Fayetteville Visit

Wherever I go, local plants are a must see.  Recently we were in Fayetteville, AR, for a wedding.  It was, of course, hot and HUMID.  But we did take a short walk on a path behind the hotel.

Fayetteville has an extensive paved bike and walking path.  This part was beside a small stream.

As expected, there were plants that I didn’t recognize.  Lovely clusters of pink flowers.  Because the growth along the water was so thick, it was difficult to determine which stems the flowers were growing on.  I was hesitant to put my hand down into the plants to pull them apart.

Many of the plants along the water were riparian, but it was surprising to see many plants that also do well in our drier area.  Mimosas (Albizia julibrissin) or Persian silk trees grow in our area but probably need extra watering.

Although it’s native to China, the botanical name comes from an Italian nobleman Filippo degli Albizzi, who brought them to Europe in the 1700’s.

These flowers are growing on individual stems from the main stems.  The flowers have a similar look as Black-eyed Susans.

This certainly looks like Desert False Indigo.  Correction.  A reader identified this as Sumac.

This is our Desert False Indigo in early spring. The leaves will fill in to make the plant look more like the one in Fayetteville.

The seed heads on the one in Fayetteville are little different shape.

The dark seed head clusters on ours are longer and thinner.  But surely they are in the same family.

On the other side of the walkway was a tall stone wall.  It was a retainer wall for the  higher ground level of the businesses at street level.

The bell like flowers are so pretty, but I wondered if they were invasive.  So many vines in our area are invasive and difficult to get rid of.  And some of them also have pretty flowers.

In late spring, I spent several hours digging up a vine with purple flowers that had become very well intrenched.  In the process, I had to lose quite a few other plants.

Along that same side of the path was this group of tall asters or sunflowers.  They reminded me of the Swamp Sunflowers in my yard.

But the flowers are very different.

Our Swamp Sunflowers have different flowers and leaves but are on tall stems.

The rehearsal dinner was outdoors.  Although the servers for the meal are messing up the aesthetics with their dishes on the rock wall of the flowerbed, the Hydrangeas still look glorious.

Hydrangeas originate in China, but the French hybridized them into the beauties we see today.  American growers have several varieties with a limelight shade of “mop heads”.

The world is full of amazing plants with specific needs.  Some people in our area do have success with hydrangeas, but they require lots of water, which in turn requires daily attention.

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except how to grow in rows.”  Doug Larson

Good-bye to Spring

As an unusually long, cool, wet spring comes to an end, we’re all counting our blessings.  This wonderful weather has been wide spread and a real treat.  It’s near the end of June and no really hot temperatures.  Hooray.It’s sad to say good bye to the spectacular show of Shasta Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum.)

Daisies are one of my favorite flowers.  Emphasis on the word “one”.  A Painted Lady is enjoying a flat landing spot.

Many gorgeous spirals on the Vitex or Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) has brought a sweet fragrance to the back yard.

In the front yard, another Vitex, but it almost seems like a different species.  The blossoms are smaller, a paler color, and not scented.  In front of the Vitex are some Flame Acanthus, which just keep spreading.

In late fall, I cut both Vitex back severely to keep them from becoming large trees because those are not nearly as attractive.

This flowerbed is anchored by the Vitex and a large Desert False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa). Between the large bush/trees are Cone Flowers and Rock Roses by the sidewalk.

Behind the Cone flowers is a Bridal Wreath Spiraea, a small Crepe Myrtle, and some Mexican Feather Grass.  So this bed is crammed full.

Cone Flowers (Echinacea purpurea) are also waning, although some will hang on through the summer.

Another absolute favorite.

The Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella or Stipa tenuissima) hasn’t totally greened up yet.  This is considered to be invasive but that hasn’t happened in this bed.

The ground cover around the Vitex is Stonecrop Sedum.  It helps keep the native grass out of this bed.

