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Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Rules of Writing

When writing blog posts, I always avoid saying things like “I had no idea this place would be so amazing!” Of course I knew, or I wouldn’t have taken the time for a visit. Well, you know how it goes when you make up rigid rules...

Be Prepared

When you travel, your time is nearly always going to be limited, so your itinerary should be decided based on what interests you, in particular, and not on a random list of popular tourist sites. In order to see as much of what you enjoy as possible, you should definitely do some in-depth research.

Show Me Where the Flowers Are

The destinations that normally appear at the top of my wish lists tend to be focused on nature and public gardens. When I was offered a sudden opportunity to visit Dallas, one of the first things I searched the Internet for was a public garden. 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden seemed a perfect fit for me. Reading about the garden on their website and scrolling through the pictures an image search offered made it clear that a visit would give me the kind of experience I was looking for.

I'm Here!

Tim drops me off at 9 in the morning, with plans to visit the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. By this point, he has accompanied me to so many gardens that his ability to feign interest in plants is beginning to falter. I really can’t blame him. 

A Vision of Light and Color

Almost immediately after entering, I come across the All American Selections Trial Garden. What a beautiful sight, with the early morning sun slanting across the blooms and lighting up the dew covered grass. I can’t resist its pull. My shoes are not made for a wet environment, but that’s inconsequential. It’s a pity no one is here to hear my appreciative sighs… I’m all too aware of the time constraints in this beautiful setting, so with a sad last look, I continue on.

Crepe Myrtle Allee

I next arrive at Crepe Myrtle Allee, which is possibly the area most popular with visitors (at least if the sheer number of internet images is anything to go by). Already, there are people wandering through the shaded tunnel. It’s tempting to hover in the area until the allee is empty, but I know that’s unlikely to happen. I snap the requisite picture and… continuing just a few steps, discover a garden lover’s dreamscape.


The area I enter is simply called “Trial Gardens”. In complete contrast to its unassuming name, what it reveals is to me the most astonishingly beautiful area of the garden. An explosion of color is scattered throughout wide, parallel flower beds. It’s everything I love about English country gardens! Wait for it, because next comes the big faux pas statement - I had no idea I would find something this amazing! Botanical and photography passions ignite. I just want to stay here, and I do for quite some time.

Secret Garden Rooms

After reluctantly leaving my favorite place, I continue through the many other gardens. The path delivers a constant sense of discovery as it curves through the foliage to areas that suddenly reveal themselves, only to close up once I’ve passed. Although there are plenty of expansive views in the park, I especially enjoy the enclosed, secret garden types of spaces. It allows the viewer to be more focused on the immediate surroundings. 

White Rock Lake

The botanical garden rests along the shore of White Rock Lake and seems designed with a clear awareness that water serves as an ideal backdrop to large green lawns. There’s even a stage, close to the water, that allows audiences to settle down on the hillside while enjoying performances.

Falling Water

In the water garden, you’ll find plenty of visual drama, as evidenced by the many selfie takers. The sound of falling water lends a soothing quality to the increasingly hot day. As I leave the water area, I take a look at my phone and find a text from Tim saying he’s parked by the front entrance.

Jonsson Color Garden

I decide to return by way of the lower path so I can take in the Jonsson Color Garden, a fortunate decision, because this is an impressive area. The deep beds are planted in bands of color, which create some very strong, curved lines between the lawn in front of the beds and the trees behind. 

Feeling Grateful

Although I’ve done my best to see every area of the botanical garden, I’ve still managed to miss a few. That’s the way it is with all travel. You create a list of priorities and if you manage to see the places at the top of the list, you can, and should, leave happy.

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