How many of you find yourself moving at a faster pace during your vacations? It seems that we feel the clock ticking on our time away, and we want to pack it full of leisurely activities. By the time we return home, we feel like we need a vacation from our vacation. We have found that by adding a few tranquil stops to our itinerary, it allows us to slow down and recharge our batteries. An example was our visit to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, which allowed us to find Peace in the Panhandle.
We want to thank Visit Amarillo and the Amarillo Botanical Gardens for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Growing the High Plains
The first gardening club was organized in Amarillo, Texas in 1929. Some probably doubted the ability to cultivate delicate plants in the high plains region. After all, this area is known for some of the toughest conditions in the country. Drought, bright sunlight, and stiff winds can challenge even native vegetation. It took determination, and plenty of amended soil, to succeed. As the ladies of this group gained experience, they were able to implement various city beautification projects.
Bring it Together
Over the years, the city would grow to include 13 garden clubs, each doing diligent work in their respective areas. In 1954, they banded together to form the Garden Center, which would help add synergy to their efforts. After many years of fundraising, they moved into their new home in 1968. With plenty of space to fill, it took lots of cuttings to fill the gardens. Of course, many of the original plantings were offshoots of plants that the members brought from their own homes.
Over the years, the gardens took shape, and the name would eventually change to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. As with most growing enterprises, expansion has taken place at the gardens. A tropical conservatory is a focal point the visitors see as the approach. The large indoor atrium is packed full of tropical examples, as well as a family of ducks. The lush vegetation and calming sound of a waterfall make this a relaxing space to explore.
At the Water’s Edge
As we made our way through the gardens, we saw other groups enjoying the spaces. A butterfly garden looked very entertaining to some children, who’s parents watched from a shady spot nearby. Following the path through the park-like setting, we came upon a Japanese Garden area. Water spilled over boulders that sat along the edge of a small pond. Lilies opened their beautiful blooms in the mid-day sunshine. We could feel our hurried pace subsiding.
Have a Seat
A nearby pavilion offered seating out of the warm sunshine. Relaxing for a bit, was bringing us peace in the panhandle. We just sat and listened to the rushing water and birds singing in the nearby trees. Even though our next stop would eventually be calling, for now we were wrapped up in these moments.
Fall in Love with the High Plains
After a few moments of rest, we resumed our exploration of the gardens. Just a few steps away from our resting stop, we moved into a new section of the park. Here we found more seating options, where we could view plants more suited for the challenging environment of the high plains. Everything seemed so lush and vibrant. It was clear that even in this formidable landscape, beauty can not only survive, but thrive.
Peace in the Panhandle
Our time to move along was quickly approaching, but we still needed a few more minutes to recharge. The tranquility of the gardens was washing away our need to rush. All of the surrounding beauty was allowing us to gain peace in the Panhandle. We knew from our visit to the Alibates Flint Quarries, that there were plenty of native flowers that exist in the high plains. (You can read about Alibates here.) As we rested in the shade, at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, it became clear that with a little love many non-native plants can also thrive. This gave us hope for our own yard, so many miles away. Perhaps some of these high plains natives would enjoy a home in lower elevations. Do you like to incorporate plants from other regions in your landscape?