Day Trip: Living museum only short drive away

The Amarillo Botanical Gardens features indoor and outdoor exhibits. A grand opening will be held Oct. 7 for the conservatory. Courtesy photo

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

The Amarillo Botanical Gardens provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the sights and smells of a variety of plants and foliage.

“A botanical garden is a museum with a living collection,” said Jackie Wilson, executive director of the gardens.

Featuring a 6,000-foot tropical conservatory that houses a rain forest, the gardens are located in the Harrington Medical Center Park. The gardens cover approximately three acres, both inside and outside, Wilson said.

Several types of gardens are featured, including herb, xeriscape, day lily, and a fragrance and butterfly garden, Wilson said.

“The plants that are put together are designed to be beautiful, something you can go home and put in your own garden,” she said.

Another feature of the botanical gardens is an indoor gallery. Concentrating on items that can be used as teaching tools, the exhibitions are frequently changed, Wilson said. The gallery also houses a photo essay of Palo Duro Canyon, featuring pictures of the canyon taken from daylight to dusk over a three-year period, said Wilson.

Gardening classes are also held, Wilson said, with summer and winter programs offered as well. Recently completed was the summer music in the gardens series, which featured local musicians of different genres, said Wilson.

An upcoming feature will be the winter holiday lights. The program will begin on the weekend after Thanksgiving and continue through December.

Location
1400 Streit Drive, Amarillo

Directions
From Clovis, take U.S. Highway 60/70/84 east to Texico, then U.S. 60 to Canyon E-Way. Take the exit to Hollywood Road, and turn left on Hollywood Road. Travel to Coulter Road and turn right on Wallace to Hagy Street and turn right on Hagy Street. Go one block to Streit Drive. The Amarillo Botanical Gardens will be the second building on the left.

Hours
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) Tuesday to Friday
Noon to 4 p.m. (MDT) Saturday and Sunday

Admission
$ 4 for adults
$ 3 for seniors
$ 2 for children 12 and under

Grand opening
The formal opening of the Mary E. Bivins Tropical Conservatory is 7 p.m. (CDT) Oct. 7 with dining and dancing. Cost is $50 per person.

Information
(806) 352-6513
www.amarillobotanicalgardens.org

—Compiled by Casey Peacock