The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a lush and picturesque oasis located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. Spanning over 66 acres, this enchanting garden offers visitors a serene escape from the bustling city life.
- History of the DeGolyer Estate and arboretum
- Seasonal highlights at the Dallas Arboretum
- Spring: Dallas Blooms Festival
- Summer: Concerts at the Arboretum and the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
- Fall: Autumn at the Arboretum
- Winter: The 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Celebrations
- Must-see gardens and exhibits
- Margaret Elizabeth Jonsson Color Garden
- Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill
- The Paseo de Flores
- Boswell Family Garden
- The Eugenia Leftwich Palmer Fern Dell
- Nancy’s Garden
- A Woman’s Garden
- The Nancy Clements Seay Magnolia Glade
- McCasland Sunken Garden
- Crape Myrtle Allee
- The Chandler Lindsley Shadow Garden
- Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
- Pecan Grove
- DeGolyer Gardens
- Val Late Garden of Memories
Established in 1984, the arboretum has since become a popular destination for nature lovers, families, and tourists, attracting over a million visitors annually with its vibrant blooms, manicured lawns, and stunning seasonal displays.
History of the DeGolyer Estate and arboretum
The arboretum and Botanical Garden has its roots in an important estate: DeGolyer Mansion. Built in 1940, DeGolyer Mansion is a Spanish Colonial-style mansion once owned by oil magnate Everett L. DeGolyer and his wife Nell. Today, the 21,000-square-foot mansion houses the arboretum’s administrative offices and is also used for special events and guided tours.
The idea for the arboretum began in the 1970s when a group of dedicated individuals, including members of the Dallas Park Board, the Dallas Garden Club, and the Dallas Botanical Society, envisioned a premier public garden in the city.
In 1976, the city of Dallas leased the DeGolyer Estate to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society. After years of planning, fundraising, and development, the arboretum and botanicalgarden officially opened its gates to the public in 1984, becoming a beloved attraction in the city and a vital center for horticultural research and education.
Seasonal highlights at the Dallas Arboretum
Spring: Dallas Blooms Festival
Spring is a spectacular sight at the Dallas Arboretum, with the annual Dallas Blooms festival running from late February to early April. One of the largest flower festivals in the Southwest, the event showcases more than 500,000 live tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other spring-blooming bulbs.
During this time visitors can also admire the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms, azaleas and other flowering trees and shrubs.
Summer: Concerts at the Arboretum and the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
Summertime at the arboretum brings warm days, colorful blossoms, and outdoor entertainment. Visitors can enjoy the popular Concerts at the Arboretum series, where various artists perform on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage & Lawn on select evenings from May through July.
Additionally, the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden provides interactive and educational fun for families, featuring over 150 individual exhibits, including a treetop canopy walk, a wetland area, and a dedicated area for young explorers.
Fall: Autumn at the Arboretum
Autumn at the Arboretum is a splendid affair, typically held from late September to early November. The event is famous for its Pumpkin Village, which features over 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash artistically arranged to create whimsical displays.
Fall foliage, including vibrant chrysanthemums and colorful maples, adds to the seasonal charm, making it an ideal time for photography, picnics, and leisurely strolls.
Winter: The 12 Days of Christmas and Holiday Celebrations
Winter at the arboretum is a magical experience as the garden transforms into a festive wonderland. The 12 Days of Christmas exhibit, usually held from November to December, features twelve elaborately decorated Victorian-style gazebos, each representing one of the verses from the classic Christmas carol.
Visitors can also enjoy seasonal events like holiday teas, festive light displays, and visits with Santa Claus, creating lasting memories for the whole family.
Must-see gardens and exhibits
Margaret Elizabeth Jonsson Color Garden
This breathtaking 6.5-acre garden showcases vibrant seasonal color with over 2,000 varieties of azaleas, tulips, daffodils, and other flowering plants. The design of the garden features tiered fountains, pergolas, and benches, offering a picturesque backdrop for photos and a peaceful spot for relaxation.
Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill
Home to over 80 varieties of Japanese maples, the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill is a tranquil haven with a meandering stream, waterfalls, and vibrant foliage. This 2-acre garden is impressive during the autumn season when the leaves turn shades of red, orange and yellow.
