Every year, more than 130,000 visitors flock to the Zilker Botanical Garden – to admire the flowers and learn about plants, to make fairy gardens, to pose for commencement photos, maybe even to get married. Some come simply to stroll the many paths, finding the calm we all need in our lives.
Generations of volunteers worked tirelessly to create Zilker Botanical Garden. The ZBG Conservancy applauds their vision and seeks to renew their living legacy.
In 1963, a coalition of garden clubs persuaded the City of Austin to allocate land for a botanical garden. The clubs then raised the funds for the Austin Area Garden Center, our signature building, completed and dedicated one year later. Smart collaboration is in our DNA.
With its meandering stream, lush plantings, moon bridge and framed views, the Taniguchi Japanese Garden was the first major attraction installed in Zilker Botanical Garden. Isamu Taniguchi personally transformed three acres of rugged caliche hillside into this serene haven. Working without salary or contract, this survivor of the WWII Japanese internment camps created the garden as a tribute to peace and gift to the City of Austin. ZBGC plans to help restore this special haven as part of a year-long 50th anniversary celebration in 2019.
Ever dreamed of visiting a real-live Jurassic Park? The Hartman Prehistoric Garden, opened in 2002, is a two- acre dinosaur habitat. This extraordinary collection includes from magnolias, dogwoods, witch hazel, laurel and palms of the Cretaceous period, plus such Jurassic notables as conifers, liverworts, mosses, horse-tails, ferns and cycads. The moat around Dino island is stocked with gar, an ancient type of fish that survives to this day.
The Cactus and Succulent display and the Herb Garden both provide inspiration for gardeners who struggle with the punishing Texan climate. The Doug Blachley butterfly trail and garden, planted with nectar-rich plants that attract native and migrating species, is a perennial favorite for families. The Green Garden, installed by the City of Austin, highlights how to incorporate environmentally-sound practices into the home landscape – beautifully.