Zilker Garden Festival

This Sunday I headed out to the Zilker Garden Festival at Zilker Botanical Gardens.  (I almost biked but wimped out at the last minute and drove my car instead, on the basis that I had to stop by an ATM and there wasn’t one easily accessible by bike. Next time, though.)

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First, I came across Al, of Al’s Gourmet Nuts, which are delicious nuts sugared and flavored with things such as lavender, honey, or cinnamon.  If you ever come across him, and you’re a walnut, pecan, or almond fan, I implore you to at least ask for a sample.  They’re absolutely wonderful!

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Doesn’t he look more like an Al than anybody else you’ve ever known? And I adore his hat.
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And right next to him was a bonsai dealer, Jade Gardens Bonsai Nursery, which had this darling Bougainvillea bonsai tree that I fell completley in love with.  Alas, my salary is not such that it permits a $125 price tag, so our affair was sweet, short, and sordidly defined by that most vulgar of things, money.

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If, however, you ever want a bonsai (and your salary is more forgiving than mine), I suggest you check them out.  Look at all the exquisitely tiny trees!  And the owner was very knowledgeable about both the care and culture of bonsai – for example, he wouldn’t let me a take a picture of him because it’s about the beauty of the tree rather than the skill of the artist.  

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Plants were being transported in the most unusual of ways! It was excellent to see so many people out and enjoying nature.

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Gorgeous orchid #1.

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Gorgeous orchid #2.

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Gorgeous orchid #3.

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This lovely lady allowed me to take a picture of her in the orchid booth.  (And then took one of me in return!)  I asked her because her outfit was just as colorful as the flowers and she just seemed very nice and approachable.  (all true!)

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Vendor puppy tired.

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The Austin Butterfly Forum had an exhibit with butterflies and caterpillars – here’s one of the more colorful caterpillars.

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And here are some roaming freely on the table.

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They were very nice and informative about butterflies and caterpillars – to be honest, I think this table was more directed at children than adults, but they let me play and answered all of my questions.  Here’s a caterpillar exploring my fingers, which tasted of tamales.

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The Austin Organic Gardeners had a booth that was directed towards adults, where they were helpfully answering questions and letting curious photographers take pictures of their adorable ladybugs.

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Life is better surrounded by greenery.

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This is from Dan Schafer Co, an amazingly talented artist who makes outdoor sculptures, like this beautiful octopus, with metal wire (copper, mostly) and Swarovski Crystal.  They are, unfortunately, beyond my paycheck, but they’re absolutely magnificent.

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This one is a parrot, caught from behind.  Dan does not have a website, but if you feel you must have one, his business card lists his email as schaferdb@msn.com.

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This orchid looks like the evil plant from Little Shop of Horrors. Don’t feed the plants, y’all, whatever you do!


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And last, but not least, here’s the orchid-grower (whose name I embarrassingly never got) who helped me pick out my orchid. By “help”, I mean she introduced me to too many beautiful plants to count, and even found me one that smells like vanilla! (I bought that one.)  She’s from Orchid Obsession, which had all the beautiful orchids you’ve seen previously, as well as tons of information, a fact sheet, friendly people, and an emergency e-mail I could use if my orchid gets into trouble. Thanks!

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