Sage or Salvia?

When a plant is called by two different names, it can be confusing.  Since I’ve heard Sage and Salvia applied to the same plants, I got curious to know if there is a difference between the two.  So I decided to investigate.

This post will be considerably longer than most.  But I hope you find my results as fascinating as I did.  Many of you are well versed in this information, so thank you for your indulgence.

salvia8Mealy blue sage, Mealy sage, Mealycup sage, or Blue Salvia is in the Lamiaceae (Mint) Family.  Bees love it.

The botantical name is Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’.   Like other non-scientific types, when I hear the Latin names, I have flashbacks to high school biology that brings shivers down my spine.

But these scientific names is key to understanding the question about sages and salvias.

The plant classification system used today was developed by a Swedish Scientist, Carolus Linnaeus, in the 1700’s.  He put plants into groups based on similarity of form.  The categories for living things are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Series, Family, Genus,  Species, and Variety.

Only Genus and Species concern us to answer our question about sages and salvias.  These two names are the ones listed for each plant.  The first name is the genus and should be capitalized.  The second name is the species name and is not capitalized.  Sometimes a variety follows the species name to show a slight difference from the classified plant.

The answer to the question:  A sage can be a salvia, but not all sages are salvias.  Let’s see why.

salvia9Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the Lamiacae or mint family with nearly 1,000 species of shrubs, herbaceous, perennials, and annuals.

If a sage is the same as a salvia, it must be in the same salvia genus.  There is no genus for sage.

salvia6This is Texas Sage, also known as Purple Sage, Cenizo, Texas ranger, Texas Barometer bush, Texan Silverleaf, and Silverleaf.  This is the sage that is most associated with the Southwest and is the one referred to by Zane Grey in Riders of the Purple Sage.

This sage is also in the Lamiaceae or Mint Family.  But its botanical name is Leucophyllum frutescens.  So the Purple Sage is not a salvia.  Although it is in the same family, it is not in the same genus.

salvia7Although many of us grow this sage in mid to north Texas, it is not winter hardy and must be cut to the ground if freeze damage occurs.  It does better farther south than my zone 7b area.

salviaOne of the most popular sages the past few years and readily available in most nurseries is Salvia greggii.  They are available in different shades of red – such as Cherry, Navajo Bright Red.  There is even one called Lipstick.

Did you notice the word Salvia in its name?  So this sage is a salvia.

salvia2These are perennials that are drought tolerant and visited frequently by bees and other propagators.  Salvias are hot weather plants with square stems.  Many bloom from spring through first frost.  They do need some water to look their best.

Many salvias are scented, have flowers that grow on tall spikes above the foliage, and are attractive to many pollinators.

salvia3A sage that I love that is not a salvia is Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia).  Its scent when leaves are rubbed is one of its great characteristics.

salvia4Bees love Russian Sage.  It is hardy and has a long blooming season.

salviaaAnother sage that loves our climate is Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha).  It, too, is a sun lover.

Did you automatically look at the genus name?  I’m training myself to do that.

salviabHummingbirds feast on it.  One of the things I like about it is the velvety look, which is actually tiny hairs that cover it.  These hairs help reduce water loss.

It’s a perennial that must have plenty of sun.  It tends to get leggy and some branches can break if they get too heavy with flowers.  Just trim it as necessary.

salvia azureaThis is Prairie Sage, Pitcher Sage, Azure Sage, Giant blue Sage, or Blue Sage (Salvia azurea)  It’s another good plant for Central Texas and even further west.  Salvia flowers come in shades of blue, red, white, and yellow, although rarely yellow.

The defining characteristic of the genus Salvia is the unusual pollination mechanism.  Salvias have two stamen rather than the four of most flowers.  The covering of each stamen is divided down the center, but connected. salviagraphicWhen a pollinator enters the flower probing for nectar, which is found deep in the flower, this pushes the posterior anther.  This causes the stamens to move up, which then deposits the pollen on the back of the bee or other pollinator.

salviapollinatormechanism3As the pollinator withdraws from the flower, the lever returns the stamen to its former position.   Then when the pollinator goes to another flower, the pollen can only be transferred if the flower’s stigma is bent down in a general location that corresponds to where the pollen was deposited on the pollinator’s body.

salviapollenThis gorgeous photo and the next one by Dave Leiker show the stamen lever mechanism in action.

beepollen2

salvia involucrate 'Hadspen'This Big Mexican Sage or Roseleaf Sage (Salvia involucrate ‘Hadspen’) grows in zones 7 to 11.  Another salvia on my wish list.

