My Blog List

Monday, July 20, 2020

OUR WEEKLY TRIP TO THE WILDFLOWER CENTER

When the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center reopened a few weeks ago, with special hours for members, I asked David if, instead of walking around the lake on a Sunday, he would like to go over to the Wildflower Center and walk the trails. Since that first weekend it has become a new destination for our Sunday walk. It is a simple matter to sign up for the tickets on line. No charge for members. We just have to get out of the house by 7:45am. Of course the sun is up by that time so I use my sun screen umbrella which is so much more comfortable than wearing a hat.


Over the weeks we have watched the changes that have taken place out on the trails from the blooming and fading of blanket flowers, milkweeds and rudbeckia to the arrival of later bloomers like the skeleton flowers and silver nightshades.

Asclepias tuberosa

Blanket flowers, Gaillardia pulchella
 Now plants have set their seeds and it is a quieter time out there on the trails. Only the fruits on the prickly pear add a dash of color to the now straw colored scene.


Areas are mowed according to their vegetation and mowing has begun.


One of the reasons we enjoy walking the trails, other than the fact that we more or less have them to ourselves, is listening and spotting the painted buntings. As one birder said to us last week, when I asked him for confirmation of what I was hearing, "They are everywhere" And then as we rounded the corner we could hear one singing in the tree and the beautifully colored male flew right across our path. I hear them in the trees at our house but rarely see them. Unfortunately David cannot hear them but he was thrilled to catch sight of this one.
The Research Trail and the Arboretum Trail combined are a good 2 mile walk and we usually add a little on by walking the gardens too. Because they are under irrigation there us more blooming there. There are large stands of partridge pea Chamaecrista fasiculata which is a great butterfly plant.


The Texas bluebell, Eustomia exaltatum is always one flower that, beautiful as it is, just seems out of place in the Texas landscape. I have only ever seen one out on the trails but I have heard people say they have seen fields of this plant. Sometimes called Prairie gentian it grows best in well-drained moist soils.


I sowed seeds of this Mexican poppy this year but they just did not survive in my garden. I will try sowing them outside this fall. They are growing in several places in the demonstration gardens but I think they may have been put in as transplants. This year I will try sowing the seed directly in the garden.


We continued our walk to the Family Garden where the large stands of Giant coneflowers are setting seed.

And passed the cooling waterfall. Always a favorite spot for children.


I always stop just inside the archway of the Auditorium to check on the delicate clematis, Clematis pitcheri. Still a few blooms.



It was time for breakfast in the shade of the oak trees. It's always quite a rush to get everything together in th mornings but this was the first time I had forgotten the plates. Not a problem since I new exactly what to do from an experience in the 1990s when we rafted down the Grand Canyon. First night out our crew told us that they had forgotten the plates and we would have to make do eating our meals off our ammo can lid-covered in foil. And that's what we did for the next 5 days. Today we had a couple of lids and we made do. My egg tasted just as good as ever as I had not forgotten the salt which was much more important than the plates.


Have a great week everyone.

14 comments:

  1. You know, it is so much fun to see the garden through your eyes. I've been to it three times. The last time for the fling,and the children's garden was brand new. I loved what you said about improvising with the lids as plates. I sometimes forget things, and I've learned to improvise all my life. With four kids I had to.~~Dee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if I would have thought about it myself if we hadn't had that experience. I have done plenty of improvising myself.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning, Jenny! Our local botanic garden is also open early and I should take greater advantage of that fact. I've visited only once since our original lockdown was declared. But, having had the opportunity to visit your wildflower center (even if it was in the midst of a massive downpour), I'd say that there's much more to enjoy on your walk than at my botanic garden. You're looking good, mask and all, and I hope your feeling well too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a life saver during these troubled times. I just hope they continue to stay open for the few that come at that early hour.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like a lovely way to start the day. Great thing about no plates is ewer dirty dishes to wash up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has become the treat if the week and something to look forward to.

      Delete
  4. What a great thing to be able to see it on a weekly basis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am looking forward to the cooler days to see what pops up in the garden but it is a long way off I'm afraid.

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful tradition. I wish I was a morning person...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never was but I have come to appreciate the short spell of cool morning air we have and not waste it.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful thing to do! Wish I lived closer to a first class botanic garden so I could do the same every Sunday.

    The Mexican Tulip poppy is really difficult to move successfully. Best to throw seeds around in different places and see what locations they like. Cracks in concrete--they love those. They now come back every year in the places they choose--wonderful flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up on moving the Mexican poppy. It did not transplant well although they seemed to have success at the WFC. I will sow the remaining seeds in the gorund this winter.

      Delete
  7. A perfect way to spend a Sunday morning! The buntings are an added treat. You must really look forward to it all week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do and even ventured out in the rain this Sunday. Nevertheless umbrellas in hand we set off on the trails. I was just glad I hadn’t brought breakfast because there would have been no where to sit.

      Delete

I love your comments unless they are spam comments which will always be removed in comment moderation.