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

Quigley’s Castle

Quigley’s Castle outside of Eureka Springs is one of those odd tourist attractions that makes one curious enough to stop.

quigleyElise Quigley had described her vision for the house, but had to make a miniature model before her husband Albert and an architect could understand what she wanted.  Using lumber from the property, Albert and a neighbor built the house in 1943.

Elise and her children made the bricks for the outside from the collection of rocks she had accumulated since her childhood.

QuileyOn two sides of the two story home are large windows to provide light for tropical plants that grow in a three foot deep gap between the windows and where the flooring begins.  So the plants grow directly in soil.

Quiley2This shot looks up to the second story garden space.  Planks were laid to create shelves for pot plants.

Quiley3This picture was made from the second floor looking down in the growing space.

Quiley1In one corner upstairs is a collection of shells and plants.

Quiley5Some of the plants reach up to the second story.  I think this one is a Hibiscus.

Quiley4On one wall hung a collage Mrs. Quigley created from butterflies and shells.  It looks like some kind of resin was poured on top since it has a reflective finish.

Quiley6It actually works like a mirror:  The window and railing are behind us as I take the photograph.

Quiley7It’s a small house, so it’s amazing that they had five children living there.  Although two sons were serving overseas in WW II, so I’m not sure they ever lived there.

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QuileyaThe kitchen seemed especially claustrophobic to me.

QuileyaaAlthough Mrs. Quigley lived for forty years in this house, it is amazing how much hand rock work was done in the yard.

QuileybI also don’t know if this was done completely by her or if her family helped.

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QuileyccMr. Quigley inherited the 80 acres from his father and continued the lumber business of his family.

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QuileyddHow was she able to get all that cement during the war and the years following it?

QuileyeLook at the size of these rocks.  It makes my body ache to just think of the heavy lifting involved.

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QuileyfAll kinds of trees with intertwining vines grow on the property.

QuileygA sign by this furnace provided the following information. In 1998 the brick chimney in the kitchen began to leak smoke, so this furnace was installed. It heats the whole house, two outbuildings, and the hot water heater in the house. The fire in the furnace burns a little over a half cord from October to mid-April.

Since Mrs. Quigley died in 1984, someone else must live in the house now or maybe it’s heated for the tourists.

QuileyggJust think of the time involved in all of these projects.

QuileyhLoose stacked rock fence.

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QuileyiHens and Chicks growing in this planter.

QuileyiiThe tall slim towers are a puzzle.  There must be some kind of poles inside to keep them upright.

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QuileyjjPyracantha bushes at the back of the house.

QuileykI do like the small rock baskets.  Chrysanthemums and Pansies add some color.

QuileykkPeriwinkle or Vinca flowers scattered throughout the yard brightens up an autumn scene.

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QuileynnNext to the parking area is an interesting tree with a burl.

QuileyoThe bright red tree is a Sugar Maple, I think.

QuileyooThis house and the yard may seem tacky to many people.  But I was impressed with the work behind it all.  It’s important to have a passion about something.  And it’s obvious that that she loved nature, specifically plants and rocks.  So I applaud her for living her dream.

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”   Lorraine Hansberry