Friday, July 27, 2007

Another Walk with the Wildflowers

We took our visiting relatives to see the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last weekend. It was not my first visit, nor will it be my last now that I have a membership. At the Wildflower Center visitors can see first-hand how Lady Bird Johnson spent her life working to "protect and preserve North America's native plants and natural landscapes". This interactive map of the grounds shows there is a lot to see at the Center.

When we first arrived we noticed the butterflies were drawn to drifts of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

The horsetails (Equisteum hyemale) below are lush and abundant in the Wetland Pond.

The red-eared sliders seemed unconcerned with the algae that covered their shells and the tiny fish that found it so tasty.

The central irrigation rooftop system that collects rainwater off the Center's buildings has been very busy during our exceptionally rainy summer this year. Dry-loving plants top the 5,000 gallon capacity Tower Cistern where visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view.

A Coral Honeysuckle greeted us as we walked down the outer staircase of the Tower Cistern.

This stone wall gives old world ambiance to the Member's Garden.

My son was intrigued by the fossilized ammonite in the Homeowner's Inspiration Garden.

A handsome bench invites the wanderer to cross this field of rock rose (pavonia lasiopetala) for a rest in the sun.

I was particularly taken with this woolly ironweed, (Vernonia lindheimeri).

We were lucky to visit on a sunny day. The bumble bees and butterflies were happily sampling these tall sunflowers.

This little fellow was getting a sip of water from the paving stones.

I prefered the pool in the Court Yard which looks tempting enough to dive into.

The Halberdleaf hibiscus or rose mallow (Hibiscus laevis) was blooming happily next to the courtyard pool. We were told by a docent that the flowers look lovely floating on the surface of the water as well.

After a pleasant stroll through the grounds we ended our stay at the Wildflower Center Store where I bought a copy of "Hummingbirds of Texas", by Clifford E. Shackelford, Madge M. Lindsay and C. Mark Klym.

The book is full of colorful photographs and helpful information about making a hummingbird garden in your backyard. I highly recommend it as well as a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

"My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth." Lady Bird Johnson


Anonymous said...

That's my favorite garden to visit in Austin. I'm glad you and your relatives enjoyed your visit.

Sanna Tallgren said...

What a lovely place! I love coneflowers and I´m just waiting them to germinate. I have sowed many :)

Thank you for the tour in that amazing garden!

Andrea's Garden said...

hello Dawn,how beautiful! My coneflower is in full bloom too and one my favorites. Well, I will be seeing you in 2 weeks. Time to vacation. Andrea

RUTH said...

What a great legacy Ladybird Johnson left behind. Thanks for sharing your visit with those of us who can't visit. :o)

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a lovely visit. I've taken my mother there and AJM's mother. Somehow I manage to get down there only if I have out-of-town visitors as an excuse. I need to make more of an effort.h

Dawn said...

Thanks Pam,
The Wildflower Center is one of Austin's treasures. I learn something ever time I visit.

Hello Sanni,
Good luck with your coneflowers. It's amazing to me that so many plants can be grown in both Finland and Texas. It gives me hope to know how hardy some plants really are. I only wish I could grow peonies here. :-)

Hi Andrea!
Glad to hear you have coneflowers too. They are one of my favorite types of flowers.

Hope your vacation is very pleasant. We're leaving next Friday for a little vacation as well. Can't wait!

Hey Ruth,
Glad you enjoyed the cybertrip. You're so right about Lady Bird Johnson. I'm reading a book about her life now. She really was an amazing woman.

The Wildflower Center really is a great place to take visiting friends & relatives. It's so inspiring and therapeutic to walk the grounds. Now that I have a membership pass I hope I'll visit on my own more often as well.

Happy Gardening to All!