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The arboretum is a series of gardens and fountains with a view of the lake and the downtown Dallas skyline. The majority of the grounds were once part of a 44acre estate known as Rancho Encinal, built for geophysicist Everette Lee DeGolyer and his wife Nell. Mrs. DeGolyer's interests included her extensive flower gardens. The DeGolyer Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1976, the DeGolyer estate has formed the largest portion of the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. The addition of the adjoining Alex and Roberta Coke Camp estate increased the size of the grounds to sixty-six acres.
The 21000sqft Spanish-style DeGolyer Home was completed in 1940. The DeGolyer Garden Cafe/Loggia, located at the back of the DeGolyer Home, overlooks White Rock Lake and the tiered fountains and formal landscapes of A Woman's Garden. Also located on the grounds is an outdoor concert stage, picnic areas, and set of kid size replicas of dwellings and other structures depicting prairie life in the "Texas Pioneer Adventure."
In September 2002, Arboretum facilities were expanded with the opening of the new visitors center named for Dallas developer Trammell Crow. The center consists of a gift shop, meeting room, gazebo, and a patio area overlooking White Rock Lake. At night, one may view downtown Dallas with the skyscraper lights reflecting upon the water. The gazebo is named for Gisela Rodriguez and was financed in part by donations from her son Marcos A. Rodriguez.
With over 66 acres of finely manicured grounds, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden provides breathtaking views for residents and tourists year-round.
The Arboretum opened its doors in 1984, combining the 44-acre DeGolyer Estate and the 22-acre Alex Camp House to create a horticultural masterpiece in North Texas. Today, 19 named gardens and numerous areas within combine to create one of the premier Dallas landmarks. The vibrant color displays in these gardens engage visitors of all ages throughout the seasons.
Built with native Texas limestone and wood and copper sheathing, this structure serves as the gateway to the gardens. Upon entering, visitors will encounter the Scott K. Ginsburg Family Plaza and Junkins Fountain, which are enveloped by a menagerie of seasonal flora. This entryway gives visitors a glimpse of the 66 acres of stunning vistas ahead.
Designed by Naud Burnett II, the 6.5-acre Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden features large, sweeping beds of seasonal flowers and plants.
The Color Garden is home to more than 2,000 varieties of azaleas, which bloom lavishly in the spring along with daffodils and tulips. Summer brings a vibrant display of bananas and tapioca plants, while autumn ushers in brightly colored chrysanthemums.
The Waterwise display, donated by Region IV of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, provides a location for home gardeners to learn how to install and manage a low-water landscape. The Palmer Fern Dell serves as a shady respite within the Color Garden, boasting a collection of ferns, camellias, azaleas and many other shade loving perennials and shrubs.
A Woman's Garden is a gift from the Women’s Council of Dallas. This serene and nationally acclaimed Dallas garden features terraced walkways and exceptional views.
Phase 1 of this 1.8-acre formal garden was designed in 1997 by landscape architect Morgan Wheelock. A Woman’s Garden is composed of several smaller outdoor garden "rooms" including the Pecan Parterre and the Poetry Garden which features a sunken garden of roses. The Majestic Allee where visitors can view White Rock Lake just beyond a dramatic reflecting pool.
Phase 2, which opened to the public in the spring of 2006, was designed by Dallas landscape architect and Texas Tech University graduate Warren Johnson. It boasts alluring features such as a native Texas limestone bridge, a 140-foot hanging garden, and a wellspring surrounded by towering Dawn Redwoods. These two beautiful gardens were designed to celebrate the strength, courage, creativity and nurturing demeanor of women.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this two-acre garden is a fabulous collection of over 80 varieties of signature Japanese Maples planted along the stream.
This premier addition to the Arboretum was designed by Rowland Jackson of Newman, Jackson, Bieberstein, with construction services provided by The Beck Group. Key design elements of the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill include a new entry off the Paseo de Flores and a large gathering plaza that overlooks a re-circulating creek and numerous waterfalls. Opened in fall 2011, the area also includes a series of paved walkways and a stone bridge connecting the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage to the Magnolia Allee. An especially large weeping Japanese maple, nearly 100 years old, anchors the center of the garden.
Commonly referred to as simply The Paseo, this meandering pathway serves as the central walkway of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
Designed by Luis Santana, the path begins at the Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion and concludes near Fogelson Fountain, which was donated by the late Greer Garson in memory of her husband, Buddy. Along The Paseo, visitors can stop for photo opportunities and fun at the Magnolia Glade, the Crape Myrtle Allee, the Toad Corners Fountain, the Shadow Garden and the Pecan Grove.
A stacked stone wall serves as the backbone of this charming garden and is mirrored by a myriad of gorgeous rose varieties.
