I was truly blessed this week to visit beautiful Austin, Texas and to meet Beautiful Wildlife Garden team member, Meredith O’Reilly who writes the wildlife gardening blog Great Stems.
I was honored to by given a private tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center by my friend Kelley, who is a volunteer at the center, and the voice of their twitter account. She very graciously showed Meredith and I all of the wonders to be seen in early spring at this amazing garden.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a beautiful place, and I shared some of my original impressions at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. Their passion and dedication to preserving our natural plant heritage, protecting the environment, and conserving our natural resources is evident in every action that they take.
This is an amazing outdoor classroom, and if you’re lucky enough to live in Austin, make sure you find time to visit regularly. If you’re not living in Austin, it is well worth the trip to schedule a trip to visit this treasure. In fact, people come from all over the world to do just that.
One of the things I was really impressed with is the water conservation system, including aqueducts and large cisterns placed all around the property. At the Wildflower they understand that every drop of water is a precious resource. All irrigation is done via this rainwater capturing system.
Their mission statement says it all:
The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.
And from their About page:
Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, and actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. First as the National Wildflower Research Center and later as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this special place exists to introduce people to the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants. Every day, the Wildflower Center brings life to Mrs. Johnson’s vision in its public gardens, its woodlands and sweeping meadows as well as in internationally influential research. In 2006, the Center became an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin.
Decades ago, Mrs. Johnson recognized that our country was losing its natural landscapes and its natural beauty. As much as 30 percent of the world’s native flora is at risk of extinction. The Wildflower Center was intended to help preserve and restore that beauty and the biological richness of North America. Since then, the Center has become one of the country’s most credible research institutions and effective advocates for native plants.
Be sure to check out my friend Meredith’s wonderful photos and recollections of this amazing garden, too.
Have you ever visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center? I had a wonderful time while there!
Also, do you have a native plant resource like this in your area? I’d love to hear about it!
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