Wildflower Wire

JANUARY 2014    
The Wildflower Wire is a monthly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Wildflower Center. It includes upcoming events, Center news and membership specials. Gardeners, check out the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants section. Learn more about our e-newsletters.
Free Admission January
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.

Come check out all that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has to offer in January, when we offer free admission, new art exhibits and places to shop, dine and enjoy nature. Visit the McDermott Learning Center starting January 11 for unique images of wildlife from Jules Buck Jones. His oils, watercolors and other paintings bring to life the rhythms of nature in the features of a hawk and other subjects. Opening that Saturday as well will be an exhibit of sculptures by renowned artist John Christensen. He will show 10 abstract nature-inspired works on the Center grounds, and has completed large-scale public and private works on commission in Austin, Miami and many other cities. Stop by the Visitors Gallery to learn more about native plants and Mrs. Johnson, see a watercolor exhibit in The Store while browsing for apparel and other items, and grab a bite at the cozy Café.

Learn more about indoor Center offerings


Mobile Invasives App
Texas Parks funds update

The Wildflower Center's Conservation Program received $18,400 from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Horned Lizard License Plate grant program. The grant comes from the department’s Wildlife Diversity division and its program to support "shovel–ready" conservation-related projects statewide. The Wildflower Center and Texasinvasives.org will use the grant to upgrade a mobile application that will help with identification, early detection and reporting of invasive plants, pests and disease-carrying organisms throughout Texas. It will be used by more than 1,900 trained citizen scientists in the Invaders of Texas invasive species program.

Learn more about the Horned Lizard Conservation License Plate

Learn about Invaders of Texas activities and volunteering


Web Feature:
Pardon our Green Roof Dust
Habiturf, other greenery tops Café soon

Wildflower Center visitors in upcoming months will see work under way on Robb's Roost above the café. This space halfway up the San Antonio Tower will soon provide an intimate look at a Southwestern style green roof designed with sustainability in mind.

Learn more about Robb's Roost green roof


Nature-inspired Paintings, Sculptures
Opening Saturday, Jan. 11

The Wildflower Center offers the amazing works of two Austin artists on site starting the second weekend in January. Come inside the McDermott Learning Center to take in the singular, edgy works on paper of Jules Buck Jones beginning Saturday, January 11. The Austin artist sees nature as a complex mash up of patterns, and creates colorful depictions of hawks, turtles and other wildlife in native landscapes. He shows extensively throughout Texas and is a member of the collaborative installation group Boozefox. His exhibit runs through March 29.

Also opening January 11 will be John Christensen’s exhibit of 10 abstract works on the Center grounds. His nature-inspired sculptures are made from resin, steel, bronze, limestone, concrete and other materials. The poetic works draw on natural science, metaphysics, literature and history. Before 1990, Christensen developed a body of site-sensitive work in rural landscapes of New York, Georgia and Texas. Since 1990, he has focused on projects for the theatre and public spaces. Christensen’s sculptures will be on site through May.

Learn more about exhibits

Botany X-Files Series
Four Saturdays, starting Jan. 18

Ever wonder what part of a plant you are eating? Did you know that chocolate was once the coin of the realm for the Maya and that garlic is an aphrodisiac? This new Go Native U series on four Saturdays covers the science and sagas of food plants and other plants we use for their amazing chemical powers. These include herbs and spices, stimulating beverages, medicinals and even potential aphrodisiacs! We guarantee that after this hands-on series starting January 18, you will never look at a tomato or ear of corn the same way. Sign up for one class, or all classes in this series to get a certificate and discount.

Read about Go Native U classes

Docent Training
Starts Saturday, Jan. 21

Docents are special volunteers who represent the Center and serve the public. We offer docent training every other year, with the next training beginning in January. Docent training is a two-part learning program that combines three weeks (30 hours) of classroom and field study with 26 hours of practical experience. Part I of the training program starts on January 21. Once completed, you can answer questions at the Visitors Gallery, give tours, work with children's groups and serve as the center's ambassadors to guests from all over the world. Classes will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. We’ll need lots of help this year with our new Family Garden opening in the Spring.

Learn more and register

Free Tree Talk Winter Walk
Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate Texas trees in the Mollie Steve Zachry Texas Arboretum while learning about understory trees for your yard, ideal trees for wildlife habitat and tree care. Kids can climb trees with professional arborists, build a fort with tree limbs and branches, go on a tree scavenger hunt and more while adults learn tree care tips and purchase native woody species for planting. We will offer a wide selection of native trees and shrubs for sale, guided walks and talks by experts and lots of family-friendly activities including a marshmallow roast, and swings for relaxing in the Cathedral of Oaks.

See Tree Talk details

Tour de Flowers
Book a group visit for spring today

The Wildflower Center is a top destination for group visits in our beautiful city, offering fun for visitors of all ages and a one-of-a-kind experience in the great Texas outdoors year round. If you are a tour planner, teacher or just part of a group that likes to get out and do things, you won't want to miss this iconic Austin landmark. The Center is easy to access and boasts Texas' largest assortment of wildflowers and native plants all in one spot for your viewing pleasure. It's not bragging if it's true! Allow us to graciously welcome your group, just as Lady Bird Johnson herself would have. Make the Wildflower Center a stop on your next group outing — you'll be glad you did!

Book your visit now!

Wildflower Watercolors
Through Jan. 31

Sue Kemp’s exhibit of bluebonnet paintings continues in The Store. See the watercolors of this Texan who has been an artist for more than 25 years and has been on faculty at The Art School of Austin Museum of Art (at Laguna Gloria) since 2002. Her works have appeared in eight books, including a children’s picture book and various art instruction books such as Splash. They are also in collections throughout the country and have appeared in many prestigious shows.

Learn Kemp exhibit details

Bonus Membership Offer
Second magazine comes with membership

The Wildflower Center is a great place to entertain, exercise or escape — in more ways than one. With the purchase or renewal of a Wildflower Center membership of $45 or more through September, you can lose yourself in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens® magazine with a free one-year subscription (or an extra year if you already subscribe). Subscription cards will be mailed with your membership card package.

Other member benefits include: free garden admission year-round, reciprocal admission at hundreds of other gardens in North America, discounts on events, programs and gift shop purchases and a private sale before the bi-annual plant sales. Plus, you support our educational programs, research initiatives and plant displays, helping to make your favorite garden the national leader in native plant research and information. Call 512.232.0163, or sign up online.

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
The Pros and Cons of Using Stone Mulch

I am trying to grow native plants that are wildfire-resistant. I want to avoid the use of flammable mulch — especially in beds next to the house. I'm considering river rock or crushed stone, but one landscaper said rock works well for drought-resistant plants but otherwise it is bad for the plants because it doesn't keep the moisture in during the summer and doesn't protect them from freezing in the winter. Other information on the web claims that rock mulch also keeps plants from drying out. Can you affirm or refute the landscaper's claim?

Read Smarty Plants' answer

What's in Store

January 11-12: Receive discounts on a DVD and books about rainwater collection all weekend, including “Rainwater Harvesting, Vol. 1.”

January 18-19: Enjoy a special sale on books about plants and critters, and a few novels thrown in!

January 25, noon to 2 p.m.: During Tree Talk Winter Walk, Pam Penick signs “Lawn Gone.” All tree books and walking sticks are on special throughout the day.

Shop our online store

Coming in February:
Nettie Plueckhahn Exhibit
Through Memorial Day weekend

Visitors to the Center starting February 1 will get to enjoy paintings by Nettie Pleuckhahn of lace cactus and other native plants at The Store.

See more exhibits


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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave
Austin, Texas 78739

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