The Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Cover photo and feature story photos by Erdie Allsup, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, unless otherwise noted
A day spent in the Garden can be planned to enjoy a cultural experience in the Japanese Garden, and learn about planting, growing, and eating plants from the Backyard Vegetable Garden. You will also discover treasures from around the world for sale in the Treasure Tree Gift Store plus enjoying lunch at the Gardens Restaurant.
April is the month to plan all of these experiences. You do not have to be a world traveler to enjoy the beauty and serenity of an authentic Japanese Garden. Visiting the Japanese Garden, you can experience Eastern Culture in the western world; learn about the history of an awe-inspiring culture and marvel at the beautiful landscapes. Many years ago the site of the Japanese Garden was a ravine used by a cavalry post as a depository for all its refuse. From that beginning, it has become the world-renowned garden of traditional Japanese design that it is
today. Many of the wooden structures found in the garden are projects designed by Al Komatsu and his architectural firm who also designed the Pearl Harbor Memorial. To maintain the authenticity of Japanese Garden design, the Fort Worth Botanical Society has sent our lead gardener to Japan to study under some of the most skilled garden masters of the country. Past and present activities ensure that the authenticity and beauty of the Fort Worth Japanese Garden will continue long into the future. Hours of operation during Daylight Saving Time are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and entry for children under 3-years-old is free. For more information, call 817-871-7685.
The Spring Festival in the Japanese Garden will be April 25 and 26. Visitors will be able to enjoy authentic Japanese entertainment, crafts, food, music, martial arts, and bonsai demonstrations during the two-day event.
Many other fun-filled family activities will be provided for guest’s pleasure. The magical royal KOI fish have been saving their appetites just to feast on the fish food that guests toss them. An elevated walkway provides unrestricted access to the Pavilion and Moon Viewing Deck for people using strollers and wheelchairs. Festival time is Saturday April 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For parking, follow the signs. Festival general admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children and children under 3 years old free. For more information call 817-871-7685.
The Spring Plant Sale will take place on Saturday, April 11 & 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A presale for Members of the Fort Worth Botanical Society will be on Thursday, April 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Members will receive a 10% discount on all their plants purchased from the garden. North-Central Texas has two growing seasons…Spring and Fall. This is the time to plan your landscape and plant all the plants that bring color to your yard. The Plant Sale features plants that have proven to be compatible with the Texas soils and weather. Also, Japanese Maples from the Japanese Garden will be among the plants for sale. For more information call 817-763-0724.
The Backyard Vegetable Garden is open for you to enjoy. It features a child-sized farmhouse, windmill, hand pump for water, raised beds full of veggies, an orchard, and paths to stroll. Benches and tables are provided for those who would like to just rest and remember those old days down on the farm.
Go on a treasure hunt and discover the Treasure Tree Gift Store. It is tucked away near the Japanese Garden main gate and is surrounded by a KOI pond. Once you enter this quaint store you will find all sorts of exquisite items ranging from art for your garden, to unique Japanese tea and sake sets, jewelry and a great selection of books, bonsai, toys and Japanese related art. You can also shop there after your visit to the Japanese Garden. Become a member of the Garden and receive 10% off your purchases. For more information call 817-871-7668.
The Gardens Restaurant, located on Old Garden Road, is open for lunch Tuesday thru Sunday. You can experience a delightful lunch in the peaceful atmosphere of the Garden. The varied menu includes delectable deserts, and the professional wait staff makes everyone’s time there an enjoyable experience. This is the place for a relaxed lunch with a real view. If you are a member of the Botanical Society, you will receive a 10% discount off the cost of your meal. You may also bring this copy of Key Magazine to the Restaurant and you will receive the same discount. If you are looking for a caterer or for a site for a party or a meeting, check the restaurants’ website at www.gardensrestaurantandcatering.com or call 817-731-2547.
Membership in the Fort Worth Botanical Society, supporting the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, gives you entry and discounts to more than 100 gardens and conservatories across the nation. Memberships can be purchased at the Japanese Garden ticket office, the Treasure Tree Gift Store, the Gardens Restaurant, or online at www.fwjg.org. The Japanese Garden is available for weddings, receptions, and other special events. For rental information, call 817-392-5548 or visit www.fwbg.org.