Most salvias and sages do well in Texas.  Generally, most salvias need minimal water and soil that drains well.  Also, cutting them back slightly, about a third, in mid summer brings new blooms.

There are even a few tropical salvias and some that survive in colder climates.

So science really is the answer to the question “Is it a sage or a salvia?”.  Both names can apply to the same plant if the genus is salvia.  If the genus is different, it’s only a sage.

Both sages and salvias are terrific plants for most of Texas and many other parts of the US.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far.  You are great to have persevered.  Please leave comments if you have other information about this subject.

Following my usual closing with a quote is a list of different salvias and sages.  Whenever I could find the information, I listed the hardiness zones.  Maybe you’ll find one that you’d like to try.

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny …’” Issac Asimov

Sages:
Lamiacea Family (mint family) Genus Salvia:

Arizona sage, Desert indigo sage – Salvia arizonica
Zone 5 – 7
Autumn Sage, Cherry sage, Gregg salvia – Salvia greggii
Zone 7 – 9
Belize Sage – Salvia miniata         Zone 10 – 11
Bi Color– Salvia sinaleoensis        Zone 8
Big Mexican Sage, Roseleaf Sage – Salvia infovucrate           Zone 7 – 11
Big red sage, Penstemon sage – Salvia penstemonoides     Zone 6 – 10
Black sage, California black sage – Salvia mellifera                  Zone 6 – 10
Black & Blue Sage, Brazilian Sage, Blue Anise Sage, Majestic Sage – Salvia guaranitica ‘Black & Blue’       Zone 8 – 11
Baby Sage – Salvia microphylla                     Zone 7 – 11
Blue sage – Salvia pachyphylla                      Zone 6 – 9
Blue Shrub Sage – Salvia ballotaeflora          Zone 7 – 11
Bog Sage – Salvia uliginosa                           Zone 6 – 10
California sage, Chia Golden chia – Salvia columbariae          Zone 7 – 10
California white sage, White sage – Salvia apiana   Zone 9 – 10
Canyon sage – Salvia lycioides          Zone 6 – 9
Cedar sage – Salvia roemeriana         Zone 7 – 10
Clary Sage – Salvia viridis                    All US zones
Clary Sage – Salvia horminum               Zone 3 – 10
Clustered sage – Salvia whitehousei                    Texas native Zone unknown
Creeping sage – Salvia sonomensis         Zone 7 – 10
Crimson sage – Salvia henryi A. Gray          Texas native
Death Valley Sage, Woolly sage – Salvia funereal                  Grows near Death Valley
Desert indigo sage, Arizona sage – Salvia arizonica              Zones 6 – 11
Engelmanns sage – Salvia engelmannii        Zone 7 – 9
Fragrant sage, Blue sage, Cleveland sage – Salvia clevelandii Zone 8 – 10
Fushia Sage – Salvia iodantha              Zone 8 – 11
Grey Shrub Sage – Salvia chamedryoides        Zone 7 – 10
Indigo Spires – Salvia ‘indigo spires’              Zone 7 – 11
Isla Hummingbird sage, Pitcher sage, Crimson Sage – Salvia spathacea           Zone 7 – 11
Indigo Spires Sage – Salvia Indigo Spires            Zones 7 – 11
Lanceleaf sage, Mintweed – Salvia reflexa        unknown zones
Lemmon’s sage – Salvia lemmonii                     unknown zones
Lyreleaf sage, Cancer weed – Salvia lyrata L.    unknown zones
*Mealy blue sage, Mealy sage Mealycup sage, Blue Salvia – Salvia farinacea         Zone 7 – 11
*Mexican Bush Sage – Salvia leucantha              Zone 8 – 10
Mountain sage, Royal Sage – Salvia regal          Tropical zones
Munz’s sage San Miguel mountain sage, San Diego Sage – Salvia munzii          Zone 8 – 11
Nettleleaf sage, Nettle-leaved sage, Wild sage – Salvia urticifolia L.           SE US
Pineapple Sage – Salvia elegans              Zone 8 – 11
Pink Little Leaf Sage – Salvis Grahamii        Zone unknown
Pitcher sage, Big blue sage, Azure sage, Giant blue sage, Blue sage, Priarie Sage – Salvia azurea             Zone 4 – 9
Purple sage, Gray ball sage, Dorri sage, Desert sage – Salvia dorrii             Zone 5 – 9
Scarlet Sage, Tropical Sage, Blood sage – Salvia coccinea   Zone 7b – 10b
Scarlet Sage, Red Sage – Salvia splendens      unknown zones
Shrubby blue sage, Blue Shrub Sage, Mejorana – Salvia ballotiflora       unknown zone
San Luis purple sage Purple – Salvia leucophylla  Zone 6a – 10b
Scallopleaf sage – Salvia vaseyi          High desert elevations

