TRAVEL HERE: A FRIENDLY DRAGON JOINS THE GREAT CONTRIBUTORS
Gary Lee Price sculptures have been gracing the Dallas Arboretum for a long time. His “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” statue in “Nancy’s Garden” was a favorite of my mother’s, so I’m sure she would have loved this summer’s exhibition of his “Great Contributors.” I bet,”Delbert the Dragon” would have charmed her, too.
Media Day for Delbert
I envy my mother’s devotion to the Dallas Arboretum. For many years she volunteered as a docent at the DeGolyer House and her regular visits to the garden, rain or shine, were a highlight of each week. Visiting the gardens is one of my favorite things, but in spite of my good intentions I’m never there as frequently as I wish I could be, so I’m always glad when they notify me of a media day.
A few Saturdays ago I was invited for a peek at Delbert the Dragon in Pecan Grove. the charming dragon is devoted to reading and is displayed with several other Gary Lee Price statues devoted to children and books. These lovely pieces are well worth venturing out into the summer heat, but the faint of heart will be glad to know they’ll be on display until November.
Great Contributors on the Move
A few weeks before Delbert’s debut, I discovered Gary Lee Price’s Great Contributors had played a game of fruit basket turnover, but on that particular day I was there for business and didn’t have time to wander the garden. I’d been intrigued by the possibilities of that news and was eager to walk the garden to see where the statues had landed. Delbert’s Debut proved a perfect opportunity. No speeches or fanfare accompanied the debut, so after taking a few pictures and watching the activity at Toad Corners I went on a sort of statue scavenger hunt.
I’d already seen the first Great Contributor as I entered the Garden. The father of our country had been moved out of his nook along the Paseo de Flores and given a shady spot in the Ginsberg Family Plaza. I thought that was a smart move. Old George was probably suffering beside the sunny Paseo and much preferred his new spot. It also allowed visitors to get a taste of the exhibition right away. Chances are many people didn’t even know to look for the sculptures.
As I strolled through the garden I discovered many of the statues had remained in the spots they’d originally been placed, like Ben Franklin in the Fern Dell, Mark Twain by the Fogelson Fountain, Albert Einstein in the Lay Family Garden and the Wright Brothers on the Camp House Lawn.
I couldn’t decide whether I liked the new placement of Monet or not. He and his easel were moved to the edge of the Jonsson Color Garden which got him under the shade of some trees, but I had sort of liked him on a hilltop looking out toward the lake. Which placement do you prefer?
The other sculpture which was moved was not moved very far. Mr. Shakespeare is still in the Magnolia Glade, just a little easier to find. I had definitely liked him better when he was more hidden. It seemed to me he’d prefer to be a little less out of the limelight as he rested there in the garden, but I’ll have to admit he didn’t complain.
The Gardens had Changed Their Frock
With all due respect to Mr. Price, no sculpture can compete with the gorgeous floral display of the garden. I visited the gardens within just a few weeks during Blooms and was amazed by the differences in the flowers. The first visit had featured daffodils and other early flowers nestled on the ground, but the trees didn’t even have leaves. A few weeks later the trees were glorious. The shy daffodils had disappeared other spring blooms dominated the beds.
Returning in summer it was hard to believe I was in the same gardens I’d seen earlier in the year. The colors were brighter and warmer. It was as if the garden had changed out of a demure Easter frock and donned a dramatic sundress. I’ll leave you with some pictures of the flowers.