Children’s Garden & Edible Garden at Wildflower Center

The Little House Garden—the children’s garden—beckoned on our way out of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last Friday afternoon. The child-sized door leads to the Little House, a craft and educational room for kids; the open wooden door leads to a small courtyard with a vine tepee, large pots in which to dig for plastic insects, and a little native garden to explore.

A grasshopper weathervane adds charm to a cluster of flame acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii).

A birdhouse attracts feathered friends.

A rugged vine tepee invites play. In previous years, the tepee has been made of flexible limbs. It’s charming either way.

Well, well, this is new! Behind the Little House, an native edible garden has been created since I was last here. It’s in full, blowsy glory right now, with ornamental grasses in bloom, sunflowers bent under the weight of their seeds, and chile pequin peppers (Capsicum annuum) reddening on the bush. That’s a rainwater collection cistern in the background, hooked up to the gutter from the roof.

Peppers! These are hot, hot, hot, as hot as habaneros, I’ve read.

Birds love them too and are unaffected by their spiciness.

We had a wonderful time at the Wildflower Center, as always. Fall is a great time to visit, so pop on over when you have time or are in town for a visit.

To see my first post in this series, about the entry garden, woodland garden, and Hill Country Stream, click here. For my second post, about the Wildflower Center’s demonstration garden, click here.

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

11 Responses

  1. Very nice, and certainly inspiring to future Pams, Jennys, etc! Always something cool and well-designed there, you lucky devils. I keep forgetting to ask Christy T. the projects she has worked on at the WF Ctr…she mentioned 1 or 2.

  2. LOVE that grasshopper! I’d never thought of using a weather vane like that – what a great idea.

  3. Judy says:

    Chile pequins, dropped into some vinegar and allowed to sit for a week or so, make good hot sauce. We used to put a few drops into our veggie soup when I was a little girl.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I must say that I have enjoyed the in depth visit to the Wildflower Center. Thanks so much for taking us along.

  5. peter schaar says:

    I have always had chile pequin in my garden. Mexicans use them in salsa. I also crush them with a knife blade and put them in hot oil in a skillet or pot. After a few seconds I remove the hulls, which are hard, leaving flavored spicy oil in which to cook the dish or stew. Since they are very small as well as hot, you can finely calibrate how picoso you want the dish to be. They are also excellent fall color and bird food. They are tough perennials which the birds spread around, and they produce well in shade! What a plant!

  6. Greggo says:

    I remember the last time I had piquin salsa…wowsa! Not a great memory. Tough as nails plant however. Thanks for the tour pam. Such great design.

  7. Layanee says:

    That is the only grasshopper one should have in the garden. When I finally get to Austin, I will take a trip to the Wildflower Center.

  8. The Wildflower Center is always inspiring. And, you show it off quite nicely, with your photos.
    We’re going to do our best to get over there for Luminations.
    Thanks for another great tour.

  9. Nicole says:

    Very lovely photos-the grasshopper weathervane is cool. Chilis are always so photogenic!

  10. commonweeder says:

    You and your succulents are already inspired, but I am giving away a copy of Debra Lee Baldwin’s Succulent Container Gardens AND a copy of my own book, The Roses at the End of the Road, to celebrate my 4th blogoversary. Come help me celebrate.

  11. katina says:

    That stand of chile pequin is amazing!