ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Gardens, Road Trips, TRAVEL

Spring is Blooming at DABs

Dallas Arboretum, Dallas TX
My Best DABs Photo


I made my annual visit to Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. First I have to confess – I think the gardens look bare without Chihuly.  I adored the gorgeous sculptures spread throughout the garden and made many visits during the exhibition.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to visit without missing them.

Visiting Blooms with Mom

That being said, the gardens were lovely.  This year seems to be a haze of orange and yellows and bright tulips beckoned us to come inside. Blooms will officially close April 7th, but DABs is a year round treasure.  You don’t have to wait for a special event.

My visit was on a Wednesday afternoon, but the garden was full.  On this trip, my main purpose was to entertain my eighty-five year old mother who volunteered in the DeGolyer house for over twenty years.  She’d still be doing it if her health allowed her to.

Mom’s a little frail to make it very far, but she shunned the wheelchair and eagerly led me to the tram stop.  We were lucky to get a very charming gentleman as our tram driver who behaved as if he were transporting a national treasure when he found out about mother’s career as a docent.  Her pride and pleasure were enormous.

Of course the flowers along the Paseo de Flores were beautiful as always.  Dark violet pansies had been planted early on and then the perky tulips grew up among them.  Overhead, blooming fruit trees seemed to fill the sky with popcorn.  A new garden is coming up between the Degolyer house and the Red Maple Rill.  The new garden will focus on Magnolias, one of my personal favorites and should be finished this year.  I can’t wait.

All of Dallas is waiting anxiously for the new children’s garden.  It was supposed to open this summer, but technical difficulties with some of the hands-on features, similar to those pesky challenges at the Perot, have caused the opening day to be pushed back. But the Arboretum is still a place for kids.  The special exhibit of this year’s garden is The Adventures of Great Explorers.  Visitors will find an Aztec Pyramid, Asian Pagoda and Geometric Dome among the tributes to great explorers like Cabeza de Vaca, Marco Polo and Admiral Byrd.  You should go explore them for yourself.

Several times as the tram made its way through the garden I caught tears glowing in my mother’s eyes.  She loves the garden as if it were her very own, and in a way it is.  She loved it when all these features weren’t even a dream and her generosity of giving twenty years of Thursdays to the arboretum helped to grow it into what it is today.

As the tram returned to its departure point, I suggested we stroll back to the entrance via the Jonsson Color Garden and get a peek at the Palmer Fern Dell.  As we crept along she told me about the misters in the dell and other features of the garden I’ve known and loved for many years, but she enjoys talking about it, so I asked questions to prompt her memories.

The Dallas Arboretum is the premiere attraction of our fair city.  There’s plenty to entertain you around here, but you haven’t been to Dallas until you visit the gardens.

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