Botanic Gardens

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    An Hour at Fairchild — The Butterflies | Part II

    Since the last time we were at Fairchild they have added an exotic butterfly conservatory. After touring the conservatory we realized that they had taken away the back room where Mr. Stinky used to be and converted it to part of the butterfly area. I’m not sure where they display Mr. Stinky now. The butterfly exhibit was great, and there are a series of doors that are opened only by the push of a button in order not to let any escapees attached to anyone from exiting out into nature itself. It’s the effort to prevent non-natives from invading where they shouldn’t.

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    A Hour at Fairchild | Part I

    It’s really difficult to visit Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in only an hour, but we did. Thankfully we were already familiar with the park otherwise I can’t imagine recommending anyone not familiar to visit it in only an hour. Really, you should spend half the day there if possible. It’s even more fun when they have their tropical ice cream vendors there! We started off with the vines on the west side of the park near the road. This is a chalice vine, a succulent-like vine that we once grew in our garden in Ft. Lauderdale. I wrote about the jade vine over on Sprout Dispatch on Monday. I’m not…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    The Ruby Mize Azalea Garden | SFA Botanic Gardens

    On the west side of University drive and directly across from the Gayla Mize garden is the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden. Unfortunately we were about a month too early for the spectacular blooms of the azaleas, but it was still a nice walk through the small garden here. A camellia that I didn’t catch the name of. More camellias! If only we could keep the deer off of our remaining camelia in our yard… A magnolia bud. Camellia japonica ‘Kujaku-tsubaki’ Camellia ‘Spring Mist’ It was definitely the transition time for the end of the camellias and the beginning of the azaleas. Next year we’ll have to plant to visit east…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    The Gayla Mize Garden | SFA Botanic Gardens

    On the far east side of the Stephen F. Austin campus is a wooded area that is home to a newer garden in the SFA Botanic Gardens, the Gayla Mize garden. It is definitely a work in progress with new plantings that are only a few years old, but you can see the potential it has in the upcoming years. Camellia yuhsienensis Euonymus phellomanus I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I thought over in this garden, but it was a lovely walk. Lots of interesting species plants from various parts of the world, even a sassafras species from China that we didn’t know about. Back beyond the garden…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening,  Outdoors,  Wildscape Photo

    Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve | Part I

    A few weekends ago, on our Sunday off, Chris and I went to the Watson Preserve. It’s about an hour from Beaumont and well worth the drive. In fact, it has such a diversity and beat the Sundew Trail at the Big Thicket that day for having more blooms and plants worth seeing. I’d love to meet Geraldine Watson sometime (you must watch the video that is the link!). If you are ever in the area I highly recommend stopping by this place and checking it out. I’m breaking the trip down into several posts as I took a zillion photos. The photos on this post are with three areas…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening,  Photography,  Wildscape Photo

    Shangri-La Botanic Gardens: Orange, Tx

    Great white egrets nesting Itea virginica and white ginger flower Bunny, something I don’t know, beaver dam, and green heron Pond covered in small and giant salvinia, an invasive exotic Banded water snake, Nerodia fasciata The same day we went to the Beaumont Botanic Gardens we drove over to Shangri-La Botanic Gardens to see what they had in store. This was an affordable garden, $6 entry for a regular garden tour and then $10 for a garden tour and a boat tour down a bayou to a few of their education centers and maybe to see a beaver dam or two! We opted for the $10 and arrived there when…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening,  Photography,  Wildscape Photo

    Beaumont Botanical Gardens

    On our Sunday off a week ago in Beaumont we took a trip to a few botanic gardens. One of them is a free to the public garden, the Beaumont Botanic Garden. We arrived too early to see the conservatory but we did a tour of the garden. I think the rose garden was the most stunning but they did have some other beautiful parts in the garden. Several people were taking graduation photos. We’re off for at least a week as we switch projects down in the Big Thicket but when we return we’ll drop by the conservatory and see what’s blooming in there.

  • Botanic Gardens

    Grapevine Botanic Gardens

    Driving around Grapevine the other day we saw a sign for the Grapevine Botanic Gardens and for as long as I’ve been in Texas (minus the 8 years in Florida) I had no idea they existed. We thought they might charge to get in, but nope, they are free! Honestly, I loved it more than some larger botanic gardens I’ve been to around here. I think an oak hairstreak, Satyrium favonius on mist flower. Oakleaf hydrangea I was very happy to smell this butterfly ginger. I missed having it this year in my yard. One of my favorite plants in the garden for scent; strong and heady. They had quite…