Sweet, Sweet Spring

Freed from our cocoons at last.  The warmth of the sun, the green buds on the trees, and a few colorful flowers is a blessing.  I’d do cartwheels, if I could.

Native Redbud trees by the side of rural roads in our area signals spring.

Some of them have paler blossoms.

Although you can’t see them in any of my pictures, there are tons of bees on the flowers.

The Redbuds with the darker flowers really pop.

Love them.

In the yard, things are greening up.  One the left is a Mock Orange bush.  To the right is a David Austin rose.

The Maple is forming leaves.  Not sure which variety of maple it is.

First couple of Dutch Iris have flowers.  After that artic freeze, it’s so reassuring when a plant shows signs of surviving.

Last fall I planted some tiny bulbs of Lady Jane Tulips (Tulipa clusiana).  The foliage had appeared this February when that devastating freeze hit.  But now, here the flowers have popped up.

I like their short stems that make them more sturdy in our strong winds.

This is how they look after the sun has risen high in the sky.

Lady Janes are Species Tulips, which means they are native to warmer areas, like the Mediterranean area.  So they do not need a deep cold to survive and should be a perennial.  Of course, time will tell how well they do here.

There are other species tulips, like the Texas Tulip and Tubergens Gem Tulip available at Southern Bulbs company in East Texas.  Usually, they only show the bulbs that are to be planted at that time on their website.

Redbuds only bloom a short time, so it will be time to say good-bye soon.  Enjoyed having you.

As spring wakes up our plants, this year it will be especially important to check out what survived the winter.  If we’re patient enough, maybe we’ll see that some things that look dead actually aren’t.  But if you’re like me, I’m ready to get on with it.

“If you think nobody cares if you are alive, try missing a couple of car payments.”  unknown

Tulips, Tulips, Tulips

Dallas Arboretum does a bang up job of seasonal flower displays.  It may not be Holland, but the tulips were spectacular.

Just inside the entrance gate is the first tulip bed we saw.

Stopped me in my tracks.

This is my favorite tulip – bright red with yellow edges on the petals.

Dark center gives it even more interest.

In a large open field-like area, there were many beds with different color combinations.  Other types of bulbs mixed in added more colors and textures.  Clusters of Delft Blue Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) filled some spaces.

One really huge oval shaped bed was about 75 feet in length.

Violas were used as borders and fillers.  This one is Penny Blue Viola (Viola Cornuta)

These small flowers made me realize that I don’t know the difference between violas and pansies.  So I did a little research. They have a similar look and are both in the viola family.  Both are cold hardy, but neither do well in warmer weather.

Pansies have larger blooms but fewer ones and take a longer time to spread.  Pansies are the favorite of buyers because the blotch faces on the flowers are familiar.

Violas have more blooms, perform better, fill in faster, and look better earlier than pansies.

Some of the tulips, like these yellow ones are hybrids with double petals.  This is Monte Carlo Double Early.  They look more like peonies than tulips.

The small orangish flowers are Nature Orange Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana).

More double and single tulips, yellow pansies, and yellow daffodils.

Got to admire how the colors of the different flowers coordinate.

To plant tulips in Texas is a monumental task.  First, they have to be chilled for a certain length of time.  Then, planted at just the right time.  And to plant multiple large swaths of colors together and with other plants that compliment each other blows my mind.  Sure, the Arboretum has a large staff to do that and many volunteers.  But still, kudos to the master mind behind it and to the workers who did the labor.

A totally different look with white daffodils and maroonish tulips.

A border of pink and blue Hyacinths.

Pale colors here look peaceful.

Here maroon tulips are paired with a pale yellow viola that makes the tulips really pop.

There’s mixture of singe and double tulips.

Another area with my favorites.  In the background, notice the low trimmed hedge in a circle shape close to the tree.  Interesting.

It was a special treat to slowly amble around and soak in the beauty of these early spring flowers.

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone.”  John Quincy Adams

Flowers at Mayfield Park

This is the last post about our visit to Mayfield Park in Austin.  The back area of the garden is devoted to flowers and is planted and maintained by volunteers.  I suspect they also selected and furnished the flowers.

mayfieldpark46This purple flower really caught my eye.  I don’t know what it is but who love to find out.

mayfieldpark47The color and whole appearance is attractive to me.

mayfieldpark44Then I came across another bed with the same flower in a   brilliant pink color.

mayfieldpark43mayfieldpark42Just wanted to keep snapping pictures of them.

We visited on a Saturday, which, of course, was a busy day.  Lots of photographers were taking pictures of couples, probably engagement pictures.  Others were shooting high school girls; so I figured that were doing graduation pix.  All this to say that I was trying to stay out of their way.  So I didn’t feel that I saw all the different flowers.

mayfieldpark49These sunlit tulips were beautiful.  Makes me wish that it were really possible to grow them here, and that the bulbs would survive like they do in cooler climates.

mayfieldpark41Wonderful peach color.

mayfieldpark51More daffodil types than I have ever seen except in bulb catalogs.

mayfieldpark50An unusual two toned one with a pale peach.

newmayfieldThis appeared to be a new plot.  All the plots of individuals ran together, so it was difficult to know if each plot was small like this one or if this part had just been replaced.  Occasionally, a volunteer’s name was displayed on a raised metal sign.

mayfieldpark53mayfieldpark48See what I mean about all different kinds of daffodils.

mayfieldpark45Someone else liked the peach tulips and had them in their bed.

mayfieldpark40A few Grape Hyacinths poked up among the leaves.

Having volunteers responsible for the garden area certainly helps out the park employees.  Since the flowers are seasonal and not native, I wonder how often they are changed out.

mayfieldpark23One last picture of a peacock.  Their shrill call and physical beauty is part of this park.

Lovely park to visit when one is in Austin.

“I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad.  Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.”  Helen Keller