Garden Musings

A Winter Respite at Dallas Arboretum

I recently traveled with a co-worker to Dallas to purchase some merchandise for the garden center. We finished at the Dallas Market Center early in the afternoon and had a couple of hours before we had to head to the airport. The temperature was in the 80’s, quite a change from the Chicago winter we left at 7:00 that morning. The Dallas Arboretum seemed like the perfect place for two winter-weary gardeners.

It was so nice to see pansies of all colors and ornamental cabbage and kale blooming throughout the gardens.

I could have admired the magnificent limbs in the Crape Myrtle Allee for hours but airplanes don’t wait for nature-deprived gardeners.

Winter exposed the intricate branching of vines. I could picture the birds flitting in and out of their nests hidden in the dense branches enveloping this garden structure on a sunny spring day.

Berries provided pops of color. Holly berries were abundant, but I was charmed by the pink berries of coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus).

Water features were revealed at nearly every turn. Rushing water of waterfalls and fountains filled the gardens with its seductive song. The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill slithered through a grassy area like a grand snake. Kids were taking advantage of the warmer-than-normal temperatures to play in the water.

My favorite water feature occurred at the end of the Crape Myrtle Allee. Delightful toad fountains – one at each corner – spit water towards each other. You could almost hear the summer squeals of children running through the water on a hot Dallas day.

Squirrels, by the dozens, kept us company as we walked. They were so comfortable with garden visitors they didn’t mind our curious advances while they dug up acorns hidden last fall.

I was very grateful to have a couple hours to spend outside on a January afternoon. Green grass, brightly-blooming flowers, and bird songs will help this gardener endure her Midwest winter – at least a little longer. Garden with me!

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2 thoughts on “A Winter Respite at Dallas Arboretum

  1. Diana, I wish I would have known you were coming here! There are lots of us bloggers in Dallas and we would have been happy to meet you. The Dallas Arboretum is really and truly one of my very favorite places in this world. I’ve been going since I was a little kid when it used to be called the DeGolyer Estate. Now I’m going to tell you something that will shock you…..that Allee isn’t magnolias…it’s crape myrtles! That’s how we grow them here in Texas. 🙂 Do you have crape myrtles? They are a jewel in this state where we can’t grow lilacs very easily. Here’s a link for you to see pictures in all seasons. Click on the slideshow to see. http://www.dallasarboretum.org/named-gardens-features/crape-myrtle-allee

    1. If I would have had more time, Stacey, I would have put out the word I would be in town. It would have been so much fun to meet you in person. It was a nice surprise that I had a couple hours to get to the arboretum. Hey, thanks for the correction on the kind of trees in the allee. I grabbed a map when I was there to help me identify some key features. Apparently, I am a terrible map reader! As it turns out, I didn’t even see the Magnolia Allee (which is by the McCasland Sunken Garden). I guess that gives me a reason to come back…that, and to meet you!

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