Zilker Botanical Garden’s Annual Zilker Garden Festival


The first Saturday and Sunday of April, April 6th and 7th, the Zilker Botanical Garden hosts its 56th annual Zilker Garden Festival, which offers Central Texas and Austin residents the perfect introduction to spring. The family-friendly event takes place amidst the beautiful 30-acre Zilker Botanical Garden grounds, which are located near Lady Bird Lake on a diverse topography that is well-suited for showcasing different the types of native, hybrid and exotic plants that thrive in the climate of Central Texas. Themed gardens – such as the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden – are sprinkled throughout the facility, and are interconnected with streams, waterfalls and Koi-filled ponds, which create a peaceful, serene environment for enjoying nature, wildlife and the great outdoors.

Plum Creek, TX

The Zilker Garden Festival is the Zilker Botanical Garden’s most high-profile and anticipated annual event, and all proceeds support the Zilker Botanical Garden. The event is co-sponsored by the Austin Area Garden Council and the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

Highlights from the Zilker Garden Festival include gardening talks and information sessions, shopping and food offerings, as well as an array of kid-friendly events and activities. Additionally, live music is available both days of the Garden Festival from local Central Texas artists from the likes of Harps of Many Colors, The Better Halves, and The Siekers, among others.

An array of garden talks and other information sessions from local flora and fauna experts are available at the Garden Festival as well. Topics range from “Care for Drought Stressed Trees” to “Rainwater Harvesting” to “Cacti & Succulents,” so festival-goers can receive a wide-range of area-specific information about Central Texas gardening from local, knowledgeable gardening experts.  These informational garden talks are included in the Festival as a part of the City of Austin’s Grow Green program – which promotes sustainable landscaping practices by addressing hot button topics such as water quality and conservation, recycling and sustainable pest control. Additionally, an array of vendors from across Central Texas will fill the Zilker Botanical Garden the two days of the Garden Festival to sell a variety of plants and garden-related items, including garden-themed arts and crafts, ceramic pottery, jewelry and herbal products, baskets, birdhouses and colorful garden benches, among others. These items, along with the informational gardening talks, create the perfect recipe for gardening success this spring!

Plum Creek, TX

Additionally, a Flower Show in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center with three special exhibits – featuring Bonsai, Cactus and Orchid plants – will showcase the best local horticulture in the area and will be judged by 6 accredited judges. This is the 55th annual Zilker Flower Show, hosted by the Violet Crown Garden Club and the Capital City Judges Council, which has been in existence since April 1958. Now, that’s a lot of flowers.

For the kiddos in your family, the Zilker Garden Festival features a number of kid-friendly events and activities in their Kid’s Corner as well. Here, the young ones can get their face painted, build their own birdhouses or bird feeders, make butterfly wings and masks, and will receive a free plant to take home and grow themselves. Additionally, the City of Austin will host an array of children’s activities in the Rose Garden, and near the “Faerie Homes” on the Escarpment Trail.  There will also be food products available at the Garden Festival, from the likes of Amy’s Ice Cream, Crepe Crazy, and Texas Tradition BBQ, among others, who will offer spring food items for your Garden Festival experience.

Plum Creek, TX

For more information about the Zilker Garden Festival, including location, activities and features, please visit the Zilker Botanical Garden website. And happy gardening!

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Central Texas Guide to Wildflower Season


Tis the season for wildflowers. And we sure live in the right place for them, don’t we? Every March and April, Central Texas becomes a little more beautiful, and a LOT more colorful, as wildflowers bloom in the green spaces along the highways and hills of the state. Of course, wildflower season varies from year to year (based on the weather and rain conditions), but with TxDOT  literally distributing over 300 pounds of wildflower seeds across the state each year, there’ll be plenty of natural eye candy for you this spring. So, to help you make the most of the wildflowers this season, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places for viewing them in Central Texas. But, really, the best way to experience the phenomenon is to hop in the car and wander around for yourself until you stumble upon a hidden gem.

Plum Creek, TX

In Fredericksburg, Willow City Loop is one of the most popular wildflower destinations in the Hill Country. The 13 mile drive meanders through some of the oldest and most unique geology in Central Texas; so naturally, the chiseled terrain is beautiful any time of year, just especially breathtaking in the spring. The two-lane road winds through the area’s canyons and hills, and offers stunning views of the landscape, as well as the area’s meadows, fully ablaze with color. Also in Fredericksburg, Hwy 965 on the way to Enchanted Rock offers prime wildflower viewing as well. Plus, the road takes you out to Enchanted Rock, which, in-and-of-itself is worth the drive.

West of Austin, Marble Falls and Burnet offer additional areas for experiencing the beauty of Central Texas’ wildflowers.  Located on Lake Marble Falls, just five minutes away from Lake LBJ, the wildflowers in Marble Falls are perfectly complemented by the area’s water offerings as well. While in the area, be sure to stop in at the Bluebonnet Café in Horseshoe Bay – a fitting place to fuel your eyes and your gas foot for the colorful adventure you’ve embarked upon. A short drive away from Marble Falls, Burnet is another beautiful wildflower destination in the area. In fact, it is officially recognized by the Texas legislature as the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas. For other prime wildflower viewing in the area, check out Park Road 4 off Hwy 281 between Burnet and Marble Falls. You won’t be disappointed. And, while on Park Road 4, be sure to check out Longhorn Cavern State Park, which offers visitors an incredible underground and above ground cave experience.

Plum Creek, TX

If you’d rather experience the wildflowers on foot this year, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Wildseed Farms are incredible places to experience some color. Both places feature acres upon acres of open green (and multi-colored) space for exploring, and they also play host to various special events and activities throughout the year. Check out each of their websites for more information about their upcoming wildflower-related events and activities for the whole family.