Mint Family (Lamiaceae) Sages that are not Salvias:

Bladder Sage, Paperbag bush, Heartleaf Skullcap – Scutellaria Mexicana                       Texas and La. native
Bladder Sage, Mexican bladdersage – Salazaria Mexicana     Zone 8 – 20
Island pitchersage – Lepechinia fragrans      California endangered plant
*Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia             Zone 4a – 9b

Aster Family (Asteraceae) Sages that are not Salvias

Big sagebrush, Great Basin sagebrush – Artemisia tridentate Zone 4 – 9
Black sagebrush – Artemisia nova A. Nelson           Zone 4 – ?
Beach sagebrush, Beach wormwood, Sand hill sage – Artemisia pycnocephala           Zone 9 – 10
Bud sagebrush, Budsage – Artemisia spinescens   Semi-desert
California sagebrush, Coastal sagebrush – Artemisia californica Zone 7 – 10 coastal
Louisiana Artemisia, Louisiana sage, White sage, Prairie sage, Silver sage, White sagebrush, Louisiana wormwood, Silver wormwood, Louisiana sagewort, Gray sagewort, Cudweed sagewort, Mugwort wormwood – Artemisia ludoviciana            Zone 5 – 10
Prairie sagewort, Prairie Sagebrush, Frienged sage, Pasture sage – Artemisia fridiga             from Mexico to Siberia
Silver sagebrush, Coaltown sagebrush, Dwarf sagebrush, Hoary sagebrush, Silvery sagebrush – Artemisia cana Pursh    Southwest US

Sages in Other Families that are not Salvias

Periennial buckwheat, Wright buckwheat, Wild buckwheat, Bastard sage – Eriogonum wrightii          Zone 5 – 10
Buttonsage, Button-sage – Lantana involucrate       Zone 8a – 11
Jerusalem Sage – Phlomis fruticosa           Zone 7 – 11
Royal penstemon, Royal beardtongue, Sagebrush penstemon, Sagebrushtongue – Penstemon speciosus       Zone 5 – 10
Sagebrush buttercup – Ranunculus glaberrimus Hook.      Western US
Texas sage, Cenizo, Purple sage, Texas ranger, Texas barometer bush, Texas silverleaf, Silverleaf – Leucophyllum frutescens  Zone 8 – 11

Garden Memories, Hopes

When the skies are dreary and the yard is barren, I look for any color, shape, light to lift my spirits.  Although we have not had the rough winter like most of the US, winter cold makes me long for spring.  Guess living most of my life in a dry, hot environment has become part of who I am.

afterfreeze1A few pots of Pansies are still alive – scraggly, but colorful.

afterfreeze2Green from Yellow Columbine sticks out between dead Woodland Fern.  In the spring, I’ll be mumbling about Columbine coming up unwanted in this bed.  Now I’m glad to see something alive.

afterfreeze3Good ole reliable Blue Spruce Stonecrop Sedum keeps on keeping on.

afterfreeze4Underneath these resting Daylily stalks lies the bulbs that will provide new stalks and gorgeous flowers in the spring.  The promise of new life encourages all gardeners.

afterfreeze5Dead Senna branches will need to be cut off to the ground in the spring, but now they provide seeds for birds.

winteryyar3Twirling Hummingbirds make me smile in all seasons.

