A new hosta garden at WKBG has been named in honor of “Hostess” Camilla Taylor.
“We’ve chased hosts all over the world so this is perfect,” Camilla said after unveiling the banner.
Glenn Taylor, president of Glenn’s Funeral Home and Crematory, said he made the donation to thank Camilla for the years of marriage and to honor her passion for Hosta Gardens.
“Camila loves hostas. A beautifully designed garden in her name is a way to honor her so she can know today, how much she means to me and our family,” Glenn said. “And really, isn’t a great surprise just about the happiest kind of fun?”
Camilla knew the park was in development year-round, and even volunteered to help some days, but she didn’t know the park would be named in her honor.
Glenn kept the donation secret from everyone else in the family until last week. They were all present on Thursday and were happy to see the gesture.
“I’ve watched my mom work in her garden my whole life,” said Katherine Thompson, one of Taylor’s daughters. We always jokingly described her as hostile. For my parents to honor her passion in this way speaks to the strength of their relationship and how they always supported each other in everything they did.
Botanical Garden Executive Director Lorna Strohl said she had wanted to add a hosta garden to the grounds for several years, so she was grateful that Glenn’s donation helped make it happen.
There are about 100 hostesses at the park, including some from Camilla’s personal collection, Strel said. A park of this size would have taken months to plan and many other things to install, Strehl said.
However, several of Camila’s friends volunteered to help with the project, and the planting was completed within hours.
With the money saved in labor, WKBG was able to expand the host’s garden features to include a bubbling fountain bowl and other decorations, as well as a pergola, Strehl said.
“We have been taking this park to the next level without taking any shortcuts,” Strehl said. “It’s not often that this happens here. Our budget was limited, but thanks to the volunteer hours provided, we were able to spend a little more on the details.
WKBG is located at 2731 West 2nd Street. Visitors now enter the park through the restored historic WeatherBerry House. The Host Garden is one of the first attractions guests can experience after leaving Weatherberry.
The Botanical Garden is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and from 12 noon to 4pm on Sunday.