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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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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lady Bird Day @ The Wildflower Center



July 23, 2017 ~ Lady Bird Day!





Each year, The Wildflower Center 

honors its namesake and founder with a day

of free admission and special activities planned

to celebrate Mrs. Johnson's environmental legacy 

and the legislation that she inspired.

With Lady Bird's influence, 

more than 200 environmental laws were enacted

under President Johnson's administration.  




Oenothera Speciosa




Today I'm taking you along to the 

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center 

to see some of my favorite Texas wildflowers.




Oenothera speciosa 

is the scientific name for evening primrose.





This plant is sometimes known as showy primrose because the 

flowers often open in the morning rather than evening.





You might know this little wildflower as a buttercup

 It gets that name from the cup shape petals 

and its butter colored pollen. 

 As a child, this is one of the first wildflowers I knew. 

I inherited my love of flowers from my mother.

I fondly remember how she would delight in

sharing these little pink blooms,

put it to our noses to take in the fragrance,

and leave of us with little "butter noses".

 Sweet memories of childhood!





The delicate flowers are about 3 inches wide with four petals. 

 They can range from a dark pink to a pale pink.





Here in Texas we can plant them from seed in the fall, though they 

are common along the highways and in open woodlands. 

 They generally bloom from the middle of March well into July.




Lady Bird Johnson, a former First Lady of the United States

delighted in this sweet, pink flower. 

In her book, WILDFLOWERS ACROSS AMERICA

 Mrs. Johnson said, ". . . evening primrose —

 to me one of the most exquisite and feminine of all wildflowers." 

 At one time the pink evening primrose was chosen for an early 

logo for her National Wildflower Center at Austin.





This hardy drought tolerant wildflower is one of the few 

evening primroses that blooms during the daytime.






Some of these little "buttercups" also

come in a sunny yellow variety.





The square-bud primrose has a more distinctly square shape 

to the petals, and the flowers are a bit smaller 

than the pink evening primrose.





Mixed in among the pink and yellow evening primroses 

in the planting I photographed are these striking winecups 

that are a deep burgundy color.





The cupped petals of the winecup 

are deeper than the primrose

This deep burgundy color is a common 

variety to Central Texas.




There is also a white variety.




The winecups 

are in the Mallow Family.





The National Wildflower Center was established in 1982 

to protect and preserve the native plants 

and natural landscapes of North America. 

 The Center is one of the leading research 

institutions for native plants.





Spectacular displays of color blanket 

both garden plots and open areas at the center.





Lady Bird Johnson was a strong advocate 

for preserving the natural flora of North America.


To read more about the National Wildflower Center click here.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Adding a Little Chocolate to the Garden



Have you ever heard of 

Chocolate Plant?





A member of the Acanthaceae family, this heirloom plant

is rarely found in catalogs or plant centers.

Rather it is usually shared with others by garden enthusiasts such

as my friend who recently passed some along to me.





Typically a low growing mound that easily spreads,

the chocolate association comes from the plant's leaves

that are subtle shades of brown with silvery patches.





A slender bloom stalk, just barely visible in the photo above,

produces a show of dark purple flowers.

My friend had first seen this plant growing in mass

down a slope in another friend's garden.

It was in bloom at the time, and she said the contrast of

the deep purple against the chocolate leaves was stunning.





How fortunate to have a friend who 

generously shares plants from her garden.  

I've been the lucky recipient of other 

"pass along plants" from this friend's garden.

She knows I have shade gardens, 

which are a perfect fit for Chocolate Plant.





Taking a cue from my friend's observation about

seeing these growing on a slope, 

I decided to try them along the path

in our front shade garden.

They are a bit wilted from just being transplanted,

but hopefully they will perk back up soon.





Persian Shield, another shade loving favorite in my 

garden is also in the Acanthaceae family.

If the Chocolate Plant is happy in this spot, I think I will 

add in some Persian Shield for a bit of contrast. 

Perhaps some Foxtail Ferns too!





~ Chocolate Plant ~

Add a little chocolate to your garden!


Click here to read more about this interesting plant.

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