Beaumont in Bloom
Stop and smell the roses.
Spring has sprung, and Beaumont is covered in color! Flowers remind us to bloom where we are planted, to be unabashedly bold, and to persevere in challenging circumstances (we’re looking at you Winter Storm 2021). Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature or are in need of a new profile pic, here are a few places around town you can get your flower power on.
Beaumont Botanical Gardens
Bromeliads, roses, and camellias - oh my! The Beaumont Botanical Gardens offer a range of flowers that will enliven your senses. As the oldest public garden in Southeast Texas, the Beaumont Botanical Gardens gives visitors an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers - literally. Catch the azaleas in the early spring, roses from late spring to the fall, and orchids year-round.
Any SETX native in need of a floral backdrop for graduation, wedding, or family photos knows about the Beaumont Botanical Gardens. Located near the entrance of Tyrell Park, this 23.5-acre garden provides visitors a chance to take in the multiflorous atmosphere. Whether you simply want a moment of zen away from bustling city life or need a place for the kiddos to roam, the gardens await.
Wander down the “Friendship Walk,” a paved path through the garden area, providing easy access for strollers and wheelchairs, or sit on one of the benches and take time to reflect, soaking in the nature scenes around you. Ponds feature Japanese Koi fish, goldfish, turtles, ducks, and water lily blooms. Sculptures of a pterodactyl and a brontosaur will make for a great photo opp for kiddos (and those of us whose inner kiddo still looms large).
For all the bird-watchers out there, the gardens offer a chance to peep your feathery friends year-round as the garden is located on a migratory flyway. You can see 250 species year-round and up to 400 during peak migration season.
Nestled within the Beaumont Botanical Gardens is the Warren Loose Conservatory, considered to be the second-largest conservatory in a public garden in Texas. At 10,000 square feet, the conservatory is home to diverse plants, some of which can only be found in rainforests and others that are native to arid zones.
McFaddin-Ward House Museum
Although this Calder-located historic home may be best known for its rose garden, the McFaddin-Ward House Museum (MWH) boasts azaleas interspersed with bridal wreath, flowering quince, camellias, and more.
Varieties of blooming plants, bulbs, trees, and shrubs were added to enhance the beauty of the gardens year-round. The lawn gets its major color from permanent woody plants and roses, with splashes of seasonal color. Most seasonal plants bloom during the spring with over 400 azaleas, interspersed with quince, sweet olive, spirea, daffodils, and irises. In the fall and early spring, roses bloom and flourish, giving the garden an aromatic splash of color. Camellias decorate the lawn in the fall and winter.
Also located in the garden are Rachel and William, two giant oaks registered with the Louisiana Live Oak Society. More than 100 years old, these magnificent specimens came from acorns gathered at the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, where young William McFaddin had been a guard to the wounded, as family history tells it.
W.P.H. and Ida McFaddin were both interested in conservation issues, paying homage to environmental preservation by planting a variety of different tree specimens in their yard. Their daughter, Mamie McFaddin Ward, was a founding member of the Magnolia Garden Club and was devoted to beautifying her home, including the grounds. Years later, the MWH staff continues this legacy and invites the public to stroll the gardens with their mantra, “Our House is Your House.”
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
Located in the heart of Orange, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a serene ecological sanctuary that encourages a spirit of exploration and learning. Featuring more than 300 plant species, the Botanical Gardens inspire visitors with their five artistic rooms and four Sculpture Gardens that showcase artistically-themed displays.
The Orientation Center includes an Exhibit Hall, Discovery Theater, Children’s Garden, Exhibition Greenhouses, Café, and Garden Store - aka there’s plenty to do & see. Home to a variety of wildlife, look closely to spot a gator two when strolling through Shangri La’s Cypress-Tupelo swamp (on a boardwalk of course) or observe nesting birds in Shangri La’s heronry, adjacent to the Botanical Gardens.
With the gardens lush 365 days of the year, Shangri-La is perfect for every season. In early spring, the azaleas make their appearance, and the summer reveals an array of floral-tastic color. Although the fall season brings more subtle colors with its arrival, the orchid displays in the greenhouse more than make up for it. Throughout the year, annuals bring color to the botanical gardens, making a visit to Shangri-La worth the trip year-round.
A slice of paradise, Shangri La allows visitors to let nature be the soundtrack and view native flowers opening up to showcase their beauty. With places to sit quietly, one can savor their surroundings, observing and taking in Mother Nature. Fun for all ages, Shangri La’s earth-friendly mission demonstrates how people can live in harmony with nature.