Friday, June 27, 2014


Yesterday morning I was at the Wildflower center to give a tour to a new group of master gardeners from near Waco. It was an opportunity to take a quick tour with my camera.

The entry booth with its green roof.

The wetland pond was looking as lush as I have ever seen with water lilies and lotus.

 I had no idea that we had a native lotus, Nelumbo lutea. With its large umbrella leaves and pale yellow flowers it was clearly enjoying all our rain and humidity.

In the sheltered corner of the auditorium the Mexican olive, Cordia boissieri, was also in bloom. Guarded by the Agave lopthantha with its vicious, serrated teeth. This sheltered corner saved the tree from our recent very cold winter. This tree might not survive in a more exposed area.

I wish I had managed to identify this grass in the center courtyard. I have never seen it in flower before and it was spectacular with its rust colored tresses.

The seed heads of the Devil's shoestring, Nolina lindheimeriana, were also putting on a show.

It was my first opportunity to visit the Luci and Ian Family garden since its completion. The pathway starts behind the visitor gallery and runs alongside the library. I was wowed by how quickly the plants have grown filing in to give swaths of color. I turned around to capture the same planting with the gallery and tower int he background.

Mexican feather grasses soften the entrance way with its Texas style rusted steel archway.

As the pathway sweeps around it crosses the Ellen Clarke Temple play lawn. A large sweep of habiturf grass where children can run, play, fly a kite or just get close up with some of our native creatures of the prairie.



There is an open pavilion where groups of children can sit on steps under the shade during class presentations. Not a soul around this early in the day. In fact I have the whole garden to myself. One of my favorite features is the water play area with its meandering stream.

All is quiet at the water pump; watering cans waiting to be filled. Little gardeners will be watering the nearby plants.

There are plenty of places to sit but don't think of sitting on these holey Texas rocks..

The waterfall and grotto.

And these Spanish bayonet yuccas remind us that we are in Texas.

Petroglyphs on the walls of the grotto.

The stumpery with lots of opportunity for climbing.

Let's play hide and seek it the Peggy Pitman Mays family Nature Spiral.

Or in the giant birds' nests.

You can even work out under the old Texas windmill.

I left the garden via the pathway which leads to the butterfly garden and then to the theme gardens. Not a soul around.

A quick peak at the art of Linda Calvert Jacobson in the carriage house.

As I passed by the entrance to the Family Garden I spy the first little visitor of the day. I wonder if he knows how much fun is in store.


  1. I am so impressed by the beauty found here! Most gardens devoted entirely to native plants are ugly. Here there are so many clever, creative and imaginative uses of native materials, plants and otherwise ... the stonework, the stumpery, the giant bird's nests, the playground toys made of old machine parts. It was a brilliant idea on someone's part to make the native animal sculptures so approachable and appealing.

    1. The flowers really were at their best. I couldn't believe the number of Queens on the Greg's mistflower. I have never seen so many.

  2. You got some great shots.
    I need to get over there and see this new garden. It looks like a lot of fun, no matter how old you are.

  3. Wow, my kids would be in heaven in that water play area!! I love those giant birds nests, too! How great to have that nearby. I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's website as a resource quite often - what a wonderful place devoted to our native plants!

  4. How lucky to have the garden to yourself in early morning. It's an incredible place. And it's so smart to devote an area to feeding the interest and imagination of the next generation of gardeners!

    1. It really is a well designed garden. Fun and interest for everyone.

  5. This is really a wonderful looking place! So many great components, so much to explore!

  6. Fascinating to see these spaces emptied of the usual crowds. It is usually hard to get a good idea of the wider views due to the people in the way - it is great to have a chance to see entire plantings and garden spaces, in morning light, without admirers. Thanks for taking us along.

    (These spaces are filling in pretty fast - all that rain has really helped jump start the new garden beds!)

    1. Yes, they have been fortunate in the weather for establishing a garden. I love the look of the pecan mulch and keep meaning to look into getting some. It keeps that nice brown look as well as keeping open for rain. I rather enjoyed seeing the garden by myself although seeing it with lots of children would also be fun. I look forward to taking my grandchildren there when they visit.

  7. I'm looking forward to visiting the Wildflower Center and seeing this new addition for myself!

    1. I hope you can plan your trip to Austin for October. I say this because Syd has invited me to bring along a small group garden bloggers to visit her garden and I know you expressed interest. I will keep you informed.

  8. It's a wonderful place for kids of all ages to explore. It'll be fun to go back this fall and see how much the plants have grown.

  9. Can't wait to see the new gardens myself!

  10. Beautiful photos. I have never been to the center, but perhaps someday (when it's cooler). David/:0)