After the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, my grandma and I went to check out The Natural Gardener, a very impressive garden center and teaching facility, tucked away on the southwest outskirts of Austin. The offered an educational class a few days before that I came across online, but didn’t manage to attend – but it peaked my interest enough to want to visit the facility itself – and I’m really glad we did!
“The Natural Gardener is one of the most beautiful and unique garden centers in the world. It’s like a candy store for gardeners, but non-gardeners love it, too. It’s a fun, beautiful, educational destination for everyone. Bring the whole family to The Natural Gardener- even the dog! ” — TNG Webpage
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and The Veloway Park
While in Austin, my grandma recommended we go see the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. My dad had taken my little brother and I years ago, but I can’t remember that visit – so I felt like it was the first time going to the center, especially with all the funding, improvements and expansions within the past several years.
“The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the official state botanic garden and arboretum of Texas. The Center promotes its mission to inspire the conservation of native plants through its internationally recognized sustainable gardens, education and outreach programs, research projects, and consulting work.” — LBJWC Webpage
The second week while I was in Austin, my grandparents returned home, so I went on excursions with my grandma. Our first planned stop was Zilker Botanical Garden (ZBG)in Austin’s Zilker Park!
My grandma took my adopted cousin there a few weeks beforehand to see the Woodland Faerie Trail, a seasonal feature built by residents and children along some of the garden paths, so grandma didn’t get to see the entire garden grounds and was excited to go with another one of her grandkids!
Below is a picture of the main offices, event space and visitor’s center for the garden grounds.
“The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, established in 1975, is a non-profit education, research, and demonstration organization specializing in life cycle planning and design. We undertake projects based on their potential contribution to site, regional and global sustainability and human health, and actively pursue collaborations with associate organizations, businesses and professional firms.
Projects emphasize regional contexts as bases for responsible resource use relative to materials, energy, water, waste, food, and meaningful employment. Our expertise is accessible through green planning and design services, conference presentations, public lectures, and published papers.” — CMPBS Webpage
My second stop of the day was at Farmshare Austin, an educational farm teaching new farmers and food supplier for local farmers’ markets and under-served communities.
“At Farmshare Austin, our mission is to grow a healthy local food community by increasing food access, teaching new farmers and preserving farmland. We envision a future of resilient local food economies that provide farmers with livable incomes, value the resources needed to farm and ensure organic food access. Farmshare Austin builds bridges between the produce grown on our 10-acre certified organic farm in Eastern Travis County and food access programs reaching food insecure communities in Central Texas.” — Farmshare Austin Webpage