Summer Wildflowers

The spring flowers in the fields and byways are all gone.  But summer brings another show with equal beauty.  Some of these will survive into the hot months while others will disappear.

earlysummerThe bar ditches along our county road are filled with a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes of flowers.  The rocky, caliche, disturbed areas is where these wildflowers thrive.

earlysummer1I think this bright yellow primrose is a Western Primrose (Calylophus Hartweggii).  It grows low on the ground.

earlysummer2White Milkwort (Polygala alba) is small but attractive in a group.

earlysummer4A bouquet of Indian Blanket, Cut-leaf Groundsel, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

earlysummer5Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) usually have more shading on the petals than these do.

earlysummer7Before it gets too hot, Queen Anne’s Lace carpets the edges of the road.

earlysummer6Now, after these pictures were taken, they’ve already started to fall away.

earlysummer8

earlysummer9Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) will bloom into the summer and fall as will Sweet William or Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida).

earlysummeraLove the drive along this road.

earlysummerf

earlysummerhA lone Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum) breaks the white span of Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota).

earlysummeri

earlysummerbNot sure, but think these daisies are Engelmann’s Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia).

earlysummergSumacs growing full and filling in the roadside.

earlysummercTexas Bindweed’s (Convolvulus eqitans) small white flowers are 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ inches wide.  They aren’t noticeable unless one looks closely at the ground.

earlysummereBlackfoot Daisies (Melampodium leucanthum) are hardy little souls that form small rounded clumps.  I tried these in the yard but they really don’t want more water than nature provides.  They will bravely last until late fall.

earlysummerjAs I pull into our property, another sight of late spring, early summer appears – lots of baby calves.  The cattle is not ours but belong to a man who leases the pasture land.

earlysummerkCute.  Reminds me of Norman in ‘City Slickers’.

earlysummerlTall grass from all the rain almost hides the little ones.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Moss Mountain

The next stop on our trip early in May was Moss Mountain, the farm of P. Allen Smith.  He is considered a plant and animal guru.  His program on HGTV features short vignettes about flower and vegetable gardening as well as raising farm animals and cooking.

mossmThe large post oak in front of the house is named Big Sister.

mossm1On specific days each month, tours of the farm and house are open to the public.  Reservations are necessary, and it’s not cheap.

Allen was not there that day, but the whole day was orchestrated very well.

Lunch was served at noon.  We ate in a room in the barn that had round tables to accommodate 80 people.  The large white tent has long tables for larger groups.

mossm4The house was built in 2007-2008 in the Greek Revival style, which was popular in the south during the mid 1800’s.

I had assumed that the property was inherited, but it was found by his friend who had flown a plane over the area and described it to Allen.

mossm2A dry rub of sulfur was put on the brick to provide an old house look.  The room protruding out on the left side is an art studio.  He also does some painting.

mossm3

mossm6The room on the right side of the house is the kitchen.

mossm7Behind the house in the gardens are three other buildings.  One is seen here.

mossm8My pictures don’t do justice to the gardens.  Behind the house are two parallel walkways through the bushes, flowers, and trees.  They are on different levels since the ground slopes down towards the Arkansas River.

mossm9Most of the flowerbeds were designed like this one with tall shrubs in the back, shorter ones in front of those, and low annuals in front.  Lots of manpower needed to plant all those flowers.

mossmaaThis is the side door into the art studio.

mossmbA corner bed where a pathway from the house joins another walkway.  The lime green plant is Stonecrop Sedum.  It was used in several places to frame a bed.

mossmbbGerbera Daisies with Petunias

mossmccWe did not go into the two smaller houses in the back because the doors were closed.

mossmdThis shows the slope down to the first path behind the house.

mossmddI was surprised that pots around the garden contained agaves.  That area is in the same plant zone I’m in:  8a, used to be 7b.  Some years during cold winters, they would freeze.  Maybe they do bring them inside, but that looks like a heavy metal container.

mossmeAllen designed these white towers.

mossmeeAlthough I don’t know the size of the gardens around the house; I’m guessing it would be two or three acres.

