Spectacular San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Two avid gardeners, Mrs. Joseph Murphy and Mrs. R. R. Witt, began dreaming about a garden in San Antonio in the 1940's. Funding was approved in the 1970's. A limestone quarry and former waterworks transformed into the spectacular San Antonio Botanical Gardens and opened to the public in May, 1980.

The Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House is the most recent addition to the gardens. Visitors travel through time strolling through the structure originally constructed in 1896. The carriage house was owned by an Irish immigrant that served in the Texas Calvary. He hired a famous architect, Alfred Giles, to design the coach house. The carriage house was constructed in the round-arched Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. The house was removed brick by brick by skilled stonemasons and relocated to the gardens. The carriage house became the new entry to the gardens when restoration was complete in 1995. A restaurant and gift shop is currently housed in the building.

Emilio Ambasz was commissioned to design the futuristic Lucile Halsell Conservatory on the grounds of the gardens. The architect took full advantage of the mild climate in San Antonio to design rooms connected by an open air courtyard. Visitors enter the conservatory from an underground tunnel. The palm pavilion is the largest glasshouse standing more than 65 feet tall. The conservatory has been featured in many magazine articles.

Four seasonal beds display a variety of foliage textures and colorful flowers. An old fashion garden showcases heirloom plants that have been passed down through the generations. Visitors often reminisce of grandmother's garden when strolling through the sensory garden or the rose garden. The cactus and succulent garden exhibits native desert plants. Directions, garden hours and ticket information are available on the website.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio 2013 Botanical Gardens by Amanda Richards at Flickr's Creative Commons.

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A traveler at heart, the writer enjoys traveling all over the south and hopes to one day expand his destinations.


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