While in San Angelo recently, we enjoyed strolling through a small park area bordering the Concho River. The key to success in public park spaces is meeting the needs of local people and knowing what grows well in your area.
The Concho River in West Texas seems like a strange place for a mermaid statue, but is actually appropriate since she is holding a Concho freshwater mussel that produces gorgeous pearls in many colors. The pink one is probably the most well known, even from the time of the Spanish conquistadors.
The sculptor, Jayne Charless Beck, was a San Angelo resident artist who passed away in 1993. After his death, this bronze casting of “The Pearl of the Concho” was donated to the city.
The draping of the Blue Plumbago’s long branches is an additional plus.
Some consider Mexican Feather Grass to be invasive. It has not been for me, but the top half of the plant should be cut off in winter to keep it from flopping and looking messy.
Salvia greggii should also be cut back severely in winter. Otherwise, it becomes too leggy. The species has several different flower colors.
I think this is Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetumsetaceum ‘Rubrum’), which is hardy in zones 9 – 11. It’s used as an annual in larger Texas cities.
One of my favorite ornamental trees or large bushes is Chaste Tree, Abraham’s balm, Monk’s pepper or Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus). They are just so reliable for our dry areas, plus they have gorgeous purple flower clusters. After the flowers die, the cluster of berries can be dried and used in arrangements.
Nothing is as refreshing as a walk through nature, even if it’s in the city or maybe, because it’s in the city.
“We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.” Will Rogers