Most of the rose bushes around the house appeared to be Knockouts.

mossmfThis hexagon or octagon (can’t remember) building was on lowest side of the garden paths.

mossmffThere was straw on the floor, but I don’t know the building’s purpose.

mossmgIn the background is the river.  Many of the gardens are organized and neat but informal in the plantings.

mossmggPathways led to some garden rooms or sections that are somewhat closed off.

mossmhAs I remember, these are testing beds.  There were small signs in several beds throughout the gardens that indicate that different growers had provided plants.

mossmhh

mossmimossmj

mossmii

mossmjjThese gates open to a more formal garden style.

mossmkThis grassy area is between two rows of trees leading to this statue and hedge.

One of the amazing things about Moss Mountain is how much has been accomplished in a few years.  There will be more posts about this tour.

“It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.”  Old Cowboy Adage

Lilies and More

Back home, the results of recent rains continue to shine.  I’ll post more about our trip later.

bulbsThe Kindly Light Daylily’s (Hemerocallis ‘Kindly Light’) bright color and quirkly petals scream for attention.

bulbs1They spread nicely, too.

bulbs9Crimson Pirate Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Crimson Pirate’) like most daylilies isn’t very picky.  It like well-drained soil, full sun or partial sun, and tolerates heat and humidity.

bulbs6The flowers on the old fashioned, pass along Daylilies aren’t as large as they used to be.  They desperately needed to be divided, but the heavy clay makes that a difficult job.  Maybe I could plan a dividing party.  Wonder who would come?

bulbs4Two Daylily bulbs were growing out in the grass, so I transplanted them.  Now they’ve spread.  In front of them is a Salvia Greggi.

bulbs2

bulbs5Sorry the hanging flower buds on this Clematis are a little out of focus.  I have waited for four years for this to bloom and almost yanked it out of the ground a number of times, but patience paid off.  So far, the flowers are not that impressive.

bulbs7Purple Leatherflower Clematis (Clematis pitcheri Torr.A. Gray) is a Texas native and is fairly heat and drought tolerant.

The purple in the background is Larkspur.

bulbs8Because all clematis like their feet in the shade and the vine in the sun, I stacked some rocks at the bottom of it in an attempt to shade the roots from the low west afternoon sun.  But now the plants around it have grown up enough to help shade them.

bulbsaDesert Rose (Adenium obesum) is finally blooming again.  It’s weird shaped trunk bottom is supposed to be part of its charm.  Each year, it is supposed to be repotted to a just slightly larger pot with the bulb lifted a little higher.  I haven’t done that yet because I don’t want to disturb the blooms.

To the left is a pot of Kolanchoe.  So many new kinds of Kolanchoe are being developed, which I hope are as hardy as the older ones.  Beside that is a new type of Dusty Miller that is a succulent.  On top of the cart is a Begonia.

bulbsbThis Beebalm ( Monarda  didyma) has grown really tall.  To keep it from laying on the ground, I put a wire cage around it.  It was probably planted in the wrong place since they prefer full sun and space for wind to blow around and through them.

bulbscCrazy looking flowers.  I’m still waiting to see lots of pollinators on them.

bulbsdSo much is growing and blooming now that it is hard to focus.  We have been so blessed with rain and mild weather.  The heavy duty heat will come, so we need to savor this time.

“Cavities are like parking tickets; they show up by surprise and take all your pocket money.”  unknown

Garvan Gardens, Part 2

Garvan Gardens outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is a serene, calming place.  Because there were few people visiting that day, it seemed like we were alone in forest far from civilization.

garvangardensm

garvangardensmmSome workers were constructing this exhibit out of brush.  This art installation by W. Gary Smith is to last for a year.

garvangardensn

garvangardensnn Miniature fairy gardens created in pots are a current fad, but this Fairy Garden was built using tree stumps.

garvangardenso

garvangardensooEach one stood about 3 or 4 feet tall.

garvangardenspA small patch of Oxblood or Schoolhouse Lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) make an impact statement.

garvangardensppVery tall Pinks or Dianthus in a semi-shady spot.

garvangardensqThe Children’s Garden entrance is below this metal twig looking bridge.

garvangardensqqEverything we saw in this part of the garden is mostly rocks to climb on and secluded small areas to explore.

garvangardensr

garvangardensrrThe boulders were intriguing with the quartz in the stones forming sharp ridges.  Over time, the rock, whatever type it is, has eroded, while the quartz remained intact.

garvangardenssSome of the Children’s Garden might be intimidating to young kids.

