A few weekends ago, my parents and I took the kids to the Lady Bird Wildflower Center, located just 6 miles from my house and about 12 miles from Downtown Austin.
My favorite structure on the grounds was definitely the Observation Tower which is also a 10,000 gallon cistern. It is absolutely beautiful and you can get a glimpse all around the gardens and surrounding fields from the top.
The tunnel leading to the Library, Administration building and a few smaller native plant areas was really beautiful – and cool! IT was HOT out there and I could have hidden out in that tunnel all day!
I wish I had room in my backyard for a turtle pond like the Wetland Pond at the front of the wildflower center. WOWZA!! It was so pretty and peaceful! AND, we even got to make a turtle friend that came all the way over to see LillyBug!
Inside the Visitor’s Gallery, we were able to see examples of all the flowers that are currently in bloom, information about the park and it’s founders, and learn about native plants animals to the area. It was a beautiful building and it was nice that for the most part, the exhibits were kid-friendly. (Apart from the little glass vases of flowers – Mommy got a little nervous!)
The Spanish Architecture was one of my favorite things about the main buildings and areas of the park. It is just beautiful and welcoming and really is amazing to see in person. I think I must have taken about 50 different photos of just the arches and buildings around the property!
The Little House was another very cool part of the park. It’s a special area just for kids! It even has a little kid-size door for them to enter through – man I wish I’d taken a picture of that! Anywho, inside the kids got to read books about plants and garden animals, color pictures, look at old pictures from the area, and just explore! It was so cool – if I ever have free-reign over a classroom – I’d want it to be just like the Little House!
When the weather is cooler, BamaBoy and I will have to bring the kids back out to visit the hiking trails around the park. There are about 2 miles of trails that lead all around the outskirts of the center. They are separated into a Savanna Meadow Trail, Woodland Trail, John Barr Trail which has native shrubs, trees and cacti and the Restoration Research Trail which is where they research the Texas Hill Country ecology. This photo was taken at one of the Savanna Meadow/Woodland Trail entrances.
Family photo time! In the center of the main courtyard lies the Courtyard Spring , a simulated spring modeled after the Blue Hole in Wimberley, Texas.
The next portion of the Wildflower Center is where the Display Gardens are. Each of the 23 garden beds exhibits some of the many native plants that grow in the Texas Hill Country. It was really neat to see the different types of plants. My parents’ favorite part were the covered arbor walkways along each side that are covered in a roof of Texas Wisteria, Coral Honeysuckle, and Mustang Grape vines. It provided much-welcome shade and a beautiful walkway through this part of the park.
Honestly, there is SO much more to the Wildflower Center than I have represented here. I just can’t do it justice! There was the butterfly garden which was peaceful and winding and I’m sure a month or so ago it was full of butterflies! There are the smaller gardens packed FULL of wildflowers. There are so many ideas for home gardening – ground cover, border plants, flowers, too many ideas for my little backyard, but I know I’m going to be putting BamaBoy to work! We didn’t even get into the trails! It was a great afternoon, though and we will definitely be going back! If you make it to Austin, you really should go – there was something for everyone – including a cafe where NanaBread and I may (or may not) have made a side trip inside for a cold coffee. 😉 Take your family, take the kids, just don’t take your dogs – they’re not allowed!