More on Kerrville

Many of the smaller towns in Central Texas are tourist destinations.  Partly, that’s because of the natural beauty of the rolling hills covered with native trees.  Also, those towns have made a concerted effort to draw people with museums, festivals, shopping, and other attractions.

kerrvillekKerrville has lots of walking paths along the Guadalupe River.  This is in a parking lot for the beginning of one of those trails.

kerrvillelI like this barrel cactus among the other native plants.

kerrvillemThis picture was taken by stepping away from the concrete walkway, which was at least 10 feet wide.  The paved pathway was a mile long.  Beautiful views and easy on the feet.

I think most of these trees are cypress.

kerrvillenStonehenge II is in an open field area.  The idea came to Al Shepperd in 1989 when he turned a limestone slab up on end.  He and his friend, Doug Hill, decided to construct plaster and graphite covered metal mesh and steel frames to replicate the ancient stones in England.

kerrvillepStonehenge II is 90 percent as wide as the original and 60 percent of the height.

kerrvilleoAfter visiting Easter Island a year and a half later, Shepperd added two heads copying those he visited.

kerrvilleqShepperd had plans to add Alaskan type totem poles, but died in 1994 in his 70’s.

The land is presently owned by Shepperd’s nephew and is open every day to the public.

kerrvillerDriving home, we stopped at Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg.   It’s like a magnet drawing us when we’re in the area.

Deep red Crape Myrtles line the drive into the parking lot.

kerrvillesEven though it was hot, we strolled through the gardens and listened to a band performing in the courtyard.

Thanks for reading about our short trip.  Hope you have a chance to visit your favorite sights, wherever you live.

“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and co-workers and even strangers you meet along the way.”   Barbara Bush

Kerrville, Texas

On Friday, July 17th, we drove to Kerrville, TX, to attend a production of “Pirates of Penzance” at The Cailloux Theater.  They have an excellent facility with a huge auditorium, especially for a community theater.  We were disappointed in the performance but have seen better there in the past.

I’m going to give a plug here for a local theater, The Brownwood Lyric Theater.  Their productions are top notch with great musically talented performers, costumes, and props.  We just saw “Guys and Dolls”, which could equal any show we’ve seen in the metroplex.

kerrvilleWhile in Kerrville, we visited several sites.  The Museum of Western Art was outstanding.  In the 1930’s a group of cowboy artists banded together to encourage each other’s artistic pursuits.  They sold paintings and sculptures to several families in Kerrville.  Eventually, some of the wealthy people decided to build this museum and to donate their art to it.  The interior building itself is a piece of art.

kerrville1“Wind and Rain” by William Moyers from Albuqueque, NM, was donated by the artist.

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kerrville3A small statue stands in the first entryway that provides a shaded area for the main door.  Most of the sculpture was in the style of Frederick Remington.  The paintings reminded me of Charles Russell’s works.

kerrville4This bucking bronco bronze was just outside the back door.  If you like western art, it’s a wonderful museum to visit.

kerrville5This fountain at the motel pool area caught my eye.

kerrville7Also, seen from the pool area is the cross of the “The Coming King” Sculpture Prayer Garden.  It is located on a hill the other side of Interstate 10.

The Coming King Foundation built the 23 acre park that is currently valued at 3 million dollars worth of land and art.  It is not completed yet.

Aside:  Crape Myrtles are in full bloom across central and northern Texas.  What a great performing accent tree or bush.

kerrville8At the Prayer Garden Jesus is shown as the Fisher of Men.  On all the walkways are scripture tiles.

kerrville9They are each written in Spanish, English, and German.  The reason for Spanish and English is self explanatory.  Central Texas was settled by Germans.  And although some of them still speak German, I’m guessing this is an honorary nod to the settlers.

kerrvilleaChrist washing a disciple’s feet.  The statues are all bronze.

kerrvillebJohn 3:16 God so loved the world statue.

kerrvillecThe empty cross.

kerrvilledAt the bottom of the hill near the entrance among cedars is a nice spot for Mary’s sculpture.

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kerrvillefAlso, at that area is the nails of the cross display.

kerrvilleiDonors are recognized with stone tiles.

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kerrvillegThe entry statue of the Coming King is holding a sword of power and a ram’s horn shofar that was used to gather Israelites to worship, war, festivals and will announce the final kingdom of Christ.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”  Benjamin Franklin

Mostly White Blooms

Continuing with my color theme.  These flowers all have white as part of their blooms.

bloomingnowiWhen we dug up this spiky plant from the field, we didn’t think it was a Yucca because the prevalent ones around here have wider and shorter green leaves.

bloomingnow4Since the proof is in the pudding, the flower in spring proved that it was indeed a Yucca.  The reason we had not seen this type blooming in the fields is that the cows probably chomped off the flowers as soon as the buds opened up.

bloomingnow5Their whitish and yellowish cluster is very distinctive.

bloomingnow6This Ornamental Onion plant was bought at a Garden Club plant sale several years ago.

bloomingnoweIts zany pods are actually clusters of individual onion bulbs that can be planted.  Its oniony smell is only noticeable if you brush up against it.

whiteOf all the different color Reblooming Iris in my yard, the white and creamy yellow ones are the only ones that actually do rebloom with any consistency.

flowerbushes6Several years ago I bought a sage (Salvia greggii)  that was labeled Lip Stick.  It has never really done anything and only bloomed the first season.

