Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
The opportunity to create a publication commemorating the history of an organization as important as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is one any magazine editor would embrace.
The chance to honor one of the most important and beloved Americans of all time is something every magazine editor dreams about. As the new editor of Native Plants, already with my first issue I've been blessed with the opportunity to do both. Spend a day at the Wildflower Center and you'll understand why this 20-year commemorative issue needed to be so special. Though you'll read and hear about the Wildflower Center mission often, you don't need to, for you feel it here at every turn. Just look and listen: The mission is palpable. You sense it in the gardens, see it in the hallways, and find it in the eyes of staff and volunteers.
And that's before you scratch the surface, before you begin to ask questions, before you go back in time to trace the Center's history. This tangible, unspoken passion for this place and its purpose is what we had to work with when months ago we set out to publish a magazine that could capture all that the Wildflower Center was at its beginning, is today, and can and will be tomorrow.
This commemorative issue of Native Plants speaks to the mission of the Wildflower Center and the dreams of a better environment, past and present. It helps us understand Lady Bird Johnson in a way she is seldom portrayed, as someone whose early-childhood experiences with nature shaped her life and led her to make environmental change ("Lady Bird Johnson: First Lady of the American Landscape," page 20). We see how over 20 years this vision and the hundreds of people who loved Mrs. Johnson and understood the importance of preserving our native plants and wildflowers created with the Center a legendary national environmental organization ("Natural History," page 26). We understand why the work of the Wildflower Center and other significant environmental organizations like the Center for Plant Conservation are so important as we investigate the many important native plants facing extinction ("Imperiled Harbor," page 40). And we observe in vivid color the exquisite beauty of these often-overlooked but profoundly important native plants of North America ("The Natural Tourister," page 48).
Creating a magazine that commemorates 20 years of environmental history made at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and honors Mrs. Johnson's legacy meant bottling through words and images that passion I've mentioned. We wanted you to treasure this issue and refer to it often. Our enhanced design helps you do just that, through carefully chosen typefaces, sophisticated organization of information, and emphasis on stunning photography of beautiful native wildflowers and plants.
My hope is that as you read this magazine you'll remember your own childhood experiences with nature and come to understand how important Lady Bird Johnson and the Wildflower Center are to our environmental future. And I hope that, whether or not you've spent a day at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, you'll find its mission palpable through the pages of this magazine.