Plum Creek, TX

If this isn’t enough wildflower info for your taste, TxDOT’s website is another great resource for wildflower information, including best places and times for viewing, as well as detailed descriptions of where to find the best spots this season.  With over 800,000 acres of open highway, more than 5,000 species of wildflowers and 30,000 pounds of seeds distributed each year, there should be plenty of beauty for you to experience and enjoy.

Farmers’ Markets A-Plenty


Spring is in full swing in Central Texas and residents are rejoicing by getting outside, gardening and seeking out local markets. Farmers’ markets dot our Hill Country landscape and Plum Creek residents are perfectly situated to take advantage of this feast of riches.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Several markets in Buda, Austin and Dripping Springs lie just north of Kyle’s city limits. The Buda Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Main Street, in the parking lot of City Hall. Drive a few more minutes north and you’ll find yourself with even more options. The SFC and Hope Farmers’ Markets cater to different areas of Austin, yet all provide locally sourced produce, artisan crafts and live music. SFC markets offer Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday market days north, south, east and west of central Austin. Hope has two east side markets open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. Just a bit west of Austin, Dripping Springs hosts a Thursday market from 3 to 6 p.m. Local bakers, ranchers, farmers, chefs and craftsmen provide visitors a chance to sample their wares and enjoy a bit of the western Hill Country scenery.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Shifting the focus to the east of Kyle, the Bastrop 1832 Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. This market functions as a business, with a legislative board, a target market and a charitable arm that donates to local nonprofits. Customers are even polled to gauge their experiences and to find areas that could use improvement. For a full experience that extends beyond the normal market, head to Bastrop to find a seamless operation. On the way back home, stop at the Lockhart Main Street Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along with browsing the fresh produce, baked goods and preserves, visitors can shop artisan crafts and enjoy live music.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Traveling south, people in search of locally-sourced produce and goods can find and abundance in San Marcos and Wimberley. The San Marcos Farmers’ Market hosts a Saturday and Tuesday market in two San Marcos locations. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors can head to San Antonio St. for fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods and more. Tuesdays, the market is located on Edward Gary St. from 3 to 6 p.m.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

If a smaller town experience is preferred, simply head west on Rand Road 12 out of San Marcos until it hits Mill Race Lane in Wimberley, Texas.  The Wimberley Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. and is a strictly produce-only market, so be ready to stock up on fruits and vegetables.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

For residents who prefer to keep their money local, Kyle has a market closer to home. Just a few minutes north of Kyle, residents can head to the 150 Market located at Michaelis Ranch on FM 150 for a unique farmers’ market that rotates wares. The first Saturday of the month is dedicated to local artists and craftsman while the other Saturdays feature purveyors of fresh produce, garden plants and other foods.

Gather the reusable bags and containers, make sure you’ve got plenty of cash and fill up the tank for a fun farmers’ market road trip, near or far.


It is March – which means that spring has officially sprung.

This weekend, head up to Austin to welcome the warm weather at the Zilker Park Kite Festival, where thousands of colorful kites will grace the skies above the Great Lawn from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 4. The annual event, always held on the first Sunday of March, is the kick-off to the hundreds of springtime activities in Austin.

Bring your own kite to fly, or simply come to enjoy the warm weather and some great people watching. There will be a Kite Making Workshop, as well as numerous kite vendors on hand in case you didn’t come prepared and you get the itch to fly during the event itself. (Don’t kid yourself, you know you will!) Other offerings at the Kite Festival include moon walks, rock climbing, face painting, bungee jumping and other fun kid-friendly activities.

Bring your dog, a picnic and the whole family for a great day outdoors, welcoming spring back to Central Texas.

For more information about the event, visit: http://www.zilkerkitefestival.com/

Front Porch Days – May 14 & 15


Plum Creek’s 10th Annual Front Porch Days is coming soon, and it doesn’t even require “going20.”  The fun will be happening all around you!  How awesome is that??

Every Spring, Plum Creek hosts Front Porch Days – a weekend event that brings folks from Central Texas to Plum Creek for family activities. Growing larger each year since its debut in 2001, Front Porch Days hosts a Golf Tournament, a Music Festival, a 5k run/1k fun run, food and vendor booths, and activities for children of all ages from jumpy kingdoms and face painting to pony rides and a petting zoo.

Bring your family and friends to Plum Creek May 14 & 15 and meet the neighborhood!  Visit the Front Porch Days website to learn more, sign up for events and get excited!

Second Annual East Austin Urban Farm Tour


Spring has sprung, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than venturing up to Austin this Sunday, April 17, for the Second Annual East Austin Urban Farm Tour.  Tours will be given of Hausbar, Rain Lily, Springdale and Boggy Creek Farms, but that’s not all!  Each farm will feature chef-prepared food and beverages from popular Austin restaurants such as Wink, Pesche, La Condesa, Fabi + Rosi, and more.  Mmmm, we’re hungry already!

This event will benefit Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, directed by Judith McGeary.  Judith is a farmer and lawyer, and is nationally recognized as leading the fight for freedom to farm and consumers’ right to eat local, nutritious food.  Click here to learn more about this great cause.

Cost is $35 for ages 12 and up, and tours at all farms start at 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15.  Tickets are available here, or at each farm gate on Sunday.  For more information please visit Boggy Creek Farm’s website, or read this Austin Chronicle article on last year’s Farm Tour.  We’ll see you Sunday!

Boggy Creek Farm is located at 3414 Lyons Road, Austin TX 78702