Zilker Botanical Garden

March 2010 issue—

President's Message
Upcoming Events
March Kite Madness at Chrysalis Giftshop
Walk of Friends
Volunteer with the Docents
What's Blooming at Zilker Botanical Garden...
Ask the Garden Guru
Recovering from a Hard Freeze — Both Gardener and Plants
Top 10 Spring Tips for Central Texas Gardeners

The Doug Blachly Butterfly Garden
Thanks to our Festival Sponsors and Volunteers


President's Message

50th Annual Zilker Garden Festival

In the spring of 2007, Zilker Botanical Garden opened its gates to our 50th annual Zilker Garden Festival.  It was a vintage year, marked by memorable moments that raised the benchmark for our future festivals…

  • We hosted a series of gardening talks under the big white tent next to the Garden Center.  The chairs under that tent were full both days for 10 talks—from local gardening experts to our special guest speaker, Felder Rushing (Slow Gardening – Gettin’ more out of Life, and Texas-Tough Plants for Busy Gardeners).  The gardening talks have now become a festival tradition.  Check out our festival website to see what novice and experience gardeners will hear about this year.
  • We moved the music to a soundstage in the Rose Garden.  It was an eclectic mix of Music to Make the Garden Sing!—including a family-style sing-along with one of Austin’s best-loved performers, Sara Hickman.  Check out our live music offerings for this year—both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the rose garden continues to sing! Read more »


Upcoming Events at ZBG

Be sure to check our Hours when making your plans to visit!Rose Garden

African Violet Society Show & Sale, March 20th, 1-4pm
Free Admission/Parking $3.00. African Violets, other gesneriad plants and growing supplies will be for sale. For more information see website www.faavs.org or contact Susan Kautz at 512/365-1818 or gizzmo@austin.rr.com

53rd Annual Zilker Garden Festival
Saturday & Sunday, March 27-28
$5 Adults, $3 Children (3-12), Parking $3

Violet Crown and Capital City Judges Festival Standard Flower Show, March 27-28th, 10 am - 5 pm  
Theme: The Austin Experience. Violet Crown Garden Club is the oldest garden club in Austin, organized April 1924 and Federated in 1928. We will be celebrating our 86th Birthday this year. Visit our web site: www.violetcrowngardenclub.org . For more information, contact Sandra Holt, 345-3164 or hhsaholt@austin.rr.com

Heart O’ Texas Orchid Show, April 3rd -4th
Heart O’ Texas Orchid Society Invites you to attend, Admission: Free
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, April 3rd & 4th, 2010, Zilker Botanical Garden Center
Show & Plant Sale: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday & 10:00am – 4:00pm Sunday

Information: Geoffrey Frost (512) 413-3199, web-site: www.hotos.org

Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Spring Show and Sale,  April 10-11th

Zilker Docents Presents (Identifying Trees), April 24th

Golden Daylily Jubilee, May 21st-23rd

Pond Society Tour, June 13-14th

More events & details »


March Kite Madness
at Chrysalis Giftshop

The gift shop at ZBG has wonderful gifts and treats for spring. What better way to spend a March Saturday than flying a kite!

Chrysalis Gift ShopWhether you like bees, bats, or butterflies, The Chrysalis Gift Shop has a variety of styles and price ranges to choose from, with a 10% discount!

See more of what Chrysalis has to offer »

Volunteer with the Docents

Volunteer with the Docents
View Volunteer with the Docents


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: www.zilkergarden.org, 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 www.zilkergarden.org/support/friends.html
Read more »

Violet Crown Garden Club
is one of the oldest garden clubs in Texas.
It was established by Clara Driscoll in 1924, and federated in 1928. Read more about Violet Crown Garden Club on their website—

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>>

Zilker Garden FestivalMark Your Calendar!

53rd Annual
Zilker Garden Festival

Saturday, March 27th and
Sunday, March 28th
10 am - 5 pm daily
$5 Adults $3 Children (3-12)
Parking $3
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!

What's Blooming at Zilker Botanical Garden...

