Garden, Review

Butterfly Garden

There is more to the Texas Discovery Gardens than the butterfly house, but oh my that is an amazing place to visit. Worth the round trip that passes me through downtown Dallas, even. Tucked into the Texas State Fairgrounds, this small garden is a jewel, and very kid-friendly. Even on a hot day, there is enough shade on the paths to make a stroll reasonably comfortable. And the butterfly house. Well. I’ve seen lesser ones before, but this one was just an immersive experience and the occupants were not elusive at all. Let me tell you, there is something magical to having a Morpho Blue float inches from your face. 

A magical fairy city in the garden

Speaking of magic, I was enchanted with this particular art installation. It’s all found-pieces, chaotic, but such fun. There were a few art pieces scattered around the grounds, including one of a dancing figure that really can’t be captured in a photo, but I wish I could have. You have to walk around it a bit to fully appreciate it. This fairy city will make you come closer to find all the little details! 

Fairy Creatures perch atop the city.

As the summer reaches it’s peak here in Texas, there are still flowers in abundance, although I look forward to spring visits here.

A small formal garden in the center, with a focal fountain

There are smaller gardens arranged ’round the central lawn, and a very nice playground that my smaller companions enjoyed – it was meant for the older child, a nice change from too-small toddler sized ones, their mother commented. A small ‘rock wall,’ a suspension bridge that swayed satisfyingly when run over, and elevated treehouse elements all in the shade of mature trees with comfortable seating nearby for us older folk made it a perfect break in the exploration. 

One of the small gardens has a fun theme, and at this time of year it’s a riot of mints, thyme, and rue. Must return in spring for this English transplant.
As usual, I find the small things to appreciate, and capture an unexpected spider as well.

There was a building filled with native (all non-venomous) snakes, turtles, and lizards. I enjoyed that every bit as much as the young ones did! From there we prowled through a lush pollinator garden, through paths nearly buried in plants and flowers. 

It was hot enough to melt the squirrels!
Into the Butterfly House, full of beautiful wings.

The Butterfly House started on the upper floor (and does have handicapped accessibility), then you follow a gently sloping spiral ramp downward to the ground level, a boardwalk through lush growth and butterflies simply everywhere. 

Some of them are less showy than others, but the Morpho Blue, as big as my two hands outstretched together, cannot be missed. There were at least two, and I think more, fluttering up and down and all around along with the smaller vibrant Heliconus erato (Passion Flower Butterfly). 

The Morpho Blue at rest is well camouflaged for it’s habitat of dappled shadows.
And then, a brilliant blue!

I will go back, as soon as I can. My membership to the Fort Worth Botanical Garden is reciprocal here, as well as many other places. Well worth the modest investment. This garden is also much more accessible for some of my mobility-challenged loved ones, so it would be my choice for them rather than the walking-intensive FWBG. And I was good! There was a plant sale going on, and I resisted the urge to find one more lovely for my balcony jungle budding garden. 

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