Tag Archives: Wildflowers

Children’s Gardens: Luci and Ian Family Garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s new Luci and Ian Family Garden gives children and their families a wonderful place to discover nature and the beauty of native plants through “nature play.” Children are enticed to explore mathematical patterns found in Nature, wander a maze made of native shrubs or see how water flows around different Hill Country rocks.

Opening Sunday, May 4, 2014, the 4.5-acre Family Garden doubles the maintained garden acreage at the 279-acre Wildflower Center that is part of The University of Texas at Austin.

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What’s Special

  • Nature’s Spiral, a mosaic–inlaid limestone wall that illustrates the spiral shapes found in nature
  • Creek with dinosaur footprints
  • Metamorphosis Maze
  • Giant tree stumps great for climbing
  • Giant bird nests made from native grape vines
  • Grotto with caves
  • Waterfall
  • Lawn designed with native turf
  • Water activities

“Luci and Ian” are Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, and her husband Ian Turpin, who are major donors of the $5 million attraction. The Family Garden, a model for eco-friendly landscaping, is a pilot project of the national Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program. The Wildflower Center developed SITES in partnership with the U.S. Botanic Garden and the American Society of Landscape Architects and is the most comprehensive national system for rating the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin is part of the legacy of the former first lady.

Visit

Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Noon – 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, Texas 78739.

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin

Austin: The Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum

Wildflower center arbarboretum

Austin, Texas

The Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum

The Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum covers 16 acres at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas. Here the ground is covered with native grasses and wildflowers, and pathways connect different groupings of trees, including:

  • Xeric Collection with trees for hot, dry, rocky, places
  • The Hall of Texas Heroes collection, where Texas history comes alive through the propagation of historically significant trees
  • Texas Oak collection, which will eventually feature all 54 oak species native to Texas, including  Red oaks, cedar elms and others, some of which are 100-plus years old.

Picnic areas throughout the site.

What’s Special

A special tree in the “Hall of Texas Heroes” collection is a genetically identical copy or “clone” of Austin’s famous “Treaty Oak” grown by the Texas Forest Service. The original Treaty Oak in downtown Austin has survived centuries and is the last remnant of what American Indians call the Council of Oaks.  Other trees in this collection are the Alamo Live Oak and the Sam Houston Kissing Bur Oak.

Visiting

Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, Texas 78739
Phone: 512.232.0100

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Austin: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, was known for her tireless campaign to beautify America. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on it was inscribed this tribute: “Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure.”

Part of her legacy is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin that introduces visitors to the incredible beauty of native plants.

In 1982, Mrs. Johnson and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. Later renamed as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the 279-acre site is now an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin dedicated to increasing the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. The Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 7,200 native species available online.

The cultivated wildflower meadows and gardens feature 12 acres with about 650 species of native Texas plants. The center is one of only three gardens nationally emphasizing native plants.

Other points of interest: A rooftop rainwater harvesting system, aqueduct, and observation tower.

The Little House Courtyard is designed to help young children ages two to six learn about shapes, smells, textures and colors through nature. There’s also a wikiup (a framed hut used by nomadic Native Americans), tree stump stools and large pots in which children can dig for plastic insects and lizards.

What’s Special

Working gardens such as the Hill Country Stream, Homeowner Inspiration Gardens, and the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden serve as models for homeowners as they restore their own property to a more natural state.

Visiting

Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, Texas 78739
Phone: 512.232.0100

Photo credit: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Rockford: Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden

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Rockford, Illinois

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is beautiful throughout the year. Features around the 155-acres include the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden and a Prehistoric Garden, as well as other specialty gardens including Hosta, Grass, Butterfly, Daylily, Peony, Rhododendron and Azalea and, Wildflowers.

In addition, a bur oak grove covers 12 acre, with the largest bur oak trees estimated at over 300 years old. Impressive native trees among the grove include an enormous basswood, giant black cherries, white oak, shagbark hickory, black walnut and hackberry. Plus, over fifty species and cultivars of coniferous evergreens on site represent nine groups from North America, Europe and Asia.

Woodland trails include 1.5 miles of paved paths in two loops and 2.5 miles of unpaved trails through the heart of the Arboretum. In the winter, the trails are great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

What’s Special

During your visit, see if you can spot the Klehm Arboretum mascots (pictured): Cow-li-flower, Klehmentine and Flora Fauna.

Visiting

Open Daily: 9am – 4pm

2715 S. Main St | Rockford, IL

(815) 965-8146

Email Klehm

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Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden

English Walled Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Botanical Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is the second most-visited botanic garden of its size in the U.S., attracting more than one million visitors during 2013. While its 385 acres may seem like a lot to cover, from April to October there are tram tours for an enjoyable overview of the Garden’s highlights.

There are more than two dozen specialty garden areas, including a Children’s Growing Garden, Japanese Garden, Native Plant Garden, Rose Garden, and Waterfall Garden. Home landscape gardens are a source of inspiration for homeowners, demonstrating a variety of plantings that are most suitable. – including easy-to-grow for those of us with less than green thumbs.

What’s Special

English Walled Garden.  Designed by John Brooks, there are six garden rooms representing a variety of English garden design styles with plants best suited for the Midwest: a Cottage Garden, Vista Garden, Daisy Garden, Pergola Garden, Courtyard Garden and Checkerboard Garden. Plantings feature boxwood, catmint, clematis, foxglove, English lavender, roses, and yew.

Chicago Botanic Garden Model RailroadModel Railroad Garden. During the summer, the 7,500-square-foot Model Railroad Garden features fifteen trains—including the new Rock Island line, the Santa Fe Super Chief and a Napa Valley train—that travel through miniature scenes of America’s most treasured sites including a St. Louis Riverboat, a Midwestern farm, an old-fashioned main street and the Statue of Liberty.

Shoreline. Nearly one-quarter (81 acres) of the Garden is water. A 60-acre system of lakes winds throughout the gardens and research facilities, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor, with about six miles of shoreline encircles the Garden’s lakes. It’s an excellent resource for erosion control and native plants recommended for shoreline habitats.

Birding. Approximately 255 species of birds have been sighted throughout the Garden. Good to know: April and May are when migratory songbirds are to be found.

Photo: Chicago Botanic Garden [ info ]

Calendar

The Orchid Show February 15 – March 16, 2014

Visiting

Admission is free, parking rates apply.

1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

(847) 835-5440

Chicago Botanic Garden photos

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