Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday at the Arboretum

The wind here Saturday was un-
believable. The gust would blow you away, but it was worth being blown around a bit to see the beauty of the Dallas Arboretum. There were tulips in every color!
Some of the flowers were still in bud, others were starting to open..
..some were in full bloom!
Love this bed of yellow tulips with yellow daffs.
And speaking of daffodils--I loved this ruffled variety. Note to self: buy some of these bulbs this fall!
But what really "blew me away", were the cherry trees! I have been going to the arboretum for years and years, every season, but I have never seen the cherry trees in full bloom. This was the year! They were absolutely gorgeous!
The Arboretum has 17 trees, and according the the newspaper, better see them this Saturday as in 3 days, the blooms will all be gone.
This picture doesn't show the color--you really had to get the sun behind you to capture the luscious light pink of the cherry blossoms.
I felt like I was in a fairy land..all pink and fluffy. What a treat to see these beauties. I see now why so many flock to Washington DC to witness the blooms. Maybe one day I will...hey, I have a daughter in DC! I think I may pay her a visit during Cherry Blossom time next year. Oh Jen, can we get that on the calender??

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break trip to the Hill Country

For spring break this year hubby and I decided to take a trip down to the Hill Country. For those of you that might not know, this is the area around Austin. To me, it is the most beautiful part of Texas. It was settled by immigrants from Germany and still has so much German influence. The first night we stayed in Gruene (pronounced Green) which is a historic German town right outside New Braunfels. We love to eat at the Gristmill..which was, old gristmill! The hamburgers are to die for, and the Sangria is even better. The next day we headed to Fredericksburg.
We stayed here. This is an old log cabin that was built in 1847. I realize not everyone would be interested in this kind of accomm-
odation, but the cabin sure was cute!
This is the back..
This is the bedroom...
yeah, I know they probably did not have king size beds back then, but it sure was comfortable
And this is the kitchen. We are not discussing the bathroom..I concen-
trated on how cute the rest of the house was!
The weather was perfect most of the time we were there. Of course I had to take a trip to my favorite place, The Wildseed Farm.
It is way too early for anything to be blooming, but you can see these poppies just starting to show.
I also saw some of these: BLUE
We saw lots of bonnets by the side of the road just ready to bloom too.
I had a great time going through the
"Butterfly Haus."
Wish I had one of these..
So many Zebras. The butterflies would fly to your hand if you held it out.
We also took a fun hike to the top of Enchanted Rock. We went the short route--straight up!
On the hike we saw a few wildflowers blooming..
Just enough flowers to give the otherwise drab landscape some color.
Of course, what trip to the hill country would be complete without some junkin'! I love to dig through and find the perfect "treasure." This old chair was just $5.00. I think it will be perfect holding a hanging basket.
I love, love old galvanized buckets and was lucky to find some really good ones. I am thinking red geraniums!

The best find of all...and my wonderful husband gets the credit for spotting this old washtub on a stand. And what a steal! My goal for years has been to find one of these. Remember the area behind the pond I cleared out a week or so ago? Won't this look great right there with cosmos growing all around it? I can't wait to plant those seeds. But, as you may or may not know..we came home on Sunday to snow on the ground! Yeah, here in Dallas it snowed on March 21st! It melted fast and the temperature today is 70! Sigh... Interesting note: one of our weather forecasters said it will be cold until the pecan trees start to bud. Are there any buds on your pecan trees??

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yard work, tulips and sweet smells

What a beautiful weekend! It was sunny for a change, the temp-
erature was great, and we took advantage of the nice weather and worked in the yard. While hubby was mowing (goodbye dead grass!), I was out back trying to dig up roots in this flower bed behind the pond. This bed was full of wood fern and ground ivy. I don't want to completely get rid of the ivy (which is impossible anyway), but I did want to try and reduce the amount of ferns in this area. Now that the sun shines on this bed (because of losing the big tree), I would like to plant some type of flowers, and I am thinking cosmos. I can just imagine how pretty they would look gently nodding in the breeze. Sounds simple, huh? Not so! I spend all afternoon digging, pulling, and digging some more to clear out the roots. This was quite a job. But it's done. It's too early for seeds, but as soon as I know our freeze chances are over, those cosmos seeds will be scattered.

Tulips are up, and blooming! I ordered quite a few bulbs from Breck's in the fall, and have several coming up, but seems like I should have more plants. I am making a note to order and plant more next year. Some of the tulip bulbs are hybrids, so I am hoping they will come back .
This is my favorite tulip. I ordered a few bulbs called
dreams They start out as yellow, change to very light apricot..
..then gradually change to a deep orange.
During the day they open to the most beautiful flower. According to the specs on this variety,

dream blooms are long-lasting and reach up to 5 inches across.."
I am enjoying this tulip so much! It was such a joy to go out this weekend and see the large flower. And that orange! I will order more of these!

