Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tulipmania at the Dallas Arboretum

The first tulips have finally opened up here, in spite of the monsoon that hit us last week, swelling creeks and small rivers, making travel hazardous and often circuitous, as many of us had to be inventive to find our way home.  But my basement has finally dried out, and our neighbors  no longer can claim to have lakefront property.  In between the rain showers I've managed a few hours working in the garden, still pruning and clearing out last year's debris.  But back to those tulips . . .

While my own tulips are just starting to bloom, I was fortunate to enjoy a bonanza of tulips three weeks ago while visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Dallas.  I arrived just in time to catch the end of the annual Bulb Festival at the Dallas Arboretum.  When I purchased my ticket, I asked if the bulbs were located in a specific location within the gardens. Foolish me!  The attendant kindly replied that they were everywhere throughout the garden, which soon became apparent. 

Tulips, tulips everywhere and in every hue imaginable!  The masses of tulips at the entry gate in the first photo were nearly finished, but inside the gates most were still in their prime.

I'm sure there were other spring-flowering bulbs featured in this festival, but it was the tulips that captured my attention on this sunny day.

Pink tulips mixed with purple and white pansies--my favorite spring color combo.

Even a pop of yellow looks good here.

'Blushing Lady' tulip--I didn't bother to write down names of different varieties, but I'm always drawn to tulips with these gradients of pink and yellow.  I've already ordered a similar type at the Chicago Flower Show for this fall.

While my favorite tulips are pastel or even flashy hot colors, there is something pristine and serene about these yellow and white ones . . .

. . . especially in a mass planting.

Covering 66 acres, the Dallas Arboretum is smaller than many such gardens around the country, but its size makes it easy to tour in an afternoon.  It is a family-friendly place, with exhibits and play spaces designed for children and lots of grassy spaces for children to romp.

Indeed, most of the children I saw were enjoying the open spaces as much as any exhibit.  

Older visitors appreciated all the benches strategically placed along the broad walkways.

All visitors are welcome!  (I even saw a few squirrels scampering about.)

Of course, the Arboretum is about more than just tulips--
azaleas were just as prominent and just as spectacular.

I would love to have a mass of these blooms in front of my house!

Trial gardens in one area contained new varieties of different annuals and perennials, 
including this bed of violas.

In another area a planting of columbines caught my eye.

I love the blue, but I'm thinking I'd like some of this color in my garden, too.

Many of us were intrigued by this unusual tree and stopped to get a closer look--
an Empress Tree, Paulownia tomentosa.

A beautiful terraced rock garden.

The Poetry Garden provided some inspiration--I thought of Juliet's balcony when I saw this rose-covered high wall.  Note the stunning blue delphiniums to the left.

An unusual water feature was a popular place, and no doubt is even more popular on a hot day.

One area of the Arboretum features different varieties of Japanese maples, stunning already in early spring.

The Dallas Arboretum has many different garden areas and even an historic home that can be toured, which I didn't have time for on this day.  The tulips were magnificent, but I'm looking forward to seeing what is in bloom at other times of the year as well.  I have my fingers crossed that Daughter and Son-in-law will be staying in Dallas for some time, because I definitely plan a return visit(s) to the Dallas Arboretum!


  1. Woozer on those beautiful tulips! I kept looking for the Easter Bunny in the middle of all that spring color. I must say, that is one funny looking squirrel. In the south we calls those crows. LOL. just kidding as I kept looking for the squirrel and with no luck. Love that rock terrace! I have a spot in my yard that I would like to create something similar but getting those large boulders in place would be a challenge for us do it yourselfers... I am ever so amazed at how some venues are lacking in the seating for elderly/handicapped. I would love to take my parents places but with lack of seating for resting their arthritic bodys, we miss out on sharing such experiences. Glad to see this place is full of seating and fun open spaces for little ones to spring into action using up some of that energy!

  2. I can imagine how you felt with all these beautiful flowers. The pauwlonia tomentosa is such a tree but helas to large for my small garden. I can see you had a fantastic day. I hope the weather will be nicer for you coming weeks. The photo's of the columbines are fantastic.
    Have a wonderful day Rose.