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winteryyard2Not much rain this fall and winter, so I like the looks of some melting ice on tree branches.

winteryyardThe sunlight made them sparkle like diamonds.

winteryyard4All the Gomphera heads are white now rather than the bright red ones that will bloom in the spring.  Each of these hold about 100 seeds.  They will be so thick that thinning will be required.  I plan to move some to a new bed and to share some.

winteryyard5Pansies just amaze me.  I guess because I’m such a wuss in the cold.

winteryyard8We’ve had several Cardinals in the yard this year.  They are so wary that my attempts at photographing them has not been very successful.

winteryyard9Talk about bringing a bright color to the yard.  I love to watch them from inside a warm house.

“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s accepted by a majority.”  unknown

A Walk Following Freezes

One sunny afternoon a couple of weeks ago, we took a walk through some pastures.

winterwalkLots of tall dried Broomweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) or Broom snakeweed to get through.  Fortunately, cows had made a passable path.

Bloomweed is a prenniel with small yellow flowers from June to October.  It can take over pastures preventing grasses from growing.

It is also toxic to cattle, sheep, and goats.  So Broomweed is not a desirable plant.

winterwalk2Lots of dead grasses shine in the late afternoon sun.

winterwalk3An old plow use to till the soil.  I think.

winterwalk4Don’t know what decade this is from.

winterwalk5Garden chairs like this rusting one can often be seen in “antique” stores.

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winterwalk9This tiny Prairie Verbena still blooming was a surprise.  They are hardy, though.

winterwalkaA Live Oak that has succumbed to Oak Wilt.  A sad reality that is widespread in Texas.

winterwalkb Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata) is an evergreen.  I recently read that it’s a good barrier shrub because it is so prickly.

winterwalkcAn overturned old deer blind lies next to a Live Oak.  The low sun provides interesting shadows.

winterwalkdAt the bottom of this dead oak is a deep hole – probably a fox lair.

winterwalkeOne area of our property has some Post Oak trees.  Those are not common here, so the soil must have just enough sand to suit their needs.  Post Oaks are finicky and don’t like human interference.  But their leaf production is prolific.

winterwalkiBare branches with a pretty form.

The small sign beside this tree is one of a Burma Shave style of old road signs.  Our group states that “Life is too short to live in the Metroplex.  Amazing Grace Ranch.”  Although we lived in the metroplex of Ft. Worth/Dallas for over 30 years, our personal lifestyle choice now embraces country living.

winterwalkhThis wagon is from the 1880’s.  Love to muse on where it traveled and what it meant to the survival of someone.

winterwalkj

winterwalkgThis iron brace may have been added later.

Beauty is all around us, even in stark winter.

“Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”  Doug Larson

Bygone Eras

Although Christmas has come and gone, I want to show the rest of the Weatherford Candlelight Tour that we attended earlier this month.

tour2weatherfordgThis house was built in the 1920’s but had major renovation in the late 40’s.  The present owners are in the process of restoring with as many original details as possible.

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tour2weatherford1These shelves  in the kitchen look original.  It reminds me of older relatives’ homes.  The tiles are obviously recent.

tour2weatherford2How about those prices.

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tour2weatherford4A tree full of sweet goodies.

tour2weatherford6This English cottage house was built in the early 1900’s.  It was enlarged and redone in 1989.

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tour2weatherfordaDining table decoration ideas seem endless.

tour2weatherford9tour2weatherfordbThis is the headboard in the master.  A small bedroom connected to this room was converted into a large walk-in closet.  We ladies like our modern conveniences and space.

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tour2weatherfordeAlong the side of the house by the driveway is another entry – probably from an earlier time.

tour2weatherfordfPoinsettias give some color to the side flowerbed.  Very attractive placement of seasonal flowers with the agave and statue.

tour2weatherfordhThis 1907 house shows the bygone lifestyle of the rich in the area.  There is a carriage house in the back.  This property has been in the same family for 107 years.  The great grand-daughter of the original owner lives here and has displayed furniture and decor from the early 1900’s.

tour2weatherfordiThis greeter sorta looks the part of a gentleman from that period.

tour2weatherfordjStepping in from the front door, there are two parlors, one beside the other.  I’m guessing one was for the ladies and the other for the gentlemen.