The sun shinning directly on this flower gives it a golden look. Just beautiful!
As I worked clearing, cleaning and pruning this weekend, I kept smelling the sweetest fragrance. I thought it was my violas, which it was to some degree, but then I remembered the 2 new little plants I bought at Home Depot last week. That's what the sweet smell was! This is a Nemesia-compact innocence. Nemesia is a pretty annual with little snapdragon-shape flowers.
I only bought 2 because Nemesia is a cool-season annual. These little plants will not last very long, but I think they add a bright touch to this early spring garden, and I sure will enjoy that sweet smell as I work and relax out in the yard.
It has been such a good weekend,'s Spring Break for me, and...we are off to the Hill Country later this week! Spring is almost here!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Roses

One cold sunny day in the middle of February the UPS driver knocked on my door with a wonderful surprise. My roses had arrived! I was so excited. They came in this big box and I thought were packaged well. I could not wait to open it and see what they looked like. I was expecting 2 wrapped up stems..or something like that.
But to my surprise I opened the box and found 2 nice size little rose bushes with leaves on them! I was so impressed with the caution the Rose Emporium took when they packed these. I think those people must really have a passion for what they do to take such care with traveling roses.
The instructions said to unpack them as soon as you get them, and to plant them as soon as you can. However it also said if you can't plant right away, make sure you keep them watered and give them sun. Since it was still getting into the 20's at night, I decided I better keep them in the containers for a few more weeks. I added a little more soil to the containers and for the last few weeks they have been watered, moved to the sunny patio during the day, and tucked into the garage at night.
I talked to them (I know you talk to your plants too, right?) and explained why they were being moved around so much and assured them they would be placed in their new home as soon as it warmed up a bit. They both seemed to understand the situation and were very happy for those sunny days on the patio.
Spring has not arrived of course, but the nights have warmed up and I felt like the roses needed to get in the ground, so yesterday was the day for them to arrive to their new home. If the temps take a nose dive, I will be sure and cover them. This rose is Nacogdoches, my "Yellow Rose of Texas."

And this small leafed rose is Odee Pink. Remember, it's the rose they say your grand-
mother may have picked to pin on her dress for the sweet fragrance. I don't know what kind of roses my Grandmother had, but I know she loved them and had quite a few that smelled wonderful; so this little bush is dedicated to that memory.
I hope my new roses love their new home, and produce many colorful and fragrant blooms. Antique roses are suppose to be easy to care for. The instructions that came with them gave me good information and I will try and follow all the guidelines. I did not have a lot of luck in the past with roses, but I feel myself falling in love with these. I'll wait and see how they do, but I already have a couple of others in mind to order next year. Today we have mild temps and drizzly rain. Perfect weather for the roses in their new home.

"There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of it's existence."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wildflower Update

bonnets? No, not blooming yet. This is a picture from last year. I was really worried about my wildflowers making it through those cold days we had this winter. If you will remember I even called the Wildseed Farm and asked them about covering the plants--and they said "yes!" But I am pleased to report, the Bluebonnet rosettes are alive and well!
In fact, they are not only alive, they look wonderful. I planted some in the back corner bed, but my concen-
tration this year was the bed around the new tree. (The new tree? I think it's still alive, but that's another post!) They not only survived the cold, the rain, and the snow-they seem to flourish. The bed is almost full of bonnets.
And, they are so lush. I am so excited! And this is the case, not only in my little garden, but across the state of Texas. According to the reports from the newspaper: " Wildflower experts say the upcoming bloom should be exceptional thanks to the heavy rains.. Expect oceans of blue flowers..It's going to be a spectucular year..The spring show will be the best since 2007.." And for other wildflowers: "That stretch of dry weather helped kill off grasses and weeds and other plants, creating more space for wildflowers." I was worried about the snow, but "The snow helped insulate the plants, while the temperatures were not cold enough to threaten the flowers." Bluebonnets are even starting to bloom around Houston! Wow! This is such exciting news for wildflower enthusiest like myself.
I noticed that some of my other wildflowers are starting to produce green as well. This is the Autumn Blush Coreopsis that I fell in love with last year. Not sure about the name as it bloomed all summer.
I don't remember which coreopsis this is, maybe moonbeam, but I just noticed it coming up among the tulips and daffodils.
I need help identifying this plant please. Several of these are growing around the new tree in with the bluebonnets I thought it kind of looked like a columbine. But then I remembered; I planted winecup seeds in the fall. This isn't where I planted them, but you know wildflower seeds are..well..wild. Could this be winecup? They are probably invasive, but right now I am just happy to have the promise of blooms.

Such excitement! Happy March everyone!