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Youth Gardening and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

July 10, 2015

Another packed day of learning.  I started off with a wonderful talk on  garden leadership training.  The two young women who lead the workshop were from the Sustainable Food Center here in Austin and they are doing some amazing things.  I think that has been the highlight of the trip, getting re-energized and re-enthused about youth gardening and all the potential opportunities we have in Arkansas.  I then went to a session on growing great volunteers.  Julie heard seeds of change–public education and the school garden movement and then picking up steam with seed starting.  We also learned today that the state legislature in Oregon just gave money in the tune of $600,000 for all schools to have a school garden!

Our lunchtime speaker was Whitney Cohen from Life Lab, a California-based non-profit garden based education program. IMG_4755 She spoke on rediscovering our roots: heirloom variety education.  She stressed that it is most important to be able to sustain a gardening program, versus just starting one. She likened a school garden to a puppy, everyone wants one but doesn’t realize the work it takes to raise it!

Then we boarded busses to head to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  lady bird johnson garden.1501 lady bird johnson garden.1502 We started off indoors with a presentation by their acting director and their horticulturist.  lady bird johnson garden.1506The gardens are quite large, and loaded with native plants. I won’t say they were loaded with flowers, since many were past their peak, but there was a wide array of plants that can take the heat of Texas.  buttonbush.lbj.1 lady bird johnson garden.1509 lady bird johnson garden.1516 lady bird johnson garden.1521

It got pretty warm as we were out walking, but if you weren’t standing in the full sun, there was a breeze.  We had dinner down in the new family garden which just opened a year ago.  Lots of interesting things for families to explore.lady bird johnson garden.1542 lady bird johnson garden.1543 lady bird johnson garden.1554 lady bird johnson garden.1556

We saw butterfly gardens.mistflowerConoclinium greggii (lbj3 scarlet pea.ljb., water features lady bird johnson garden.1505 and quotes from Lady Bird scattered throughout the gardens. lady bird johnson garden.1538 lady bird johnson garden.1553

Tomorrow the conference ends about 1:30 and we will head north. We will stay with my sister overnight in Arlington before heading to Little Rock on Sunday.

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