Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – A Serene Place in Dallas


Located just minutes away from downtown on the shore of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens have over 66 acres of land with 11 lush display gardens that give its visitors seasonal color all year long. This garden is home to the Dallas Blooms Spring, which is the largest outdoor floral festival in the Southwest. This is because the garden provides a tranquil oasis where people can enjoy the beauty and serenity of all four seasons. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens as well as the gardens that you should see while you’re there.

History of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens consist of a series of gardens and fountains that have a view of the lake along with the downtown Texas skyline. Most of the grounds are used to be part of the 44-acre estate named Rancho Encinal, which was built for a geophysicist named Everette Lee DeGolyer and his wife. It turns out that Mrs. DeGolyer was interested in extensive flower gardens, that is why they decided to turn the place into a garden. The site is so iconic that it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1976 the most significant portion of the DeGolyer estate covered the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Not only that, but the adjoining Alex and Roberta Coke Camp estate were also added, and it increased the botanical grounds’ size to the 66 acres we know today.

In September 2002, the facilities in the Arboretum were expanded, which opened the new visitors center named after the Dallas developer Trammell Crow. The visitors center has a meeting room, gift shop, gazebo, as well as a patio area where you can see the White Rock Lake. During the night, you can get a view of downtown Dallas while the skyscraper lights reflect upon the water of the lake.

Named Gardens in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

  • Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden

    This 6.5-acre garden was designed by Naud Burnett II. Here you will see beds of seasonal plants and flowers because it is home to over 2,000 types of daffodils, tulips, and azaleas. You will also see the Waterwise display, which is donated by the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. This is where home gardeners can learn how to install and manage a low-water landscape.

  • A Woman’s Garden

    A Woman’s Garden is given as a gift by the Women’s Council of Dallas, and phase 1 of this garden was designed by a landscape architect named Morgan Wheelock. Here you will see terraced walkways as well as several smaller outdoor garden rooms. Phase 2 of the Woman’s Garden was opened in 2006, and it was designed by an architect named Warren Johnson. Here in phase 2 of the Woman’s Garden, you will see a native Texas limestone bridge as well as a 140-foot hanging garden.

  • Lay Family Garden

    This garden was named for Herman Lay, who happens to be the co-founder of Frito-Lay. Here in this 2.2-acre garden, you will get to see hundreds of woody and perennial plants.

  • DeGolyer Gardens

    In this garden, you will get to see the 21,000-square-foot house of Mr. and Mrs. Everette DeGolyer, which also happens to be the centerpiece of this garden. This was designed by landscape architects Marie and Arthur Berger. Here you will see most of the original garden, such as the Sunken Garden, Magnolia Allee, and the Octagonal Fountain.

  • Martha Brooks Camellia Garden

    In this garden, you will see over 200 camellias as well as 30 different cultivars. This garden was designed by Warren Hill Johnson, and it was funded by the employees of Central and South West Corporation.

  • Pecan Grove

    This spot serves as the centerpiece of the Autumn at the Arboretum festival. During spring, you will see over 100 blooming Japanese Cherry Trees. During fall, there are over 50,000 gourds, pumpkins, and squash ready for the Pumpkin Village.

  • Nancy’s Garden

    Here in Nancy’s Garden, you will see pink crape myrtles and azaleas. This garden is located in the DeGolyer Gardens because the space used by this garden was originally a part of Nell De Golyer’s personal garden.

  • The Eugenia Leftwich Palmer Fern Dell

    In this garden, you will see over 90 different kinds of camellias, ferns, azaleas as well as mature trees that border a brook.

  • The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill

    This is a two-acre garden that is designed by Rowland Jackson. Here you can see over 80 different kinds of signature Japanese Maples that are planted along the stream.

  • The Lyda Bunker Hunt Paseo de Flores

    This is commonly known as The Paseo, and this pathway is the central walay of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This is designed by Luis Santana.

  • McCasland Sunken Garden

    This garden was designed by Warren Johnson, and here you will see the Chico y Chica de la Playa sculpture as well as the accompanying fountain. This is why most people chose this garden as the location of their wedding ceremony.

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