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tour2weatherfordmThis is one of the chairs that have been in the family since the house was built.

tour2weatherfordnLots of lace has been used throughout the house.  The rose folded napkin is clever.

tour2weatherfordoA nook in the dining room.

tour2weatherfordqA volunteer in a bedroom decorated for a child.  It’s actually used as a guest room.

tour2weatherfordpThis hanging up above the bed is rare antique Normandy lace and serves as a headboard.

Lace was an important factor in 16th-century world trade. The art began in Italy in the early 1500s as a pastime for upper class women. These ladies passed the skill along to nuns, who  meditated while creating the lace.  This also produced income for their convents. The practice spread from convent to convent throughout Italy until, in the late 1500s, the demand for lace products was great enough that private manufacturing workshops were established.

French laces were generally lighter and airier in design than their Italian counterparts, and by 1650, Alencon in Normandy was known to produce the finest and most delicate lace.

King Louis XIV called for the manufacture of vast quantities of lace and the industry grew rapidly.  Every woman in the royal court wore a headdress of Alencon lace.  Alencon lace became known as the lace of queens.

Today, a few dedicated women continue to practice the intricate techniques of point d’Alencon.  Most are descended from the original women who created the lace.  They learned the skills from older family members.

The creation of Alencon lace requires nine complex steps.  In the traditional manner, almost every step is performed by a different lace maker, each with her own specialty.  Final assembly of all pieces of the lace requires the skill of a senior lace maker. She must be an expert in all stitches and capable of blending the work of many hands into an apparently seamless whole.

tour2weatherfordrAt the next house, the volunteers dressed in a zoot suit and a flapper dress represented this1920’s home.  This was a quick walk thru tour with little of the house open to the tour.

tour2weatherfordsIn the backyard, I was struck by this volunteer.  He looks authentic to the old west.

tour2weatherfordtCheery Christmas vulture on top of a shed.

tour2weatherforduI like this little girl water fountain at Chandor Gardens.  Since I’ve posted three times before about these gardens, click here to read more detail about this wonderful place.

tour2weatherfordvOutside the Chandor home angels herald the good news.

tour2weatherfordwA grand dining room that seats twenty.

tour2weatherfordxThis tabletop setting of small owls is used each Christmas in the Chandor home.

tour2weatherfordyThe Pythian Home is a wow castle looking sight.  It was built in 1907 as a home for widows and orphans.  It is still owned and operated by the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization.  It currently houses children temporarily placed there by the court until their parents can care for them.

tour2weatherfordzThe rooms are massive with wide, grand staircases.  The furnishings seem to be original or at least, in that style.  The heavy brocade drapes and satin covered settees invoke a bygone era.  Of course, we only saw the guest rooms reserved for visiting board members.  So I don’t know what the children’s rooms look like.

tour2weatherfordzzOur next stop was the Museum of the Americas. It’s a small building crammed full of artifacts from ancient people groups from South America to North America.  The owners and collectors are husband and wife professors.  It deserves more time to explore than we had left.

Thanks for indulging me on this tour.  I appreciate your time in looking at my posts.  May 2015 be filled with joy and peace for you and your family.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”  Ben Franklin

Decorating Outside the Box

The 33rd Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes was held the second weekend in December in Weatherford, TX.  Eleven sites were open for a very reasonable ticket price.  These included homes, museums, a children’s home and a garden.

weatherforddecor7First, we bought our tickets at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  I think it’s on the tour each year, but there is always a special exhibit.

weatherforddecorThis Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii) in the entry area caught my eye because the branches are so tall.

weatherforddecor1Plus, the leaves and flowers are sparse.

crownofthornsThis is one I have at home.  Following advice online, I cut the top off when it reached about 10 inches tall.  Then it branched out.

weatherforddecor2And here is the inspiration for the name – Crown of Thorns.  And, of course, the reference to the one that was forced on Jesus at his trial.

weatherforddecor3Now to the special exhibit:  paintings of Homer Norris.  The ones that appealed to me the most were of children.

weatherforddecor4Homer was one of eleven children born to a brilliant yet poor Aledo welder during the bleak days of the Great Depression.  He was drawn to the romantic history of Parker County’s artifacts and relics and the stark beauty of the area.

