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.