A Walk in the Garden

One of the perks to living in the city? Access to the arts. Museums, parks… and the botanical gardens. It’s high summer here in Texas, which means it’s hot, and the flowers are past their peak, but I didn’t care. I finally had the time and the energy to go walk in the garden. It’s not something either my husband or son would appreciate, so this is going to be a me thing. And by this, I mean I live in between two very large cities, and they both have big botanical gardens. Decades ago, I had the chance to see Kew Gardens, and didn’t push for it. Not long ago, I had the chance to see the gardens in Washington DC and didn’t push for it. Now that I have these in less than an hour drive? I’m going to indulge myself regularly. 

Today was about Fort Worth. There was a book available in the bookstore I really wanted, so I headed down into the city, and just out on the other side of the skyscrapers I turned into the gardens. Admission is $12 for an adult, parking is free (unlike Dallas) and there are some things to do outside the main garden that can be seen for free as well. I paid to go in. Well, ok, I bought a membership. It has reciprocity with the other main gardens in the area (including Dallas!) and with other places further afield. Like the Lady Bird Johnson gardens which are high on my list of ‘must-see’ when I have the time. 

I took a lot of photos. Like, a lot a lot. I was shooting with both the big camera, and my cell phone (which has a decent camera, that’s why I bought this phone). Photography gave me an excuse to move slow, in the heat. That, and it was just lovely. I’m going to put a ton of photos in an album if you want to see more… and bigger photos than I can load onto the blog. Also, it’s a bit like you get to look through my eyes for a while. Scary, I know. 

Japanese garden with unexpected delights around every corner.

A friend who has recently returned to TX after some time overseas asked me to scout the gardens for family outings. I’m very happy to report that there are child-friendly activities all through the garden, and I saw many families enjoying it. Feeding the absolute units of goldfish in the Japanese Garden, along with turtles. Squealing ‘so cute!’ at the very friendly squirrels. And interacting with the activity boards all along the Native Texas Boardwalk that winds through the trees far above the ground. I saw as many adults as children checking out the ‘guess what?’ boards and flipping up covers to reveal answers. It is definitely a lot of walking. I highly recommend hats, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a slow pace. The paths are stroller-friendly, though, and there are plenty of benches everywhere, most in shade, to take rest periods. 

As I walked through alone, I kept thinking about people. Jolie, whose avatar looks like this gorgeous hibiscus. Autumn, who has reason to love plumeria.

My sister, who would have appreciated all of it, but the lego installations especially (they are there through August 1, for you locals). My Dad, who would have loved all the bees and the bee art. 

There was so much to see! I will be back as often as I can, because there will be fresh new discoveries to be made in every season. Even in winter this place will be beautiful. 

The sundial in the Rose Garden. The roses were well past their prime. I need to go back earlier in the year!
The Cannas are in full fling.
A pair of cardinals in the shadows.
Maidenhair Fern is my absolute favorite fern, from years past spent in the Pacific Rainforest.
This little damselfly on a waterlily was a perfect shot.
Crane sculptures in the Japanese Garden

Want to see more? Go look at the album. Walk with me! 

OH! I didn’t even talk about the Conservatory. That’s probably a post all it’s own.
Turk’s Cap, a native Texas mallow.

6 thoughts on “A Walk in the Garden

  1. Should you make it to Houston, I would suggest the gardens in Hermann Park (Free! Free Parking! Or just ask and you can park in my Mom’s driveway 2 blocks away). Rose garden, herbarium, and Japanese garden, all very cultivated and civilized. Not as much as the grounds of Bayou Bend perhaps (a scant 10 minutes away), a lovely spot for a romantic picnic, and also free (for the grounds, not Miss Ima’s house). And then 5 minutes away is the Houston Arboretum in Memorial Park, also free!

  2. You just reminded me that I haven’t been to my local Botanical Gardens in too long. I should go next weekend. I think my membership expired–I hardly used it at all last year, but I don’t regret supporting them.

  3. That does look like a great place for walks and photography! What a blessing to have it available!

  4. Wilmington, NC has a rather unique garden – – the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plants Garden, which features various carnivorous (well, mostly insecitvorous) plant species, many of which are found in strictly in the coastal region of NC, such as the Venus’s Flytrap. The garden was in the news about 5 years ago after thieves hijacked $10K worth of flytraps from the garden.

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