Visit to Dallas Arboretum


Taiwanese pear in full bloom at the Dallas Arboretum

After a 3-hour landscape design class at the Dallas Arboretum yesterday, and before the 3 1/2-hour drive back home, I took a quick stroll through the gardens, which I’d never seen, despite having stayed over in Big D many a time. The bare winter landscape made it somewhat easier for me to look quickly and leave, without the regret of missing a garden in full bloom. But only somewhat easier.


As you can see, a few plants were already in full flower, like this Taiwanese pear.


The bones of the garden were on display, and what attracted my attention most were the leafless crepe myrtles. A crepe myrtle allee really wowed me, and I took a lot of photos of their muscular trunks, which I’m saving for another post. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran low as I lavished attention on the myrtles, and so I only got a few more pics of the rest of the garden.


A formal garden also caught my eye, its strong structure on full display in late winter. A Woman’s Garden, designed by Morgan Wheelock, incorporates a series of formal rooms as well as a more naturalistic garden, and it was quite nice. Anchoring one long, narrow garden room is this bronze nude, who leans against a limestone portal, gazing toward another one that leads out of the garden.


A rill leads you along the length of the garden.


The rill opens into a negative-edge pool overlooking White Rock Lake. But the bronze woman’s attention is focused elsewhere.


She has strange hair, but I admired her steady gaze and vaguely Central American–looking face.


I took in the view for a few minutes from this live-oak–sheltered bench.


Wouldn’t it be cooling on a hot day?


In another part of the Arboretum, I saw this Wheeler’s sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri ) in a blue pot that picked up the blue-gray of its foliage. And then it was time to go. I’ll definitely be back another time for a more-leisurely investigation.

Click here to see my pics of the beautiful crepe myrtle allee at the Arboretum.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

16 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    Great photos — and you’re right — it’s nice to see the bones! I love the bench – goes with that rustic, cluttered, textured style I like! I can’t wait to see the crepe myrtle post. I love their regal trunks.

    I’ll probably post the crepe myrtle shots tomorrow. Their trunks were so pretty. I often overlook crepe myrtles because they are common as dirt around here. But they’re common for a good reason—they’re wonderful trees. —Pam

  2. bill says:

    Yes, great photos. I have been there many times but never looked at that sculpture the way you did.

    One great thing about the Dallas Arboretum is that there is almost always something of interest to see no matter what season it is.

    You know, I rarely visit botanical gardens in the summer because it’s so hot. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons to see a garden, of course, but winter’s not bad either, which a lot of people might not realize. I enjoyed this winter garden. —Pam

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Didn’t you wonder what she was thinking?? A lovely view. The big stone bench under the live-oak is wonderful.
    I would love a rill. I think they are so interesting. I would rather have one that didn’t look so contemporary.
    Am I saying I want a creek? Not really. That would be nice too. Dear Santa, I want it all…

    I’m seeing rills in so many gardens these days, private gardens included. In fact, James David’s garden, which the Spring Flinging garden bloggers will tour, has a rill too. Rills certainly are a “hot” feature. I want it all too, Lisa. —Pam

  4. Brianna says:

    I lived in Dallas for nearly 6 years, and I never once visited the Arboretum while I was there. *shakes head sadly* It’s shameful, really.

    Thanks for sharing these photos!

    Don’t you hate it when you move away without ever seeing the sights? I’ve done that too. Or I’ve had friends live in fabulous places and just never quite made the effort to visit before they moved away. Aargh! —Pam

  5. I love a garden with a nude woman. I think all gardens should have nude women. That said, it looks like a very nice arboretum. And the Wheeler’s sotol in the blue pot looks as sexy as the sculpture. The bench is nice. But it would look better with a nude woman on it.

    Jim, I detect a theme here. The nude woman theme. I must ask : does your garden contain a nude woman? (Just imagine what the search engines are going to make of this comment.) —Pam

  6. Kim says:

    Wonderful photos… and I love the coloring on that bronze statue.

