Botanists and horticulturists are being hired by hotels to help their gardens grow, with an increasing focus on indigenous flora.
Ellerman House, in Cape Town, celebrates everything South African, including wines and art. It transformed its English rose garden to feature local wildflowers found on the slopes of Table Mountain.
The result is a wraparound 1.5-acre garden that includes white pixie, aurora and Mandela’s gold.
“The garden is very water-wise,” said Ellerman’s resort operations manager, MJ Birch, who added that, because the plants are native, the flowers draw most of their water naturally and that the need to irrigate has fallen by nearly 80 percent.
At Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, Calif., a recently completed 1.4-mile self-guided walking trail is filled with local trees and other plants.
The plants bear Native American name plaques and are not only indigenous but are also functional, used for food, medicine, art and religious purposes.
“Since these species are local, they thrive with minimal supervision,” said Timara Lotah Link, a member of the indigenous Chumash people who teaches about their culture.
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Arizona has a full-time on-site horticulturist, Vanessa Cohorn-Brown, who supervises desert plant life, like golden barrel cactus, saguaro and red bird of paradise.
At Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Texas, Jonathan Pixler, its horticulturist, cultivates mature pecan trees, Indian paint brush, Texas mountain laurel and yaupon holly.