Friday, May 09, 2014

Austin Gardens

Wednesday, we visited Austin. Our last two tourist excursions in the area were to Gruene and Fredericksburg (that blog will be coming soon). Since we live in an RV and have been working hard to get rid of stuff, we find very little interest in shopping. So we looked for outdoor activities.

There is a large park in Austin, Zilker Park, which includes Mt. Bonnell and a miniature train, as well as sports fields and trails. Wednesday we spent a couple of hours enjoying the botanical gardens there. There are a number of ponds with water lilies. I have seen those flowers in white and pale pink before, but never deep pink, yellow-orange and purple that we saw there.

There were several water falls. This was the largest.

Our favorite garden within the complex was the oriental garden.

There were goldfish (or are they Japanese coy?).

After spending so much time in the Arizona desert over the winter, we were especially attracted to all the water features.

There were other gardens, as well.

Next, we drove to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where the flowers and the atmosphere were very different.  The center forcuses on the use of native wildflowers and other native plants to maintain biodiversity and as a way to landscape without using as much water in the water-scarce state.

Look carefully to see the butterfly on this plant.

There was a dense grape arbor that provides very good shade while supporting the grape vines.

And we saw a creative use of vines in a children's playground.

Although I enjoyed the Botanic Gardens, I have never really enjoyed gardening and it looks like those at the Wildflower Center would be easier to maintain. So, if we were to have a garden again, it would have to be one with native plants.

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