Hundreds of happy nature lovers showed up Saturday for a big party at the San Antonio Botanical Center.
They did not cut a ribbon.

With a snip from garden shears to trim a bright green vine, the huge crowd cheered the dedication of a $22 million eight-acre expansion.

They came to celebrate the new greener and growing garden, a place for inspiration

“I actually love the orchid collection here in the garden, but it's also just a very good place to come and relax and just take our time seeing all the beautiful flowers and get some ideas for our own garden," local teacher Stewart Blanton said.

Garden volunteer Arthur Vazquez said he really enjoys the expanded vegetable garden section, which includes a teaching kitchen and advice from expert chefs.

“It's like going back to an era that it once was where they really emphasized the importance of vegetable gardens and being outdoors and working in the gardens,” Vazquez said.

Young Eliza Brinkmann brought her parents and younger brother to the party.

Brinkmann said she has visited the garden many times and likes the changing exhibits.

“We run around, and we go look at butterflies and bees. My little brother likes to go look at the ducks and turtles in the pond here,” Brinkmann said.

“We love the Botanical Garden. It's great for children, and there's lots of activities, lots of plants to look at and trees. It's always a learning experience for us," Kara Reynolds said as she cradled her baby.

Click here for a link to more information about the garden.