Rewind December

The middle of December we attended the 34th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes in Weatherford.

museumThe first stop was the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  You can read more about this stagecoach and the museum from a previous post.

One of the docents demonstrated how the movement of the stagecoach felt to the paying customers inside the coach by rocking it back and forth.  Although the inside was plush with tufted velvet seats, the ride would have been bumpy with the passengers tossed to and fro.

museum1These collectibles brought back memories of Saturday mornings at the movies.  The cowboy movies of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry, etc. seemed so exciting at the times.  In reality, they were pretty bland.


museum3The local ranching history exhibits are in the permanent collection.

museum4The chuck wagon was an important fixture of cattle roundups and drives.


museum6Homemade quilts provided some warmth on cold, blustery days on the open plains.

museum5And a reminder of how tough life was in Indian territory.  Note the epitaph “Killed by Indians.”

museum8The longhorn represents how much the livelihood of the people in this area was dependent on cattle for many, many years.

This is a great little museum and well worth a visit.

museum9The first house we toured was the Jim Wright home, which now houses the Fire Department Headquarters.  Actually, Wright only lived here for two years as a child.

museumaLots of fire department memorabilia throughout the house.


museumcThis picture was taken to show the fine handcrafted wood dowels and other parts of the banister.

museumdI think this is Lindheimer’s Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri).   Such a beauty.  When the sunlight hits the seed head, it has a shiny glint.

“Perhaps the most important thing we can ever give each other is attention.” Rachel Naomi Remen

Tour of Austin Gardens

Last weekend we traveled to Austin for the Texas Book Festival and for the Inside Austin Gardens tour.  This post will focus on the gardens or more specifically, plants in those gardens.

Originally, I had planned to get sweeping views of the gardens.  Most of the yards were fairly small, but the crowd of people in them made it almost impossible to get the kind of pictures I wanted.  So I focused on plants that I like or would like to know more about.

The tour was billed as “gardens by gardeners”.  To me, this means that the design and work was done by the garden owner.  But of the six gardens, half were professionally landscaped.  All of the pictures in this post are from one garden.  This gardener designed her own garden but also designs for other people.

austingardensPhilippine Violet (Barleria cristata) is obviously a tropical bush.  Austin is a warmer cold tolerance zone than we are.  So this would have to be a pot plant here.  That’s true of so many of the plants that I coveted.

austingardens4Beautiful plant.

austingardens1American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) Mexican Beautyberry (Callicarpa acuminata) is a understory shrub that doesn’t tolerate freezes.  But I sure do like it.

austingardens2The Inside Austin Gardeners put labels in all the yards but not beside all the plants.  These labels were very helpful.

austingardens3Yellow Yucca (Hesperaloe Parviflora Yellow) is a slow growing succulent that like the Red Yucca should not be overwatered.  It seems to have fuller blooms when the plant is smaller than even a mature Red Yucca.

austingardens5Mexican Honeysuckle or Coral Honeysuckle (Justicia Spicigera) should be able to survive here.


austingardens7Cute garden art.  Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus) is behind the snake.  That’s a container plant here.

austingardens9Don’t know the names of these plants except for Gopher Plant (Euphorbia biglandulosa).  It’s the small succulent in the pot to the side of the main plant.  That’s actually Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense).

The larger plant is Paleleaf Yucca (Yucca pallida).

austingardensbThese pots, that are made from galvanized metal culvert pipes, are sold in at least one Austin nursery.

austingardenscThis home owner loves what I call prickly plants.  She has some really large ones that I didn’t get a picture of.

austingardenseThis ground cover was used in a large area instead of grass.  In fact, there was no grass in this whole yard.

austingardensfI think this is a salvia.  This is Amistad Salvia.

austingardensgAlso, don’t know the name of this ornamental grass.  It’s ‘Vertigo’ pennisetum.

A special thanks to the home owner Pam Penick who read this post and was kind enough to provide the correct information for some of the plants I misidentified or didn’t know the name of.

austingardensiSilver Ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri v. leucophylla) is a Texas native, but I don’t know if it will grow in our 7b zone.



austingardensmThere are lots of different muhly grasses in Texas.  Most have showy plumes.  This should have pale purplish-gray ones in autumn, but maybe it’s been too hot.

Pam, the home owner, has a popular blog.  A beautiful garden all around the house – probably my favorite one on the tour.

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Brian Gerald O’Driscoll