I was strolling along, dodging people and trying to enjoy this gorgeous spring day, when the flapping of wings got my attention. Less than three feet away from me, a big black bird was eating lunch. Lunch was a fat worm. It grossed me out but then I thought, it’s part of the natural world, the fastest or strongest eats the slowest or weakest. It turned out to be a small, headless snake. I freaked out. I have a deep-seated terror of snakes. Even small, decapitated ones. As I was about to run away, I heard another woman go “aaaaarrghghghgh!!”
So, where was this? At the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, located right next to White Rock Lake, an artificial lake that provides water and a respite from the heat to the city.
Every year in March and April, the Dallas Arboretum organizes the Dallas Blooms festival, said to be the biggest in the Southwest. The theme for the 33rd edition is Peace, Love, and Flower Power. Every weekend, there’s something going on inspired by the 1960s: live bands, fashion shows and the like. There are two vintage VW (a Bug and a van) flower topiaries and a big peace sign.
The main attraction, to me, was the endless beds of tulips, one of my favourite flowers. There were all kinds of colours and sizes. I’ve never been to the Netherlands but that’s how I imagine it to be, covered in seas of tulips. The camellias and azaleas were superb, too. The Japanese maples were in all their red glory. It was all I could do to look everywhere and take pictures like crazy.
However, my all-time favourite place is the women’s garden, even more beautiful and sweet-smelling with the wisterias in full bloom. I love the fountain and the sculptures, they seem to merge with the lake below. A couple was taking their engagement photos. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful setting. Close by, a quinceañera was having her pictures taken, as was a bride.
If you go to the Arboretum, stay for as long as you want. Take your time to see everything and enjoy the beautiful natural setting. There are restaurants and public restrooms to make life easier. I went by myself and stayed less than two hours, so it was a bit expensive: $15 for parking and $15 for the admission. And try not to go at the weekend, it gets very crowded, which is why I left. But that’s just me, you may enjoy being surrounded by other people.