Monday, March 21: After our lunch at Cafe 43, Martha and I head to the Dallas Arboretum to see the springtime exhibit Dallas Blooms: The Artistry in Nature, sponsored by Bank of America. It’s a gorgeous day to see the 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs that make Dallas Blooms one of the largest tulip displays outside of Holland.
The Arboretum is a fairly recent creation. In 1982, the City of Dallas and the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Society (DABS) signed a contract creating an arboretum and botanical garden on the combined 66 acres of two properties, the DeGolyer Estate, which the city purchased from Southern Methodist University, and the Alex Camp House properties. Both houses sit on the shores of White Rock Lake. The gardens opened to the public for the first time in 1984.
Renowned sculptor Gary Lee Price installed his “Great Contributors” Bronze Statues exhibit this year; they will be on display through October. They feature eight life-size sculptures of Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Claude Monet, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain and the Wright Brothers.
I have a brief chat with Abe before moving on through the gardens.
Gary Lee Price says he created Abraham Lincoln “in the moments of repose and reflection immediately before delivering the Gettysburg Address … [maybe] the most memorable and powerful 272 words ever uttered”(Dallas Arboretum: Spring & Summer 2016 brochure).
Martha has a seat with George Washington, with his famous sword.
The spring colors are amazing in their vibrancy and zest.
The tulips are exuberant in their celebration of spring.
Claude Monet, the Father of Impressionism, “delighted in painting ‘en plein air’ that is outside, so his presence at the Arboretum is a natural tribute to” him and to others who appreciate the gardens’ artistry.
Martha tells me she often goes to the Cool Thursday Concert Series on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn alongside White Rock Lake. This year’s season will feature 11 new tribute bands as well as the ever popular food trucks.
Sculptor Price says he’s always been fascinated by the tightly knit Dayton, Ohio brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright. The “bicycle shop owners, with their practical knowledge of maneuverability and control, changed the course of history. Their study, engineering and ingenuity freed mankind from an earthbound existence.” He chose to depict them “on the ground, approachable in nature, yet airborne in their thoughts and visions of the future.”
Martha says her husband’s favorite is Albert Einstein. Says Gary Lee Price, “Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important that knowledge.'” He invites us “to sit with this man – this genius – and let your imagination roam.”
We stop to admire the fluttery dance of koi in the pond.
I love the waterfalls and the water garden, which remind me so much of Asian gardens.
The gardens adjacent to the concert stage look a lot like Japanese gardens.
We make our way back to the entrance, passing through the McCasland Sunken Garden, A Woman’s Garden Phase I & II, and other beautiful architectural features.
We pass another pond and its pretty bridge.
Our little trip through the spring tulips of Holland comes to a close and Martha and I make our way back to her house.
In the evening, we go out for a Mexican dinner at Mi Dia from Scratch. According to the website, “Chef Gabriel DeLeon has integrated flavors that are exciting as well as harmonious, blending traditional Mexico City recipes with modern Santa Fe and Tex Mex flavors.” I have Baja Shrimp: . Martha has Relleno al Carbon: Of course, we share a couple of bites.
What a fun first day in Dallas! Tomorrow, we plan to go to the The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, commemorating John F. Kennedy’s assassination.