The Texas Botanical Gardens are in full BLOOM!
Despite the many setbacks we faced in winter, our native residents have fallen right back into their springtime groove. Cedar Elms (Ulmus crassifolia) have leafed out and are providing shelter and shade for our garden critters. Several plants in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, are providing nectar to a variety of pollinators. The most eye-catching are Engelmann’s Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) and Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum).
The purple pop of Penstemon (Penstemon tenuis) can be enjoyed in large patches around the garden’s entrance, while one Texas Sundrop (Calylophus berlandieri) stays tucked away in the amphitheater. We have sprouts of sunflowers, purple horsemint, coreopsis, green milkweed, standing cypress, winecups — oh my! A gentle promise from the earth of late spring blooms still to come.
We are disheartened by our simple showing of bluebonnets (you can count them on your fingers), and still not one Mexican hat or Indian blanket in sight. It’s interesting to see how the previous year’s weather patterns and gardening practices create a uniquely different wildscape each season.
Our special attention to soil health (and keeping our beneficial bugs happy) seems to have paid off. The buffalo grass and native bunchgrasses are abundant and helping to fill in bare earth spots, especially those most prone to erosion. Thanks to a new layer of organic mulch blanketing the ground, we’re seeing an increase in water retention after it rains. Our compost is dark brown with a sweet, rich earthy scent and will be ready to feed the plants in early May.
Our calendar is filled with guided garden tours, special events (Prom, a spring wedding, and picnics under the pecan tree), an Earth Day Celebration and volunteer work days. It is nice to be back in the hustle bustle of spring. Stop by for some nature therapy, a little wildflower stroll and to enjoy our upcoming Fairy Door Scavenger Hunt!