Camilla Taylor is a “hostaholic” for her overwhelming passion for hostas, at least according to her family. Camilla is in the process of obtaining her Master Gardner certification, and her class has been helping develop the new hosta garden at the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. During a surprise ceremony Thursday, Camilla found out her husband made a donation to have the hosta garden named in her honor.
“We have chased hostas all over the world, so this is just perfect,” Camilla said after unveiling the sign.
Glenn Taylor, President of Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, said he made the donation to thank Camilla for years of marriage and to honor her passion for hosta gardens.
“Camilla loves hostas. A wonderfully designed garden of them in her name is a way to honor her so she can know right now, 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 had known the garden was being developed over the year and even volunteered to help on some days — however, she did not know the Garden would be named in her honor.
Glenn kept the donation a secret from everyone else in the family until last week. They were all in attendance Thursday, happy to see the gesture revealed.
“I’ve watched my mom work in her garden my entire life,” said Katherine Thomson, one of the Taylors’ daughters. “We have always jokingly called her a hostaholic. To have my dad honor her passion in this way speaks to the strength of their relationship and how they have always supported each other in all they do.”
Botanical Garden Executive Director Laurna Strehl said she wanted to add a hosta garden to the grounds for several years, so she was grateful that Glenn’s donation helped make it happen.
Strehl said there are about 100 hostas in the garden, including some from Camilla’s personal collection. Strehl said that a garden of that size could’ve taken months to plan and several more to install.
However, several of Camilla’s friends volunteered to help with the project, and the planting was completed in a matter of hours.
Strehl said that with the money saved on labor, WKBG was able to expand the hosta garden’s features to include a bubbling fountain pot and other adornments, as well as a pergola.
“This garden has been completed to the next level with no shortcuts taken,” Strehl said. “Oftentimes, that does not happen here. We were on a budget, but absolutely because of the volunteer hours given, we were able to splurge a little bit more on the details.”
The WKBG is located at 2731 West 2nd Street. Visitors now enter the garden through the restored, historical WeatherBerry home. The hosta garden is one of the first attractions guests can experience after they exit the Weatherberry.
The Botanical Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.