Luminations lights up the Wildflower Center for Christmas


Luminations, the annual holiday light display at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, didn’t happen last year. But it returned this year for a 4-night run that ended Sunday night. Our family went last night and had a lovely time viewing the lights along the paths and the garden’s native Texas plants.


Glowing luminarias lined the entry walk along the aqueduct, which was washed with purple and blue light.


The entry pond was otherworldly, transformed by magenta and electric blue light. Luminarias zigzagged up the stone watercourse on the back wall.


Glowing with light, the pathways through the garden were especially enticing.


Even the Central Garden, normally my least favorite area of the gardens, was transformed by light.


Trees lit up in red and green led to a bright window…


…where a UT Tower made of gingerbread was on display.


Every time I visit, the Arizona cypresses in the Family Garden seem to have grown another few feet, and they looked beautiful adorned with ornaments and lights. Starburst-shaped sotols grow in front.


Candlelit luminarias lined the play spiral’s walls, and colored lights illuminated the walking tree stumps (which look like ents, or the aliens in Arrival).


Another view, with glowing trees in the background.


I went gaga over a huge, glowing moon light.


Isn’t it wonderful?


I’m not sure if the moon terrain is printed or projected, but it was beautiful.


A gravelly garden of wheeler sotol and hesperaloe was washed in blue light, as luminarias marched along a low wall.


It’s always so nice to see Austin come together to enjoy the season at events like Luminations.


It’s one of my favorite places in Austin, and one of my favorite times of the year.

For more Luminations photos, from when I attended in 2014, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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6 Responses

  1. Jenni says:

    What a sight! Can’t wait to visit this garden during the Fling. It’s been on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing~

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It is amazing how light can transform a garden. I too am gaga over the moon light.

  3. Jason says:

    Is this something new? I remember when we were in Austin over the Holidays a few years ago the Wildflower Center was closed for the season, much to my disappointment.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      No, Luminations has been going on for a number of years (although it had a hiatus last year, during some reorganizing), but it’s always earlier in December than Christmas. After the reorganizing, the Wildflower Center announced this year that it will no longer shut down for one or two weeks, whatever it was, at the end of the year, and it will also open daily instead of only Tues-Sun. https://www.wildflower.org/visit/admissions

      But really, you need to come back to Austin in the spring or fall, when the gardens are at their best. Winter is fairly mild here, but we do get hard freezes, and that means a lot of dormant native plants at the Wildflower Center and in every other garden in town. —Pam

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