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weatherforddecor6This pictures evoke strong emotions about childhood.

weatherforddecoryNow to the house that provided the title for this post.

weatherforddecor8Just stepping upon the porch, I had the sense that a creative woman lived here.  That may sound sexist, but usually, the lady of the house does the decorating.

weatherforddecor9Mercury glass ornaments hanging from the porch – what a simple, but attractive detail.

weatherforddecoraThe home owners made good use of old items, like these washtubs and blades from a windmill.

weatherforddecorbThe staircase ornaments looked old but probably weren’t.

weatherforddecorc

weatherforddecordAlthough this would be a great mantel vignette, it is on top of a bookcase.

weatherforddecoreIn a small hallway, simple hanging ornaments on one side keeps it interesting.

weatherforddecorfOn the opposite wall these small boxes hold a variety of items.  A few Christmassy things have been added, like the jar of floating cranberries.

weatherforddecorgMost of the older homes we saw used several small Christmas trees scattered throughout the house, rather than a large one that takes up lots of space.

weatherforddecorhNow this, I could make next year.

weatherforddecoriA bedside table with unusual items.

weatherforddecorjDon’t you love how old factory thread spools and a cotton carder can be highlighted with some seasonal candy?

weatherforddecorkOld homes have character, but they also have drawbacks with small bathrooms.  Plus, most only had one bathroom.  So some renovation is necessary to provide modern conveniences.

weatherforddecorlYou’ll see a theme.  This lady likes old window frames.

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weatherforddecornA candy dish filled with old door handles.  The small details really added to this home.

weatherforddecoroThis old store display rack for cards stands in one corner of the living area.

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weatherforddecorqWhat a lovely table setting.

weatherforddecorsThe kitchen was updated or added on.

The homeowner made these wreathes from one old Methodist hymnal.  I looked closely at them.  They appear to be pages from the hymn book cut into squares, probably about 3 or 4 inches.  Then each square is gathered up from the center, twisted, and stuck into a styrofoam wreath with a pin.

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weatherforddecoruAll of her antique (or at least, old) finds were displayed creatively.  This hanging cabinet was made from scrap lumber and old reclaimed doors.

weatherforddecorwAs we left the house, this tree along the street hung over the fence.

weatherforddecorxI don’t know what it is, but it was full of these small berries.

weatherforddecorvA carriage ride was included in the tour ticket.  This one was waiting outside this home, so we hopped on for a short spin.

Wherever you live, it’s fun to take in events in the area.  I recommend giving them a try.

The next post will finish up this particular tour.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.  May your lives be filled with the joy of Christmas all year long.

“The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

Granbury, TX, Tour, part 2

The last post about the Granbury Candlelight Tour of Homes showed houses near the town center.  After hosting these home tours for over 30 years, it must be a struggle for these small towns to come up with historical homes each year.

So they also choose some homes with interesting features, but not necessarily old.

grandburystourIn a new section of town is this home built in the Victorian style with Queen Anne style towers.

grandburystour1Notice the bobbing tassel on the volunteer’s hat.

grandburystour2The large interior is modern and comfortable.

grandburystour3These rounded shrubs on the back balcony are artificial.

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grandburystour5The dining room table sits at the back of the house in the open kitchen area.

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grandburystour7Nice outfit.

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grandburystour9This Greek Revival style clapboard church was built in 1889.

grandburystouraNativities are displayed inside.

grandburystourbOver 900 creches belong to one woman.

grandburystourcTwo long tables in the center of the room were filled on both sides.

grandburystourdTables along the walls were also full.

grandburystoureMany of the mangers came from overseas.  If you’ve ever started a collection, you know that people often bring that item to you from their trips or just from a great find.

grandburystourfMy mother’s collection of camels grew into the hundreds because people enjoyed adding to it.

grandburystourgWork on this house began in 1940 when construction materials were scarce.  The “peanut brittle” or random pattern limestone stone exterior was done by a mason from a neighboring town.

grandburystourhThe front part of the house had these impressive wood floors.  The wood strips are 2 x 4’s laid with the small side facing up.  No nails were needed because the deep wood planks stood firmly up.  Can you imagine what a solid floor that is.

grandburystouriThe last stop was the First Presbyterian Church which was built in 1896.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get a picture of its beautiful exterior.

