April 30 - May 2, 1994: A Weekend in Austin
March 5, 1994: Lowery Evans' Birthday Party
Return to the Index for 1994

March 20, 1994
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


One thing I have always liked doing is riding my bike, and another pleasurable activity (one that Fred introuced me to) is visiting the Dallas Arboretum. Today, since Dallas Blooms! is in full swing in the gardens, we are going to combine the two.


Getting to the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is not too far from where I live over on Inwood- I'd guess about six or seven miles as the crow flies (see the map opposite)- but you can't get there as the crow flies because White Rock Lake is in the way. So you can either go through town and wind your way around the south end of the lake or you can take Mockingbird over around the north side of the lake.

Today, however, Fred and I are going to combine a bike ride with a visit to the Arboretum. So we have put the bikes in Fred's Mazda truck and taken them over to a parking area on Lawther Drive at the northwest corner of the lake. Then, we have embarked on our usual ride down the west side of the lake and across the dam and spillway at the south end, and then up along Garland Road to the Arboretum.

In this closer view, you can see the south end of White Rock Lake and you can pick out the bike trail that hugs the lake shore almost all the way around. At the south end is White Rock Lake Dam and spillway, which takes the overflow water and sends it under Garland Road to continue on down to the Trinity River.

The bike path crosses the top of the dam and then goes down through a forested area on the west side of the spillway and then along a walkway to Garland Road. Then the path goes northwest along Garland Road for about a quarter mile until it meets the park drive around the east side of the lake. Today, we'll go further beyond that drive and go on into the Arboretum.

You can also see a closer view of the Arboretum in this picture, and can begin to pick out some of the pathways through the gardens.

Finally, in this close-up aerial view of the Arboretum itself, you can see most of the major features- including the parking area just off Garland Road. I should point out that this aerial view is, of course, not from 1994, but actually from some time in the mid-2000s; but I use it on most pages involving trips to the Gardens.

The Gardens have undergone quite an expansion since we became members, and lots of the features in the aerial view at left were not actually here in 1994. But the DeGolyer House, the Camp House, and the main walkways are all now as they were in 1994. (One major addition, not even shown on this aerial view, is the new Childrens' Garden that has been constructed at the northeast end of the Arboretum's land. You can see that in this aerial view, there was a staff parking area and some maintenance facilities there before the construction of this new garden. We will visit it shortly after it opens in about sixteen years.)

You can also see the maze of pathways that criss-cross the gardens.


The Layout of the Dallas Arboretum

As you are probably already aware, I have a penchant in this photo album for tying together our pictures with other elements- such as maps, aerial views and various diagrams- so you can get a feel for where we were when a particular picture was taken. In addition to the map and aerial views above, below I have added a diagram of the Dallas Arboretum with some of the separate little gardens that make up the Arboretum marked on it:

The Arboretum opened in 1984, and has been expanding and growing ever since. Originally, the 66-acre plot created with the donation of the DeGolyer Estate and the purchase by the city of the Alex Camp House adjacent, contained only a few small gardens; much of the rest of the property was as yet undeveloped. By the time we purchased a membership in 1993, about half of the property had been developed into a series of themed gardens. This development continues. The diagram above, a version of which you will see or have seen on every album page devoted to a trip to this wonderful attraction, is a diagram current in 2013. At least two of the gardens marked on it- "A Womans Garden" and "The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill" did not exist on today's visit. (The woman's garden would open in stages beginning next year, and the Red Maple Rill would not exist until 2011.) But we can still use the diagram, for the main layout of the garden has remained the same.


Pictures From Today's Visit

The Arboretum thoughtfully provides a bike rack near the entrance for folks doing exactly what we were doing- riding along White Rock Lake, so we locked up the bikes and went in. The Arboretum is quite lovely at this time of year, and it was good that I brought my camera.

Along the Paseo del Flores

Dallas Blooms is timed to catch most of the flowers at their prettiest.

In the Jonsson Color Garden

This is Fred amidst tulips and daffodils.

I like to walk around the Arboretum with Fred. His knowledge of plants in general (being a horticulturist) is extensive, and he can always tell me what something is without reading the sign that is posted. He can also give me a lot of information about things that isn't generally available. He likes to tour the place, too, to see what new varieties of plants are being developed, and occasionally he will sneak a small cutting out to try to propagate the same plant in his greenhouse at home.

Lay Garden Lily Pond
(Picture at left)
This is one end of the lily pond back in the Lay Family Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.




(Picture at right)
This close-up shot, taken by Fred, of some of the poppies here in the Arboretum always makes me think of The Wizard of Oz.

Poppies! Poppies!

This is only the second time that I have been to one of these Spring "Dallas Blooms!" events, and I have to admit that the flowers today were really putting on a show!

More flowers at "Dallas Blooms!"

Tulips at "Dallas Blooms!"

There were quite a few people here on this Saturday, and the weather was wonderful. It can get warm at the end of March here, but today was just ideal, weatherwise.

We came across this large bed of variegated (multi-colored) tulips; I had not seen tulips like them before (see picture at left).

Behind Fred in the picture at right are begonias, ornamental cabbage, tulips and the beginnings of the azaleas. The Gardens were so pretty, and we had such a great time today, that we decided to buy a membership so that we could come and go as much as we wanted for free. (I might have joined years ago, but it took someone like Fred with his love of horticulture to really introduce me to it. And I thought that the longer Fred and I stayed together, the more use we would get out of a membership.)

The admission is usually $3-6, depending on what is going on, and we were able to get a family membership (using a loose definition of "family") for $60. The admission charge for the day we were there was deducted, so the membership cost only $48. For that we each got a membership card with both our names (the Arboretum knows what side of its bread is buttered- gays support it out of proportion to the general population) so that each of us can bring our own guests if we wish. It was a great deal, although when the cards arrived on April 1, I noticed that the expiration date had been typed wrong and they had already expired! This mix-up has since been corrected.

The bike rides that we take are extremely enjoyable. The trip around the lake takes over an hour, and if we head north along the bike trail to LBJ, that takes about an hour and a half. It is great exercise, and there is always stuff to look at. I'm glad Fred enjoys it because I certainly do. Fred has gotten into the comfortable habit of spending weekends down here in Dallas- at least during the winter. He likes that, and so do I.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

April 30 - May 2, 1994: A Weekend in Austin
March 5, 1994: Lowery Evans' Birthday Party
Return to the Index for 1994