I was thrilled for many reasons to return to Texas this month for a talk and book signing at the magnificent sixty-six acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. But little did I realize that this event coincided with the opening of their holiday decorations. For one who adores this season of the year, the news was frosting on the cake. These wonderful images give you some idea of just how extensive this undertaking is and how romantically scrumptious it looks at night with more than a million lights throughout. Talk about getting in the mood for Christmas!
What first caught my attention (as one who loves “garden follies”) are the twelve 25’ tall glass Victorian-style individualized gazebos that are styled to represent the twelve days of Christmas. Each resembles a fanciful oversize music box with the most sophisticated animated mannequins and animals that move along with the music. And not to mention the Broadway-worthy costumes that dress these mannequins…from turn-of-the-century dinner gowns (below) to Scottish bagpipers.
And with lighting, the grounds turn into a festive wonderland (it’s truly difficult to believe that after Christmas these elegant gazebos are taken down and put in storage for the balance of the year).
Don’t you feel like a child again?
Which is your favorite? I think mine is the Polar Bear and Seals.
In addition to the twelve Victorian-styled gazebos, the Christmas Village, inspired by European Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarket, is comprised of more than fifteen charming shops and façades representing a quaint European hamlet.
Wonderful during the day, it is magical at night with lighted trees. On another note, each house is individually designed for the Dallas Arboretum.
A perfect complement to the Christmas Village, the Marilyn and Ben Weber Family Christmas Pyramid is an oversized recreation of the beloved Drehturm of European holidays. Twenty-three feet tall, the octagon-shaped structure has four levels illuminated by large “candles”; German artisans hand-carved the personalized figures and elements that provide character movement on every level (on the second level, six children each hold a beautiful flower symbolizing the Dallas Arboretum’s ties). It serves as the signature element in Pyramid Square.
Inspired? I know I am! So to Blenheim Palace in England and The Breakers in Newport, I can now add the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden extravaganza to my list of spectacular holiday eye candy.
And I send a warm thank you to the ladies of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens for the much anticipated invitation to speak at your 15th Annual “A Writer’s Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon.” The proceeds support the development and maintenance of The Woman’s Garden, which is certainly another reason to make a trip to this exceptional American public garden overlooking a vast lake with the skyline of Dallas in the background.
Happy second of December…
All photos courtesy of, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.