garvangardent

garvangardenttBack on the main trail …

garvangardentttwe continue past this small pond with water Iris.

garvangardenuAlthough this peacock was alone, his loud mating cries broke the silence of the forest.  Guess he just wanted some attention.

garvangardenuuAnother pergola leading to a grassy area surrounded by flowerbeds.

garvangardenuuuAlliums towering above other flowers, like these Pansies.  I really wanted some Alliums and tried them once, but they didn’t come back the next year.  Don’t really know what the problem was.  Too hot, too cold, soil too alkaline?

garvangardenvMore Dianthus

garvangardenvvDelphiniums, maybe?

garvangardenvvvJust outside the Chipmunk Cafe were several miniature trains at different levels circling around a tree.

garvangardenwwwAnthony Chapel is a wedding chapel with construction similar to the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  I think this chapel was built in 2006 while ThornCrown opened in 1980.

garvangardenxThe wood is southern yellow pine.

garvangardenxxAnthony Chapel is a wedding chapel.  Lovely setting.

There is a separate building for wedding party members with a bridal changing chamber.  It can be rented for an additional cost.

garvangardenxxxThe whole intent of the design with 55 feet tall windows is to have full view of the surrounding woods.  The handcrafted scones are made of oak.

garvangardenwwHeading to the parking lot takes us past more trees and bushes.  This looks like Coral Honeysuckle.

garvangardenwBeautiful bloom on an Oakleaf Hydrangea (‘Hydrangea quercifolia’).

Thanks for reading our visit to Garvan Gardens.

“The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination.”  Thomas Church

Garvan Gardens

On a recent trip one of our stops was at Garvan Woodland Gardens just outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It is the 210 acre botanical garden of the University of Arkansas in the Ouachita Mountains.

garvangardens4Most of the acres are a naturally wooded area of tall pines.

garvangardens8Pathways lead guests to a variety of sights.

garvangardens7

garvangardens1Shaded areas are filled with abundant under story trees and shrubbery.

garvangardens

garvangardens2Although it was the tail end of the blooming season for Azaleas, some flowers remained.

garvangardens3A heavy crop of berries on some kind of holly.

garvangardens6

garvangardens9Few of the plants had identification labels.

garvangardensaaIn a few sunny clearings were some grassy areas circled by flowerbeds and flowerpots.  Begonias, Spider Plant, and Caladium make an attractive arrangement.

garvangardensaSeveral vine covered pergolas open to patio like settings with flowers and seating.

garvangardensbThis is a purple Columbine, but I don’t know the variety.

garvangardensc

garvangardenscc

garvangardensdPretty Pinks or Dianthus

garvangardensddLove the color and design of this three foot tall pot.  The requisite three elements are there:  thriller (don’t know the name of the plant); filler (petunias), and spiller (a variegated ivy).

garvangardenseLots of large beds were filled with annuals such as pansies.  There were both staff members and volunteers working in the gardens.

garvangardensee

garvangardensff

garvangardensgAnother bed with these newly planted small plants, probably annuals.

garvangardensggLoved this bush, but don’t know what it is.

garvangardensiFour and a half miles of shoreline on Lake Hamilton provide wooded views of the lake.

garvangardenshEuphorbias in bloom.

garvangardenshh

garvangardensii

garvangardensjAs we leave the lake observation point and head back into the wooded gardens, there are what look like native blooming plants.

garvangardensjj

garvangardenskSeveral nice bridges in the gardens lead to new surprises.

garvangardenslThis shrub was about six or seven feet tall with arching branches.

garvangardensllGorgeous flower clusters.  Wonder what it is.

My next post will finish the Garvan Gardens visit.  Thanks for taking the time to scroll through all the pictures.

“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”  unknown

A Smorgasbord of Color and Form

This spring’s rains has brought exceptionally beautiful sights.  There’s plenty of green and other gorgeous colors all around us.

olioThe first Cone Flower from the Echinacea genus has opened.  Even though the petals aren’t as perfectly formed as later ones will be, the pollinators don’t care.

olio1Drift Roses are covered with masses of blooms.  At the far end of the bed is a Prairie Sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) with its silvery airiness and a mound of gray Santolina (S. chamaecyparissus) with its buds ready to provide small yellow flowers.

olio2I love that drift roses stay under two feet tall and continually bloom through autumn.  To the right of them is Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) which will have brght red flowers in the heat of the summer.

