Ashlee Arteaga squats down near the pale pink blooms. I’m cutting all the roses that are already dead,” she says. The 11-year-old navigates her clippers swiftly along the thorny stems. “I’ve done this a lot of times,” she adds with a bit of authority in her voice.
There are 4000 rose bushes, and 250 varieties, to care for here at the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden. That’s not to mention zinnias, wisteria, hibiscus, sunflowers, lavender and ornamental peppers: one called Medusa starts out yellow, then turns orange, then red.