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Greg and Meghan Browne’s Rose Garden

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Stop and Smell the Roses

Greg and Meghan Browne are garden adopters on the Pfluger Bridge.

It was about a year and a half ago when I first mentioned to my wife, Meghan, that I would like to take care of one of the gardens around the lake. We had just finished a super-long run (on The Trail, of course) and were cooling off on the couch at home when we caught a PBS show about the different gardens and their caretakers.

The Trail has been so much of a part of our lives,that I could think of no better volunteer opportunity than to help keep it beautiful. Meghan and I (and June Bug) have run countless miles around Lady Bird Lake along with friends and family (my mother-in-law Anne Flanagan frequently joins us).

Meghan and I actually got engaged under the stars right there at Lou Neff Point (a good idea on my part, now I get a kiss every time we run by there). So, Meghan put the wheels in motion and presented our garden to me as a gift for Christmas last year!

As far as what we’ve planted, I fretted over whether or not we should go “all native.” I thought at one point about trying to achieve a “day/night” garden, one that would provide beautiful color during the day but also include several gray or silver colored plants to reflect the city and moonlight at night.

Finally, on a particularly rough run on the trail, I decided on roses. Meg and I were running together and I was counting the steps to Lou Neff point because I knew there would be a pause for a kiss and I could maybe catch my breath! We still had quite a ways to go, so I went with the stalling technique of observing local flora “Hey, let’s look at those roses!”

That’s when it occurred to me that I may not be the only Trail user who would welcome the occasion to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. I’ve got to tell you that roses have been a lot of fun! I joined the Austin chapter of the Rose Society to learn more about them.

I consulted the Texas A&M horticultural website for disease-resistant varieties, talked at great lengths with Juan Guerra — the resident rose expert at “It’s a Jungle” — and listened at the society meetings for ideas.

I chose some flowers based on advice from all my sources and also chose some that were particularly close to my heart. For obvious reasons, I chose “Lady Bird” as the centerpiece, “St. Patrick’s” for all the “Patrick” members of Meghan’s family, and “Wild Blue Yonder” as a nod to all the pilots in both our families. So far we have had a lot of luck with all our roses. I especially enjoy hearing how much people have enjoyed watching them grow and bloom.

I can’t tell you how excited we are to share the story and our garden with all of you. Meghan and I are so pleased to be a part of The Trail Foundation family, and hope to be providing beautiful roses on the Pfluger bridge for years to come!


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