Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dallas Arboretum

Before driving over to tour the arboretum, John and I stopped in downtown Dallas at the Pioneer Plaza to see a large bronze sculpture. It is even more spectacular than the Las Colinas equestrian sculpture in Irving.
The above picture of a Texas Longhorn cattle drive does not even do the sculpture justice because there are many more cattle than just the few shown above.  You may also notice the bored pose of the trail boss on a rocky prominence above the cattle. The arboretum of Dallas is currently having its Dallas Blooms days, that was our next stop Saturday afternoon.
 It is the largest floral festival in the southwest with 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, and fragrant-smelling hyacinths abound in colorful beds all over the arboretum. In the Dallas area tulips are an annual flower; the winters are not cold enough for them and, if left in the ground, they do not bloom well. We learned that piece of information from our garden guide. He is a docent for the garden and willing to tour anyone who desires a guide. He made our hike of the arboretum quite interesting, primarily because he grew up in the area. From him we learned a lot about the different gardens within the arboretum.
Shortly after we began our tour we noticed a flaming red tree off in the distance. We checked it out before we left the garden and discovered it to be a peach tree in bloom.
The arboretum was once the estate of a wealthy Texas oil man, Everette De Golyer. In 1975 his widow left the estate to a local university who subsequently sold it to the city of Dallas for a million dollars. Dallas turned the 66 acres of land into an arboretum, keeping the DeGolyer's mansion on the estate. It is possible for visitors of the garden to tour the mansion, which John and I did. In one of the rooms I saw an invitation, framed under glass, which Mrs. DeGolyer received in 1963 (her husband passed in 1956) to a luncheon on November 22  in honor of the President and Mrs. Kennedy, Governor John Connally and his wife. Next to the invitation is a picture of  Mrs. DeGolyer sitting at her assigned seat on that fateful day, waiting for the honored guests to arrive and the luncheon to begin. And sadly, as we all know from history, that meal did not happen as planned.

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