Flowers & spring green at Zilker Botanical Garden

From dinosaur gardens to Japanese gardens to the surprise of azaleas in Austin, Zilker Botanical Garden has something for everyone. And yes, they also have mixed beds of flowers in bloom, although thankfully no sweeps of bedding annuals. Here’s some lovely spring color (I’m including green!) brightening the grounds during my visit last week.

A glade opens amid the trees, and a curving, raised-bed garden built around a water feature takes advantage of the sunlight.

Frilly, colorful heads of ranunculus add a festive look to a bed of baby blue-eyes (Nemophila phacelioides).


Over by the rose garden, a red-roofed structure (the top of an old schoolhouse, I seem to recall) makes a picturesque gazebo by the koi pond.

A Victorian-style planter left “wild” in a bed of ferns

And another view of the gazebo by the pond. These girls were watching the large koi.

This leaning, ancient live oak is one of my favorite trees at the gardens. It has great character.

Along with several other pioneer buildings incongruously sited in the garden, but charming nonetheless, a Swedish immigrant’s log cabin can be inspected near the azaleas.

Along the stream in the Japanese garden, a bank of maidenhair fern cascades beautifully toward the water.

A closer look at its black stems (I love these!) and delicate greenery

Gulf Coast penstemon offers up dainty, lavender blossoms on tall stems in the Green Garden, which features native and adapted water-wise plants.

A carved wooden angel in the Japanese garden

A stand of larkspur brings the evening sky to earth near the tea house.

Out by the parking lot, pink evening primrose sprawls in a sunny gravel bed, flouncing its pink skirts. Such a sweet flower, and such a tough, even thuggish, plant.

Shining, white Texas persimmon trunks in the Green Garden

The blooms were almost all faded from the Texas mountain laurels, but I found this grape Kool-Aid-scented cluster still hanging on.

Yellow columbine was in full swing

Texas sotol, every thorn along its pliable leaves lit up by the sun

A nearly tame squirrel was enjoying the garden along with me. And I hope you have enjoyed the virtual visit as well.

For an older visit to Zilker Garden, click here.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

12 Responses

  1. David C. says:

    The themed areas are very nice, and I like the older, wooded feel. But it looks like I need to pack up the moving van, or at least plan another visit!

    Have you made it to Zilker yet on your visits, David? —Pam

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The cascade of maidenhair ferns is a beautiful sight to me. I have tried to grow them here so many times without luck. This Zilker Garden is a place I want to see when I get to Austin. So many beautiful things to see.

    Yes indeed, Lisa. There’s always something to see there. —Pam

  3. Chookie says:

    I love your Zilker photos! If only it was a bit closer to me!

    Hmm, yes, half a world away is indeed a bit of a hike. There’s much I’d love to see in Australia too, Chookie. Maybe one day! —Pam

  4. Greggo says:

    Liked the post, except for the bushy tailed rodent. ha. Really liked the wooden angel, have a tall stump I need to remove, wonder if I could carve on those wooden angels out of it. Or maybe a pedestal, who knows. Have you seen anything like that?

    Creativity with a chainsaw is not something I’d undertake, but I’d love to see what you come up with, Greggo! —Pam

  5. Darla says:

    What a great garden….love all your photos…and the ranunculus, ohh la la!

    Those flouncy ranunculus have a way of stealing the heart, don’t they? —Pam

  6. Layanee says:

    I find my daily fix of green and colorful plants here which really helps with this cold, gray spring. Beautiful images Pam. Love that squirrel. They look so tame and yet are such frenetic little creatures.

    Squirrels are so much cuter in other people’s gardens, don’t you find? When they’re not chewing up one’s cushions or digging up one’s plants. —Pam

  7. I think I like those white persimmon trunks and the wall of maidenhair fern in this part of the garden even more than some of the views of the Japanese garden.

    This post is a mix-up of images from all over the garden, Linda. The maidenhair fern is from the Japanese garden; the Texas persimmon trunks are up in the native-and-adapted garden. The images in this post may give you a better idea of the garden as a whole, Linda. It’s a woodsy, hilly, almost folksy space, with various gardens carved out of the hillside. —Pam

  8. S. Fox says:

    What a wonderful tour of all the gardens. I have many great childhood memories of Zilker Park; mainly that cold dip in the springs on a really hot day. I can see we need to make a “grownup” visit too!

    A great idea, S. Fox. And after you have your “grownup” visit you can still take a dip in Barton Springs. It sure feels good on a hot summer day! —Pam

  9. Hi Pam
    Lovely fotos from a nice garden. Funny that you mention something from Sweden. The spring has just arrived here and some spring flowers has started to bloom.

    Happy spring to you, Ken! I love seeing your Swedish garden in bloom. —Pam

  10. laguna dirt says:

    everything feels so verdant in your photos! i love the carved angel, and i’m not usually an angel person. every photo is a prize!

    That angel looks almost as if it were carved of driftwood. I can see why you like it, Laguna Dirt! —Pam

  11. Les says:

    Thanks for sneaking us in. I have joined the Zilker Gardens.

    My pleasure, Les. —Pam

  12. Jenny B. says:

    Can you tell me what the blue flowered plant is in the second picture? It is so lovely I would like to try and use it here in Houston

    It’s baby blue-eyes, Jenny, or Nemophila phacelioides. —Pam