  3. Skeeter, you are too funny:) I did take some photos of the squirrels, but they were too quick for me to get anything but a rear view:) I loved that terraced garden, too, but I don't think I could heft any of those huge stones myself either.

    Marijke, I was in tulip paradise! It's sunny today, but still a little chilly. I'm hoping next week will finally provide us with some warmer and sunny days.

  4. What an absolutely wonderful place! The flowers are just stunning and the grounds are beautiful. I love visiting can get so many wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  5. Tulips tulips everywhere -- love them. This arboretum is a graceful, pretty place in spring!

  6. Wow how pretty. Visiting an arboretum seems to be the thing to do. Our closest one is a couple of hours away. Must make a trip....

  7. Gorgeous!!!! What a beautiful garden and it's now on my list. They used those tulips to maximum effect-simply gorgeous.

  8. What a treat to have seen the Dallas Arboretum in all its spring glory. I am really impressed with the shear size of the place and so many things in bloom. I would have been in photo heaven Rose. My favourite was the combo of pink tulips and soft purple pansies- love it!

  9. What a treat! Thank you for sharing your photos - and your experience in the Dallas Arboretum - with us.

    Speaking of which, a couple of your photos had color and plant combinations I'd love to add to my Pinterest page. Do you mind if I pin a few of these photos?

  10. WOW, just wow. talk about eye candy. all those tulips and spring bulbs are just fantastic. Although I must admit I was particularly fond of that rock terrace. Using rock well is a particular talent I don't have.

  11. Wow!! What a colourful, floral treat. It looked like a wonderful display to visit Rose and your photos show it beautifully. All of the tulips are lovely but I particularly liked the columbines too. Nice to see your squirrel....I mean crow too ;-) The children looked like they were really enjoying the place too...great capture!

    I do hope all that water didn't cause too much damage to your home.

  12. Hello, Rose,

    Although it has been a while since I've visited my favorite bloggers, I know that coming here brings lots of beauty from the garden.

    The weather has indeed been rather strange throughout the states this year. Our winter here did not seem to be as long, while you certainly endured more than your share.

    Just yesterday I was thinking that I wanted to plant more tulips this fall_ now you've convinced me with all the beautiful photos.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Rose.

  13. I always think of Little Women when i see violas - heartsease.

    Stunning displays.

  14. All of those tulips in Dallas are gorgeous! Especially with the pansies. I'm surprised they get enough chill to bloom, I wonder if they were chilled before they were planted.

    I googled and found out that yes they are chilled first:

    I never would have guessed that tulips could do so well in Dallas but they sure do!

  15. What an amazing garden that you brought to life so well in your photos. I appreciate that the rains where really something this spring, it does appear that the weather was magnificent for your visit.

  16. Those tulips just make me drool! I love the pansies and tulips together too. That water feature was really interesting.
    The Paulownia trees are blooming around here now too.

  17. Absolutely marvellous. Enjoyed all those photos and such beautiful colours.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  18. Such a wonderful place. Indeed they are such lovely.

  19. Those tulips in the first photograph are stunning. I'm afraid we shall miss seeing the spring blooming at Dallas this year so thanks for the visit.

  20. Rose, that waterfall is gorgeous, as are your photos and the many plants at the arboretum. Kind of surprised they have paulownia since it's on so many invasive lists. It has taken over the roadsides along many miles of I-40 between Knoxville and Asheville. The blooms are pretty - they certainly attract a lot of attention.

  21. Christy, Whenever I visit my daughter, I always look for the nearest public garden or Arboretum to tour!

    Laurrie, I was in tulip heaven here!

    Gardener, Our closest Arboretum is a couple of hours away, too--in fact, I still haven't been there:)

    Tina, I liked the way they combined tulips with pansies and other cool weather annuals. I'm looking forward to seeing what replaces the tulips later in the year.

