Michan is here visiting from North Carolina, and we decided to go to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Michan is a friend of mommas and of course she went also. Lady Bird Johnson was the wife and first lady of Lyndon Baines Johnson the 36th President of the United States. Lady Bird Johnson’s cause was beautification of America’s roadways by planting flowers along them. Out of this project came the desire to find a place where Texas wildflowers could be protected and allowed to grow so people could come to see them.
The wildflower center was started as a 60-acre affair in east Austin, and it was named the National Wildflower Research Center. There was soon a clamoring among the residents to open something larger so people could enjoy the flowers and in 1995 42 acres were purchased in southwest Austin. While slightly smaller than the original as the town encroached on the property another 237 acres were acquired through purchase and donation and today the area consists of 284 acres. It is a national flower and plant research center affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin.
There is a fee for entrance, a restaurant and a gift shop. All proceeds go to the research, development and maintenance of the property.
We started out at the courtyard.
We then walked into an area for the kids which also contained a pretty neat waterfall, a fake one of course.
As you can see above there is a passage behind the waterfall which we all squeezed into.
We looked at an art display by a Mexican artist who had been in residency at UT.
After this section of trails, we climbed the observation tower for a view.
We went to the cafe and had a lunch of Turkey sandwiches and fruit. Next, we hit the Hill Country Trails, a much more vast and open area. Here we found the flowers that I am used to seeing on my hikes. I didn’t take many pictures of them because I have so many already. We did find some interesting things out there though.
We circled around the Arboretum where we found the picnic area and our trip was soon over.
I think we were a bit late (as usual), to see the most prolific bloom time, but I was surprised that I could get a three-mile hike out of a flower adventure. It was a good time.