April 23, 1995: Lowery and Ron's Easter Party
March 19, 1995: A Visit to the Dallas Zoo
Return to the Index for 1995

April 19, 1995
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


Today, Fred and I have decided to make a trip over to the Dallas Arboretum. There have been pages devoted to visits to the Arboretum before, and there will be many more as well; many of these visits are timed to take advantage of "Dallas Blooms!", the Arboretum's Spring event. Each year, there is a theme for the event, and we wanted to have a look at the one chosen for this year.


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, Prudence and Nancy came to my house and then we just took Mockingbird over to Buckner Boulevard to Garland Road and 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 used to cross the top of the dam, but for one reason or another, the bike path was rerouted a year ago, and now it goes through some parkland and playing fields south of the dam, across the spillway, up Garland Road for a ways, and then back north along the lake shore.

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 of the Arboretum itself, you can see most of the major features- including the parking area just off Garland Road, the new administrative buildings, the restaurant and gift shop (all right near the parking lot) and, off in the middle of the gardens, the DeGolyer house (the former residence of the family that donated the land for the Arboretum to the Arboretum Society.

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

There were not many pictures that we took today, so we'll just have a look at them individually.

The first picture we took was along the garden's main walkway- the Paseo del Flores. Here, we came upon Dorothy and Toto done in flowers. That, as we found out when we came in, was the theme for this year's "Dallas Blooms!" festival- "Alice in Wonderland".

Instead of driving over here today, Fred and I brought our bikes to the northwest corner of White Rock Lake and then rode them around the lake (counterclockwise) to the southeast corner of the lake where we locked up our bikes at the rack that the Arboretum thoughtfully provides and used our Family membership to get in.

This floral display of Dorothy and Toto was near the entrance at the beginning of the Paseo. The figures were done in some sort of flowering vine over a skeleton of branches and wooden vines.

Of course, prominent in any display with a Wizard of Oz theme would be poppies, and there was a small field of them near the figures of Dorothy and Toto. This is a close-up shot of two of them.

We continued to walk through the Arboretum to look at the other displays.

Towards the east side of the Garden is one of the two homes that originally stood on the property. The De Golyer estate, the large house right in the middle of the current property, was the seed for the Arboretum itself. Without the sale of this house by the family to the nascent Arboretum, its growth would have been stymied.

The Alex Camp house was originally the De Golyer's neighbor, and the estate of that family, too, sold their property to the Arboretum. The house used to have a circular drive in front of it, with a tree-lined driveway out to Garland Road, but when the house was subsumed into the Arboretum, the driveway from the street was removed and the circle in front of the house repaved as a walkway with a fountain in the middle.

Today, the Emerald City has been constructed in the middle of the fountain pool (and the fountain turned off, of course).

The replica was quite pretty, and that's Fred, of course, in front of it.

One of the other stops we almost always make when we are walking around the garden (on all but the coldest days) is what I just call the Frog Fountain.

It is located at the south end of the Crepe Myrtle Allee that leads south from the Paseo, and consists of four very large bronze frogs that have fountains coming out of their mouths, with the water set such that it lands in a central reservoir, from which it is presumably pumped back to begin the cycle again.

It's fun to try to catch people walking under the natural water archways by putting a finger in the flow to disturb it such that some of the water falls sooner that it is supposed to, and it's a trick performed especially by children and especially to catch their siblings or parents. I thought I would give it a go as well.

We had a good time this afternoon at the Arboretum, but then we always do.

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

April 23, 1995: Lowery and Ron's Easter Party
March 19, 1995: A Visit to the Dallas Zoo
Return to the Index for 1995