This year I’ve planted Potato Bush (Lycianthes rantonnetti) in a pot so it can be carried inside in winter.  One year I tried it in a flower bed; that winter was particulary harsh and killed it.

The flowers have a similar look as Mexican Petunia.

After the initial first flush, the roses are just now starting to bloom again.  Abraham Darby has David Austin’s trademark inner petals.

A new rose that intrigues me is Scentimental.  It was hybridized by Tom Carruth.

He has created more roses than any other living American.

It’s also called a red and white stripped rose.  So far, I haven’t noticed that the smell is that strong, but still love the uniqueness of it.

“Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind than on the externals in the world.”  George Washington

Transition Time

Often the changing of the seasons here is abrupt with no chance to adjust from one to another.  This year has been very different with more rain and milder temperatures.  In fact, I have been hesitant to bring some more tropical plants outside yet.

Some colors never seem to photograph to the true color.  This Brilliant Veranda rose is actually a very strong red that stands out in the landscape.  It was labeled as a good size for a container plant.  Recently I tried to scoot it over, and the roots are firmly in the ground.

Another rose that never photographs well is this Drift Rose.  The flowers last a long time and are striking as a grouping.  My husband who hardly every mentions specific plants often comments on how pretty they are.

The seed pods on this Desert False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) only last a short time in spring.

It’s an interesting plant in many ways.  One of those is that the trunks shoot out like a water sprinkler, so it’s long small trunks sway gracefully in the wind.

Larkspur is popping up all over the yard.  One of my favorite surprises during the springtime.

Not only have we had lots of rain, but the wind has been really strong, scattering rose petals.  Looks like an aisle at a wedding in some places.

Good old Henry Duelberg Salvia or Mealy Cup Sage makes pollinators and me happy.

Augusta Duelberg Salvia makes a nice contrast.

This evergreen Yarrow has lovely lacy foliage.

White Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) on tall stems is just starting to bloom while Spiderwort (shorter purple blooms in front) is on its way out.

French Hollyhocks (Malva sylvestris) like the mild weather and rains.  Sylvestris means found wild.

Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is showing off with exotic blooms.

Stella de Oro Daylily is a dependable short-stemed perennial bulb.  I recently heard a speaker say that they are boring because they are ubiquitous.  I think these are beautiful.

Never expected this Yellow Lead Ball (Leucaena retusa) tree to get so big.  They are considered a small tree with total height about 12 feet.  They’re drought tolerant and very hardy in our rocky hard clay.

I like the fuzzy yellow balls and so do the bees and other pollinators.

It’s fun when nature surprises us with more pleasant weather than we expected.

“Expect to have hope rekindled.  Hope to have your prayers answered in wondrous ways.  The dry seasons in life do not last.  The spring rains will come again.”          Sarah Ban Breathnach



More Ice Pix

Everything looks picture worthy as I tramp around the ice covered yard.

Ice gives Yaupon Holly a sparkle.

Brr.  No one wants to live here in this cold.

Snapping off of the frozen branches from the Texas Kidneywood bush would be easy.

Possum Haw berries in a globe of ice.  Possumhaw Holly is a great small native tree with multiple trunks.

Icy Red Yucca branches under an overcast sky makes me shiver.

The two preceding pictures show Blue Mistflowers.

At the tip of tall trunks of Desert False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa), heavy ice keeps the branches from swaying in the wind.

Ice covered rose bushes have an ethereal look.

Spaghetti strands of Dried Mexican Feather Grass flops on the ground.

Dwarf Indian Hawthorn is one of the few evergreen bushes in our yard.  The frosty ice coating is gorgeous.

Tall, thin stems of Obedient Plant form upside down icicles.

Bright red Rose Hip with copper colored Rose leaves provides color in a drab wintry scene.

I enjoy some winter when the harsh weather only comes a few days at a time.  But basically, I’m a warm weather person.

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”  Percy Bysshe Shelley