Then this year on the other side of the yard from that small scrawny bush, flowers on an Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) produced flowers that looked like the Lip Stick one.  I guess that means it is just a mutation.

Flowerbeds7This Pink Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) returns each spring – sometimes in the same place and other times somewhere else in this flowerbed.

The tall plant with red flowers is a Hardy Hibiscus.

Flowerbeds8Guara definitely provides movement in the yard.  The wind blows these delicate flowers on long stems so that it looks like a dreamy dance.

This summer has surprised us all with temperatures still under 100, and it’s the middle of July.  A blessing to be enjoyed daily.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Ryun

 

 

 

 

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Purple Blooms

Continuing with the color theme, today the focus is on purple, the color of royalty.

bloomingnow3This Jackman Clematis (Clematis jackmanii) was chosen because it is reported to be a good clematis choice for our area.  Other clematis have prettier and more complex flowers.

bloomingnow1After its initial flourish of flowers, it hasn’t bloomed again.  Clematis is supposed to be an easy vine with lots of blooms.  So I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.  Maybe it needs fertilizer.

bloomingnow2I do like the color and size of the blossoms.

bloomingnow7It’s crazy that some Larkspur are still blooming.

bloomingnowdMexican Petunias (Ruellia simplex) really are purple.  I don’t know why these look pink in the picture – probably the strong sun.  Can’t get any easier than this plant.  The biggest problem is that they spread with underground runners.

bloomingnowfAnother winner is Henry Duelberg Mealy Cup Sage (Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’).  The flowers are all gone now.  But I just trimmed them back for a second blooming this summer.

bloomingnowvI love the look and smell of Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia).  The color is too subtle for some people’s taste.  But the soft pastel blends in well with stronger colors.

bloomingnowwGregg’s Blue Mistflower (Eupatorium greggii) is also a light purple, almost a lavender.  It’s pale color makes it look bland except for all the butterfly activity.  That gets one’s attention.

purpleDeep purple African Violets is the prettiest violet, in my opinion.

white3One stalk of French Hollyhock (Mallva sylvestris ‘Zebrina’) survived from the rust fungus.  It was actually not in the flowerbed, but just outside the yard in the weeds.  I transplanted it, so we’ll see what happens next year.

Flowerbeds5This is the flowerbed that I was going to be cautious and not over plant.  Who knew the bushes would get so big and the flowers reseed and multiply so well?  Not me, obviously.

purple3The Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) are especially tall this year.  All the rain in May made everything abundant and hardy.

flowers8Such a pretty flower.

purple5The Blue Curls (Phacelia congesta Hook) has been like a Jack in the Beanstalk plant that just keeps getting taller.

purple6Unusual flowers and foliage make it an interesting plant in the yard.  It’s another purchase from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  One of those impulse buys without much knowledge of its characteristics.

Purple robes may have belonged exclusively to the kings, but fortunately, we can enjoy it where ever we wish, including our gardens.

“The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.” Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Yellow in the Yard

Whenever I look at photos from the yard, sometimes color jumps out at me.  That’s why I’m doing several posts focusing on a specific flower color.

orangeyellowbKindly Light Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Kindly Light’) is another great bulb flower.  Its spider like blooms last all day.  I usually avoid plant catalogs from northern climates because we simply can’t grow so many of their plants here.  But I have found one I really like.  Old House Gardens is a family owned bulb company in Michigan.  But many of their bulbs are grown in the south.  They provide specific information about growing conditions for each type of bulb.  Their newsletter advertising specials also has interesting information.

orangeyellow7Square-Bud Primrose (Calylophus berlandieri Spach) is a Texas native and has been a good performing perennial for me.  It tends to flop down in the middle of the summer, but don’t we all.

orangeyellow6Not really sure what this is, but I think it’s Parralena (Dyssodia pentachaeta) or Common Dogweed.  Please correct me if I’m wrong.

orangeyellow1New Gold Lantana, Lantana Hybrid, is faithful to return when the weather gets warm, along with the weeds and grass growing in it.

orangeyelloweThis Golden Showers Thryallis (Galphimia glauca) blooms all summer long and is a show stopper.

orangeyellowfAs it stops flowering, seed pods hang from its branches.

orangeyellowgThis Senna (I don’t know which variety) from a friend doesn’t flower all that much, but there are plenty of new plants each spring.  They’re easy to pull when small.

dragonflyOne of the bonuses of working in the yard are the creatures that fly around.  But to be clear, I only like the non-stinging and non-biting kind.  For some reason, mosquitoes love me.  Even when I spray with a Deet product, I come in covered with bites.

dragonfly2The strong wind was blowing this stem around, but the dragonfly hung on.

dragonfly3The outer part of the wings are transparent, so the grass can be seen beneath them.

