Amarillo Botanical Gardens

What started out as the simple formation of a women’s garden club in 1929 would develop into what we know today as the Amarillo Botanical Gardens. This garden club set out to prove the Texas Panhandle was an adequate environment to produce foliage, so the ladies went to work testing different kinds of plants to see how they would grow in the area. Those that could withstand the soil in the region as well as weather conditions including drought, high wind, and long sun exposure were the ones that prospered. PH levels had to be improved so the heavy soils were loosened through soil amending and after operating successfully for a number of years, the club took on beautification projects for the city. The club had expanded to 125 members by the year of 1945 and because the number was so extensive, the organization decided to break off into 13 groups encompassing a range of different goals and objectives over the next 10 years.

In memorial park circa 1954, the Garden Center was formed while the club was under the direction of Vera Deason according to the garden’s website. The center was used as an activity center where various gardening clubs held meetings, activities and other events. The current location of the Gardens that stands today was not established until 1968 following various efforts of fundraising over the years since 1960 when the group decided they needed more space for things such as test gardens and more space to provide classes that accommodate those with disabilities. On November 17th, the new location of the Garden Center at 1400 Streit Dr, Amarillo, TX 79106 was dedicated.

After purchasing out the land, volunteers got to work and began preparing the property for the new Garden Center. The soil needed to be amended and prepared properly so they got busy with their tools and made the soil suitable for the various plants they decided to grow. To furnish the new space, volunteers brought plants from their own homes as well as cuttings and seeds to plant throughout the garden.

The park in which it is located, Medi Park (short for Medical Center Park) houses a large duck pond where guests can feed geese and ducks and the occasional swan. The Don Harrington Discovery Center is right next to the Amarillo Botanical Gardens and features interesting, hands-on, science exhibits. The Discovery Center is a great place to go if you want to indulge your children in a learning-heavy experience that is engaging and holds their attention. Medi Park also has an inclusive, disability friendly playground and splash pad for those hot summer days when the kids need to cool down.

The Garden Center underwent a name change to its current one, Amarillo Botanical Gardens, when Jackie Wilson was serving as the Executive Director. She served from 1992 until 2007 and was responsible for the expansion of the buildings on site as well as the Mary E. Bivins Tropical Conservatory that is inside the premises. The garden also began hosting music events as a series called Music in the Gardens and other new programs under her direction.

Visitors can visit the Amarillo Botanical Gardens during hours of operation which are 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekdays, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Sundays. A group of 10 can schedule a tour or smaller groups or individuals can come in and pay an admission fee of $8.

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Map from Amarillo Botanical Gardens to Panhandle Blasting & Restoration:

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