In all the many times we’ve visited Austin, we had never been to Zilker Botanical Gardens. So in June, the morning after we attended a Gilbert and Sullivan production, we walked through the gardens.
Near the entrance from the parking lot is an above ground pond for water plants.
I love water lilies but don’t want to bother with the installation, maintenance, and problems with animals that a water feature might involve.
Looks like a dill plant, but in water?
Very soothing to the soul.
Another favorite – Hydrangeas – cannot be grown here. Rocky clay soil and extreme dry heat just don’t cut it.
Queen of the Nile (Agapanthus) don’t make it through our winters. Really lovely, though.
This might be another variety of Queen of the Nile.
Plumbagos (Plumbago auriculate) are from South Africa and do very well here in the summer but must go into a green house for the winter.
Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus mutabilis), also know as Confederate Rose or Mallow Rose, is a super perennial in our area and evergreen further south.
Although Austin is only 125 miles south of us, the weather is much more tropical. So the plants that grow there don’t have to contend with cold weather, most of the time.
A large section of the park has tropical plants and natives to the area growing in a naturalistic style.
Some areas seem like they are in the country rather than the city.
Texas Pink Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘Texas Pink’)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
I like the look of tropical foliage plants but since they are annuals here, I don’t buy them.
Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) thrives in Austin but doesn’t survive winter here. So we grow Mexican Bird of Paradise, which has a similar look but not the bright color of the flowers.
Love the bright red of what I think is a Firecracker Plant or Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea).
Firecracker Plant or Fountain Plant (Russelia equisetiformis) grows in zone 9 or above. It’s a nice filler plant.
A Walking Stick on a lamplight globe.
I think this is Mexican Heather.
These gardens looked very Austin, but I personally prefer that botanical gardens be more formal since my own gardens are not.
One note: there was a large rose garden area, but the bushes were in sad shape and didn’t have many blooms. I did not think that the roserosette virus had reached Austin yet. It started in Oklahoma and is in most of North Texas now and is breaking rose lovers hearts. So far, we have been spared.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu