Tag: garden (Page 1 of 3)
After climbing Mount Bonnell, we were looking for somewhere else to explore outside of downtown Austin to enjoy the beautiful Texas sunshine. Even though it was February and I knew there wouldn’t be much blooming, we headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Located 10 miles southwest of Downtown Austin, the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center is the state botanical garden and arboretum of Texas.
First Lady Lady Bird Johnson opened the gardens in 1982 as a way to showcase and protect native Texas flora. The wildflower center has five distinct zones: the central gardens, the family garden (top), the Texas Arboretum, the Savanna Meadow (below), and the hill country trails. Even though we visited in February and there weren’t a ton of flowers in bloom, there was green to be seen.
The hill country trails are a unique area of the wildflower center with 70 acres set aside to study prescribed fires and how they affect the growth of native plants. There are about a mile of trails in this section that give visitors an up close look at fire and land management.
The Texas Arboretum features 16 acres of native Texas trees. A mile long path takes visitors through the arboretum to see the variety of maples, oaks, and more. One of the most unique features of the arboretum is the Hall of Texas Heroes which features offspring of some of Texas’ most historically significant trees. Trees on display include the Battle Oaks, Heart O’ Texas Oak, and the Matrimonial Oak. These trees grew from acorns harvested by Arboretum staff from the famous trees and planted on the grounds of the Wildflower Center.
If you are planning a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, visit their website (wildflower.org) ahead of time to discover what is in bloom and get a lay of the land.
Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
One of the first stops on our narrated tour of the Park Loop Road was at Sieur du Monts Spring and the nature center. Also at this stop is the original Abbe Museum and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Being that we were traveling with two plant and flower enthusiasts, I knew the gardens would be a popular stop!
The gardens are filled with 400 species of native plants and are designed to “represent natural plant communities found within Acadia National Park. Mountain, heath, seaside, coniferous forest, and eight other habitats are represented” (Friends of Acadia). It is a great place to get out of the car and stretch your legs along the carefully constructed paths to see the beautiful flora of Maine. Because of the trees, it also stays pretty cool in the gardens on the rare occasion that a heat wave sweeps the area. Near the entrance to the gardens, you can pick up a bird spotting guide and there is also a journal to jot down any birds that you see. It was a very quiet morning on our visit and we were unable to add any sightings to the book, but I did get to take some pictures of the colorful blooms while my mom and grandma admired the gardens and planned how they could recreate them at home.
Also in this area is the Sieur de Monts Spring, which is said to be the birthplace of Acadia National Park. In 1909, George B. Door, the first Superintendent of the park, built a spring house and carved “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” on a nearby rock. This is also the home of Acadia’s nature center which features information about native animals both on the land and the sea, and about the local geology. While there, you can also visit the original location of the Abbe Museum. While there is now a larger location in downtown Bar Harbor, the original Abbe Museum holds a lot of early Native American artifacts from the area in a unique, woodland setting.
Thank you for stopping by! For more information about our Mainely Acadia trip, click here and be sure to check back next week for my next installment! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.