The Zilker Botanical Garden was created with the intent to interest people about gardening. Located in Austin, Texas, the Zilker Botanical Garden showcases the amount of love and education it takes to create and maintain a garden. Zilker Botanical Garden



The history of the Zilker Botanical Garden begins with Colonel Andre, “Andy”, Zilker. Andy was born in 1858 and grew up in New Albany, Indiana. Andy wanted to travel to Texas, and initially began his trip when he was just shy of 18 years old. After working for various frontier caravans, Andy made it to Austin.

When Andy initially made it to Austin he only had fifty cents to his name and did not have a job lined up. He washed dishes in a small restaurant and slept in a storeroom that was close to his work. While working as a dish washer, Andy met a young engineer who worked at an ice plant. He began working as a plant fireman at the same ice plant for $1.25 per day. Within six weeks, Andy managed to advance to an engineer position, which led him to being the boss of the entire plant within three months.

Andy quickly became one of the most prominent businessmen in the city. After years of maintaining Barton Springs, Andy donated it to the City of Austin with the intent for it to be used as a facility to educate and engage children in 1918. Since then, Zilker Botanical Garden has continued to expand horticulturally, architecturally, and educationally. Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas - Photo: Zilker Botanical Garden

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The Zilker Botanical Garden is home to a variety of gardens that span across 26 acres of land. Over 300,000 people visit the Zilker Botanical Garden over the course of the year.

Green Garden demonstrates that you can grow a gorgeous garden while being environmentally conscious. The Green Garden recognizes that there is an increase demand for water and that various chemical impacts have made it difficult to maintain and stabilize our water supply. So, all of the flora and fauna within the Green Garden are adaptable to environments with less water. Also, many of the plants within this exhibit actively work to promote nutrients and an increased air quality.

Hartman Prehistoric Garden explores the notion that dinosaurs once roamed earth and the land that the Zilker Botanical Garden calls home. In 1992, paleontologists were exploring Zilker Botanical Garden when they discovered over 100 tracks from various dinosaurs. They also discovered fossils from an ancient turtle. Throughout the Hartman Prehistoric Garden, visitors can explore plants that mimic what someone would find in ancient times, as well as dinosaur sculptures.

Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden is one of Isamu Taniguchi’s most magnificent gardens. Taniguchi built this garden when he was 70 years old, and worked without a contract or any form of payment. There are many elements in this garden that resemble quintessential Japanese gardens, such as a word being spelled out by the different ponds, and various bridges and structures. Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas - Photo: Zilker Botanical Garden

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»More Attractions

More Attractions

Mabel Davis Rose Garden displays a wide amount of roses that are spread across intricately detailed shrubs and structures. A highlighted area of this garden is the Rose Memorial Arch that honors members of the Garden Council and the Austin PARD who have passed away.

Doug Blachly Butterfly Trail and Garden is a trail with a variety of butterflies and compatible flora and fauna. This is one of the highlighted gardens in the Zilker Botanical Garden.

Pioneer Village resembles a small village of the older days. This attraction includes the:

• Organic Garden that includes traditional organic plants used for various reasons such as warding insects, and cooking by pioneers.

• Blacksmith Shop that serves as a museum for the various equipment and purposes for metal and blacksmiths from colonial times.

• Swedish Pioneer Cabin that is an authentic log cabin built by S. M. Swenson. Visitors can explore this dwelling. Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas - Photo: Zilker Botanical Garden

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

The Zilker Botanical Garden is home to many educational opportunities that enables the entire community to learn about what it takes to create and maintain a garden. Educational programs include; specialized tours, field trips, a book lending programs, and docents. There are also workshops and special events hosted throughout the year at the gardens. The space can also be rented for private functions such as weddings or conferences.

Back to: 25 Best Things to Do in Austin, Texas Address: Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-477-8672 Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas - Photo: Zilker Botanical Garden

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Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas