Blooms of opportunity will soon poke their heads out of the ground and into the sunlight on Cantrell Street. More than one million tulips will cover the landscape of Poston Gardens, which is set to open March 1.
The garden is adjacent to and is a project of Daymark Living community, which was created to help adults with learning differences and intellectual delays reach their full potential. The facility provides its residents with cottage-style homes for independent living, educational classes and programs for social interaction. Daymark residents will operate the garden, greet visitors and assist in retail transactions. In this role, residents will learn job skills, build relationships, gain independence and grow.
Daymark founder and President John Poston said he had been looking at how to employ residents but was not finding businesses to partner with in the endeavor. That is when the idea of developing the property adjacent to the facility into a garden came about.
“I was trying to figure out how my son Michael and people like him could be financially independent though commission-based work or profit sharing,” Poston said. “That is how Poston Gardens came about. It could be both a commission and a profit-sharing business.
“The tulip garden and tulip picking businesses do exist but there is nothing like that here in Waxahachie,” he said. “That land is perfectly suited for what we want to do with the tulip garden and employing people with intellectual disabilities.”
To get his idea off the ground, Poston made several trips to Holland, which has one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Each year, Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam plants more than seven million flower bulbs that bloom over 32 hectares. After meeting with people and gathering input, the process of purchasing the bulbs began.
“Over the course of a year, we have planted over a million tulips on that property,” Poston said. “We have improved that property by bringing the two existing barns back to original condition so we can keep the theme of Dutch culture, Waxahachie culture and history of the Walker (family) dairy farm.
“We are working on the above ground operations, which means the agritourism part,” he said. “We have people that come to view the gardens, picnic and pick tulips.”
The tulips will bloom throughout a portion of the 60-acre tract of land. Admission to the garden will be $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children age 2 and older. A flower can be purchased for $3, with $1 of that set aside for providing scholarships to residents to help with the monthly rent of $3,700. The tulip garden will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week through the flowering season.
Another effort to help Daymark residents and also to provide some assistance to the Waxahachie YMCA is the first ever Tulipalooza, a one-day event slated from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, March 30, in Getzendaner Park. Tickets are $40 each for Tulipalooza’s VIP chef showcase/tasting and concert, with a general admission ticket available for $10 that includes the concert. Food trucks will be on site.
“Tulipalooza is a fundraiser that I am going to be doing on Saturday, March 30,” Poston said. “It is a chef’s showcase. Ten restaurants from Waxahachie and 10 from Dallas are going to provide samples of their signature dishes and give those out.
“There will be a concert from 2-4 p.m.,” he said. “The excess will go to fund scholarships for people who could not afford otherwise to live at Daymark Living.”
Michael Poston, John’s son, said he “really” loves living at Daymark, which has given him more independence and privacy.
For more information about Daymark, visit its website at www.daymarkliving.com. Information about Poston Gardens or Tulipalooza can be found at www.postongardens.com or by searching Poston Gardens on Facebook. Daymark and Poston Gardens are located on Cantrell Street.