Nacogdoches.
The SFA Mast Arboretum is a ten acre garden along LaNana creek. It is dedicated to acquiring, testing, introducing and promoting new plants for the landscape and nursery industry in the southern USA.
The Pineywoods Native Plant Center is a 42-acre garden on the north end of the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. It's a unique mixture of uplands, mesic mid-slopes and wet creek bottoms. The Tucker House serves as the central feature of the property, which is surrounded by native forest and gardens.
The Nacogdoches County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden is a 7.3 acre tract on the site of the old Aqua Vitae Park, at the corner of Main St. and University Drive. It includes a butterfly garden, a Good Bug Garden, a bulb garden, a vegetable garden, a Memory Walk surrounded by roses, azalea and camellia beds and several varieties of bald cypress, maple, oak, sycamore and crape myrtles. Its structures include a rainwater collection system, multiple benches and a gazebo.