My girlfriend wanted to spend the weekend in San Antonio for a getaway. So naturally I wanted to see some gardens with her while we were in town! Our stops included the 33-acre San Antonio Botanical Gardens non-profit complex, as well as the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park.
The botanical garden grounds encircled a cluster of greenhouse spires, each containing it’s own climate-controlled ecosystem! I thought these were the coolest features at the gardens personally. Very eco-futuristic in design, yet real and attainable because of its execution.
Engaging art and entertainment were key features on the grounds too. The children’s gardens had employee-led activities, like face painting and lawn games. A tree was dangling décor from the holidays still. A series of artistically painted origami cranes were tucked along the garden pathways.
Each greenhouse spire had an enclosed, climate-controlled ecosystem with bioregional gardens. There were desert, tropical, subtropical, and palm gardens inside each greenhouse. Other areas on the grounds included a pioneer homestead, lake trail, children’s gardens, giant red lawn chairs, and other event and wedding style ammenities.
Below you’ll find a San Antonio Botanical Garden overview video from San Antonio Parks and Recreation channel. The video does a great job highlighting the growth the gardens underwent over time since the video was made.
Japanese Tea Garden
The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park, was a former limestone quarry turned Japanese-style gardens. It features a small café next to a large stone column pavilion, which overlooks the lily koi pond gardens.
This was an impressive garden and a natural hotspot for selfie takers and dating profile pictures. I splashed a little water from my bottle to attract the koi fish over for some photos. So I can’t say I’m not guilty of staging photos either!
Here’s a nice calm tour through the garden video on Wonderliv Travel’s channel. The garden’s are a nice hidden gem of San Antonio, and it’s not far from the city zoo either.