olio3The clusters of roses make a strong visual  impact.

olio4This three year old Privet is blooming for the first time.  From the genus of Ligustrum, Privets are now considered invasive.  I’d be surprised if its seed would take hold in the hard clay in our area.

olio5It smells heavenly.

olio6Pink Guara’s (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Siskiyou Pink’) swaying branches look pretty in our ever present wind.  Beside the pot, the Texas Ash needs the sprouts at the base trimmed away – again.

olio7Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) is blooming.  To the left of it, Duranta is slowly growing, awaiting the heat blast of August to bloom.

olio8Pretty stalks of closed buds on Red Yuccas reach up for attention.  In the background is a raised bed that will be shown in the next picture.

Note the pieces of black ground-cover cloth.  They was put down about nine years ago.  Knowing what I know now – it doesn’t keep weeds from growing through the cloth; it hinders planting something new; and seems to last forever –  I definitely would not use it again.

olio9Henry Duelburg Sage (Salvia farinacea Henry Duelberg) continues to perform magnificently after eleven years.

olioaA wonderful plant that bees love.

olioaaTexas native Square Bud Primrose (Onagraceae Calylophus drummondianus var. beriandieri.) is a showy splash of yellow on a low mound of thin grassy stems.

oliobLarkspurs (Delphinium consolida) are providing their surprise locations all over the yard.  Scatter these seeds and have purple flowers popping up everywhere.

In the lower left corner are some native False Foxglove (Penstemon cobaea).

oliobbMore Pink Gaura in a flowerbed.

olioccA copper colored reblooming Iris.

oliodAnd a lavender and yellow one.  Can’t resist snapping pictures of these beauties in the spring.

oliocWe have always called these natives that appear in the yard Lamb’s Ears because they look and feel like the ones sold in nurseries. They have soft, velvety foliage.  But recently I learned that they are actually Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).  They are sure plentiful around here.  My husband loves to mow them down, but I want a few left to grow.

The leaves get about a sixteen inches in size.  Then late in summer a tall stalk will reach about three feet in height and small yellow flowers will form an elongated cluster.  Interesting plant.

Thanks for perusing my blog and enjoy your own green space.

“When a woman wears leather clothing, a man’s heart beats quicker, his throat gets dry, he goes weak in the knees, and he begins to think irrationally.
Ever wonder why?
She smells like a new truck.”  unknown

Bulbs Make Life Easy

A warm winter and spring rains has brought an abundant crop of all sorts of weeds.  Because they have been so rampant this year, I’ve been thinking about those gorgeous public gardens that are so pristine.  How do they achieve that enviable look that makes me drool?  An army of workers.  That’s how.  As I keep pulling weeds by my lonesome self, the flowers that are blooming in my yard keep me going.

bulbs1Some of those flowers that keep me going are from bulbs, like this Reblooming Iris.  Plant a bulb and enjoy the results for years.

bulbs5This year I discovered that rebloomers make much better cut flowers than the old fashioned irises.  Recently I provided vases of roses and irises from my yard for an event.  I cut the flowers the morning before; the rebloomers were still fresh the next day while many of the others had wilted.

bulbs6And the colors are more interesting.  But I still like the old fashioned ones with the memories they bring of the friend or relative who gave them to me.

bulbs7Sometimes, I’ve transplanted just one bulb into a spot with other plants.  I like the color against a solid background of a shrub.

bulbs8The only downsize of bulbs is that they need to be divided about every three years.  That’s not an easy task with our clay soil.  But it’s a small price to pay for the fact that they provide more plants each year and give a gift of flowers every spring.

bulbsaSpuria Iris is a new bulb to me.  It’s also known as ‘blue iris’, ‘Spurious Iris’ or ‘bastard iris’.  They bloomed early with the white old fashioneds.

bulbs2Having only grown bearded iris, they look kind of strange with their tall stalk and small, narrow foliage.

bulbs3The interesting form is intriguing.

bulbs9And finally, this Amaryllis was planted in this slightly raised bed because the soil is so much better than where the other ones are planted.  I may move them all to this bed.  Its bright color above all the emerging leaves of the Cone Flowers is eye catching.

Hope you are enjoying springtime with all the glorious flowers.

“A slip of the foot, you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue, you may never get over.”  Benjamin Franklin