News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Flower Houses And Texas Twisted Fairy Tales: It's Summer At The Dallas Arboretum

A bright spot in the rainy forecast is a new exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. The kick-off to summer opens May 16 and features flower houses and fairy tales with a Texas twist.

The Dallas Arboretum’s salute to summer is a Texas microcosm.

Topiary long horns graze next to a miniature Rio Grande River. And each little display features a quirky re-imagining of a classic fairy tale. For example, The Gingerbread Man got a spicy upgrade.

“A hot jalapeño man escapes from his little house and tries to run across the river which is the Rio Grande,” says Dave Forehand with the Arboretum. “And then of course a coyote helps him across and eats him in the middle and he’s very hot.”

Forehand points out the Jalapeño Man’s neighbors. Dusty Locks and the Three Bears and Texas Zeke and the Longhorn. There’s also a haybale maze and a full-size chuck wagon.

But, as usual, the scene stealers are the flowers.

“About 5,000 baskets actually were needed to build these things,” Forehand says.

Right now, flower houses are made of mostly begonias and torenia in striking red, white and blue. Tropical vines will sub in later this summer when the weather heats up.

Putting together a world worthy of fantasy takes work.

“They imagined this quite a ways back, and then to actually build it was the last two-and-a-half weeks," Forehand says. "Erect the houses, bring in the flowers, build the little river that we have. So we’re ready to kick this off.”

And that’s not a fairy tale; it’s reality.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.