Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Orange, Texas

Cross the Sabine River on I-10 West from Louisiana into Texas, and the first town you come to is Orange. And you thought oranges only grew in Florida! I’d wanted to visit Orange since I arrived in SWLA three years ago and first heard about Shangri-La Gardens. (Because I miss Phipp's Conservatory terribly!) I can’t believe it took me all this time to get there. Of course, the dead of summer is not an ideal time to visit an outdoor garden. It was terribly hot to wander the paths. And there’s simply not all that much in bloom with this heat. But lovely, nonetheless. They offer a bayou tour twice a day, which I’d love to do, but we missed the boat. Literally.

Not sure the history of these bells.

This is some serious Spanish moss.

Purple martin mansions.

A blue bottle tree jungle in the children’s garden.

This is the coolest vine with orchid-like flowers called Dutchman’s Pipe. Bob and I had never seen one before.

We toured the Stark House. This gingerbread-adorned Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1894 by philanthropists William Henry Stark and his wife Miriam M. Lutcher Stark.

We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Old Orange Café. Can't wait to eat there again.

Here’s a curious store called Farmer’s Mercantile. They sell seed, feed, whatnot and you name it. I found it fascinating – for about five minutes.

This is First Presbyterian Church of Orange, unique with its classic Greek Revival architecture. Quite impressive! Mrs. Stark donated the funds to have the church built, and promptly destroyed all receipts, as she didn’t want anyone to know how much it cost.

We also enjoyed the Stark Museum of Art. Well worth a visit. There are few towns I feel I must return to, but Orange is one of them. I want to take in a stage show at the Lutcher Theater, I’ve heard it’s quite nice. And I want to go back to Shangra-La in springtime – when the azaleas and camellias bloom.


Jan Rider Newman said...

I've been to Shangri-La in the spring and loved it. I've also been to the museum of art a couple of times and found it quite good. I'd love to try the Old Orange Cafe. Where is it?

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Jan, it's at 914 Division St.

GerdieMom said...

The gardens look beautiful! I'll be thinking of you Friday when I'm at Phipps for Gargoyle Night (drinks and apps) with some coworkers.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Gargoyle Night? Must be something new. I love gargoyles.

Common Household Mom said...

I absolutely LOVE the blue bottle tree! Great pics, as always.