The Paseo de Flores
This central promenade is the heart of the arboretum, lined with over 500 crepe myrtles, seasonal flower beds, and water features. The Paseo de Flores offers stunning views of the DeGolyer House, the White Rock Lake, and the surrounding gardens, making it a popular spot for leisurely walks and photography.
Boswell Family Garden
The Boswell Family Garden is a tranquil oasis with a babbling brook, a waterfall, and a bridge, surrounded by azaleas, Japanese maples, and dogwoods. The garden is a favorite spot for photography and peaceful contemplation.
The Eugenia Leftwich Palmer Fern Dell
A lush haven for fern enthusiasts, this garden showcases a variety of fern species nestled beneath the shade of mature trees. Stone pathways and seating areas make it a perfect spot for quiet reflection.
This intimate garden offers a charming collection of perennials, bulbs, and flowering shrubs, along with a lovely gazebo and water feature, creating an ideal setting for leisurely strolls and relaxation.
A Woman’s Garden
This elegant 1.8-acre garden features a series of outdoor “rooms” that symbolize various aspects of a woman’s life, including beauty, tranquility, and strength. Highlights of the garden include a reflecting pool, a secluded walkway, and an infinity pool overlooking White Rock Lake.
The Nancy Clements Seay Magnolia Glade
Showcasing a variety of magnolia trees and other shade-loving plants, the Magnolia Glade offers a serene environment for visitors to admire the beauty and fragrance of these majestic trees.
McCasland Sunken Garden
Featuring a series of descending terraces adorned with seasonal flower displays and water features, the McCasland Sunken Garden provides an intimate and serene setting for visitors to enjoy.
Crape Myrtle Allee
This picturesque walkway is lined with over 100 crape myrtle trees, creating a stunning tunnel of vibrant colors during the blooming season. The allee leads to a beautiful view of the White Rock Lake.
The Chandler Lindsley Shadow Garden
This woodland garden features an array of shade-tolerant plants, providing a cool and calming environment for visitors to enjoy a moment of respite from the sun.
Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden
An 8-acre interactive wonderland, Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Playground is fun and educational for children and families. With over 150 exhibits, including a treetop canopy walk, wetland area, and a plant lab, this garden fosters a love for nature, science, and environmental stewardship.
This expansive grove is home to over 100 mature pecan trees, offering a shady retreat for picnics and gatherings. During the fall, the grove is transformed into a stunning pumpkin patch for the Autumn at the Arboretum event.
Surrounding the historic DeGolyer House, these gardens showcase an impressive collection of shrubs, perennials, and annuals, along with a beautiful rose garden and a serene reflecting pool.
Val Late Garden of Memories
A peaceful garden featuring winding pathways, lush plantings, and a tranquil pond, the Val Late Garden of Memories offers visitors a serene space for contemplation and remembrance.
Dining options at the arboretum
There are several dining options available at the arboretum to cater to different tastes and preferences. Some of these options include:
- Restaurant DeGolyer: A charming sit-down restaurant housed in the historic DeGolyer House, offering a seasonal menu of salads, sandwiches, and entrées, as well as afternoon tea on select days.
- The Terrace Café: A casual eatery located near the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage, offering sandwiches, wraps, salads, and refreshing beverages with both indoor and outdoor seating options.
- Café on the Green: A quick-service café nestled in the heart of the garden, featuring a selection of grab-and-go items, such as sandwiches, salads, snacks, and beverages.
Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and enjoy a picnic in designated picnic areas throughout the arboretum, making for a memorable outdoor dining experience.
Hours of operation and admission fees
The arboretum is generally open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with some extended hours during special events or seasonal exhibits.
It is important to note that hours of operation may change or be affected by weather conditions and also admission fees vary depending on age, membership status, and any ongoing promotions. so it’s a good idea to visit the arboretum’s website for the most current information.
How to get to the arboretum?
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. It is easily accessible by car, and there are several parking options available for visitors. Onsite parking is available at the main entrance, and there is additional parking at the Lakeside Parking Lot, located just a short walk away.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a true gem, offering visitors an enchanting escape filled with natural beauty, educational experiences, and seasonal events.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the area, the arboretum is an exceptional destination that promises to leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated.