While I’m not one to want fresh cut flowers sent to me as a gift, I do love to experience their beauty in nature. In thinking of all the wonderful places to view flowers in the Lone Star State, and there are many, I thought I’d share some of my very favorite Texas spots.
When wanting to experience flowers in Texas, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlflower Center should always be included on a list. Afterall, the former first lady was instrumental in the beautification of our state and many others when President Lyndon B. Johnson was in office. One of my favorite places along the many trails is the waterfall you can walk behind and view from the outside, enjoying the sites and sounds of cascading water.
While the farms are beautiful in spring, I have to say my favorite time of year to visit is in the fall when the pumpkins are in and they celebrate The Harvest of Fall Fun. Corn mazes, hayrides, a Texas-shaped maze, and more great family fun is available for you to enjoy. The farms offer pick-your-own zinnias. You can choose to purchase them or just enjoy the scenery.
From the beautiful entrance to the tropical plants, this paradise in the southeast corner of the Piney Woods of east Texas truly is a sight to behold. If you’re a bird enthusiast, the gardens have bird blinds set up for wildlife viewing. You might catch a glimpse of the occasional alligator, so be careful.
For those of you who want wildflowers in your backyard, Wildseed Farms is the place to go. As the nation’s largest working wildflower farm, they have a variety of seeds from which to choose and if you arrive in spring, you might get a glimpse at the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet.
I’m a little biased to Fort Worth having lived there longer than any other city. I’ve spent many hours walking the acres and acres of gardens. From water features to rose gardens to tree-lined trails, it’s a nature-lovers paradise.
I took one of my most iconic Texas photos on Highway 237 in the spring a few years ago, as we were driving from Round Top to La Grange. As we topped a small hill, we saw cars pulled to the side of the road only to discover the most beautiful field of Texas bluebonnets, the state flower, and a large herd of Texas longhorns grazing in the field. This guy laid down in the flowers when I grabbed my camera and I couldn’t resist the shot. It hangs in my living room and will for a very long time.
Though located in an extremely rural part of Texas and on a two-lane road, this Hill Country paradise is the place to see Texas Wildflowers. You might even spot a cowboy boot or two on a fence post along the drive among the bluebonnets, if you look really close.
Most people don’t think of west Texas as a location for anything related to water, but San Angelo is an oasis in this part of the state. As a current resident of San Angelo, I see the lilies pretty often on my way into work or during my lunch break. While the park is small, it provides a nice break from your day. Even though early mornings are one of my favorite times to visit, late afternoon has an abundance of activity with dragonflies flitting about and occasionally landing on a lily. It’s a photographer’s dream location!
While Texas Tulips has a very short season in early spring to view the flowers, the six-acre farm offers pick-your-own flowers when they are in bloom. Stroll through the rows and rows of a variety of tulips. When the flowers are no longer in season, you can still order spring tulip bulbs on line.
During my Freshman and Sophomore years at Tyler Junior College, I remember fondly stopping by flower stands selling roses for $1 dozen. You paid by the honor system, if no one was there to take your money. I would occasionally visit the gardens and literally stop and smell the roses. You have two opportunities to see these magnificent 14-acre gardens come to life – October and May.
As a Native Texan, I was used to seeing bluebonnets along the highways and interstates throughout my life. After all, the wife of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird, was instrumental in helping get the Highway Beautification Act passed during his administration and our roads suddenly became attractions in their own right. Since that time, the countless number of people who have stopped along the side of the road for a photo op of their children sitting in the state flower has to be in the millions. We won’t talk about the number of flowers crushed by these tiny bodies year after year, especially since most Texans are guilty of it and have the photos to prove it. While I love our bluebonnets along the major roads, I have never seen anything like the fields of flowers I had the good fortune to view in 2012 in Ennis along the bluebonnet trails. That year was like none other they have seen. Not to worry, the fields still are grand, aromatic, and bring a sense of pride to every Texan, as you view the state flower in all its glory.
Until next time…from Texas…safe travels!