Shangri La reopens to the public

Shangri La reopens to the public

The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will be reopening, after closing for more than a year due to Hurricane Harvey, Wednesday, Sept. 12. Admission is free; however, due to the flooding from Harvey, the Outpost Tours will be under repair and therefore suspended until early 2019. The Exhibit Hall will also be closed. Though it has been closed for some time the garden is ready for visitors again. 

“The gardens look great,” said Jennifer Buckner Director of Horticulture at Shangri La. “The pathway as you stroll around the garden is very nice.” Buckner even went on to say that the garden is “even better” than before.

The Shangri La Gardens consists of more than 250 acres in Orange that hosts the Hanging Garden, Epiphyte House, Garden Rooms, Dancing Sisters Bottle Tree Sculpture of nationally renowned Southern folklore metal artist Stephanie Dwyer, Pond of the Blue Moon, Sculpture Gardens and more. 

Buckner said, “There is so much to see in the gardens from colorful blooming annuals and perennials to bold foliage displays.  Shangri La is the perfect place to escape and reconnect with nature.  Come discover all the beauty our gardens have to offer.” 

The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center was first opened in 1946 by H.J. Lutcher Stark and was inspired by the location of the same name in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. In the 50’s the Garden was a popular attraction bringing thousands to its wonders. However, in 1958 the garden was largely killed by a snowstorm, leaving Lutcher Stark to close the garden to the public, where it stayed closed for almost 50 years until reopening in 2008.

With its reopening, Shangri La also has multiple events on the horizon including the Scarecrow Festival which starts on Oct. 9 and runs until the Autumn Fair on Nov. 3. The Scarecrow Festival invite groups and organizations to build scarecrows and display them in the gardens where patrons can vote on their favorite, the winners are then announced at the Autumn Fair. 

Shangri La Gardens is located at 2111 W. Park Avenue in Orange and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit