Cedar Hill and Wildflowers and Penn Farm
Spring is officially here. The weather has been nice for a while now in North Texas. The Bluebonnets are making an early showing this year. On a drive to Cedar Hill Texas this past Sunday I noticed Bluebonnets everywhere as I drove. My Sunday drive was to visit Cedar Hill State Park. The park was vibrant-green. I love how spring makes everything new.
I actually went to the park to visit Penn Farm—a historic farm within Cedar Hill State Park. Penn Farm offers a glimpse into rural life of almost a century ago when farm machinery took the place of the horse and mule. The Penn family owned and worked this farm, on the margin of Dallas County, for over a century. It’s representative of the small, middle-class farmsteads that once occupied this area. This historic park feature presents an evolution of structures constructed or adapted by the Penn family as farming changed and modern conveniences were desired.
I probably spent at least an hour walking the trails of Penn Farm. The plants and trees and wildflowers are beautiful now and provide a great backdrop for the old farm building and equipment. Photo opportunities are plentiful. If you’re looking for a place to get your children outdoors and to take pictures, you can’t go wrong here.
While I was there at the farm I took in an interpretive program. Penn Farm interpreter Lauren Pyeatt presented butter churning on the farm. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s something I didn’t know anything about. The presentation was targeted at children anyway, and there were many children present and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy the presentation. Lauren is clearly very knowledgeable about the farm and worked wonderfully with the children. She’s also an NAI Certified Interpretive Guide. If you want to better understand Penn Farm, check the park events schedule and visit when she has a scheduled event.
Outdoor Garden Events
This is a great time for a spring road trip. Wildflowers are blooming now and it looks as though it may be a good year for them. On the other hand, wildflowers are unpredictable. A visit to a garden park is more of a sure thing. Several years ago I wrote a post suggesting some spring garden and flower events in and near this region of Texas. I have updated this page with new dates and links for the 2016 season. Please take a look at it.
On that same subject, the Chandor Gardens Spring Fling event is coming up. Spring Fling is on Saturday April 2, 2016. I like this event. The garden is wonderful. Originally the personal garden of artist Douglas Chandor, it is now operated by the city of Weatherford. So, there’s a historical element to this garden and the estate. In my mind, Spring Fling is the best time to visit. Reason one for that opinion is that the estate house is open during the event. It’s nice to be able to tour the house and to see the displayed art and architecture. During the event there are vendors and usually also live music, so it’s a festive day. The gardens are generally looking their very best. Last but not least, admission is only a dollar. If you only spend a half-hour there, it’s time and money well spent.
Another low cost garden to visit in DFW which is looking good right about now is The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. Thirty three acres of this park, including the Rose Garden and the Rock Springs area, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for national significance in the area of Landscape Architecture. Of course you don’t need to be a historian to appreciate the gardens. I do always try to see the Rose Garden when visiting this park. The view from the Rose Garden overlook is priceless. The Japanese Garden is wonderful if you have the time and don’t mind paying the price of admission.
There are many other great gardens in this area to see now while it’s relatively cool and comfortable outdoors. See my page with additional spring event ideas. Enjoy your spring road trip! Post comments with your own ideas for spring destinations below.