    Jennifer, Those pink tulips and purple pansies were my favorite, too. I doubt I try something like that here, unless in one small spot.

    Gaia, You're more than welcome to pin one of these photos! I'd like to do more of that, too, if bloggers don't mind--it's the only way I can remember plant combos and ideas I really like!

    Marguerite, I don't have sloping land, but if I did, that rock terrace would be something I'd like, too. I'm not good at using rocks artistically either, though.

  22. Rose! Thank you for commenting on my post about my sick furballs.
    What a riot of gorgeous blooms in these images! Certainly brightened up my day! I am ashamed to admit that last autumn I was too lazy to get outside and plant more bulbs in my woodlands. The ones I did year before are all popping through the ground and I wait with though it's Christmas to see what unveils!
    I have made myself a promise that every year I will and I mean it plant at least a dozen new bulbs.Year after year they'll do their thing and when I'm gone what a gift to leave behind!A world full of color!
    Happy gardening to you. I wish you a beautiful day! hugs Anna

  23. What a gorgeous arboretum! Thanks for the tour. I love the range of color in those tulips. I'm looking forward to our azaleas blooming too. Happy spring!

  24. Wow Rose, how beautiful! My sister just got back from Dallas after being sent there for almost a year for her job. I don't think she had time to stop and smell the . . . tulips, but I'll be if she'd known about this place she would have made the time.

    I'm glad you're all dried back out there. Those rains were legendary.

  25. With a garden like that to visit, I think I would have joined the kids in doing cartwheels on the lawn! Tulips are one thing I cannot coax into growing here in Florida. I even tried some that are supposed to do well in this region. Oh well. I'll just have to travel for real and virtually to get my fix of tulips.

  26. Those tulip displays are spectacular. The colors just mesmerize. I, too, enjoy visiting displays like these...a real feast for the eyes. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Songbird, I wish I had gotten a picture with more of the columbines--I was entranced by these, too. I was focusing on the flowers, but there were so many birds pecking about the Trial Gardens, I couldn't help taking a picture of the crow...which I should have identified properly:)

    Diana, So glad you stopped by! Your garden is a vision of beauty in the spring with or without tulips. Tulips do well for me here, so I keep adding more each fall.

    Liz, "Little Women" was my favorite book growing up! I had forgotten about the violas in them.

    Sweetbay, This was my first trip to Dallas, so I'm not as familiar with the weather, but during the spring they weren't much warmer than we were. That's interesting that they chilled the plants first!

    Charlie, We've had more than our share of rain here; I'm hoping the summer won't go to the other extreme like last year.

    Janet, The Pawlonia was a new tree to me--I thought it was beautiful, but I see from DJ that it's much more common in the South.

    Maggie, Glad you stopped by; hope things are going better for you and your family.

    Natalie, Thank you for visiting!

    Lancashire Rose, Thanks for stopping by; I'm hoping to see more Texas blooms on future visits.

    DJ, Thanks for the info on the Pawlonia; I had no idea it was a common tree, much less invasive. I wasn't the only one intrigued by this tree. The spring blooms are gorgeous.

  28. Anna, I'm glad that Paisley is doing better; our pets are special companions, and it's hard to see them ill. I like that idea of leaving a legacy of "a world of color"!

    Sarah, I don't have any azaleas in my garden, so seeing them all in bloom was just as impressive as the tulips.

    Linda, My daughter was in Houston for a year, and I never got to visit her before she moved. So I wanted to make sure to get to Dallas before she might get transferred again. So glad I made it to the Arboretum! Yes, I hope the worst of the spring rains are over.

    W2W, I could never do a cartwheel, even when younger:) I had almost as much fun people watching at the Arboretum as looking at flowers.

    Sage, Since my tulips hadn't started blooming yet at home, this was a real treat for me, too. Of course, I don't have the thousands of bulbs the Arboretum does:)

  29. Just gorgeous, my dear. So pretty and some images were so high quality looked lie stills of Philly Garden Show. The image of the azaleas stirred my tired soul.
    Blessings to you.


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.