Community Garden

The pictures in this post were taken at a Community Garden in the small town of Menard.  There are raised beds that can be rented for growing vegetables.  The garden is also used to teach Jr. Master Gardeners. They have a separate section with raised beds for them.

A large section of the garden contains different bushes, flowers, and vines.  This is a type of Salvia.

The flowers on Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) have a velvet look and feel.  The problem is that it needs warmer winters.  So, alas, it freezes back when I try to grow it.  But it is a gorgeous plant.

Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana) also needs more tropical growing conditions.

The unique flowers have the paper-thin look of Bougainvillas.  The actual flower is the white part.

Zinnas are an economical way to bring color into the garden.  So easy to grow.

A must for Texas gardens:  Gregg’s Blue Mist Flower (Conoclinium greggii.).  Queen Butterflies flock to it.

Morning Glory Tree (Ipomoea carnea) loves our heat but not the freezing winter times in my area.

The rains have made it difficult to keep up with weeding.  Since this garden is manned by volunteers, it’s easy to see how it’s possible to be crowded with plants growing unchecked.

One couple teaches the Jr. Master Gardeners and takes care of this garden.  They recruit volunteers whenever possible.  What a heart for their community.

Another tropical plant is Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima).  Their bright color certainly steals the scene and makes us all drool for one.  Unfortunately, I’ve learned that no matter how much you want some plants, if they won’t survive the winter, forget them.

Just look at that flower that screams the Caribbean Islands.

Now back to a solid performer.

Esperanzass (Tecoma Stans) are coveted for their beautiful yellow tubular flowers.  Mine always freeze.  Some people say they have better luck than I do.

And what would a Texas garden be without a pepper plant.  Not sure which one this is.

Good old Zinnas grow wherever there is a little bit of soil.

Anyone with a garden anywhere knows that plant choices are important.  Sometimes we cannot plant something we really like.

“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”  John F. Kennedy

Intimate Garden

Douglas Chandor created a garden with many refreshing areas inviting contemplation or just chilling out .  And he did it in a field in West Texas.  See the previous post for more details about the beginnings of Chandor Gardens.

rockypondEven while he worked hauling rocks, constructing fountains and bridges, and planting trees, bushes, and flowers, he continued his life work as a portrait artist.

churchhillpaintingPresident Roosevelt commissioned Chandor to paint the portraits of the Yalta participants.  Stalin refused to pose but sent a photograph.  That project was not finished.  But he did paint the other two men.  The story goes that while he was painting Churchill, who was an artist himself, Churchill got up out of his chair and walked to the painting.  He wanted his midsection made slimmer, so Churchill picked up a paint brush and proceeded to make that change himself.

FDRpaintingChandor’s paintings of FDR and Herbert Hoover are at the National Gallery, while a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt hangs in the White House.

yellowdaisiesThis looks like a Texas native – one of those yellow daisy looking ones that are so plentiful.

sidewalkThis long stone pathway with letters made from brick was Chandor’s tribute to his wife.  Called Ina’s Walkway, in Latin it says “May this little garden flourish, consecrated to Ina, in the year of Our Lord Edward the Eighth, forevermore.”

redyuccaA native Red Yucca grows in front a pile of rocks.

potmixturePentas grow in a pot with an exotic looking Shrimp plant (Justicia Brandegeana).

waterfall2The house was built on a small hill of four acres.  This allowed Chandor to lower some areas and create different elevations.  The higher levels provided a method to build natural looking waterfalls.  Note the silver ball on a lower ledge.  The falling water spins the ball.

plaqueUnfortunately, this was not to be.  Chandor died at age 55 in 1953 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

pinktreeflowersThese pale pink flowers look like False Foxglove, but I can’t really identify this plant..

lizardThis lizard’s movement were jerky, so he was difficult to photograph.  Periodically, his throat would swell and puff out.  He looks like a Carolina anole.  The extended dewlap is used to attract females and to show their dominance over a territory.  He may have felt threatened by our presence.

oleanderThis plant I know.  Oleander is a great friend to southwestern states.  They grow almost anywhere in the hot sun, no matter the soil.  They are old standby plantings used by the highway departments in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona and probably others.

lordnelsonLord Nelson?  Darwin?  Cute statue.  It’s actually the Mad Hatter.

grapegate3The grape vine gate had been recently repainted.  Love how unique it is.

grapegate2

fountain2Many types of water features provide a cooling and calming atmosphere.  My next post will finish this visit to Chandor Gardens.

“Acquaintance is a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor and obscure, and intimate when he is rich and famous.”  Ambrose Bierce