Veggies and Other Goodies

At the Dallas Arboretum, we strolled through their new vegetable garden area and continued through all the gardens.

This is Mustard “Garnet Giant” (Brassica juncea).  The veggie plots were raised beds about 6′ x 6′.  Very neat and tidy.  No surprise there.

Everything looked so healthy, like this Cabbage “Ruby  Perfection” (Brassica oleracea).  The mulch throughout all the gardens are crushed pecan shells.  They obviously have a contract with a pecan shelling company.  Wish I knew a source.

Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Confession:  I don’t personally grow vegetables but certainly appreciate the work involved and the results.

Around the vegetable beds are plots of low growing flowers.

Looking from that area is this lovely view of White Rock Lake.

Heading into a shadier area is a plot of ‘Marvel’ Mahonia.  I’ve seen these in other public gardens but have never seen them in bloom in the fall.

Chinese Fringe Flower ‘Purple Pixie’ (Loropetalum chinese) are decked out in their spring garbs ready for the Easter Parade.

Every time I see these in bloom, I think about buying one.  But, their cold hardiness is just at the edge of our zone.  Plus, I did try a couple of dwarf ones and they froze the first winter.  Still, sigh, they are so striking.

The Arboretum has many peaceful places like this small little stream.

These delicate white flowers look like Lily of the Valley flowers.

This tall urn sat on a concrete column, so it was above our head.

Lots of new things have been constructed since our last visit.

This was unique.  Wonder if they plan to put in Koi?

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina), with its soft, fuzzy leaves, just begs to be touched.

Forsythia ‘Spectabils’ (Forsythis x intermedia) is spectacular, especially in a mass planting.

One of the many things this public garden does well is to provide many small peaceful vinegettes.  They also have lots of benches where one can rest a spell.

These ornamental cabbages are so pretty with their frilly, lace leaves.

Edibles and non-edibles abound in this wonderful garden.  Hope you have a place to amble along a wandering path and savor nature.  Have a wonderful spring.

“The journey is the destination.”  Dan Eldon

Mellow Yellow

Whether you prefer the soft colors or the bright bold colors for flowers, they bring a special lift to those who take time to enjoy garden sights.

columbine6Early spring brings the delightful Columbine (Aquilegia) blossoms.

columbine3Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for “eagle” because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle’s claw.  I’m guessing that refers to the long antenna-like spikes shown above.

columbine4The common name “columbine” comes from the Latin for “dove” due to the resemblance of the flower to five doves clustered together.  Some wild imaginations those botanists had.

columbine5To me, they look more like tiny comets zooming in the wind.  They are very hardy perennials.  I’ve seen pictures of purple and deep red columbines.  But only two varieties survive in Texas – this yellow one and one that is called red.  But the red one is really a combination of red and yellow.  This solid yellow one is the more common here and the hardiest.

columbine2Columbine are invasive.  Mine have scattered all around and are in pots and several flowerbeds.  If it really bothered me, I would pull them up.  For s couple of years I have dug them out of a flowerbed that I want designated for wood fern only.

All of mine get morning or diffused sunlight and shade in the afternoon.  They don’t seem to be particular about soil.

cabbageflowerIn the past other gardeners have told me to cut off the stems that flower on certain plants.  For instance, an ornamental cabbage, like the one above.  This year I decided to forget that advice and see what the flowers look like.  They’re more impressive than the plant itself.

“Spending an evening on the World Wide Web is much like sitting down to a dinner of Cheetos.   Two hours later your fingers are yellow and you’re no longer hungry, but you haven’t been nourished.”  Clifford Stoll