In 2004, Dr. George Boswell surprised his family with this incredible Christmas gift. Designed by landscape architect Warren Johnson of Fallcreek Gardens, The Boswell Family Garden comprises the area north of the McCasland Sunken Garden and is surrounded by the Gazebo, Octagonal Fountain and Magnolia Allee. As guests enter the garden from the west, an overlook offers a beautiful vista of White Rock Lake and the surrounding gardens. Carefully trimmed hollies and a low double helix hedge line the walkway that joins the Boswell Family Garden to the McCasland Sunken Garden.
The Chico y Chica de la Playa sculpture and accompanying fountain provide a tranquil setting for the many weddings that take place in this secluded garden.
Tom and Phyllis McCasland have a special affinity for the Dallas Arboretum. Their 2006 contribution, the McCasland Sunken Garden, is evidence of their commitment to the continued expansion of the Arboretum. The McCasland Sunken Garden, designed by Warren Johnson of Fallcreek Gardens, is a renovation and upgrade of the original Sunken Garden. The central aisle, lined with Italian jardinières, leads down a series of steps towards a sunlit grass court surrounded by seasonal plantings.
More than 90 varieties of ferns, camellias, azaleas and mature trees border a peaceful brook, which winds throughout this enchanting mini-garden.
The Palmer Fern Dell, designed by Naud Burnett II, is located within the Jonsson Color Garden. This tranquil spot is a welcome oasis during the summer months due to the micro-fine mist system that regularly envelops the garden.
The Magnolia Glade features a meandering waterway and picturesque lily pond amid a collection of beautiful flowers.
Along with her husband Austin, Pauline Neuhoff wanted to dedicate a quiet and special garden to honor her mother. The beautiful Nancy Clements Seay Magnolia Glade is now officially open to the public and features lush green grass, beautiful white blooms and the peaceful sounds of running water. The garden carries a meandering rivulet of water throughout, ending in a beautiful twisting fountain with photo opportunities at every turn.
Visitors, families and photographers can often be found in this soothing space enjoying the incredible scenery and the sounds of birds chirping and the bubbling rush of the fountains’ water.
Designed by Landscape Architect Warren Hill Johnson, the glade will take on different colors and textures throughout the year, but with the significant color within to be varied plantings of green and white. Framed by the 45-foot magnolias of the Dallas Arboretum’s Magnolia Allee, the glade is gently enclosed by 35 new ‘Teddy Bear’ southern magnolias. Butterfly Japanese Maples, large white flowering camellias, loquats and many others add to the palette of interesting horticulture within this peaceful garden.
A treasured area of the Dallas Arboretum, Nancy’s Garden is blanketed by soft pink crape myrtles and azaleas, and is filled seasonally with pastel annual color.
Located within the DeGolyer Gardens, this space was originally Mrs. Nell DeGolyer’s personal garden. In 1986, the garden was renovated and dedicated to the children of Nancy Dillard Lyons. The Bill Dillard Family renovated the plantings and lighting of this peaceful area, which now includes child-sized benches as well as the sculpture Thank Heaven for Little Girls by Gary Price.
Sweeping crape myrtle trees enclose a stone walkway to create this magnificent garden. This natural tunnel leads visitors to the popular "frog fountain" water feature, Polliwogs.
Opened to the public in 1994, Crape Myrtle Allee was originally funded by the Communities Foundation. Dedicated to John and Thelma Black by their daughter Peggy Braecklein. The Allee features a new lane of crape myrtle trees, which replaced the original trees planted by the DeGolyers. Paved with Pennsylvania bluestone, the Allee runs from the Paseo to Toad Corners. The Crape Myrtle Allee is a popular destination for family photo shoots and engagement photos.
The Chandler Lindsley Shadow Garden is filled with pathways fit for strolling, an expansive lawn, and mature shade trees.
Azaleas border the pathways providing stunning color during the spring, while a row of lavish magnolias provides a verdant backdrop for the garden. Enclosed by the Paseo, this classic garden is an ideal picnic spot.
With its shady canopy, the Pecan Grove is the perfect location for a peaceful picnic. This space also serves as the centerpiece of our famous fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum.
Spring ushers in a stunning sight as over 100 blooming Japanese Cherry Trees surround the Pecan Grove. In the fall, over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash come together to form the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village during Autumn at the Arboretum.
This charming garden features 200 camellias and over 30 different cultivars.
Located along the Paseo de Flores, the Camellia Garden was designed by Dallas landscape architect and Texas Tech University graduate Warren Hill Johnson. The Martha Brooks Camellia garden was funded by the employees of Central and South West Corporation and was dedicated to the wife of retired CEO Dick Brooks. This addition to the Arboretum was opened in January 2000.
