Down the Garden Path, Zilker Botanical Garden

March 2011 issue—

President's Message
Winter Plant Damage
Add Fun to Your Garden - AKA "Whimsy"
Arbor Day Celebration in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden
EAGER Program Nurtures Future Gardeners
54th Annual Zilker Garden Festival
Annual Standard Flower Show
Bonsai Exhibit
Iris Society of Austin Annual Iris Show
First Austin African Violet Society 43rd Annual Judged Show and Sale
New at ZBG
Walk of Friends
The Heart O' Texas Orchid Society Show & Sale
Inside Austin Gardens Tour

President's Message

Zilker Botanical Garden is a cornucopia filled with legacies…
Donna Friedenreich, President - AAGC

Zilker Garden FestivalWhen we celebrated our 50th Zilker Garden Festival in the spring of 2007, I wrote those words. Zilker Botanical Garden is filled with legacies. As you stroll around this 33-acre garden, you see the footprints left by passionate gardeners—members of AAGC-affiliated garden clubs—who worked countless volunteer hours creating and nurturing this beloved garden in the heart of Austin.

On the weekend of March 26th and 27th, Zilker Botanical Garden will open its gates to celebrate AAGC's 54th Annual Zilker Garden Festival. Photos from last year's festival illustrate that "a picture is worth a 1,000 words"…Read more »

Winter DamageWinter Plant Damage - A Gardener's Woe

In February 2011, Austin and central Texas experienced rare winter conditions that even put native plants to the stress test.  With a week that saw low temperature of mid teens to near 20 degrees for a prolonged period of over 72 hours where temperatures never got above freezing,  this was just too much for some plants to bear.  On top of that, the deep freeze followed a healthy rainfall just ahead of plunging temperatures which dropped 60 degrees within 48 hours. During this period, an inch of powdery fine snow fell.  Winter temperatures have been periodically running 20 degrees below normals. Read more>> 


A garden should be more than just a cultivated area with plants in it. It should show creativity, have something to draw the eye to it, and I submit, should be FUN for all. To add that last element, try a little "whimsy". This adds real character and individual art, or your own creativity. A warning here, however. You can easily get carried away and detract from the beauty of your plantings by overindulging in whimsy or getting too tacky, but here are a few items I have seen in other gardens that have made me smile and enjoy the garden they adorned more than I otherwise would have. Read more>> 

Arbor Day CelebrationArbor Day Celebration in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden

The sun shone on a special Arbor Day celebration in the Taniguchi Japanese Garden on January 27th. A Cherry tree was planted in memory of Howard Holt, supporter of Violet Crown Garden Club's annual flower shows at Zilker Botanical Garden, and husband of Sandra Holt, AAGC's VP of Community Support. Read more »

EAGER Program Nurtures Future GardenersEAGER program

When Danny Fowler put out a call to volunteers to help 500 Pre-K children at Lucy Read Pre-Kindergarten Demonstration School plant bulbs, the response was amazing. Over 50 parents and a dozen volunteers—including Master Gardener interns and AAGC members—turned out to help these "eager" 4-year olds plant more than 2500 tulip bulbs! Read more & view video>> 

54th Annual Zilker Garden Festival

Zilker Garden Festival
      54th Zilker Garden Festival
      March 26 & 27, 2011
      10 am - 5 pm

For over 50 years, the annual Zilker Garden Festival has been a one-stop, garden shopping destination when spring arrives in Austin and Central Texas. A family-friendly event, the garden festival offers something for everyone. Mark your calendars and buy your tickets now. Read more>> 

Annual Standard Flower Show at Zilker Garden Festival

Violet CrownViolet Crown Garden Club & Capital City Judges Council
Present 54th Annual Standard Flower Show

10 am - 5 pm on March 26 & 27, 2011
Theme: "Shall We Dance"

