Welcome to Hyacinths for the Soul

My heartfelt thanks for stopping by for a visit to my blog. HFTS is all about friendship, feathering one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit. Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tales of the Traveling Totes # 7 ~ Day Tripping in the Wildflowers

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Totes #7

Laurie King ~ Katie Clooney ~ Katharine

The past few months Miss Merri Mac

and I had the occasion to meet up with some 

very special ladies from Blogland.

If you don't know these bloggers, you should!

Laurie King, author of the Mary Russell series,

further entertains @ Mary Russell Holmes.

Katie ClooneyPreppy Empty Nester, will keep you in 

stitches as she shares her life as an empty nester.   A real charmer, 

I was thrilled to meet Katie while she was in Austin to visit her dad.

KatharineTartan Terrace, is a fellow Texan, a fan of all things 

tartan, and has children here in Austin.  It's a win/win for me!

It's the best when blog friends get to meet in person, 

and listen to this ~ ~ ~

 author and blogger Susan Branch is coming to Austin.

Susan (and Joe) will be in Austin on June 18th @ Bookpeople

signing her latest book,  ISLE OF DREAMS.

Fun reads ~ all three!

You can bet Miss Merri Mac and I will be there!

A Texas Spring = Wildflowers

~ Come along for a little Day Tripping in the Wildflowers ~

Texas is known for its fields of iconic

bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, but from March to June

 when Mother Nature gives us a wet spring as she did this year, 

one can see carpets of other brilliant colors that stretch

along the roadsides of much of the huge state of Texas.

Miss Merri Mac and I decided to take 

you to a very special place;

a place where we could show you the 

abundance and diversity of the

beautiful blooms that grow wild across our state.

Welcome to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Grab your sun hat and come along

as we walk the trails and take in the beauty

that is blooming this time of year.

"My special cause, the one that alerts my interest and quickens the pace of my life, is to preserve the wildflowers and native plants that define the regions of our land - to encourage and promote their use in appropriate areas and thus help pass on to generations in waiting the quiet joys and satisfactions I have known since my childhood."   Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson,

former First Lady of our Country, 

perhaps planted the most important seed of all: 

the importance of preserving and promoting our native land.

Click here to read more about 

Mrs. Johnson's environmental legacy.

Lady Bird Johnson and actress Helen Hayes 

joined forces in 1982 to found the 

National Wildflower Research Center.

In 1995 the Center was moved to 

its present 43 acre site and became the

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Since 2006, the Center is now a research and educational 

arm of the University of Texas at Austin.

The Wildflower Center is one of my favorite retreats,

a place of native plants, wildflower meadows, and woodlands.

For me it is a place of meditation,

where my spirit thrives and my heart fills with joy.

The Wildflower Center's mission is:

"to conserve, restore, and create healthy landscapes."

While wildflowers paint a beautiful landscape,

they are also important habitats for 

birds, butterflies, insects, and native wildlife.

They help preserve our soil, and because

they are native to specific locals, they conserve water.

 The Center offers a data base of 8,573

native plants in North America.

One can search both scientific or common names.

Click here to access the Native Plant Database.

I readily admit that I can not name each of the wildflowers,

but fortunately the Center provides detailed 

markers with complete information.

I took the beginner quiz for Central Texas Wildflowers

and was proud that I correctly identified all 12 of the photos.

You can test your wildflower knowledge here.

With names like 

~ Evening Primrose ~ Winecup ~ 

~ Texas Yellowstar ~

~ Indian Paintbrush ~ Mexican Hat ~ Indian Blanket ~

~ Sundrops ~ Blackfoot Daisy ~

 What's not to love about

learning these common names?

After we walked the trails, we climbed

up to the top of the tower for a magnificent 360 view.

While at the Wildflower Center, one will see 

workers tending the gardens, leading tours, 

and working in various research areas.

The Wildflower Center could not exist without the generous

support of these volunteers who help out each day.

If you want a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, 

we can just pop into 

Wildflower Cafe.  

We can dine within the cafe at tables with 

these adorable hand painted chairs, 

or alfresco on shaded patios.

