Texas Shangri La

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shangri La, that mythical utopian paradise of gardening delights! Whoever knew it would be in Texas? lol! Actually, when I think of Texas, I envision flat lands of sandy-colored dirt, hot winds, and tumbleweeds rolling around. But I am flat-out wrong. I'd better ship my saddle back home, because Texas is home to the beautiful Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center, a world-renowned botanical garden of flora and fauna delights.

Someday we hope to get out to Texas-- it's one of our "big" dreams-- and this looks like an exquisite place to see. It's in Orange, Texas. It's a great place for kids, and natural-minded gardeners. That's why I'd like to see it. There are over 300 plant species on over 250 acres of land, and the area is set up in naturalistic ("green") "rooms." There are hand-on displays (we love those) and a natural bird habitat, among other things. It's also the first such project in Texas to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum certification for LEED®-NC, one of the most "earth-friendly" places in the world. This is a naturalist's dream. There's a cypress swamp, beautiful decks--you can watch the wild life and enjoy the flora. We love stuff like this. My sons love bird-watching, and we love hiking.

The names for the gardens depict their themes-- the Circle Garden, the Spiral Garden, the Texture Garden. I was tickled that one garden is named from Hilton's novel Lost Horizons (from whence "Shangri La" comes): Pond of the Blue Moon.

Admission is incredibly affordable! I'm used to New York State prices, so the admission fees for a whole day at a botanical garden is like a steal here! If you happen to visit, be sure to let me know. I'd love to see photos. And maybe someday we'll get to visit, too!

2 remarks
Suz said...

I'm a huge fan of botanical gardens in general, but I'd not heard of the Shangri La - I'll have to add it to my list of ones to see.

Alas, I've been through texas but never TO texas, so it's on my wish list as well.

12:34 PM  

How fun is that? What a wonderful spring excursion.


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6:10 PM  

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