April 23, 2022
Claret cup cactus flowering at the top of the Wildflower Center tower

I’m overdue for a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center — and it’s only been two weeks since I was there! But a lot happens in April and May. What was blooming two weeks ago (highlights are pictured here) is probably done, and new plants are strutting their stuff. There’s much to see at this time of year!

Recent Garden Spark speaker Pat Webster and I toured the Wildflower Center gardens during her early April visit. Near the entrance I admired a row of fleshy-leaved manfredas, all of them kicking up bloom spikes like the Rockettes.

Almost ready to bloom

Masses of native wildflowers including bluebonnets and ranunculus colored the caf? garden. The silo-like structure is a rainwater-collecting cistern.

In a shadier spot, spiderwort and golden groundsel made a pretty pair.

Along the Hill Country Stream, a white-flowering shrub — viburnum? — glowed in the dappled light.

And scarlet buckeye added heat with its fiery flowers.

A pipevine swallowtail butterfly was enjoying the abundant flowers.

Pat spotted this little tree frog clinging via sticky-toed magic to an upright palmetto leaf.

Look how cute! He was taking a midday snooze…

…while keeping a slitted eye on me just in case.

Spaghetti-leaved Texas nolina was flowering, its subtle, ivory sprays held close within its stringy foliage.

I’ve always liked this plant, which is tough as nails and lovely cascading down a rocky slope. Keep away from paths though, not because it’s sharp (it’s not) but because the stringy leaves can trip you if you step on one end and your other foot catches on it. The leaves don’t easily break, so you’ll be the one to stumble. Trust me on this.

Penstemon with last season’s grasses

Peek-a-boo window in a stone wall

The Demonstration Garden, with square beds showing plants from various areas of Texas, or different themes. I confess this area has never been my favorite. It’s more of a teaching garden, and I prefer to be wowed by a gorgeous design. If only the demonstration beds could be moved somewhere less prominent, leaving this space open for a more contemporary or eclectic garden of native plants, as a contrast to the naturalistic gardens you pass through to get here.

Mexican buckeye flowering as new leaves emerge.

In the Family Garden, more bluebonnets — as brightly colored as the tiled wall behind them

The ponds and waterfall in the family garden are always popular with children, and I stopped to watch a little boy play.

What’s more fun than getting wet? Not much!

And here were MORE bluebonnets, with ‘Brakelights’ hesperaloe adding red spikes

Some big agave survivors of last year’s snowpocalypse

We spotted a cardinal that seemed to have a lot of brown on its wings — perhaps a different species than we usually see here? Another visitor who was a birder got excited about it, sure it was a pyrrhuloxia. A what? When I looked up pyrrhuloxia at home later, our bird didn’t look that brown. Perhaps a vermilion cardinal then? But no, its crest isn’t that prominent. It’s probably a regular old cardinal but still pretty, and I learned about some other species.

Verbena

I’ll leave you with a busy bee working a bluebonnet flower, her pollen baskets already full. She’s like me! I’ve been busy visiting all kinds of gardens lately, and my pollen baskets are full too. I’m working to get new posts cued up so I can share them with you.

Meanwhile, I plan to return to the Wildflower Center in two weeks with my next Garden Spark speaker, Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place. By the way, I still have a few seats available for her talk, so if you’d like to come, please do!

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

May 5th at 8 pm: Attend the final Garden Spark talk of the season! Jennifer Jewell, award-winning author and Cultivating Place podcast host, shows that gardens are powerful agents for change, addressing challenges like climate change, resource use, habitat loss, and more. Using beautiful images from her book Under Western Skies, she’ll share innovative gardens that celebrate western landscapes. Get your ticket at this link. Tickets must be purchased in advance; no walk-ins. Come learn something new and hang out with fellow garden lovers!

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Wildflower Center abloom in early April appeared first on Digging.

