Memphis Botanic Garden
Southaven, MS - Events of Friday, May 24 to Saturday, May 25, 2013
We last went to the Memphis Botanic Garden in August of 2008. The roses and other perennials were pretty much done blooming by that late in the summer, and many of the annuals were past their peak due to the summer heat. We decided to visit the garden again on this stop since we were staying on the same side of the Mississippi River this time and it was relatively close. We were also hoping more flowers would be in bloom because it was spring.
The Memphis Botanic Garden, which was first established in the 1950s, covers about 96 acres to the east of downtown Memphis in Audubon Park. Admission is $8 ($6.50 for seniors).
Right outside the visitor center there is a fountain where a family of ducks had decided to go for a swim. The ducklings were bobbing up and down in the waves created by the fountain while mama and papa stood guard.
We stopped for a photo of newly-planted annuals and a garden sculpture outside the Sensory Garden.
In addition to elements of sight and smell, the Sensory Garden also includes sound in the form of wind chimes and a splashing fountain.
Raised beds in the Sensory Garden make plants easier to view for visitors in wheelchairs. They also make photography a lot easier.
From the Sensory Garden, we headed to the Nature Photography Garden. Unfortunately, the Photography Garden doesn't have raised beds, and so bending and stooping for close-up photography were necessary.
Our next stop along the garden path was the Asian Garden where there was a blue heron stalking fish along the bank of the lake.
The azaleas at the Memphis Botanic Garden were in full bloom, and the ones on an island in the lake created a beautiful scene at the Asian Garden.
Also on the large rock in the center of the photo above were two red-eared slider turtles sunning themselves.
We next passed the Container Garden which had a nice patio with numerous container plants. We paused for a photo on one of the rustic benches.
We continued around the main garden path, which began to curve back toward the visitor center. In the herb garden, spring perennials provided pops of color among the herb plants.
Next to the Herb Garden is the Iris Garden. Many of the iris had faded, so there weren't large masses of color; but there were still plenty of beautiful, individual blooms left to photograph.
The Memphis Botanic Garden has a large children's garden called My Big Backyard. There are lots of things for kids to see and do including several play areas, garden areas with recycling ideas, whimsical sculptures, a maze, several play houses and a pontoon bridge. The kids can also climb up into a large tree house.
Paul likes mosaics, and there is a giant one in My Big Backyard that forms a butterfly-shaped patio. The patio mosaic used stones of various colors and broken pieces of tile.
We next headed to the Rose Garden. Although some of the roses were a little past their peak, most were in full bloom.
We were almost back to the visitor as we walked through the sculpture garden.
We doubled back to a section of the path we bypassed on our way to the Rose Garden to see the larkspur that was in bloom.
As most of our regular readers know by now, we love to visit gardens. We sometimes re-visit some of the same gardens because a garden can have an entirely different look at different times of the year and from year to year. We're glad we took the time to go back to Memphis Botanic Garden in the spring. The next photo shows a few more of the flowers that were in bloom on this visit.
We still had at one more favorite barbecue joint we wanted to visit in Memphis, but it is located fairly close to the city. By the time we finished up at the garden, it was getting late in the afternoon. Although Memphis rush hour traffic doesn't seem to be that bad, it was Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, so we decided to wait until Saturday to head to Central BBQ for lupper.
We discovered Central BBQ several years ago when we were researching barbecue joints online. We tried their ribs the first time we were there. We liked them so much, we haven't tried anything else. Their ribs are nice and smoky and fall-off-the-bone tender. We had a whole rack for two, which includes 4 sides and rolls for $24. We both had potato salad and slaw.
The ribs were as good as we remembered them. The potato salad was also pretty good, but the slaw was a little too tart for our taste. They have quite a few sides to choose from, so we'll try to remember to have something else next time.
With our bellies full, we headed back to the motor home. We hung around the campground for the Memorial Day weekend. We had more plans for the Memphis area after the holiday, so stay tuned.