    I have to admit, much as I swear that I don’t want a formal garden, that I have always wanted a rill. I’m pretty sure that I could figure out a way to put one into an informal design, but on the other hand I don’t want the maintenance of a water feature in this dry, hot lot.

    Ooh, dry, hot lots are where you really need a water feature, Kim—like the Arabian gardens. :-) I saw a curved rill on a private-garden tour a couple of years ago. It ran down the middle of a path that curved through a naturalistic garden. Ferns grew along the edges, and small boulders added a natural touche. So it can be done. —Pam

  7. Katarina says:

    Thanks for the tour – very inspiring pictures. I like the statue a lot – and the picture of the taiwanese Pear is gorgeous! /Katarina

    You’re the first person to comment on the pear. I thought that would grab the attention of those in colder climates, but I didn’t know it would be a garden blogger from Sweden. Thanks for stopping by, Katarina. —Pam

  8. jodi says:

    Duh…clicked the wrong button and picked before I posted–this is a wonderful looking garden, although I prefer the pear to the sculpture!

    Another vote for the pear! Thanks for dropping by, Jodi. —Pam

  9. Layanee says:

    Alas, I cannot grow crepe myrtles but do enjoy seeing them here. Their muscular trunks are similar to that bronze! Also, love the sunrise in the previous post!

    I’ll have more crepe myrtles for you tomorrow, Layanee. Thanks for commenting. —Pam

  10. Carol says:

    Sitting in the shade of a live oak would be nice on a hot day. I like that bench. Thanks for a great tour of the arboretum, looking forward to seeing more of the crepe myrtles.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

    More myrtles coming tomorrow. Without the blooms, you can really appreciate the bark and trunk structure. —Pam

  11. Robin says:

    Pam, I love it when you tour other gardens. It is always a special treat since you take such fabulous pictures and know exactly how to make it interesting and enjoyable. I suppose I miss the azaleas and the crepe myrtles the most of any plants from the south.

    Thank you, Robin! I’m delighted to know that you enjoy my garden tours. I enjoy them myself so much more now that I blog about them. It makes me pay better attention. —Pam

  12. wiseacre says:

    I love the closeup photo of the pear flowers. I can’t help feeling a little envy. I’m glad the Arboretum was still winter bare. I might have missed the stairs and bench otherwise. I’m now trying to think how I can make a similar but more rustic stone version. It never crossed my mind to add a backrest and arms to a garden bench before. (sometimes you have to see something before you know you want it)

    That is true. I’ll look forward to a future post from you about your new stone bench, Wiseacre. —Pam

  13. Nicole says:

    That Taiwanese pear in full bloom is just lovely, what a cheerful sight on my computer this morning! Very powerful sculpture of a woman, too. Reminds me of Vigeland’s sculptures.
    Well, as soon as my friend in Laos gets her visa to join her husband in Dallas and I visit, the Dallas Arboretum will be on my list of places to go.

    If you like a big azalea display, it looks like spring would be the season to visit. They had tons of azaleas throughout the garden. —Pam

  14. Linda says:

    Pam,
    Great pictures, again. We lived in Dallas County most of our lives. The Arboretum is a Dallas treasure. Their spring festival, Dallas Blooms, is spectacular. Literally thousands of tulips and other spring bloomers. I hope the late freeze this year didn’t hurt them too much.

    I’m on their email list, and they keep tempting me to make a repeat visit with their fall and spring displays and festivals. How nice that you were able to visit repeatedly for so many years. —Pam

  15. judy says:

    Hi, can anyone tell me the botanical name of that gorgeous pear? I WANT one! Like the nude sculpture, but not the frame around her. It looks clunky, she looks classy. (to me anyway)

  16. […] A glorious allee of crepe myrtles leads to a whimsical toad fountain at the Dallas Arboretum, which I visited on Wednesday. […]

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