Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Only a Little Plant Crazy

Last Friday was the first day of the Lady Bird Wildflower Center's spring plant sale, the Members Only Day.  Every native-plant gardener for 250 miles took off work and drove to Austin, parking pickup trucks a mile down the access road.
Those of us who were only 45 minutes early found unofficial parking spots before joining the line at the gate.  My friend Cathy and I took her yellow wagon.  If you don't take a wagon, how will you carry all the trees you don't have spots for but can't live without? 

And you NEED more trees in heavy 5-gallon pots, even though your land is six months into the next big drought and you promised yourself after the last epic drought you wouldn't plant any more trees you'd have to nurse through another Great Dessication.

Friday, I NEEDED another Escarpment Black Cherry, a tree rare and growing rarer in its native Hill Country range.  To have an Escarpment Black Cherry is to believe in hope.  Two is heaven.

<--Escarpment black cherry # 1, planted last year.

And two Apache Plume trees (Fallugia paradoxa), to make up for the one I killed last year.  I'll plant these Apache Plumes (more like oversized bushes than trees) in areas with fewer rocks & more dirt, where they'll get a little afternoon shade, and I'll water more this year, drought or no, even if it's the 5-gallon bucket with holes in the bottom method. These trees will live, the birds will love the shelter and I'll love seven months of pink feathery plumes every year.

I NEEDED 11 more perennial wildflower plants (plus 3 annuals--but they reseed) for which I have no beds.  Plus SIX seed packets (5 more than prepared beds).   

Texas Yellow Star (Lindheimera texana), Lindheimer's Beebalm (Monarda lindheimeri), Pink Guara (Guara lindheimeri 'Pink')--do we see a theme here?  As the botanist who first categorized many of our region's native plants, German immigrant Ferdinand Lindheimer is often called the Father of Texas Botany and the plants he discovered carry his name.  I had only one species, the Lindheimer senna, so there was no choice, was there?  Now I'm planting living history and later I'll share with friends.

 New Braunfels mural celebrating Ferdinand Lindheimer and his contribution to the town.

More plants--perennial winecup, Mountain sage,  Heart-leaf Skullcap, Prairie Flax, Hinckley's Columbine, Damianita, and Indigo Spires--another blue sage. 

I planted all day Sunday, making beds as I went...and still have more to put in the ground.  Now that my back's in working order again.

Hope you're good, and planting some history of your own this spring.

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Is there a way you can contain the house waste-water. Not the nasty stuff but shower and benign dish and clothes washing water. You would certainly go through a 30 gallon drum in a day at least. This you could attach to a night timer with a drip feed to each plant you've got in the garden. For whatever way you look at it over the week there will be 210 gallons on the plants and in a way that will do most good.

  2. I wish that you could come over and help me to spruce up my pots, particularly!

    And I love the mural --

  3. What a fabulous event. I love Ladybird! what a tremendous contribution she made to conservation of Texas wildflowers.

  4. And when you're done there, I've got an acre of Missouri former pasture you could groom into something nice.

    In your copious spare time, of course.


  5. Whew...glad I didn't stay around for those crowds! Though I am attending a plant sale at UTEP this weekend. We'll see if I can make it out without taking anything home...

    Looks like you made some great choices...funny, but I dig out volunteer damianita, apache plume, cacti all the time!

  6. There is always room for one more tree or two and a couple of shrubs...I bought a white flowering gaura on Monday, they are so pretty.
    xoxoxo ♡

  7. That is a great successful event with those long queue, hoping everybone gets at least one plant. That gets a lot of carbon equivalent and some more oxygen generating machines for your locality.

  8. The Antique Rose Emporium has bred a lovely and hardy Texas Pioneer rose called F.J. Lindheimer. I have one, and its colors in the spring and fall are gorgeous. It is normally yellow in summertime. Check it out at their website. I also posted three F.J. Lindheimer rose bud photos on their Facebook page a few weeks ago, so folks could see the beautiful colors as the buds open.


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