Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lazy days on the Buffalo Bayou

The Buffalo Bayou Park is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon exploring in Houston. With over 160 acres of jogging and bike paths, stunning sculptures, a meandering river, and unbeatable views of the downtown skyline, the Buffalo Bayou is becoming a destination for visitors from all over Houston.

Running and Biking Trails with a view of Downtown

Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance sculptures

Wild- flowers grow throughout the Park

Canoeing down the Buffalo Bayou

Houston Police Officers' Memorial by Texas artist Jesús Bautista Moroles’ 

View of the Bayou, trails, and downtown

Don't miss the bat colony on Waugh Bridge (over 250,000 bats). If you go at sunset, you'll be able to watch as the bats leave their home for the night. A sight unlike any other.

I'm also excited to see the finished Nature Play Area and Lost Lake that should be opening Summer 2015.

Keep Exploring! xo, The Bayou Botanist

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

An Oasis in NYC

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the New York Botanical Gardens to view their current exhibition of Frida Kahlo's work. It was the opening weekend of the exhibition and the gardens were bustling with visitors. While Frida's work is always a treasure to admire, I couldn't help but to be in awe of the Gardens themselves.  Next time you're in NYC,  give yourself a day to explore the vast gardens and fall in love all over again with the 'Big Apple'; with over one million living plants on 250 acres, the gardens are from a horticulturist's dream.

 Rock Garden
Miniature Alpine Gardens
Rock Garden View 1

Rock Garden View 2
Plants in the Rock Garden: on the Left: Large Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorun)
Azalea Garden
Looking up at the stunning Conservatory dome

Conservatory View 1

Conservatory View 2

Conservatory View 3
Conservatory View 4

Conservatory View 5

Lily Pads in the Aquatic House

Hanging ferns and vines in the Aquatic House
Peonies on the walk to the Conservatory

To visit the Gardens: Frida Kahlo Exhibition:

  • May 16- November 1

 The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Winter hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., mid January–February), and the following Mondays:

  • January 19 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • February 16 (Presidents' Day)
  • April 6 (Spring Break/Passover/Easter Monday)
  • May 25 (Memorial Day)
  • September 7 (Labor Day)
  • October 12 (Columbus Day)
  • December 14 (Holiday Train Show)
  • December 21 (Holiday Train Show)
  • December 28 (Holiday Train Show)

The Garden is closed on Mondays with the exception of the dates listed above. It is also closed on November 26, 2015 (Thanksgiving) and December 25, 2015 (Christmas).
 Keep Exploring! xo, The Bayou Botanist

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

To Stroll alongside Bourgeois and Miró

Tall walls shield The Cullen Sculpture Garden from busy streets, but unfortunately, also hide the garden from many potential visitors. Once found though, the space greets visitors with pathways winding around elevated green islands of grass and trees and boasts over 25 works from the MFAH collection along with a rotating selection of works on loan. It is an perfect space to explore on a leisurely stroll or sit and have lunch at one of the many tables in an open courtyard area. 

Joseph Havel, Exhaling Pearls, 1993, Painted Bronze

Frank Stella, Decanter, 1987, Steel and Bronze

Fun Fact:  The Cullen Sculpture Garden opened to the public in 1986. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi was commissioned to design the Garden at the MFAH; Noguchi described his gardens as "a sculpture for sculpture." 

The Cullen Sculpture Garden is located at Montrose Blvd. and Bissonnet St. Open from 9AM- 10PM

To Learn more: 

Keep Exploring! xo,
The Bayou Botanist

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Oasis in the City

The entire experience of visiting the The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens makes you feel as though you've been thrown back in time. To enter the estate you must cross over the buffalo bayou on a swinging suspension bridge.
Crossing the Bridge

You can no longer see the city skyline or hear the busy traffic even though you're in the heart of Houston. The 14 acre estate is a tranquil combination of formal English gardens, native woodlands, and lush vegetation lining walking paths. The Bayou Bend, formally the estate of the incredible Ima Hogg, was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 1957.  It is now the house museum for American decorative arts and paintings. 

Azaleas along the paths

Bayou Bend Main House

THE WOODLAND RAVINES boast native plants and carry rainwater to the Bayou 

Fun Facts:
**Bayou Bend has 7 trees on its property that are considered "Harris County champions" (exceptionally large trees): Yaupon Holly, Flowering Dogwood, American Sycamore, Maidenhair Tree (Gingko), Two Winged Silverbell, PawPaw, Yellow Poplar, Winged Elm
** The River Oaks Garden Club has supervised the gardens since 1961.
** Ima Hogg is credited with bringing azaleas to Houston. (See Houston's annual Azalea Trail in April)
** The Bayou Bend is the first historic public garden in Texas to practice organic gardening. 

Upcoming Events in May:
Every Tuesday 1:30pm - 4:30pm  Sketching in the Gardens
Every Saturday 1:30-4:30pm  Photography in the Gardens
May 17     Texas Children's Art Festival  1-5pm (FREE)

Keep Exploring! xo The Bayou Botanist

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Color Theory: James Turrell

Back in 2012, Rice University unveiled the permanent installation of "Twilight Epiphany" a Skyspace by international superstar James Turrell (you can also view his light tunnel at the MFAH).

The "Pyramidal" structure, made of grass, concrete, stone and composite steel, appears to rise out of the ground like sci-fi Mayan ruins.  The space has two levels that can accommodate up to 120 visitors at a time to view a sunrise and sunset light sequence every day (except Tuesday). The light sequence is romantic in its beautiful simplicity and acts as gentle reminder of the sublime in the everyday. Viewers treat the structure almost as a sacred space, where everyone whispers and watches spellbound as the colors fade into one another. 

The space is also "acoustically engineered to host musical performances" which I could only imagine would be a remarkable experience.  While the light sequence occurred, students would bike or stroll through the space while looking up; some just stayed for a few seconds; others lingered as though they just discovered something remarkable. 

Those interested in viewing Skyspace can reserve spots online for sunset (no reservation needed for sunrise).  Skyspace is located on Rice Campus adjacent to the Shepard School of Music in the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion.

To Learn More about Skyspace and times of light sequence. 

Keep Exploring! xo, The Bayou Botanist

Designed by Pish and Posh Designs · Powered by Blogger