April 28 - May 1, 2015: A Visit to San Antonio
March 12-29, 2015: Our Spring Trip to Florida
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April 5, 2015
A Visit to the Dallas Arboretum


 

Today, we had lunch with our friends Mario and Steve, and afterwards made a trip over to the Dallas Arboretum. "Dallas Blooms!" is in full swing, and we looked forward to our walk through the gardens.

 

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 at at a breakfast restaurant called The Broken Egg Cafe which is just a mile or so away from the Arboretum. Then we headed down Garland Road to the Arboretum entrance. We usually make a circular transit of the entire Arboretum each time we visit, and we are going to do the same today.


Today, before we even got from the parking lot to the entrance, we found a couple of interesting photos to take. They were of stickers on a couple of cars in the lot, and both were pretty funny. One was political, and the other reminded us of some chihuahuas we know. You can see that second sticker here.

We walked through the entry; all four of us are Arboretum members, so these jaunts through the gardens never cost us anything beyond our yearly membership fees. We come often enough that being members is worth it (not to mention the times our Arboretum membership gets us in to other gardens as well).

Generally, we start at the entry plaza and make a wide circle across the north side of the garden to the Lay Family Garden at the east end of the Arboreturm. We usually return along the Paseo de Flores, past the DeGolyer House and back to the entry.

Today, we ended up also visiting the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. It is the newest addition to the Arboretum complex, and for some reason, the Arboretum website has not yet updated their garden diagram to include it. It is located east of the Lay Family Garden, and there are walkways to it around the north and south sides of the Lay Garden.


In the Arboretum Entry Plaza

There are always pretty floral displays in the entry plaza and we usually mill about there before our tour of the gardens. It is close to Easter today, so some of the displays had that theme, and there were lots of kids in the gardens as well. Below are clickable thumbnails for some of the pictures we took in and around the entry plaza:


Our normal route takes us out the north side of the entry plaza, down some steps, and along a walkway that takes us over the bridge at the lower end of the Fern Dell and up to the west end of the Jonsson Color Garden. When we cross that bridge, there is a small pool to our left, and it occasionally has a duck or two swimming around in it.


In the Jonnson Color Garden

The Color Garden is a three-lobed garden, the areas of lawn divided by walkways. The Fern Dell borders it on the southwest, the Paseo del Flores on the southeast, the DeGolyer House on the east and a long stretch of azaleas on the north. The predominately red azaleas are incredible when they are in full bloom; today, they were a bit off their peak. But even the on the north. The predominately white azaleas were very pretty still, and we took a number of pictures of them. There are clickable thumbnails below for some of these pictures:


Off to the north side of the Color Garden Fred spotted a particularly unusual tree, and wanted to get a couple of pictures. It is an Empress Tree, and you can see a photo of its spring flowers here. Before we leave the Color Garden, here are clickable thumbnails for more of the pictures we took here:

We next walked through the Woman's Garden, although we didn't take many pictures. The foxglove was blooming, and Fred used his zoom to capture a songbird atop one of the large "picture frames" near the infinity pool. He also took a couple of additional pictures of some of the flowers and trees in bloom, and you can see those pictures here and here.

Between the Woman's Garden and the Red Maple Rill is a formal garden laid out in a series of rectangles. At one end there is a fountain and a sculpture that has been here for many years, and which we have photographed on numerous occasions. You can see a panoramic view of this garden above- a panorama constructed of four separate photos. Just after I took those picture, Fred took a nice picture of me. Here is what I think is a very good picture of the beautiful stone staircase that leads west back towards the DeGolyer House.

From the west end of this formal garden, one can enter the area of the new Red Maple Rill, and there are pathways leading up and down the rill. You can see these pathways in the panoramic view above- again constructed from four separate pictures.


Steve in the Red Maple Rill

The Red Maple Rill is one of the nicest areas of the Arboretum. It is a long watercourse on a hillside with red maples (and other trees) planted along it. There are bridges across the artificial stream and at the top a beautiful curved fountain whose water feeds it.

Recently, an additional shallow winding stream was constructed on a relatively flat area of lawn at the top of the rill; this stream is fed by an artificial spring, and it also feeds into the stream through the rill. Here are clickable thumbnails for some pictures of the fountain and stream:


I made two movies while we were at the intricate fountain at the top of the rill, and you can use the players below to watch them if you wish:

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Our next stop was the newly-renovated Lay Family Garden at the eastern end of the Arboretum. (The only thing beyond the Lay Garden is the new Children's Adventure Garden, but more on that in a moment). For many years, the Lay Garden has had a three-tiered, curtain wall fountain with a koi pond.


Of course the Lay Family Garden still showcases a number of plants and flowers, many of which were in full bloom today. The area has been redesigned, though, to make them more accessible to visitors. Here are clickable thumbnails for some of our pictures of them:

The curtain wall fountain is still in the garden, but a new fountain- one of those waterfall fountains that you can walk behind- has been constructed opposite it with a two-channel circular watercourse and pond in front . One can walk completely around the pond and, of course, behind the waterfall. We took a number of pictures of these fountains today, and you can use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at them:


From the Lay Family Garden, there is a walkway that leads to the entrance of the new Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. For a while, the entrance policy for this new Arboretum attraction has been up in the air, but it seems now that when you enter through the main entry with your Arboretum membership, you can ask for wrist bands that will gain you entry to the Adventure Garden as well. So we decided to go through part of it today. (We had done an exhaustive tour of it some months ago, so you can see all of it on another album page.)


From the entrance, we went to the overlook where we could see the nice waterfall (the water flows over a glass-ceilinged walkway, so you can walk both under the waterfall as well as behind it), the learning center, and much of the adventure garden. That's the view at left. We then just wandered around looking at some of the outdoor exhibits and snapping pictures. There are clickable thumbnails below for some of these:


I tried to be a bit comical with many of the photos I took as we spent most of our time walking around the area where there lots of outdoor exhibits for kids to play with and learn from. There are clickable thumbnails below for some of the many pictures I snapped this afternoon:

Although it was a little chilly, we had a good time at the Arboretum this afternoon, and I am sure this will be far from our last visit this year, and so there will be more upcoming pages with photographs that were taken here.

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



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