Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clark Gardens - a Hidden Treasure...

This past weekend we cycled the Mineral Wells State Park Trailway, located 60 miles west of Fort Worth. This 20+ mile stretch between Mineral Wells and Weatherford is part of the Rails to Trails Program. Rails to Trails converts abandoned railroad lines to walking/bicycling/equestrian trailways. It was perfect weather and the cycling was fantastic!

Anyway – as we were riding our bikes (pretty much in the middle of nowhere) we saw a sign for Clark Gardens. Although we were pooped from cycling all day, we decided to pedal over and check it out. Holy Crap - this place is amazing!!!

I remember hearing about Clark Gardens from some of my former Extension colleagues in Dallas/Tarrant/Parker Counties but I had no idea it was so impressive. Among the various displays you’d expect to see at a high-end botanical garden, they were also trialing more iris, day lilies and cannas than any research facility I’ve ever visited. The rose trial was extensive as well. Totally amazing.

I took lots of iphone pics and strung them together in this slide show but they don't really do the place justice…

Then – just about the time we thought we’d seen it all, we turned a corner and discovered the largest “train garden” I’ve ever seen. A G scale model train running through a series of bridges, landscapes, etc. No less than 6 different trains running at the same time.

OK - I could go on here, describing Clark Gardens but let’s just say – It is definitely a hidden treasure worth the price of admission!!!

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