Flowers abloom, including Texas bluebonnets, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center gardens in early April…. Read More
The post Wildflower Center abloom in early April appeared first on Digging.Read MoreFeedzy

April 23, 2022

Claret cup cactus flowering at the top of the Wildflower Center tower

I’m overdue for a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center — and it’s only been two weeks since I was there! But a lot happens in April and May. What was blooming two weeks ago (highlights are pictured here) is probably done, and new plants are strutting their stuff. There’s much to see at this time of year!

Recent Garden Spark speaker Pat Webster and I toured the Wildflower Center gardens during her early April visit. Near the entrance I admired a row of fleshy-leaved manfredas, all of them kicking up bloom spikes like the Rockettes.

Almost ready to bloom

Masses of native wildflowers including bluebonnets and ranunculus colored the caf? garden. The silo-like structure is a rainwater-collecting cistern.

In a shadier spot, spiderwort and golden groundsel made a pretty pair.

Along the Hill Country Stream, a white-flowering shrub — viburnum? — glowed in the dappled light.

And scarlet buckeye added heat with its fiery flowers.

A pipevine swallowtail butterfly was enjoying the abundant flowers.

Pat spotted this little tree frog clinging via sticky-toed magic to an upright palmetto leaf.

Look how cute! He was taking a midday snooze…

…while keeping a slitted eye on me just in case.

Spaghetti-leaved Texas nolina was flowering, its subtle, ivory sprays held close within its stringy foliage.

I’ve always liked this plant, which is tough as nails and lovely cascading down a rocky slope. Keep away from paths though, not because it’s sharp (it’s not) but because the stringy leaves can trip you if you step on one end and your other foot catches on it. The leaves don’t easily break, so you’ll be the one to stumble. Trust me on this.

Penstemon with last season’s grasses

Peek-a-boo window in a stone wall

The Demonstration Garden, with square beds showing plants from various areas of Texas, or different themes. I confess this area has never been my favorite. It’s more of a teaching garden, and I prefer to be wowed by a gorgeous design. If only the demonstration beds could be moved somewhere less prominent, leaving this space open for a more contemporary or eclectic garden of native plants, as a contrast to the naturalistic gardens you pass through to get here.

Mexican buckeye flowering as new leaves emerge.

In the Family Garden, more bluebonnets — as brightly colored as the tiled wall behind them

The ponds and waterfall in the family garden are always popular with children, and I stopped to watch a little boy play.

What’s more fun than getting wet? Not much!

And here were MORE bluebonnets, with ‘Brakelights’ hesperaloe adding red spikes

Some big agave survivors of last year’s snowpocalypse

We spotted a cardinal that seemed to have a lot of brown on its wings — perhaps a different species than we usually see here? Another visitor who was a birder got excited about it, sure it was a pyrrhuloxia. A what? When I looked up pyrrhuloxia at home later, our bird didn’t look that brown. Perhaps a vermilion cardinal then? But no, its crest isn’t that prominent. It’s probably a regular old cardinal but still pretty, and I learned about some other species.

Verbena

I’ll leave you with a busy bee working a bluebonnet flower, her pollen baskets already full. She’s like me! I’ve been busy visiting all kinds of gardens lately, and my pollen baskets are full too. I’m working to get new posts cued up so I can share them with you.

Meanwhile, I plan to return to the Wildflower Center in two weeks with my next Garden Spark speaker, Jennifer Jewell of Cultivating Place. By the way, I still have a few seats available for her talk, so if you’d like to come, please do!

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

May 5th at 8 pm: Attend the final Garden Spark talk of the season! Jennifer Jewell, award-winning author and Cultivating Place podcast host, shows that gardens are powerful agents for change, addressing challenges like climate change, resource use, habitat loss, and more. Using beautiful images from her book Under Western Skies, she’ll share innovative gardens that celebrate western landscapes. Get your ticket at this link. Tickets must be purchased in advance; no walk-ins. Come learn something new and hang out with fellow garden lovers!

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

All material (C) 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.