Lady Bird Johnson had a passion to preserve and protect the country’s native plants and natural landscapes. The Native Plant Center was founded more than 20 years ago as the first affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas. Originally a project of the Westchester Community College Foundation, The Native Plant Center today is a vital program on the campus of Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York. Join this professionally guided tour to learn more.
Admission is free but registration is required.
The Cottage Garden
The recently renovated New American Cottage Garden teaches by example, using native plants in familiar elements of a home garden such as a perennial bed, shrub border, and a water feature that can be replicated in one’s own landscape. The central bed showcases natives in a formal display that appeals to gardeners with a more traditional sensibility. Benches are crafted from black locust, and an arbor features native vines. The lawn was replaced with ferns, ornamental grasses, and ground-covers to further illustrate sustainable principles. The garden was designed for The Native Plant Center by landscape architect Ken Uhle. The more than 800 plants representing 60 species and cultivars attract wildlife- and people, who find peace and a sense of place within the natural-design setting.
Meadow and LBJ Demonstration Garden
The Lady Bird Johnson Demonstration Garden was established in 1998 to honor the First Lady, whose commitment to the preservation of native plants increased public awareness about their environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty. We are under way with a multi-year project to renovate and expand the garden to further illustrate how to incorporate native plants using sustainable design elements. The centerpiece of the garden is a native meadow, which is bordered on one side by a new buffer garden to block out unsightly views of a 300-car parking lot.
Patty Butter has a keen understanding of plant science and an enthusiasm for teaching others about native plants. She holds a certificate in sustainable gardening from The Native Plant Center’s Go Native U program at Westchester Community College and has studied extensively at The New York Botanical Garden in botany, horticulture, and landscape design. Her field work includes identifying and cataloging the flora at a nearby state park, where she also trains staff and volunteers in herbarium preservation.