The Botanical Garden offers more than just plants and flowers for guests to enjoy. The entrance to the gardens is designed around the Daniel J. Sullivan carriage house. This structure was used as a horse stable and carriage house in 1896 and was moved stone by stone onto the gardens to serve as a grand entrance in 1995 after it was donated and disassembled in 1987. Inside the carriage house is the gift shop and a restaurant that preserves the antiquity of the home.
The Auld home, an 1880’s pine wood log cabin is thought to be the largest in Texas and is made out of large trunked logs from archaic pinon trees that had been around since the ice age. The home now sits in the Texas Native Trail, proudly representing Texas heritage and ancestry.
The Schumacher home was a limestone, German homestead built in 1849 in Fredericksburg Texas. The three room home was built with limestone, oak and red clay. The home was brought to the Botanical Garden in pieces and had to be reassembled on site, earning a preservation award in 2006.
The East Texas log cabin and outbuilding are part of the Pineywoods section of the Native Texas Trail. No record of the original builder exists, but the one room home, with remnants of a loft, a barn, smokehouse, and well head, were each well preserved and moved to the garden from Fayette County.
The South Texas Adobe also rests in the Texas Native trail in the south Texas area. Built in 1880, this house was reassembled using wood over 100 years old, leaving sections in the wall opening so that visitors can see and learn about the different building techniques used to design this palisade house with a split shake roof. These types of houses are made out of mostly cedar and sun baked mud, any further north, rainfall would cause the home to melt.
The bird watch structure is an important part of the Botanical Garden because you can witness up to 650 different species of migratory birds, as well as native Texas birds, passing through this area. The Rio Grande is along the flight path for birds from Mexico and you can often see some of them from the Bird Watch Structure. This special place is relatively new to the Botanical Garden, being built in 2010. The space is set up as an observatory with cooling fans and benches for resting visitors, portholes and windows for viewing the hundreds of birds outside. Sunflowers and Salvia decorate the landscape, attracting birds that enjoy sweet nectar such as, humming birds, Painted Bunting, White-throated sparrows, and the Purple Martin.
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