Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Week After National Wildflower Week

I usually post pictures of the wildflowers in my garden during National Wildflower Week, but I missed it. Last week was National Wildflower Week and I did not even know about it until I saw Shirley's post at Rock-Oak-Deer blog. 

I have been busy in the garden trying to get things done before the blazing heat returns. I have also been sprucing up just in case my garden was selected for Plano's first ever Water Wise Landscape Tour. Well, it looks like my garden will be on the tour. There are not many details at this time other than it is on June 7 from 9 AM to 3 PM and there will be six private landscapes on the tour. There will be several talks throughout the day at the Environmental Education Center and tours of the garden. The Plano tour also coincides with the Dallas Water Wise Landscape Tour which will feature ten private gardens and five demonstration gardens. Both tours are free. More details on the Plano tour to come.

So, since I missed National Wildflower Week, I declare this to be The Week After National Wildflower Week. I know it is not much of a declaration since it really is the week after National Wildflower Week, but it gives this post a title and gives me a reason to post pictures of the wildflowers blooming in my garden (not that I needed one). These pictures were taken on Saturday and Sunday which was during National Wildflower Week. On with the show...

The Black Sampson Coneflowers just started blooming. The flowers are held high above the foliage and the petals droop as they lengthen. They are not as colorful as the Purple Coneflower, but attractive nonetheless.

Looking in the opposite direction and back at the coneflowers, the bright yellow flowers of Four-Nerve Daisies fill in gaps throughout the garden. A single Prairie Verbena plant that sprouted next to the Agave is nearly smothering it. I am not trimming back the verbena because I did not have many seedlings come up in the garden this year and I want to produce as many seeds as possible for next year. I will pull the stems away from the Agave if it disappears any more.

Cutleaf Daisly, Winecup, and Penstemon 'Husker Red' bloom around a new start of my spineless prickly pear. Several prickly pear "branches" broke off due to the weight of the ice last winter so I started a new plant and gave away others.

The Bluebonnets are going to seed. A few seedpods are visible in front of the Soapweed Yucca. There are many, many more in the parkway by the street. More of the Husker Red Penstemon are visible in the background of this picture and the following picture.

One of the Pale-leaf Yuccas bloomed this year. The feathery leaves of Gayfeather are visible to the left of the yuccas. These will fill the front garden with purple spikes of flowers in the fall.

This cactus was transplanted from the backgarden last fall. It suffered a little from the transplanting and cold, but has clearly recovered.

This is another Husker Red Penstemon. The flowers on these plants are white, while the flowers on the plants in the pictures above are light pink/purple. The plants were purchased at different times and locations and obviously have different genetics. The leaves on the white flowered plants are not as dark either.

Chocolate Daisy has begun to perfume the air with its chocolate scent.

This is one of the first Zexmenia flowers to open this year. A very tough and long blooming wildflower.

Shrubby Purple Skullcap blooms next to the mailbox. I cut back this plant pretty hard this spring because there were several live oak leaves embedded in the stems. It grew back nicely.

This smaller plant has white stripes on the flowers. Does anyone know why? To the best of my knowledge, it is a seedling of the larger skullcap. Could another variety have found its way into my garden?

Gaillardia blooms among the Bluebonnets.

Green Milkweed has been blooming for about a month. No monarch caterpillars in sight. I saw one monarch in the garden about a month ago and none since.

Finding this milkweed in the garden was a welcome surprise. It was growing where I planted Green Milkweed seeds from Native American Seed
I knew it was different because the leaves were more narrow than the Green Milkweed leaves. I am pretty sure it is Antelope Horns Milkweed. Was an Antelope Horns seed included with the Green Milkweed seeds? Did it blow in on its own? I am not really sure. I transplanted it to its current location a couple of years ago and this was the first time it bloomed. 

Here is what the flowers look like before they open.

The flowers of Butterfly Milkweed are just about ready to open. Look! No aphids...yet.

I would like to have more Eastern Red Columbine in the garden.

Yellow Columbine is just about finished with its blooming. I would not mind having more of these either. The seedlings of both Columbines are slow to mature in my garden and usually get covered by more aggressive plants.

Cedar Sage blooms near the Yellow Columbine.
Texas Betony grows nearby as well. There is a Cedar Sage blooming behind the Texas Betony. The flowers look very similar, however, the Cedar Sage flowers are a darker red.

Gaura popped up everywhere this year. This is an annual variety that I rescued from a field a few years ago. The plants are growing and blooming much more since a grackle picked off all of the hummingbird moth caterpillars.

This Prairie Larkspur is another field rescue. I got to it hours before it was mowed last year. I hope to get many seeds and new plants. I tried before with no luck.

These are some Prickly Pear Cactus pads that I very carefully rescued from the parking lot at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. They were detached from the mother plant and very shriveled when I found them. Two pads had flower buds and I was really curious to see what color they were. The top ones opened yesterday and the bottom ones opened today. They are a nice shade of orange that I do not have elsewhere in the garden. They also have bright red fruit in the fall. I have to find a good place for them in the garden, but where? The thought of removing tree leaves and other trash from them gives me the willies. A stock tank is a possibility. 

This parting shot is a remnant of the lawn that once surrounded my house. You just scrolled through 23 photos of wildflowers. Would you have done the same for 23 photos of lawn?


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. All 24 photos. I marvel at the variety. I believe the mystery flower is Scutellaria wrightii. It is a frequent reseeder in my garden and a favorite.

    1. I think you are right about the skullcap, Rock rose. I thought it was interesting that the one has white stripes on the flowers and the other plants do not. I would like mine to reseed a little more.

  2. Congratulations on being chosen for the tour!

    1. Thanks Collagemama. I am a little nervous about having strangers roaming my garden.

  3. Congrats on being on the tour. Wish I could come see your garden but I'm about to leave for Montana. Your garden is wonderful and the landscape photos amazing. And thanks for all the information you give about your plants.

  4. haha I kind of feel like Neo must have when he walked into the matrix. WHOA.
    Thank you for sharing the beauty.

    1. Playing this summer will be The Grapes of Wrath. Once the temps cool and the rain returns, the fall movie will be Matrix Reloaded.

  5. Your "week after wildflower week" was worth waiting for with all these great flowers to see. Fantastic collection of natives.

    I'm so glad they selected your garden for the first ever Plano version of the Water Wise Landscape Tour. I would have wondered about the process had they left your pioneering work off the list. I also appreciate the detail you give on your plants.

    1. Shirley, I may have to do a “Week After Week After” week next week since there are several other varieties of wildflowers coming into bloom this week.

      The landscape tour will be an interesting experience. I hope some plants are still blooming. Too bad I will be busy at my place because I would like to see the other water wise landscapes in town. The city will post photos soon. There will be drive bys of the other landscapes.

  6. No indeed -- one photo of lawn is enough to convey all. But the wildflower photos are endlessly beautiful. Those orange Opuntia flowers are stunning, by the way.

    1. You don't need more than one lawn photo to tell the whole story. I have about 5 pads of those orange flowered cactus. I must find a good spot for at least one.

  7. What tour? I would certainly have driven up to Plano to visit but I fear it is over and I am away until the end of the month.

    1. It is not until June 7, Rock rose. You are welcome to an impromptu tour anytime you come to Dallas to visit family.


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