One of the joys of spring in Texas are the wildflowers, especially our state flower, the bluebonnets, which line the back country roads of the Texas Hill Country with their beautiful violet blue blossoms and blanket larger fields, as in this picture below by Laura Vu, for as far as the eye can see.
When seen up close, as in this picture by Justin Fain, their beautiful violet blue blossoms are dotted with brilliant magenta.
One of Texas’ most famous first ladies, Lady Bird Johnson, seen in this picture below in a field of her beloved wildflowers, founded, in 1982, with actress Helen Hayes, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, whose stated mission is to “increase the sustainable use and conservation of wildflowers, plants and landscapes.”
Today, it is the most famous international center for wildflower conservation and research in the world and one of the most wonderful places to bring your family for a safe and outstanding spring or summer vacation experience – especially as the center prepares to open their new Luci and Ian Family Garden in May. [ A picture of the Visitor’s Gallery as you enter ].
The Luci and Ian Family Garden is named for the lead donors, Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of President Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson and Luci’s husband, Ian Turpin and it is “a 4.5 acre wonderland of native plant gardens where kids can discover and explore nature with one-of-a-kind, fun, interactive features including the Metamorphosis Maze, a Hill Country grotto, a low spiral wall, giant birds’ nests, a central creek, a play lawn and much more. It is a place where children and families can connect with nature and it will greatly expand and enhance the Wildflower Center’s environmental education program. “
If you’re looking for a wonderful spring weekend outing now, viewing the wildflowers and shopping in their gorgeous store for early gifts for your friends, your home or yourself is a lot of fun. Once school is out, their new family garden, designed to delight and educate children, who grow up inside on computers, about the value and beauty of the natural landscape, might be the best summer vacation you’ve ever had.
After you’ve visited the family gardens, the next day, you might want to enjoy Austin’s famous Zilker Park for more hiking in the cooler temperatures of early morning and then a picnic and a day of swimming fun in the clean, clear water of Barton Springs, a cool 68 degrees all year around.
As Lady Bird Johnson said, “Some may wonder why I chose wildflowers when there are hunger and unemployment and the big bomb in the world. Well, I, for one, think we will survive, and I hope that along the way we can keep alive our experience with the flowering earth. For the bounty of nature is also one of the deep needs of man.”