Isn’t it amazing how many different varieties of plants and insects there are.

“Temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.” Washington Irving

Shades of Red Flowers

“The Lady in Red” movie title, which I haven’t seen, indicates that red is an eye catching color.  Maybe the cut of the dress was, too.  Anyway, red in the yard definitely draws the eye.

redpinkdRed Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) and red Cannas both are easy red focuses and relatively inexpensive choices.  Since cannas multiple, plenty of space is needed for them to spread out.

Red Yuccas should not be planted where I put these.  The problem is that surrounding plants grow into them.  Now I know why I’ve seen them planted alone in a graveled area.  It’s almost impossible to pull intruding plants out of a yucca without wearing some kind of armor.

redpink8The height of the flower stalks on Red Yuccas make them a focal point.

redpinkaHummingbirds like the tubular flowers.  Another name for Red Yucca is Hummingbird Yucca.  I don’t know how much nectar they actually get from them, but they look like they’re feeding.

redpinkbThis Drummond Phlox (Phlox drummondii ‘Hook’)  bloomed but has since faded away.  I bought it at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at their April plant sale.  Maybe it’s one of the casualties from a wet May.

redpinkrKangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos Red) is an Australian native that is supposed to be hardy to zone 8.  I’m a little leery that it will make it through our winter, so it will probably remain a pot plant which is taken into the shed when cold weather comes.

The label said they make good cut flowers.  If they produce lots of flowers, I’ll try that.  The color is unusual and seems to change every time I look at it.

redpink9Flowers on Bubba Desert Willows (Chilopsis linearis ‘bubba’ Desert Willow) are almost orchid like with nice colors.  I have two on opposite sides of the house.  They haven’t bloomed much yet this year.  But they do well in the heat and should burst out in blooms soon.

redpink3Red Sage (Salvia greggii ‘Red’ Red Autumn Sage) is highly recommended for drought tolerant gardens.  It’s a woody shrub that returns each spring.

redpink4The aroma of the leaves when you brush up against them is an added bonus.

redpinkmA pot of begonias on a patio table is a bright spot of color that I can enjoy both outside and from a kitchen window.

redpink7Mr. Lincoln hybrid Roses are a bold red.

redpinkcCrimson Pirate Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Crimson Pirate’) was planted last spring and did very well this year.  The stalk on this variety was only 1 to 1 1/2′ tall, which is nice for the front of the bed.

Even though daylilies only flower in the spring, these bloomed for weeks.  Every year I become more of a daylily fan.

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it keeps you moving but doesn’t get you anywhere.”  Corrie ten Boom

Orange in the Yard

The trend this year seems to be orange:  wear it and decorate with it.  Wearing it doesn’t work for my skin tones.  Nor do I use it much inside my house.  But outside it perks up spaces.

orangeyellowEvery year the old-fashioned orange Daylilies usher in spring so reliably and lift the spirits to say, “Winter is over.  Hurrah.”

orangeyellow8A generous gift of probably 60 bulbs from a friend about nine years ago, they keep on giving.  No problems, no worries.  Just plant and water occasionally.

orangeyellow9Three years ago, I moved a few that were on the edge of the bed to this spot.  The green leaves of a Rose of Sharon bush behind them makes them the star of the show.  Later, hibiscus-like flowers from the bush will provide some color.

orangeyellow3One lone Daylily that has come up around the corner of the house with some Violets that have also crept into this bed.

orangeyellowcFinal one.  Just can’t stop snapping pix of these beauties.

Orange is a funny word.  It’s one of the few words in English that no other word rhymes with.  Actually, languages are strange.  There’s a NPR radio program that answers questions about old family sayings and language, in general.  Check out  “A Way with Words” and let me know what you think..

orangeyellowaThe African Bulbine flowers combine yellow and orange.  They’re wispy and move in the breeze.  Since it originates from below the equator, it must be protected in cold weather.

orangeyellow2A striking small ornamental tree is Bird of Paradise.  There are at least three types of Bird of Paradise sold.

The one in the picture is Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii).  The flowers are yellow with orange stamens.   Because of old incorrect informtion, I usually call it Mexican Bird of Paradise.

Ones with bright orange flowers is Pride of Barbados  (Caesalpinia pulcherrima).  These are prominent in large box stores.  My experience has been that they die in winter here.

Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) has yellow flowers and yellow stamens.  Since they all look similar, it can be confusing to choose the one that works for you.

orangeyellow4Tropicana Roses are one of those indefinable colors, but there’s an orange tint to them.  Another great performer.  This year it has been filled with flowers.  I cut them often to bring inside, but soon more appear.

orangeyellowhIxora did not fare well this past winter in the shed, but enough survived to flower.  Maybe some fresh air and sunshine will bring new growth.

orangeyellowiMost of my Ice Plants have pink flowers.  This one from a friend has orangish ones.

Maybe you can decide on a specific color pattern for your yard.  I simply can’t.  Therefore, I have a hodgepodge.  This is not what designers recommend.

“Every time I get mad, I remind myself that prison orange is not my color.”    Unknown