March 25 - April 2, 2008: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
March 14, 2008: Maureen McGovern's Concert in Irving
Return to Index for 2008

March 21, 2008
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


Today, we are spending time with Steve and Mario and making a trip over to the Arboretum. Both Steve and Fred love the Arboretum; we found out about Steve's membership some time ago. Of course, this shared interest ties Steve and Fred together; Mario and I are more blase about the experience.

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, we headed over to Steve's house first to pick them up, which is just a jog up Audelia from Mockingbird, and then back down 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.

Our reason for coming to the Arboretum today is that Dallas Blooms is underway. This is the time of year when the azaleas and other flowers are at their best, although we found that the azaleas were somewhat late this year. Last time we were here, I let the guys wander around while I napped on a park bench, but today we'd be making a pretty full circuit of the gardens. I have marked our approximate route on the map of the Arboretum below. Membership in the Arboretum has been one of the best investments we've made, for it is always a joy to go there.


The Entrance Plaza (1)

After parking and entering through the Member's Entrance, we were in the administration area, where the offices, gift shop, restaurant and some other buildings are. Here, there are lots of potted and in-ground plants, kind of an introduction to what you will see in the gardens at that particular season. While we were here in the plaza area, I got Mario, Fred and Steve to pose leaning up against one of the planters near the small cafe in the entrance plaza.

I also took a film of the various plants and flowers in a colorful planter, and you can watch it with the player at left.

Oftentimes, the Arboretum brings some of their best up here to the plaza, I guess for the enjoyment of folks who might not be capable of walking a long distance through the gardens. Fred took a number of really good pictures of these plants and flowers, and I have put thumbnails for them below. To look at the full-size pictures, just click on the thumbnails:


Fern Grotto (2)

There are an infinite number of routes through the gardens, of course, so we just picked one and started off. Our route took us down by the end of the plaza where the restaurant is, and then down into the gardens towards the fern grotto. Just before the beginning of the path to the grotto, we stopped to snap a yellow flowering bush. Then it was on to the bridge over the artificial stream that runs through the shady fern area and then over a small waterfall and under the walkway. In the summer, the ferns and other plants suited to shady, moist areas are lush, and there are misters that keep them looking that way.

We continued up through the fern garden, and at the top came to the small pool that feeds the artificial stream. As you can see in that previous picture, there were a pair of ducks at the pool. The male duck is the more colorful of the two; Fred captured the duck in closeup as well.

At the top of the grotto, the walkway comes out at the south end of the main lawn of the Arboretum. This area is always busy with picnickers and people enjoying the sunshine. We decided to head through the middle of the gardens towards the north end, and then work our way back along the other side of this grassy lawn.


The Garden Center (3)

We came out back near the central plaza- kind of a nexus of walkways that take you to all areas of the garden; we were going to head down the main garden walkway towards the very back. Along the first part of this walkway, we passed some really pretty groups of tulips and other flowers, and took a good many pictures. I have put thumbnails for three of these below. To view the full-size pictures, just click on the thumbnails:

At this time of year, for Dallas Blooms, the Arboretum usually has some special displays. This year, the displays all had a Texas theme, and consisted of flowers and greenery in the shapes of animals and other Texas items- including a pioneer wagon, the Lone Star and a Texas cowboy hat. The picture at right shows one of the longhorns and the Texas Lone Star, and here is a picture of Steve and the Lone Star.

Fred and I took some other pictures of these displays, and I have put thumbnails for some of them below. To see the full-size pictures, just click on the thumbnails:


The Back Garden (4)

Next, we walked back along the central walkway to the entrance to the back garden. Just inside the entrance (which is back by the Camp House), Mario and I stopped to look at one of the water features while Mario finished his sorbet. Then we walked all the way back to the waterfalls. Along the way, Fred snapped a photo of a beautiful poppy. We ended at the koi pond and then started forward through the Arboretum again. As we left the very back part of the garden, Fred got a picture of us in the Camp House garden.


In the Women's Garden (5)

Coming from the back of the gardens, we passed west of the DeGolyer House and then through a new area of the Arboretum- the Women's garden. There, you can see down to White Rock Lake and you can wander through the manicured garden terraces.


The Color Garden and Exit (6)

Coming out of the Women's Garden we are back to the central lawn area, which is also known as the "Color Garden," since this is where many of the brightly-colored flowers and plants are located- including the Arboretum's stands of azalea.

As we walked around the perimeter of the color garden, I took a movie of the walk. Watch it with the player at left.

Fred also took a number of pictures of the tulips and other flowers here, and I have put thumbnails for some of these pictures below. Click on the thumbnails to view the full-size images:

This walk brought us back across the bridge near the fern grotto, and back up to the Entrance Plaza. There, we found one more Texas-themed display- this one a flowered cowboy boot.

We enjoyed the afternoon at Dallas Blooms; it is always a treat to visit the Arboretum at this time of year.

March 25 - April 2, 2008: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
March 14, 2008: Maureen McGovern's Concert in Irving
Return to Index for 2008