What's BloomingDuring one of the coldest winters we have had in some time,  one is hard pressed to find anything in bloom at this time of year -  BUT  -  EUREKA, something was found and this is a plant that is a winter superstar and worthy for all to consider in your landscapes.  It is GERMANDER (Teucrium fruiticans)

Even after a hard freeze of upper teens and snowfall this winter, this evergreen shrub continues to bloom with lavender blue salvia-like flowers through the winter months (but bloom sporadically during other seasons).  To add to its desirability, it comes in bush and creeping growth forms so can be used as an ornamental shrub or ground cover. Read more »

Plant descriptions are included in the City of Austin’s Grow Green informative guide, Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: an earthwise guide for Central Texas (4th Edition, 2009). This publication is available at local nurseries and at the Garden Center at Zilker Botanical Garden. You can also download the guide at www.growgreen.org.


Ask the Garden Guru

CitrusThis new feature of Down the Garden Path invites you to submit questions relating to ornamental gardening.  Submit questions to info@zilkergarden.org, subject “DTGP Guru”

Question from Brent H: I hear that some citrus plants can be successfully grown in the Austin area. I would like to give some a try but what varieties do you recommend?

Guru: Citrus can be successfully grown in out central Texas areas providing you stick to the more cold hardy varieties recommended below. Growing any other citrus plants will be very risky in our area. Most citrus that will endure the Central Texas area winters are grafted on trifoliate orange (Poncirus) root stock. Citrus must also have a slightly acidic, well drained soil (not limestone/alkaline based as is found in Texas Hill Country) and can be container grown if roots are protected from winter freezing. If you can give any citrus plants a protected but sunny area, that would be best. The best time to establish citrus is in spring so they have an entire growing season to adapt before the challenging weather of winter returns. Read more »


Recovering from a Hard Freeze — Both Gardener and Plants

Plant TalesTo us gardeners in central Texas, despair generally follows a hard freeze when the first effects on our beloved plants are noted, but deeper despair follows a week or two later when the real damage is finally revealed. Some effects may take a month or more to become noticeable.

Before despair leads to depression, let’s look at the bright side. Those dead looking plants most likely aren’t really dead – they’re just playing “possum” and waiting for spring conditions to revive. It’s their natural defense mechanism to shut down under such conditions. With shrubs, use the fingernail test – scratch progressively downward until dead brown tissue becomes green live tissue. Then they can be pruned back to just above that point for regeneration. Although we are advised not to prune back more than one third of a shrub at any time, hard pruning beyond that level may be required to remove dead wood.. Read more »


Top 10 Spring Tips for Central Texas Gardeners

Thinking spring? Here are a few related thoughts for preparing for the spring garden.

1. Planning, planning, planning: Develop a garden plan for the coming season, both short, and longer term. Know what it is you want to do before digging - what goes where and why.

2. Select your plants for the coming season carefully. Research them on the internet or check with a non-commercial reliable sources for advice as to adaptability and growing features of plants that you are considering for your garden. Read more »


The Doug Blachly Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden

Jack French, a PARD landscape technician with the Zilker Botanical Garden for the last three years, is responsible for upgrading and maintaining the Doug Blachly Butterfly Garden and Trail that began in 1989. During the last two years, the original butterfly garden has been in the process of revitalization and enhancement with much invasive Japanese Ligustrum removal in many areas, native tree trimming to improve form and allow more light, irrigation work to improve function, and rock retaining walls built for two of the large beds on the trail.

Read more »


Thanks to our Festival sponsors and volunteers!

Zilker Garden Festival has earned a reputation for being the best place to celebrate the arrival of spring in Austin and Central Texas. Our generous sponsors and enthusiastic, hard-working volunteers play a major part in the festival’s success. Let’s begin with our Sponsors…

  • The City of Austin and Parks & Recreation Department…their co-sponsorship of the garden festival is a major contribution to AAGC. From the professional staff at Zilker Botanical Garden to arranging for the safe arrival of our festival visitors to the entrance gates, PARD’s involvement is essential to our success.
  • C3 Presents has been a long-time supporter of Zilker Park—through its annual Austin City Limits Music Festival—and a loyal friend to Zilker Garden Festival. They carry the banner as our Title Sponsor for Zilker Garden Festival again this year.  Read more »

March 2010 Addendum         ZBG Home