Monday, March 30, 2009

Garden festival galore

What a gardening bonanza. I'm still glowing from my wonderful weekend.

The Zilker Garden Festival, formerly known to long-time Austinites as Florarama, was this weekend.

There are so many things to love about Austin, but this is my very favorite event of the year. I think I've only missed it once in the last 17 years (I was sick as a dog).

It's a wonderful garden festival, with garden vendors, craft booths, garden art and accessories, food, informational speakers, bands, a children's corner with face painting and gardening crafts. You name it, they have it.

And it's located in the beautiful Zilker Gardens, which were showing off for us in full force this weekend. I gawked at the rose garden, the fern garden, the bulbs and promise of the daylilies to come. It's an amazing setting. I'm partial to it because my husband and I were married in the Japanese Gardens by the bridge over the koi ponds.
Is this the biggest Ch-ch-chia pet you've ever seen? (There, behind that attractive young woman!)

This is the perfect place to pick up daylilies from the Dayliliy Society or exotic plants from boutique growers around the area. I look forward to seeing my favorite garden booths year after year. I have several Plumeria, Desert Roses, Night-blooming Cerius, daylilies and succulents that I have collected from these folks over the years.
Mom watched our two carts while Dad and I took a break. You absolutely have to take a wagon for your haul. Mine is the little red one. See the cute bird house in the foreground, and my Amaryllis, Heuchera Plum Pudding, and a hand-painted hummingbird feeder...look closely -- you'll see it all!
One of many water features in the park -- it was so peaceful.
Now, here's Dad sitting on his wagon waiting while Mom and I look at something for a long time.
This is a local nursery's booth that I love to frequent. They had some great things, but I'm going over to the nursery to buy this week so I can get more goodies.
And here's a booth set up by the local Master Gardeners to answer questions and provide great information to new gardeners.
And this is a huge cabbage head from the veggie gardens down by the food vendors. I was so impressed by its size -- someone always eats mine before they get this big!

And yes, like always, I had a hot dog. Ketchup and relish, of course!


hjs000 said...

are you from New England? That's the only place I've seen Ketchup and Relish on a hot dog. I grew up in Maine and Boston. -- Heather

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That looks like a great event, not only for the gardener, but for the bird lover as well! I'd love to go to that!

Diana said...

hjs000 - nope, not from New England. I'm an Air Force brat and grew up all over the US and Europe, but not New England. Just my own special condiments!

Robin - it is so fun and small enough to be really good, without the big commercial guys who come to house and garden type shows. I love it.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Sounds like a blast. We have our master gardener seminar this weekend. Also tons of fun.

Janet said...

The festival looks like a great event. Wish other areas had something similar. How nice that you were able to use the Japanese Garden for your wedding. Sounds like it was a wonderful day.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OOoooo this looks like sooo much fun. That chia pet is awesome. So is the cute youngster standing in front of it.

Diana said...

Debbi - It was great - have fun at your Master Gardener Seminar -- we have a wonderful MG program here, too.

Janet -- As you can guess, Austin is gardening mecca these days. We have tons of bloggers and there is always some gardening thing or another going on. The Japanese garden was beautiful for our wedding -- maybe we should go back for a visit for our anniversary.

Lisa -- It does look like a Chia pet, doesn't it? it's the only thing of its kind in the gardens (that I know of), but I thought it was fun.

Gail said...

Diana, This festival looks like a great time...and to come home with garden treats! Fantastic.

My best friend from college just returned to Austin after three years in Hong Kong...gosh I hope she was at the I will be visiting her ...I must schedule it during a fun Austin event...any ideas? It's almost the anniversary of Austin Spring Fling! I had such a good time! I am looking forward to getting face to face time with you!


Diana said...

Gail -- Oh, we'd love to have you come to Austin again. There is always something fun to do here, so you should just come when it works for you, but definitely let us know so we could plan something garden-y, or at least a blogger mini-get together!

Pam/Digging said...

I second your invitation to Gail, Diana. She's right, it's almost our Spring Fling anniversary!

Thanks so much for showing Florarama this year. It looks like you had a great day.

Diana said...

Pam -- It was wonderful, as always. Such a treat for me to be able to wander among the gardens and gardeners and plan booths at a snail's pace -- relaxing and taking it all in.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time--the weather was certainly perfect for it.

Diana said...

Morning Glories -- the weather was perfect for it -- on Sunday! It was way too cold and windy on Saturday so I am glad we waiting and got to really enjoy it instead of rushing through.

DivaGlinda said...

We were there on Saturday, Diana - love this festival, too, and came home with plants and always have to hit that place with the crunchy coated almonds and hazelnuts. How lovely that you got to go with your mom.

Now I'm imagining how beautiful your wedding in the Oriental Garden must have been ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Frances said...

Hi Diana, wow, what a place. Having your wedding there was certainly a wonderful idea, good thinking! Ummm, I am ready for plant sales like that, we are only a week or two away from our last frost date. After that, the plants come out of the woodwork. Good idea having Mom and Dad babysite the wagons while you look too. HA

MrBrownThumb said...

Looks like fun. I like the giant Chia pet. I have to have one of those!

Martha said...

It keeps freezing where I live so I haven't been planting. I purchase a lot of my flower seeds from It sounds like you're from Texas and this place is at Fredericksburg, Texas.

Anyway, you get good service and this will be my second season of bulk ordering.

I researched hollyhock seeds on the internet with the free tool found at By using the compare button I even easily saw the photos of the hollyhocks that were being offered on the internet.

The trouble I have with planting is that when they talk about hard freeze I don't know what plants to cover. The plants that are already coming up do you cover them? The voluntary bachlor buttons that are coming up from last year I didn't cover. They seemed to do okay.

After I plant, I then wait to pick the flowers so then I can photograph them.