Be Adventurous! / Be Curious! / Be Prepared! / Environment / Health/Fitness / Sports & Recreation

Lady Bird Johnson and Her Wildflower Center

Texas Bluebonnets

Walking as much as I have this year has reminded me just how beautiful this part of the world is. It’s spring, of course, and most everywhere is lovely in spring. But this winter’s rain brought us a vivid wildflower season, made more precious by last year’s drought.


I’m mashing a few related badge tasks in the video below: a look at different plants native to my part of the world, a walk through a garden, and a shout out to a woman who championed the environment. A purposeful walk through the trails at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, here in Austin, was all I needed.

If you’re not in the Austin area, I hope you’ll take a moment to learn about one of our city’s treasures, as well as one of our nation’s great environmentalists–the woman who made it her mission to beautify America.

It’s wildflower season across most of the country right now. I can’t recommend a walk among the flowers highly enough.

Walk on!


4 thoughts on “Lady Bird Johnson and Her Wildflower Center

  1. Mrs. Johnson’s father was Thomas Jefferson Taylor, owner of a general store who declared himself “dealer in everything.” Her mother, Minnie Pattillo Taylor, died when the little girl was but five-years old. She had two older brothers, Tommy and Tony. After her mother’s death, Mrs. Johnson’s Aunt Effie Pattillo moved to Karnack to look after her. At an early age, a nursemaid said she was “as purty as a lady bird” — thereafter she became known to her family and friends as “Lady Bird.” Mrs. Johnson grew up in the “Brick House” and attended a small rural elementary school in Harrison County, Texas. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1928, and attended Saint Mary’s Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas from 1928 to 1930.

  2. To further the cause, Mrs. Johnson founded the Wildflower Center to research native species and habitat and educate the public on the benefits of gardening with these plants and wildflowers. The center has a large staff and scores of volunteers, 279 acres of land, large greenhouses, and an elaborate rainwater collection system. The facility’s research library is the largest in the United States for the study of native plants. For visitors, the main attractions are the 12 acres of beautiful gardens displaying 650 species of native plants (most of which are labeled) in varying habitats, 2 miles of trails, and an observation tower. In 2010, the Wildflower Center received $1.4 million to create an arboretum featuring native trees. There is also a large and colorful gift shop and a cafe serving soups and sandwiches. Free lectures and guided walks are usually offered on the weekends — it’s best to phone or check the website for current programs.

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