Zilker Botanical Gardens
For the most garden varieties in Austin you should go to Zilker Botanical Gardens (477-8672) to enjoy 22 acres of plants and flowers, which include a Xeriscape Garden, Cactus Garden, Organic Garden, Rose Garden, Oriental Garden, Fragrance Garden, and Butterfly Trail. Guided group butterfly tours are available with advance notice. The various gardens integrate flowers, shrubs, handsome trees, natural grottoes, and fountains with lagoons into a design that creates an environment of inspiration, beauty, and tranquillity. Educational opportunities for people of all ages are offered through displays, research programs, and specialized gardens.
Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
showcases the 7 Xeriscape principles: reduce turf, use native and low-water-use plants, improve the soil, water efficiently, practice good maintenance, use mulch, and use good landscape design. The garden displays over 50 native and low-water-use plants, including trees, shrubs, ground covers, and wildflowers. This garden is maintained by the Xeriscape Garden Club. This club meets monthly on the third Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road. Call 370-9505 for information.
Taniguchi Oriental Garden
is a special 3-acre area created by Isamu Taniguchi over an 18-month period with no pay. He dedicated it to the city of Austin and the University of Texas in appreciation for the help given to his family. The oriental garden is a delicate balance between earth and water. This peaceful garden includes an authentic teahouse with a great view of downtown and a “bridge to walk over the moon.” This bridge provides the perfect spot to admire the more than 22 lotus blooms that grace the pools of water, and it personifies the poetic sensitivity of the ancient Orient. The honeycombed rock lining the waterfalls and pathways throughout the garden are native, having come from the Lake Travis area.
Forty four garden groups hold their meetings at the Austin Area Garden Center. Call for information on specific areas of interest. Many of these groups have special shows throughout the year. The Florarama Festival, usually held in May, the Spring Rose Show, and the Bonsai Show are only a few examples of what the Austin Area Garden Center has to offer.