This Standard Flower Show — with 40 judged designs and a collection of horticulture — will be held in the Garden Center Auditorium at Zilker Botanical Garden.  Exhibits and horticulture are judged by Nationally Accredited Flower Show Judges. All Garden Council members and other interested gardeners are invited to enter the show. Reservations must be made with the Flower Show Chairman, Sandra Holt. (Schedule is available in the Gift Shop at the Garden Center). Read more>> 

Bonsai Exhibit at Zilker Garden FestivalBonsai Exhibit

The Austin Bonsai Society, now it its 40th year will have a booth set up in the Greene Room during the Zilker Garden Festival with a display of trees by society members. We will have volunteers to answer questions and explain this art form as well as demonstrations of techniques used to keep Bonsai looking beautiful. Austin Bonsai Society has monthly meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Iris Society of Austin Annual Iris ShowIris Show

The Iris Society of Austin will present its Annual Iris Show on Saturday, April 11, 2011 at the Zilker Garden Center Auditorium. Judging will take place during the morning and all entries will be open for public viewing (at no cost) from 1 – 4 pm. The show is judged by experienced gardeners trained as judges under rules of the American Iris Society. The Annual Iris Show is an exhibition of blooms only rather than the entire plant such as seen at the popular Orchid Show or Cactus and Succulent Show. The theme for inspiration of this year's show is "Music in the Garden". Read more>> 

First Austin African Violet Society 43rd Annual Judged Show and Sale African Violet Show & Sale

March 19, 11:00am to 4:30pm
March 20, 11:00am to 4:00pm
Free Admission/Parking $3.

African Violet and other gesneriad plants and growing supplies will be available for sale.
For more information visit our website or contact Susan Kautz at 512/365-1818 or E-mail

New at ZBG

Now that Daylight Savings Time is in effect, the hours of operation for the grounds are 7am - 7pm. Entrance gates are closed 15 minutes prior to closing.

Weekend parking fees of $3 per vehicle are now being collected by PARD staff.

Please keep these seasonal changes in mind when making your plans to visit.

View our calendar for more events & details »

Walk of Friends

Walk of FriendsDONATE A BRICK TODAY! Order forms are available at the Garden Center or can be downloaded from the web site at:, click on Support and then Walk of Friends.

It's easy! Select the size of brick you would like, choose your message and return the form with your payment. For more information, contact Sandra Holt at 512-345-3164, or visit
Read more »

Sign up for Austin Notes

Sign up for Austin Notes, the City's dynamic e-mail update system and get news about Austin neighborhoods, parks, road closures, and more. Read more>>

KLRU's Central Texas Gardener

This weekly gardening show is a rich source of information for Austin and Central Texas gardeners. Check out their weekly show schedule for topics & air times, the "To Do List" for monthly gardening tasks, and much more...

Visit the CTG Blog

Yelp starsRead reviews from visitors to Zilker Botanical Garden on Yelp.com4 ½ stars out of 5 makes our garden sing!

Heart O' Texas Orchid Society orchid Show

Orchid ShowThe Heart O' Texas Orchid Society is celebrating its 50th year with an Orchid Show and Sale on May 21st and 22nd at St. Edward's University in the Ragsdale Center, 3001 S. Congress Ave.
At this event, there will be two speakers on Saturday. Tom Mirenda, Smithsonian's Orchid Collection Specialist, will speak on "The Mysteries of Orchid Pollination" at 1pm and Ron McHatton, COO for the American Orchid Society, will speak on "Orchids 101: for beginner and advanced growers" at 3pm.  Admission for the show and plant sale is $3 single and $5 per couple. Admission to hear the speakers is included.

Inside Austin Gardens TourInside Austin Gardens Tour

The Travis County Master Gardeners Association, in cooperation with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Travis County, will host the Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2011 on Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 9am until 4pm. This year, the tour focuses on water-wise gardening. Gardening through a Central Texas summer can be trying. At the same time, escalating water rates and mandatory restrictions have made a water-sapping plant palette or a grass lawn a luxury or an impossibility for many. Increasingly, Central Texas gardeners are turning to water-wise techniques, native and adapted plant selections, and various principles of xeriscaping. Read more>>