First, before I discuss our visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library, let me give thanks for recent rains. Over the past two weeks, we have been blessed with six and a third inches. Other people in the area received much more. But we all have had showers of blessings including all of central Texas and even the Panhandle. Desperately needed moisture has brought a sigh of relief because some cities were 90 days away from no water.
Now to the museum on the SMU campus in Dallas. The outside is simple in design, but note what looks like a small square building with windows and columns on top of the roof.
This cupola or whatever this is called is an interesting feature to the structure. The Davis Mountains scene on all four walls is part of a changing scene screen.
It doesn’t look like a screen, and I know nothing about the technology. The pictures slowly and constantly move around to the right on all four sides.
Then the scene changes again.
Stepping outside from the above main foyer, there is a patio area in the center of the building. This Desert Willow tree (Chilopsis linearis) provides nice color.
Also, in this patio were the statutes of both Bush presidents.
Of course, one whole section was dedicated to 9/11 with sirens wailing, pictures and information. This twisted metal from the towers served as a reminder of another “day that will live in infamy.”
Another section, where pictures were not allowed, was a gallery of paintings done by President Bush. Those depicted were all world leaders during his presidency. Beside each painting was information about where and when they met. In a short video, he said that he was well aware that the signature on each was worth more than the painting.
A few hands on exhibits were enjoyed by children and adults, like this one featuring their dog, Spot.
Outside the Oval Office replica was the garden, which was similar to the famous White House Rose Garden, except this one was planted with Texas native plants.
Another view looking from just outside the Oval Office.
The Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) always wash out in midday photographs.
Water Irises grew in a small pond area.
The plant database on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center lists all Foxgloves in Texas as False Foxgloves. In our area, those are only white or pale ivory.
I would love to find some of the pink or yellow ones.
Nice combination of Agaves and small flowers in all the beds.
The presidential library is on a corner. This is the side street with a more formal planting of trees and grass. To the left of this area, the ground slopes up beside the building and the front entrance is on the next level.
I was impressed with these shutters that were permanent, attractive, and a clever way to deal with the hot, direct sunlight.
The architect included other smart shading techniques.
Along the side of the building, this was the only section that was planted in rows.
All other plantings looked like a wildflower prairie.
A few smaller areas of grass gave the whole area an ordered, rather then messy feeling.
Scattered among the native grasses were all sorts of wildflowers, like this Horse Mint (Monarda punctata).
Could not get close enough to examine the red flowers, but maybe they are Penstemon.
A few Mexican Hats (Ratibida columnaris), Thistles, and lots of different kinds of yellow flowers.
This might be American basket-flower (Centaurea americana).
I was taken with them.
This Butterfly Weed’s (Asclepias tuberosa) bright orange screams for attention.
Worth a visit even though I didn’t feel as connected to the man as I did at his father’s library. Maybe it was just me. Another day might have brought a different reaction.
“Temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.” Washington Irving