ladybird johnson wildflower center
travel visit

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

A quick visit before a cloudburst...

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a mix of cultivated gardens, an arboretum, managed natural areas and wildlands. The 284 acre site is part of the University of Texas in Austin and was founded in 1982. It’s founders? Former first Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and Helen Hayes!

“Beautification is far more than a matter of cosmetics, for me, it describes the whole effort to bring the natural world and the man-made world into harmony; to bring order, usefulness — delight — to our whole environment, and that of course only begins with trees and flowers and landscaping.” – Lady Bird Johnson

The Center is different from other botanic gardens throughout the country in that it features what it says in the name, wildflowers, specifically native wildflowers to Texas.

It also features these native plants in beautiful sustainable landscapes. As a matter of fact they’re also:

  • A founding developer of SITES, the most comprehensive rating system for sustainable land design and development in the world.
  • Developed SkySystem planting medium for green roofs and Habiturf native turfgrass mix
  • 18,375 square feet of green roofs installed in urban areas
  • Collected six million seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank
  • Collected 200,000 milkweed seeds for milkweed propagation
  • Collected 9,000 seeds from nectar plants for monarchs and other pollinators  for the Texas Seed Bank
  • Has stockpiled seeds from eight species vulnerable to extinction

My visit there was two years ago now during one of the Garden Blogger Fling meet-ups. Before I could get through the entire park, there was a downpour that halted all touring. I have to get back there sometime!

Visit some of my other visits!

Disclaimer: Where I’ve listed plant names – it’s my best guess!

Think this is my favorite shot from the day.



Jim Charlier is an advertising designer/photographer/crafter with a serious gardening problem. He's co-written a garden design book featuring the funky, quirky and fun gardens by the gardeners of Buffalo titled "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" (; he writes a long-standing garden blog (; led the largest garden tour in America, Garden Walk Buffalo; has written for, or provided photography for dozens of magazines and books; has made presentations and participated in panel discussions on garden design and garden tourism nationally and internationally.

2 comments on “The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

  1. I’m glad that they have attempted to replicate some of the native areas that have been decimated, such as the savanna. I think every large garden should try to have a natural area consistent with its place in the ecosystem. I try to maintain a small woodland in the back of my property, cutting out invasives such as Japanese Honeysuckle and English Ivy, though the battle is never completely successful.
    Thanks for the fine pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

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