Although taking these tours might appeal more to females, it’s amazing how many men also attend.  Especially those who live in the community who want to see the inside of houses they drive by often.

“Get on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”  unknown

Granbury, TX, Tour of Homes

Several decades ago, Granbury began to transform itself from a sleepy little town into a tourist destination.  Being about an hour from Ft. Worth makes it attractive to city folk for a day or a week-end jaunt.  Now, gift shops, restaurants, bed and breakfast homes, and special events like the Candlelight Tour of Homes this past weekend have provided a healthy economy for the area.

grandburytourMost of the homes on the tour were within walking distance of the courthouse square.  The first home we visited from the list provided with our ticket purchase was the above house built in the early ’60’s.  The most recent homeowner has decorated with as much retro furniture and accessories as she could find.

grandburytour1This nook is just off the main hallway leading to the two bedrooms.  It’s obviously Santa’s office.

grandburytour2There is a collection of angels inherited from the owner’s mother plus some that she has bought.

grandburytour3grandburytour4The dining room table placed to one side of the living room is set with dishes from her mother.

grandburytour5In the galley kitchen is a breakfast table also set with period pieces obtained from several different places.  For those of us who lived through that time, the orange and turquoise bring back memories.

I regretfully did not get an overall picture of any of the rooms.  In my defense, it was difficult with groups of people touring and the small size of the rooms.

grandburytour6The back porch had been enclosed.  Period chairs, a sofa, and small end tables make for a cozy retreat.  The angel wings were made by a local artist.

grandburytour7I tend to focus on small decorative items.

grandburytour8The next house was built in the late 1880’s.

grandburytour9To the right of the main house and set back is a new addition which had a large master bedroom and bath upstairs and a den living area downstairs.

The kitchen had also been renovated.  The homeowner answered my questions how many changes could be allowed and still have a state historical site designation.  Her answer:  inside renovations are not a major concern but outside changes are carefully monitored.  The original house must be evident from the outside.  So even if the addition was constructed to match, there must be enough different details to show it to be new.  Also, any additions must follow the original roof line.  Each step of the process required copious paperwork and approvals.

grandburytouraCute santa decoration.

grandburytourbDocents were dressed in period costumes.

grandburytourcThe next house was built in the 1880’s by the town pharmacist on 100 acres purchased at that time.

I did not take pictures inside.   Only the downstairs was open and the rooms were too small and dark.

grandburytourlOn the square across from the courthouse is Granbury Live, which is a theater where musicals are performed.  The building has served different functions in the past:  stores, offices, etc.

Several years ago we attended many productions at Granbury Live, but never noticed a separate entrance to an upstairs apartment.  In fact, the man who started the theater lived there with his wife.

grandburytourdIt is a 5,000 sq. feet home that was totally renovated by him.  He did the iron work throughout the place.

grandburytoureThe metal ladder led to a cozy sleeping area for their grandchildren.

The corrugated tin ceilings are not the underside of the actual roof, but an aesthetic western touch.

grandburytourgThe theater owner constructed the shiny metal kitchen island.

grandburytourfStars are welded on top in several places.

The kitchen was a mirror image with two of everything.  Starting at the center sink of the cabinets, each side of the kitchen were the same with dual appliances ending with a refrigerator on each side of the kitchen.  No explanation was given for this.

grandburytourhAll of the bathrooms except the master one had the same decor.  In some of them. the floors were raised because the baths had been added and needed plumbing space.

grandburytouriThe man who created all this died in a motorcycle accident around 2007.  His widow no longer lives here.  Currently, offices for a company occupy the space.

grandburytourjOne side of the large master bathroom.

grandburytourkArt decor lights along the hallways.

grandburytourmAs we left the apartment, I noticed these clever snowmen just outside a shop.  This store and many others all around the square are just examples of why tourists flood this town each weekend.

grandburytournOne wispy Gregg’s Blue Mist Flower hanging on.  I think the darker reddish plant is a potato vine.

On my next blog, I’ll finish the tour.

“If you have a garden and a library, then you have everything you need.” Cicero