The 21,000-square-foot home of Mr. and Mrs. Everette DeGolyer serves as the centerpiece to this luxurious garden.
Landscape architects Arthur and Marie Berger designed the 4.5-acre DeGolyer Gardens for the DeGolyer family in 1940. Many of the original garden features remain, including the Magnolia Allee, the Sunken Garden and the Octagonal Fountain. The McCasland Sunken Garden and the Boswell Family Garden, both renovated and reopened in 2006, are favorite spots for intimate weddings.
In 2012, the existing entry landscape was replaced with a new design featuring lush, hardy tropicals and palms. The DeGolyer House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Texas Register of Historic Places, and is open daily for tours.
The Lay Family Garden is a 2.2-acre garden filled with hundreds of perennials and woody plants.
A garden at the south end of the property, it is a reinterpretation of the Lay Ornamental Garden, a gift from the family of Mimi Lay Hodges and Herman Lay. The newly named Lay Family Garden will keep the main features intact, but with an increase in the size of the ponds, an additional grotto and beautiful horticultural accents. This renovation is made possible by the Lay’s two daughters, Dorothy Lay, Susan Atwell and her husband Anthony, and a gift from the estate of Ward Lay.
The Lay Family Garden was named for Herman Lay, co-founder of Frito-Lay.
Located within the DeGolyer Gardens, this classically designed pocket rose garden contains over 200 Hybrid Tea Roses of 16 different varieties.
This beautiful space truly comes alive during Dallas Blooms in the spring and Autumn at the Arboretum in the fall. With hundreds of blooms, the Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden creates an incredible backdrop for many an intimate wedding held in this charming space.
In 2002, the Dallas Arboretum became the 31st “All-America Selections Trial Garden”. The Trial Gardens opened to the public in March 2003.
In North Texas, there are many environmental challenges that make selecting the right plants crucial to successful gardening. Although most catalogs and books provide information about plant requirements, many of these descriptions are based on growing experience in northern states. Dallas has weather conditions that require resilient plants. Our winters can be mild, but we occasionally experience sudden sharp drops in temperature. We ask a lot of our ornamental plants, as they must also tolerate periods of too much rain or no rain at all and extreme temperatures in the summer.
The Trial Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum were created for the purpose of expanding our research efforts and providing information to the public. The focus of the trial program is to grow and evaluate many different plants in the drastic climate of the Metroplex and North Central Texas. Information generated from the trials is provided to commercial plant producers, retailers and home gardeners. Between 3,000 and 5,000 plants are trialed yearly from over 150 plant breeding companies.
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden was designed to connect children with nature. Education is a central focus of our mission, which is why we are delighted to be able to teach life and Earth science to both school children and their teachers as well as families. With over 150 individual kid friendly activities, the children’s garden features The Texas Skywalk, The Moody Oasis, a Walk in the Clouds, and more.
The Children's Garden is funded with support from the City of Dallas and private and corporate donors. It was named by the family of Rory Meyers, a well-known civic leader, volunteer and longtime member of the Arboretum Board and Chair of the Education Committee.
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden encompasses several galleries, each designed to be age-specific, but not age-restrictive. This amazing new garden sits on the hillside overlooking beautiful White Rock Lake. The spectacular view encourages children to take in the beauty of nature while unlocking its mysteries.
Throughout the year the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers endless opportunities for excitement, entertainment and family fun.
Dallas Blooms, the largest floral festival in the Southwest, has been a tradition for 31 years. This extravaganza features more than 500,000 spring blooming bulbs along with topiaries, entertainment, food and special activities.
Dallas Blooms is an annual festival featuring more than 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs, over 3,000 azaleas and thousands of other annuals and perennials spread throughout the 66acre garden.
Celebrate the beauty and excitement of summer with activities and discounts for the whole family, and acres of vibrant color throughout the Dallas Arboretum. As always, the Arboretum displays an incredible selection of seasonal plantings. During Summer at the Arboretum, the beds will burst with ageratum, impatiens, petunias, cleome, begonias, salvia, marigolds, lobelia and zinnias. As the temperatures warm, caladiums, lantana, pride of Barbados, variegated tapioca, elephant ears and coleus will be added to the gardens.
Over 65,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash come together to form the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village. A multitude of special events are also available throughout the festival including a hay bale maze, scavenger hunts and the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch.
Celebrate the holidays like never before with this centerpiece exhibit featuring an elaborate collection of 25-foot Victorian gazebos filled with the charming costumed characters and whimsical animals made famous by the beloved Christmas carol. Each gazebo will be encased in glass and extravagantly decorated on all sides to provide a dramatic, three-dimensional experience, and will feature mechanical parts and festive music that will assist in bringing the characters to an even more life-like state.