March 12-29, 2015: Our Spring Trip to Florida
January 28 - February 1, 2015: A Visit to San Antonio
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March 6, 2015
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


Our friend Guy, who moved to San Antonio last July, has come up to Dallas to visit Fred and I for a few days. We did some movies and dinners and such, and Guy just got a chance to relax a bit. The one photo op that we had was our visit to Dallas Blooms! at the Dallas Arboretum.


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, 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.

Today, we took Guy to have some lunch at the Blackeyed Pea down in the crossroads, and then we headed across town to the Arboretum. Both Guy and Fred are very much plant people, and this jaunt was a nice contrast to our visit to the San Antonio Botanical Garden in January. We usually make a circular transit of the entire Arboretum each time we visit, and we are going to do the same today.

Generally, we start at the entry plaza and make a wide circle across the north side of the garden to the Lay Family Garden and the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden at the eastern end of the Arboretum. Then we come back along the Paseo de Flores, past the DeGolyer House and back to the entry.

I know that is probably not important for you to know where in the gardens each of our pictures were taken, but I always think it is interesting to let you follow along with us on a map or diagram. At right is a large diagram of the Dallas Arboretum. On it, I will mark our general route and the location of the various gardens or other spots where we stopped to take some pictures.

We came down the steps from the parking area, past the fountain near the main entrance and through the members' entrance. We stopped in the entry plaza to take a few pictures of the snow-covered plants, and there are clickable thumbnails below for a few of these:

From the Entry, we followed our usual path north towards the lake and across the bridge that leads over to the Jonsson Color Garden. This bridge crosses the little stream that runs through the Fern Dell. Usually, there are misters going in the fern area to keep them alive during the summer, but of course those were not on now.

We always follow the walkway that leads around along the north side of the Color Garden. Here, the Arboretum changes out the large beds with seasonal, colorful plants and flowers. In season, the azaleas that line the north side of this walk are a riot of red, pink and white, but of course it is too early for them at the moment. But there were tulips and hyacinths like the ones at right.

Below are clickable thumbnails for the pictures that we each took here in the Color Garden:

At the east end of the Color Garden is the entrance to a garden area called the Woman's Garden. Before we entered that garden, Fred used his zoom to get a nice shot of one of the large homes way on the other side of White Rock Lake. He also noticed one of the Arboretum's residents appraising the veritable smorgasbord of tasty items.

A Woman's Garden

The Woman's Garden is situated just below and to the north of the DeGolyer house. The DeGolyer's once lived on a 44-acre estate. When they died, they bequeathed part of the estate for a botanical garden, and the nascent Arboretum purchased the remaining land and the home.

The Woman's Garden is a neat place, with cascading fountains and an infinity pool that overlooks White Rock Lake; it is just beyond the "picture frame doorways" in the far background in the picture at right. Positioned in the left-hand frame is a bronze figure of a Rubenesque woman; she looks out over the pool. Below are clickable thumbnails for some of the pictures we took in the Woman's Garden:

From the Woman's Garden, we wound our way around to the east, entering an area of the Arboretum called the Red Maple Rill. Our path to the rill took us by one of the Arboretum's many sculptures and then across an overlook with beautiful views out across White Rock Lake.

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From there, we walked down the long, winding walkway that descends alongside the artificial stream that is the centerpiece of the Rill. I made a movie as I followed Guy down the walk, and you can use the player at left to have a look at it if you wish.

This brought us to the artificial pond at the bottom of the Rill; water is pumped from here back to the top of the Rill to the fountains there and thence back down the artificial stream again. We crossed to the other side of the water feature where there is another walkway that goes back up alongside the Rill, crossing it near the top on a bridge. At the top, Fred got a nice picture of myself and Guy, and I also took a few pictures. There are clickable thumbnails below for some of mine:

At the top of the Red Maple Rill, we were between the DeGolyer Estate and the other house that was acquired to become part of the Arboretum- the Alex Camp House. There used to be an entrance directly into the Lay Family Garden from the circle in front of the Camp House, but now the entrance is across the top of the performance lawn.

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The centerpiece of the Lay Garden used to be a set of three curtain waterfalls in the structure you can see here. Recent renovations and improvements, however, have enlarged what used to be a small koi pond with some artificial animals nearby into a larger lagoon and a rock waterfall at the north end. The lagoon will thus be bookended by waterfalls (although the curtain falls were not running today). One can walk entirely behind the rock waterfall, and so I made a movie as I walked behind it. You can used the player at right to walk along with me.

Fred and Guy were ahead of me, and there are clickable thumbnails below for a couple of the pictures that Fred took of this new waterfall:

The newest area of the Arboretum, at the extreme east end, is the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, and it has its own impressive entrance that can actually be reached directly from Garland Road- without going through the Arboretum. We have been in it a couple of times, but there was not much use going through today as relatively little would be in bloom, and we had no desire to play with the learning stations that are found throughout. I did take one picture of Fred beside some colorful birdhouses near the entrance, and you can see that picture here. Over the past year that the Adventure Garden has been open, we've discovered that its entry procedures are a bit confused. On some days, our Arboretum entry gains us entry to this garden as well; however, there have been a couple of times we've been told that there is a separate entry fee not covered by our membership. I am not at all sure whether they've decided how they want to run things in that regard.

From the Children's Garden we walked back along the main pathway through the Arboretum- the Paseo del Flores. Along the way, Fred took a number of pictures of the flowers that were blooming- mostly tulips. There are clickable thumbnails below for a selection of the pictures that he took:

We had a good time at the Arboretum today, and the rest of Guy's visit was equally pleasant.

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

March 12-29, 2015: Our Spring Trip to Florida
January 28 - February 1, 2015: A Visit to San Antonio
Return to the Index for 2015