Friday, July 20, 2018

Rained Out at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (2018 Garden Bloggers' Fling)

I've been weeding through more of the photos I took at the 2018 Garden Bloggers' Fling in Austin, Texas back in early May.  Many aren't worthy of publication, especially as there are better posts already available.  I dithered awhile over my photos of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as a monumental downpour brought that tour to an abrupt end and the gloomy skies didn't show it in its best light (pun intended) but, as I enjoyed flipping through my photos, I thought you may as well.  You can find other posts on the Wildflower Center on the Garden Bloggers Fling page (see May 4-Day 2).

Mine was the second bus to arrive at the Wildflower Center.  Light rain began falling as we moved toward the entrance for a mass photo of Fling participants.  Flingers on the first bus arrived earlier for a photography workshop so they had a little more time on-site before the rain began to fall.

This is my best photo of the expansive front courtyard.  You can find a map of the 284 acre property here.

This is a partial view of the Seed Silo Garden.  The seed silo itself can be seen in the upper right of this photo.

Umbrellas and plastic rain ponchos, included in the swag bags handed out to Flingers when we checked in, began making an appearance as I entered the Central Garden

The Wildflower Center features 800 species of plants native to Texas.  This photo and the next one were taken in the Theme Garden area.




I think this photo was taken in the Pollinator Habitat Garden as I moved in the direction of the Luci and Ian Family Garden, designed to provide families an opportunity to interact with the natural environment

The Family Garden includes a stumpery

as well as this spiral mosaic structure.


My favorite area was the Dinosaur Creek, although it had begun to pour by the time I reached it.

It included a grotto with a waterfall,

facsimile dinosaur tracks,

and caves.  As you may be able to tell from the rain spattered photo, it was raining hard at this point.


I began paying attention to the fact that the rain was accompanied by thunder and lightning and I realized that carrying an umbrella wasn't a bright idea.

This is the last photo I took before joining several other bloggers under the roof of the Robb Family Pavilion you can see in the background of this photo


I stowed my umbrella and put on the rain poncho while we waited to see if the rain was going to let up.  It didn't.  As the downpour got worse,  we collectively decided it'd be prudent to head back to cover in the central courtyard area.  With the wind blowing, our rain ponchos didn't provide much protection.  We all got soaked.  Most of the bloggers did.  In the women's restroom, some bloggers even tried using the hand-driers to dry their clothes.  However, as the rain continued almost unabated for the entire day, all or most of us spent the day wet.  When we reboarded our bus, I noticed that my phone showed an emergency flood alert. 

Someday, I hope to return to the Wildflower Center for a more complete tour under sunnier skies.  Right now, I wouldn't complain if we got a rainstorm like the one that battered Austin that day.  There have been monsoonal rains to the east of us recently but we've experienced nothing other than heightened humidity here and another heatwave is expected to envelop us next week.  In the meantime, I hope to make the most of a warm, sunny weekend.  I hope you have the opportunity to do the same!


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your pictures of your soggy visit to the Wildflower Center. So many interesting areas to explore. A return visit in fairer weather is a great idea. Enjoy your weekend!

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  2. You made it to some places I didn’t, so thanks for posting photos. Something about the way you describe the wet really had me feeling it, all over again. What a miserably wet feeling. Endurance is the word that comes to mind. I was just determined to power through...

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    1. I don't usually mind getting wet - I run around my own garden trying to gather the rain my barrels don't catch and often get soaked in the process. But being wet all day is another matter. When the rain started coming down at the Wildflower Center, I persisted until I realized I was being foolish given the lightning; however, as the day progressed, my soggy self wore down.

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  3. What a bummer it was that your first day everyone got soaking wet and never had a chance to dry out. That must have been miserable. I'm glad you got to see some of this great garden. I use their website quite often.

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    1. The rain's persistence was annoying to say the least, Alison! While at the Wildflower Center, I was still marveling at the storm's fury but I steadily wore down as the day progressed - and kicked myself for not wearing the rain jacket I'd left hanging in my hotel room.

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  4. Love the water feature in your last shot; I don't remember seeing it in any previous post from the Wildflower Center. It looks deluge-ready, starting with the sponge-like limestone...

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    1. That was an interesting feature. I loved all the limestone rocks we saw in Austin. I wish I could have brought some home!

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  5. You saw way more than I did. The Dinosaur Creek area looks great.

    All I got was a few wildflower photos and lots of pictures of wet people.

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    1. Despite the rain, I followed my usual tour strategy which is to make a fast first pass through the entire garden snapping a few photos as I go. I usually then make a more leisurely second pass focusing on the areas of greatest interest to me but this time the lightning didn't permit a second pass.

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    2. That is a good strategy! I just gawk obsessively at whatever catches my attention, and end up missing a whole lot.

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    3. It's the same approach I use when visiting garden centers. the theory there is that it leads me to prioritize possible purchases. I'm not sure it works...

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  6. This looks like a great place to explore on a more clement day. I liked how they divided the gardens by habitat. I frequently use their website for reference.

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    1. Alison said she uses the center's website for reference too, Eliza. I'll have to take a closer look.

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  7. I enjoyed your pictures. You have posted some that I don't remember seeing this round. I am glad you went ahead and posted. Hopefully you will get back there under better conditions.

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    1. I've only previously traveled to Texas for business but it could happen!

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  8. Since I was at your elbow getting soaked, I'm nodding energetically in agreement!

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    1. As I recall, at least you'd had the sense to put your rain poncho on early!

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  9. What a wonderful legacy lady Bird Johnson left us! I especially love your photo of the Pollinator Habitat Garden and the spiral mosaic structure. We have had high heat and humidity which builds in misery through the day until it explodes in almost daily late afternoon thunderstorms. Wish I could send some your way!

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    1. I wish you could too, Deb! I think I'm going to hate seeing next month's water bill.

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  10. One place I'd like to see - hopefully the day after the flowers enjoyed the rain.

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    1. Yes! Jenny Stocker (Rock Rose) posted photos of her garden several days after we toured it that same rainy day - big difference!

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