President's Message, December 2009
“A gift is pure when it is given
from the heart to the right person
at the right time
and at the right place,
and when we expect nothing in return.”
I recently read this wonderful quote in one of the many magazines I subscribe to and instantly thought of a very special person. A little background will help you to understand why.
A couple of weeks ago, Austin was hit by a hard freeze. Overnight, my backyard garden went from riotous, blooming annuals and perennials to a sea of shriveled, mushy plants. Gone were the Monarch Milkweed, Firebush, Pentas, Hostas, Basil, and Sweet Potato Vine—now, just memories captured in photographs. As I drove into Zilker Botanical Garden the Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend, what was blooming only a week before was gone…Firebush, Pride of Barbados, Esperanza Yellow Bells.
But PARD staff had been very busy. Beds around the parking lot were filled with pansies, violas, snapdragons, cyclamens. And, this very special person had transformed the flower beds at the entrance to the garden center into a botanical fairyland! Who is that special lady?
It’s none other than Audrey Benitz! Creating amazing hanging baskets, the festive reindeer topiary, and the Bromeliad Christmas tree in the Greene Room is not part of Audrey’s “job description”. It’s her way of gifting all of us who visit, volunteer, and work at Zilker Botanical Garden. She gives us these visual gifts from her heart and expects nothing in return.
Thank you, Audrey, for all you do for Zilker Botanical Garden. You are a gift that keeps on giving.
President, Austin Area Garden Council
Zilker Botanical Garden