The Zilker Garden Festival was held on Saturday and Sunday in the Zilker Botanical Gardens. There were over 50 vendors in attendance, selling items including succulents, handmade jewelry, birdhouses, garden decorations, clothing and other creative, original items. The Festival also featured kid-friendly activities in the “Kids’ Corner,” a judged horticulture and flower show, live music and food vendors.
Story by Danielle Drews and Brittany Mendez
Photos by Laura Godinez
The Violet Crown Garden Club sponsors the horticulture and flower show each year, and the president of the club chooses the theme. This year’s theme was “Only In Austin,” according to master gardener Sue King, who entered five designs in this year’s show. “The designs are judged by things like artistry, flow, and reflection of the theme,” King says. “Four designs are allowed for each section and you have to say so ahead of time which section you’re designing for.”
Each section had a specific Austin-based theme and specific requirements and judges.“This is a national level show,” sweepstakes winner Rachel Matthews says. “The judges aren’t from Austin because you can’t judge in your own city. The judges are from San Antonio this year.” Two of Matthew’s pieces got first place, which made her the sweepstakes winner. “I got lucky. I guess the judges like my sense of humor,” Matthews says.
While the adults focused on the competition, the “Kids’ Corner” consisted of several tents where kids could learn about plants, customize their own butterfly wings, get their faces painted, build a birdhouse or bird feeder or paint a cap. There were stations where, according to a Master Gardener Volunteer, the kids could learn about which soil types are best for certain plants, edible parts of plants, and helpful and harmful insects. “This is all part of education but we make it fun,” the volunteer says.