San Antonio Botanical Gardens Hours & Location:
Hours: The San Antonio Gardens are open year round from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The Garden is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Founded in 1980, the Garden is operated by the San Antonio City Parks and Recreation Department. This is a paid admission garden.
Contact Info: The San Antonio Gardens are located at 555 Funston @ North New Braunfels Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78209 - Phone: 210-207-3250
About the San Antonio Botanical Gardens:
History of the Garden: The original idea for the Garden was conceived back in the 1940’s, but the first master plan and presentation didn’t occur until late in the 1960’s. Work began on the project in 1976 with funds secured through bonds, donations, and a rather large grant. The grand opening of the San Antonio Gardens was in May of 1980. The garden sits on 33 acres of land in downtown San Antonio and includes the garden center that is adjacent to it.
Formal Gardens and Displays: This area of the San Antonio Botanical Gardens is made into four large display planting beds that the garden staff change several times throughout the year to showcase the seasonal textures and colors of the plants in the collection. Visitors to the San Antonio Gardens can go to the Old Fashioned Garden where they can enjoy varieties of plants that have been around for generations. They can visit the Rose Garden and take in the amazing sights and smells that this outstanding collection has to offer.
The San Antonio Botanical Gardens also features a Sensory Garden, where guests can explore the plant life through touch and smell. The SABG is home to the Kumamoto En Garden, which was a gift from the Garden’s sister city in Japan, Kumamoto. This Japanese garden contains a great many structures that are finely crafted, along with symbolic Japanese features. Among the many other features found in the Garden, visitors will find Gertie’s Garden, Shade Garden, Sacred Garden, as well as the testing gardens in the Ornamental Grass Garden and Watersaver Lane.
San Antonio Botanical Gardens Conservatory:
Lucile Halsell Conservatory: The San Antonio Botanical Gardens Conservatory was first opened in February 1988 to the general public. The cost of the structures was $6.9 million and they are now home to a broad range of plants from varying climates around the world, from tropical rain forests to arid desert climates. In the center of this collection of buildings is a sunken courtyard that holds a tropical lagoon that is brimming with specimens of aquatic plants.
The Conservatory houses numerous collections, all grouped into their own climate controlled environments. Among the collections found here are aquatic plants, insectivores, aroids, ferns, tropical fruit trees, cycads, palms, tropicals, succulents, cacti, and epiphytic plants. There is even a palm tree forest that rises 65 feet into a fog covered canopy.
Texas Native Trail: This unique area of the San Antonio Gardens consists of three diverse and distinctive ecological regions that are native to Texas; the East Piney Woods, Hill Country, and Southern Texas. These three regions vary wildly in weather, topography, plant life, and soil composition. To make the trail more authentic, several early era Texas houses have been rebuilt at the site and add to the theme of the region.
San Antonio Botanical Gardens Japanese Garden:
The Kumamoto En Japanese Garden: This garden was constructed in 1989 by a select team of landscapers and craftsman coming from San Antonio, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kumamoto. The design of the garden was inspired by the famous Suizenji Park that is over three hundred years old and is located in Kumamoto, Japan. The San Antonio Gardens has twin dedication plaques located at the entrance to this garden, one in English, the other in Japanese. Prior to construction of this garden, they had a Shinto priest bless the land. Visitors to the Kumamoto En will experience a peaceful and safe haven that is set apart from the rest of the world, where prejudice and anger are left behind.
The design of this unique garden is intended to introduce guests to the beauty and passion of a realistic Japanese garden. The garden is laid out to be similar to a scroll painting, where visitors can enjoy one scene after another, travelling through the story of the garden as they walk through. The Kumamoto En garden in the San Antonio Botanical Gardens contains many elements that were designed to imitate the Katsura Palace, located in Kyoto, Japan. The stone lanterns, bamboo fencing, and various styles of garden paths are all styles taken from famous and authentic Japanese gardens.
The first part of the garden that guests will see is the visitor’s stone, or the Kyaku Ishi. In ancient times, visiting dignitaries and royalty would have their carriages set on this giant flat stone located at the main gate. Beyond the wooden columns of the gate, paving stones laid out in the traditional Ensyu design lead the guest to the first lantern of the garden, and then onto an Afghan pine tree that has been meticulously sculptured. Granite stones that have been carefully cut form the next section of path, laid out in the Shin style that is reminiscent of the Katsura Palace. All the stone was brought over from Japan and specifically selected for this project by the garden’s designer.
San Antonio Botanical Gardens - Watersaver Lane:
Watersaver Lane: This interesting feature at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens is a tremendous resource for local gardeners and enthusiasts who want ideas and inspiration on building a garden that is water efficient. This one-third acre display is located near the Conservatory and offers practical techniques for a water smart garden. In addition to providing examples of plants and flora that are well suited to the Texas climate, visitors will also learn about drip irrigation, paving materials that are permeable, water smart mulches, and turf bubbling watering systems, all of which will help offer intelligent and practical solutions towards water conservation.
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