Zilker Botanical Garden

June 2010 issue—

President's Message
Zilker Botanical Garden...In the News
Revitalization Adds New Life to Cactus Garden
Palms for Austin Gardens
Enjoy More Plants in Less Space
Try Growing Rex Begonias
21st Judged Iris Show Winners
Upcoming Events at ZBG
Zilker Garden Festival Flower Show
Celebrate the Wonders of Bamboo

Featured Artist at Chrysalis Gift shop
53rd Zilker Garden Festival Photo Gallery
Walk of Friends

President's Message

When we launched the online newsletter last fall, our commitment was for “AAGC to spread more green by going paperless.”  As I sit down to write this, it’s been over a month since the April 20th Gulf oil spill explosion—an environmental catastrophe that has wreaked both seen and unseen damage to the Gulf of Mexico for years to come.

For those of us who live in Austin and Central Texas, last summer’s severe drought and Stage 2 watering restrictions reminded us that water is a precious resource that we simply cannot take for granted.  Last year, we saved more than 2.5 billion gallons of water (www.WaterWiseAustin.org).  And, most of us live near one of Austin’s 66 creek watersheds that enter the Colorado River at Lake Austin or Town Lake, before flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.  So, it’s all connected!

Making good choices for better water quality is not an option—it’s an obligation.  Those of us who are informed gardeners already know that, but it doesn’t hurt to have a “nudge” as we face another hot summer. Read more »

Zilker Botanical Garden...In the News!

Azaleas & ButterlfyOn Sunday, May 2, 2010, The New York Times travel section featured an article, “Welcoming Spring in Texas Tones” (by Jan Benzel).  One of her destinations was Zilker Botanical Garden.  She writes:

My sister, Nancy, who lives in Austin, was my host and guide for the rest of my wildflower tour of Austin and its surroundings.  In the city proper we visited Zilker Botanical Garden, a verdant respite with mini-gardens, almost like rooms, spilling from one to another over some 30 acres.
Read more »

Revitalization adds new life to cactus garden

Cactus GardenThe Cactus Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden has recently been transformed by a much-needed revitalization. The project—funded by the AAGC Horticulture Committee with donations from the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society—has enhanced the botanic diversity of the garden.  Visitors can see a variety of succulent species appropriate for Central Texas gardens.

The original center bed has been replanted, with the front portion completed last year. A large blue container with a Mexican Grass Tree (Dasylirion quadrangulatum) has been added as a focal point, surrounded by several Golden Barrels (Echinocactus grusonii). A variety of species of cacti, euphorbia, and agave create a dramatic visual landscape in the garden. The revitalization process will continue, as new species are added.
Read more »

Palms for Texas Gardens? Why Not!

PalmsHere in Austin, we live in a stressful gardening environment which tends to limit our plant selections to those which are very drought tolerant, can endure temperature extremes, low humidity, and our alkaline soils. Although non-native, there are several plants that one wouldn’t think belong in Austin or are adaptable to our environment, but think again - it’s PALMS. They are not only for tropical regions of the world but also for Zone 9 and higher. In fact, there are many genera and species that are native to desert regions, and others which are very cold hardy.

Read more »

Enjoy more plants in less spacePlants in Less Space

If you are a lover of all types of plants like I am, but only have a postage stamp sized yard, there are ways! Strategies that I use are:

Grow miniature or dwarf varieties of a particular favorite plant when available. Commonly grown plants available in dwarf forms include roses, Plumeria, Daylilies, Hummingbird bush, Oleander, Ornamental grasses, Crepe Myrtle, Pomegranate, Barbados Cherry, Eleagnus, Sages, various tropicals such as Cannas, Bananas, just to name a few.

Read more »

try growing rex begonias Rex Begonia

When Rex Begonias were discovered by chance growing in the sheath of an orchid in a flower show, it gave rise to Begonia rex culture, a group of hybrids with flashy, even metallic patterned foliage rivaling any artist’s work whether it be glass, pottery, or fabric design. Some of them are easy to grow such as B. ‘purple petticoats’, B. ‘merry Christmas’, B. ‘fireflash’, B. ‘kitty’, B. ‘tornado’, and B. ‘odyssey’. Others seem a bit finicky. Spiral-leafed hybrids seem to be more difficult to grow than those with non-spiraled leaves, but well worth the effort.


Read more »

21st Judged Iris show winners

Bearded IrisFor the second consecutive year a Louisiana Iris won the Queen of Show when the Iris Society of Austin presented its 21st judged show in cooperation with the American Iris Society Saturday, April 17, in the Zilker Botanical Garden Auditorium.  Fifteen exhibitors provided 82 entries for the successful event.

  • 'Laura Louise,' voted the Best Louisiana, the Best Yellow, and Queen of the Show, captured the trophy - a glass punch bowl that could be changed into a cake plate.
  • Runner-Up was 'Midnight Oil,' the Best Tall Bearded and the Best Black Iris.  Both were grown by Don and Pat Freeman, who will be awarded the silver medal and certificate for their eleven blue ribbon winners. Read more »

Upcoming Events at ZBG

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

Saturday, June 19  10am-noon 
Free Seminar: Basic Landscape Design Principles

Saturday, June 26  10am-noon
Free Seminar: Rainwater Harvesting 

Saturday, July 10   10am-Noon
Free Seminar: Designing Your Landscape

Saturday, July 24   10am-Noon
Free Seminar: Better Photography in the Garden

Saturday & Sunday, Aug 28-29
Bamboo Show & Sale: Growing and Using Bamboo
10am - 6pm Saturday & 10am - 5pm Sunday 
This year’s theme is "Growing and Using Bamboo" as once you start to grow bamboo - you eventually have to harvest it, so it is always good to have new ideas on things to do with the canes that you harvest. Harvesting the bamboo renews the plants and grove and allows the bamboo to have a more open feel. Different species of bamboo yield different types of bamboo canes so their uses are varied. Read more »

More events & details »

Chrysalis Gift shop
Featured Artist

Elena RojoElena Rojo
Rojo Bella

Read about Elena and her unique jewelry. Be sure to check out the exclusive offer.

Zilker Garden Festival53rd Zilker Garden Festival Photo Gallery

The 53rd Annual Zilker Garden Festival celebrated another successful year!  Thousands of eager shoppers came through the gates on Saturday and Sunday, to enjoy a one-stop, garden shopping experience. Enjoy our photo album »

Zilker Garden Festival Flower Show

Thank you to all those who worked tirelessly to make the 2010 Flower Show such a huge success, and to those who attended the Flower Show during the Zilker Garden Festival, March 27 and 28, 2010!

The Violet Crown Garden Club will be hosting another show Oct. 2 & 3, 2010 which will be open to the public  Saturday 1- 4:30pm  and Sunday 1 - 4pm.  Plan to attend to see more lovely designs and horticulture from the Austin area.

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

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Visit the CTG BlogKLRU'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...

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