How to Create a Barbara Bush Garden
image by Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Barbara Bush, born June 8, 1925, is best known for her role as U. S. First Lady (1989-1993). Married to George Herbert Walker Bush, Barbara gained popularity for her children's book about the family dog, Millie. She raised money to restore the White House and established a foundation to promote literacy. Barbara Bush continued her charitable works after retirement. Here are easy ways to honor Barbara Bush's work in a garden or landscape corner.
Start with a Barbara Bush Rose. This hybrid tea rose, named after the former First Lady, grows 4 to 6 feet tall. The rose bush has a pink flower and is trained as a bush or as a rose tree. The bush is moderately thorny and thrives in hot weather. The roses make excellent cut flowers.
Add wildflowers, such as the bluebonnet flower named after Barbara Bush. The native bluebonnet is the Texas state flower. Its violet-blue color covers Texas roadsides and hills. The Barbara Bush variant has lavender flowers instead of blue. Bluebonnets are generally planted in the fall to take advantage of winter rainfall to germinate. Interseed bluebonnets with existing vegetation as long as the seeds have good soil contact. Like most wildflowers, the bluebonnets are drought tolerant and will self-seed each year.
Pattern your garden on the Barbara Bush Rose Garden. This garden, located at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Town, Texas, is designed with antique roses, perennials, a gazebo and a walkway. The rose garden is next to a pond. Part of the garden contributions came from the Antique Rose Emporium, a business specializing in old and antique rose varieties.
Plant a beautiful crepe myrtle tree. As Master Gardener for a Day in 1998, Barbara Bush helped plant crepe myrtle trees for the Keep American Beautiful project. The "Barbara's Byway Beautification Project" planted about 900 young crepe myrtle trees along a mile of Texas traffic corridor. The crepe myrtle tree can be pruned as a dwarf tree or bush. In full growth it reaches 30 to 40 feet tall. It is a beautiful accent tree with summer flowers and good drought tolerance. The crepe myrtle tree thrives in sunny locations.
Pay tribute to Barbara Bush's literacy projects by reading a book in your garden. Remember her words, "Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people--your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way."