Lady Bird Johnson

died on July 11,2007 at the age of 94.

What an amazing legacy she left to all of us.

Miss Merri Mac and I hope this post inspires you  

to appreciate the beauty and value of the  

wildflowers that grow in your region.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Before you leave, Miss Merri Mac and I want to thank Debbie and Miss Aurora for a beautiful gift package that arrived last month.  Debbie @ Mountain Breaths and her husband like to vacation in the Keys.  Just look at these delightful gifts!  The exquisite cheese board was hand crafted by Clinton Pottery in Clinton, New York.
   Look for an upcoming post on a Key West dinner.

More Tales of the Traveling Totes

at the links below.

~ Don't Miss the Fun ~

To Visit Previous Miss Merri Mac Adventures
Just click on number links below. 
#1#2#3#4#5 , #6 and also
herehere, and here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Also Joining

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Memorial Day ~ Celebrate in Red, White, and Blue

America the Beautiful

Celebrate the patriotic holidays of summer 

and indulge your patriotic spirit.

Fill your favorite 

blue and white container

with blooms from your garden.

Set a festive table, 

and dine in patriotic style!

Memorial Day Weekend

It's the prelude to the patriotic holidays of summer.

The perfect opportunity to pack a basket 

in anticipation of a picnic.

Gather together some of your 

Red ~ White ~ Blue 

Spread your quilt and enjoy a picnic 

at the lake, on the beach, your favorite park,

or where ever your heart desires.

Memorial Day

A time to honor all those 

who have given selflessly to their country.  

From the Civil War soldiers 

to those fighting today on foreign soils,

we remember the men and women who have died 

while serving in the US Armed Forces.

Tablescape Thursday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Foodie Friday and Everything Else @ Rattlebridge Farm

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Field to Vase Dinner Tour ~ A Hill Country Garden Party

Put on a crown of flowers and join me

for the most amazing 

Field of Flowers Garden Party.

is a series of private, intimate gatherings being  

held across the US at family owned flower farms.

Last evening I had the privilage to be a guest 

at one of these artisan-style dinners held in a unique venue. 

Pamela and Frank Arnosky of

were our gracious hosts for the evening at their

Texas hill country flower farm in Blanco, TX.

Originally planned to be held in the fields among

all these gorgeous blooming flowers,

the threat of thunder storms moved the venue into

the Arnosky's beautiful big blue barn.

Three rows of long tables filled the space

while thousands of gorgeous fresh flowers filled

vases down the center of all the tables.

Can you see how amazing this setting is?

Outside, tents were set up for the on-site kitchen and bar.

filled the glasses of happy guests.

Erin Esensee and her team from H-E-B Blooms

were the flower designers who created 

all the amazing arrangements for the event.

Erin demonstrated the art of creating

a sweet boquet with Arnosky fresh flowers.

In addition to the blue glass vases filled with flowers,

Erin and her team created the arrangements with a "fence post"

as a nod to the many flowers that grow wild

across the pastures and along the fences of our Texas hill country.

Each place setting featured a mix 

of vintage dishes and flatware.

Can you imagine my squeal of delight

as I sat down to this charming place setting?

The dinner plate at my spot

was Eggshell Georgian by Homer Laughlin.

If you read my recent post,

 Inspirations From My Mother, here

you'll know why I was touched with nostalgia.

was the chef responsible for our incredible meal.

Take a look at the scrumptious menu above.

Dinner was 

served family style.

Platter after platter of delicious offerings 

were place down the center of our table for all to enjoy.

As dining companions enjoyed the 

"farm to table" seasonal meal,

the beautiful blue barn was filled with

the sounds of laughter and lively conversation.

All the while, the beauty of the 

landscape lingered just outside the windows.

I feel full of gratitude 

for friends, flowers, and fine food.

Field to Vase Dinner Tour ~ here.

Arnosky Family Flower Farm ~ here.

Slow Flowers, American Grown Flowers ~ here.

Flower Magazine ~ here.


A Garden Party @ Thoughts of Home and Share Your Cup
Mosaic Monday @ Lavender Cottage

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