Made time this weekend to visit the Botanical Gardens here in San Antonio to check out all the new stuff, and revisit some of my favorite parts. While the entrance used to be on the south-central side of the park, the new entrance (and expanded parking) are now on the south-east side. You walk under the covered area shown above, and are taken into some of the newer areas.
As you walk in you will pass the new gift shop on the left, and past it is this lovely garden with a nice view of the glass enclosures in the background.
This little waterfall area helps make sure the plants are watered as well as cooling things off a bit in the picnic area between the gift shop and the garden.
Planters along the walkway have plenty of beautiful flowers like this nice example here.
To the right of the entrance garden are some classrooms, a cafe, and some more flower beds where I found this lovely example.
And the one above as well.
It’s a little hard to see amongst all the ornamental grass, but there is a wire sculpture here.
Walking further back you get a little closer to the enclosures.
And then come to the entrance to the new Family Garden area. There are places here designed to let the kids run a bit more wild and get among the plants than was available in the older parts of the garden.
A dry riverbed with this small pond weaves along the border between the gardens and the street.
At the end of the riverbed is one of several partly covered sitting areas for taking a break or enjoying a picnic lunch.
And there’s even a sheltered area for a little sandbox play.
Walking back around brings you to the main garden area that is still as lovely as ever.
Walking into the rain forest area, I got a close-up of this lovely specimen.
And this small sculpture was nearby.
The misters turned on just as I had taken the last picture, but I continued on.
As the mist slowly started to build I got a closeup of these two blooms.
As well as these three red and yellow-green delights.
However visibility was starting to get poor.
And it was getting difficult to take closeups — although I thought the sun streaming through the mist was a nice touch.
Walking back outside I made my way to the Palm Pavilion.
Ceiling had to be built pretty high to let these grow as tall as they like to.
Some of the plants have their fruits already developing.
While there’s also a bush full of these pink and fuzzy flowers. Sometimes it’s worth taking time to use your manual focus.
From the upper area of the pavilion I could look down and see one of the palms seemed to be growing a full complement of beads.
I continued into the next area — which is the arid ecosystem. And thought this was a striking example of color and form.
Not to mention this cactus with buds and needles at the top.
Across the way is this waterfall room.
A closeup of the elephant leaf gives you and idea of how wet this room is also.
I began walking across the park to get to the East Texas ecosystem, and passed this restored cabin along the way.
But took a moment to gaze up at some of the interesting patterns in the clouds.
The East Texas section (located on the west side of the gardens for some reason) has a pond with plenty of ducks like this specimen.
As well as several places for turtles to sun themselves.
Continuing to walk around the lake, this fellow looked like he wanted a few crumbs thrown his way.
And another look at the turtles from a slightly different angle.
The cypress trees here sprout these “knees” that, according to one of the folks at the garden can eventually become new trees themselves — though research online suggests that it’s not clear why cypress trees have these.
Another sunning area in the lake packed with turtles.
Rounding the bend, one of the trees appeared to be in bloom. A lovely pink against the green of the other trees and a clearing blue sky.
And a couple more ducks.
Seeing the ducks reminded me there was a bird blind tucked away on the north edge of this area, so I made my way there.
But neither birds nor people were in there.
On the walk back however,
this little bird made sure I didn’t go home without at least one non-duck bird picture.
Then one last shot as I completed my circle and made my way back to the parking area.
Until next time!