Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday

What? There's a Wildflower Wednesday? I'm a day late to the party, but I love this idea, too. Thanks to Tina at My Gardener Says... for clueing me in, and to Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting!

My garden is somewhat lacking in wildflowers, though I'm trying to change that this year. When we moved the garden box, I bought a shade-loving seed mix from Native American Seed to sprinkle on the bare dirt left behind. Things are slowly sprouting, but we probably won't see blooms until next Spring, or perhaps if we're lucky, this Fall.

We recently had a Chinese Tallow removed, that was previously shading this area--it should get mostly sun now. Even though I bought a shade mix, the flowers included will enjoy the sun, too.

Mostly bare dirt with some decomposed granite mixed in. Not much to look at yet... next year, I hope this area is covered in wildflowers.

I'm also going to grab some seed pods from those Bluebonnets blooming at the construction site up the street.

Over the weekend, I took a brief bike ride around the neighborhood, and stopped when I spied the rain lilies blanketing our park. We have one in the front yard--if it's still blooming I'll sneak a photo of it today. These beauties are elusive, you know.

Here's our rain lily in he front yard, done blooming for now.

We also have a volunteer wild Morning Glory vine that comes back every year when the weather turns warm. Here are the first sprouts of 2014.

There are some other wild things popping up here are there around the yard. We can count on Horseherb every year when the weather warms (usually more than a month ago.)

Charming horseherb--considered a weed by some people, groundcover by others. I like it, though in my yard it doesn't form a dense-enough mat to be a real groundcover.

The Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) transplant that quickly died last year was roughly around this spot. I hope these leaves herald its return.

Future home of the backyard wildflower patch. There are a variety of seedlings showing up now, though I haven't attempted to identify them yet.

Not much to see from the Wild Red Columbines yet, but I'm starting to see buds... fingers crossed that we'll see those fairy-like blossoms soon!

In the back alley of the backyard, we keep losing the battle against weeds. A few are likeable. This sort of looks like a miniature Yarrow--maybe it is?

In the front yard parking strip, I planted Blackfoot Daisy a couple of years ago, and divided it last year. This is the smallest of the divisions, but it's starting to bloom nicely.

Elsewhere in the parking strip, I gave up on one particular section and just threw a bunch of limestone rocks over the vacant bed of decomposed granite. Our neighborhood is built over a former limestone quarry, and every time we dig, we find rocks of all sizes.

I let the weeds take over for now, and some of them are charming, especially the ones that pop up during cool Spring weather. Pesky bermudagrass will take over during the summer, until I get around to digging it all out.

I like the fern-like foliage of this one, and the dainty purple blooms.

Adding on some photos from our dear neighborhood park, which has an official Parks and Wildlife Department Wildflower Area (and plenty of unofficial areas, too). As far as I can tell, this just means the city skips mowing this area. I don't know whether they seeded wildflowers at one point, but there are certainly plenty of them now.

Where the mowing stops and the wildflower prairie begins. Cedar Elms and a few Live Oaks are the dominant trees.

Vibrant Firewheel/Indian Blanket is picking up plenty of pollinators. The whole meadow was buzzing with bees, butterflies and others.

Bee enjoying... Coreopsis? Chocolate Daisy? I'm a little foggy on my yellow wildflowers. There are so many of them here!

There's the P.A.R.D. sign.

Though most of them are disappearing for the year along with the Bluebonnets, a few Indian Paintbrush still glow in the sun here.

Some of the last Bluebonnets of the year.
In a shadier part of the park, I had to try to capture the beauty of opening Spiderworts and a thicket of Widow's Tears.

Spiderworts opening up in dappled shade.

Widow's Tears. We get this in our garden, too, though I haven't seen it this year. The pale purple blooms are at their best on a cloudy day, when they seem to glow. The sun was washing them out today.

Happy Thursday!


  1. I am intrigued by your rain lily and I just can' t work out what it is. Can you tell me the Latin name please? It is so pretty.

  2. Thanks! I'm not exactly sure, as this one just showed up in my yard (and seems to be the same one that pops up all over the neighborhood after thunderstorms). But my best guess would be Zephyranthes drummondii, based on pictures and description in Scott Ogden's "Garden Bulbs for the South" (2nd ed).

    1. Oh yes, of course. It's Zephyranthes. I know Zephyranthes candida. How lovely to see so many of them growing all over like that.

  3. Nice post, Mary! I just found out last month about WW and gosh, I don't know how I missed it! Those Zephyranthes are beautiful. I used to have some in my gardens, but only one group popped up this spring, though we are dry, so I'm hoping that's why. I think they're one of those plants that do best along roadsides--must be all that car exhaust. Someone one the Master Naturalist FB page identified that last little thing you posted about. I can't remember what it is, but I'll look for it and get back with you.

  4. Thanks, Tina! Yeah, those Zephyranthes have popped up here are there in the yard over the years. I'm sure there would be more if we weren't inadvertently mowing them down. I gathered some seeds from the ones blooming in the park once and scattered those in the backyard last fall; no new plants yet, but it was worth a shot. Interesting theory about car exhaust--it does seem like certain plants thrive by roadsides.

    Thanks for inspiring me to plant Columbine! Mine have taken a while to come around, but I think they're going to bloom soon, which will my girls and I will all enjoy.

  5. I love the Texas wildflowers. I also think Columbines in bloom look like a fairy garden. Mine are just starting, it will be a while before they are blooming everywhere. They have been fantastic reseeders for me, mostly the double frilly forms. I hope to grow Gaillardia this year, but may be seeding them rather late.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Hannah! Yes, spring is enchanting in TX with all the wildflowers in bloom. Gaillardia... the latin name for Firewheel/Indian Blanket, right? It probably has more names than that. What an iconic flower. Good to know about the Columbines reseeding readily--I hope mine do. :)