November 18-27, 2010: A Hiking/Thanksgiving Trip to GA/SC/NC
October 26-28, 2010: A Trip to Jefferson, Texas
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November 6, 2010
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum



Getting to the Dallas Arboretum

Today, Fred and I along with our friends Mario and Steve have decided to go over to the Arboretum for their annual Fall pumpkin festival. Usually, we go just before Halloween, but the continue to have the festival on into November- all the way to the week of Thanksgiving, I think. We had breakfast at the Original Pancake House near my house and then headed over to the gardens.

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 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.


Wandering Through the Arboretum

On the Arboretum map below, I've marked our approximate route through the gardens today. We usually follow the same route, which begins at the entry plaza, goes down through the Fern Dell and then alongside the main lawn and then wanders through the Women's Garden and the area where all the new water features are. Then we usually cross over above the bandshell and on to the back garden, where the curtain waterfalls are. Then we wander through the small rose garden back there and then back out in front of the Camp House. And then we walk along the main walkway back to the entry plaza.

Along the main walk are the test gardens, where we normally stop and see what they are growing, the frog fountains, where there are always kids playing, and the crepe myrtle archway that leads from those fountains back to the main walkway. This year, the fairy tale houses and the Fall Festival were all in the area west of the main walkway, and I've marked that area on the diagram.

Our main objective today was to wander through the Pumpkin Festival, although we followed our usual route through the Gardens to see what else was in bloom or on display. Today, almost all of the pictures we took was in the Pumpkin Festival area; this was where the fairy tale houses (ornamented with pumpkins and gourds) were located. The vast majority of the pictures and movies that we took were at the Festival, but since we (Fred) did take a number of flower pictures elsewhere in the Gardens, I'll just divide this page into a section for those pictures and one for the Festival.


Pictures and Movies from the Fall Pumpkin Festival

The first thing that hits you at the Arboretum's Fall Festival displays is "Gosh! I had no idea there were so many pumpkins!" Well, actually you did know, but you just aren't used to seeing so many of them in the same place- and all different types, too. So first let's look at some of the pictures Fred and I took of all the pumpkins and gourds and other scenery from the Fall Festival:

The most interesting part of this Fall's festival was the series of fairy tale houses that had been built and faced with pumpkins and gourds.

When we turned off the main walkway, we could see the Festival area, and we could see immediately that there were a number of little structures that, from a distance, looked as if they had been built out of pumpkins and gourds. When we got closer, of course, we could see how it was accomplished. The structures were actually built out of wood, but there were brackets all over the outside of each structure that held the pumpkins, as you can see here. There are circular resting spaces for the large pumpkins and gourds, and I think the smaller ones were just inserted and are resting on the larger ones. I didn't actually try to move one of the small ones, though.

Some of the structures were faced with only large pumpkins, like this one, where I got a picture of Fred, Mario and Steve. There was another house nearby that was faced with large pumpkins and even larger gourds. You can have a look at that house here. It was really a very innovative and fanciful concept and, if the people about were any indication, everyone, especially the kids, loved it.

Click on the thumbnails below to have a look at some more of the quirky pumpkin structures:

Pumpkin Houses at the Fall Festival

This movie will take you on a tour of all the pumpkin houses that were set up at the Fall Festival. You'll walk through them and see how they were constructed. Each of the houses had a description posted outside, and I took pictures of a couple of them. You can read the descriptions for The Cinderella House and for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow House.

Gourd Display at the Fall Festival

As part of the pumpkin house area at the Fall Festival there was a display of all different kinds of gourds; I had no idea there were so many different ones. This movie will pan across the display of gourds so you can read and listen to their descriptions.


Pictures and Movies from Our Walk Through the Gardens

As you saw on the diagram above, we followed our usual route through the Arboretum. The Fall Festival was actually near the end of our walk. You have probably seen a good many album pages with pictures taken at the Arboretum, so it is probably not necessary to do much more than show you the pictures and movies we took today. First, here are some of the pictures that Fred took:

And here are some of the pictures that I took while we were wandering around:

At the End of Our Afternoon

As we were walking down the main walkway back to the entrance area, I made this movie that swings almost 360-degrees around on this beautiful fall afternoon.

We enjoyed our trip to the Arboretum this afternoon- especially the pumpkin houses and displays.

You can use the links below to continue to the album page for different day.

November 18-27, 2010: A Hiking/Thanksgiving Trip to GA/SC/NC
October 26-28, 2010: A Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Return to Index for 2010