A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Now There's Flowers Growing on Ground So Poor That Grass Won't Grow

This morning Rickie and I took our coffee to the garden. He had worked there off and on all weekend and it's a beautiful place to sit a while. A gobbler had been by the yard earlier, as they've been all Spring, and we could hear him talking. 

The poppies Rickie planted from seed in the fall are blooming, as are the larkspurs.

When Sarah was young we used to go to Fredericksburg whenever we were here for Spring Break. We often went to Wildseed Farms near there and they would have fields of larkspurs. We would come home with a handful of them to put in a pitcher on the picnic table. 

In the vegetable area of the garden, we have some little tomatoes already. The snow peas and potatoes look beautiful. We also have peppers, onions, squash, tomatillos, cucumbers, chard, and the perennial herbs have put out. We have had some cold weather this Spring a few nights and the grapes have been nipped pretty badly. The Black Spanish grapes survived fairly well and we may get enough for some jelly. The more sissy Champanelle grapes don't look so good.

Mexican persimmons have been blooming outside the garden. Their flowers are very small and unless you walk up to them you won't notice. We've found only two females on our place although we have lots of males. The females produce a small black fruit that wildlife love. The tree bark is beautiful; they're a great small landscape tree. We have a male and a female growing together by the garden shed. You can see the difference in the two. The female on the left has darker, lusher leaves.

The lace cacti have bloomed and we were able to see them and capture some in pictures, thanks to a heads-up from our friends Martha and Scott that they were in bloom. Over the years, the population of them seems to appear in one area and then disappear some years later only to show up in another place. They like the rocky areas and will grow in any tiny crevice in the rock. Right now they are in a place where no grass ever grows. Rocks cover the surface of the ground and you can see large slabs of solid rock. There is hardly any soil there.

Mealy blue sage is blooming everywhere. It's my favorite wildflower. I love many others but it's the one I associate most with this part of Texas. Before we bought our place I had never seen or heard of it. The first year here we came out one weekend and the whole place was covered with it. I love the way it moves in the wind and the long stems of flowers. This one is growing in the bare ground by the longhorns' pen. 

In the old sink planter I have some of the verbena that grows wild here. It's beautiful and covers the ground in the yard and pastures. It's one of the most hardy plants we have and requires no help from us to flourish. It appears with a little amount of rain and makes a purple carpet over the ground. It transplants easily and I've moved it with success whenever I try. Bixby pulled up a little plant when he was here last. I rooted it in water in a glass in the kitchen window and planted it in a pot with some peppers. I've got in on the front porch and I'm using it to help protect the peppers it shares space with from being eaten by deer. The yellow primrose in the sink is also native but I purchased it from a nursery. 

We have about 25 mulleins growing in the area in the center of the driveway. They're biennials and some of them will bloom this year. It's been a while since we had any of the big ones. Even without blooms they are beautiful. They get no supplemental watering from me and still they flourish.

One of the most unusual and interesting wildflowers we have is the Antelope Horns milkweed. It's a perennial and we have several that come back every year. The last few years more have appeared, I'm happy to say. Milkweed provides food for butterfly larvae. This particular one has the scientific name of Asclepias asperula, named after Askelpios, the Greek god of medicine that brought Orion back to life. You can find out more about this milkweed from the Native Plant Society of Texas website. Native Plant Society of Texas.

As the title of this post reflects, George Jones is on my mind. There'll not be another like him. As I look out across this land where we've made our home, especially during the worst drought times as we've seen in recent years, this song always comes to mind. I've seen the longhorns without a blade of grass to eat, not even dead grass. And yet the Spring will come with it's flowers if we get the smallest amount of rain. "As I stand here looking over this part of Tennessee Texas.... there's a beautiful sight to behold, and no one knows why there's flowers blooming on ground so poor that grass won't grow." 

George Jones - Where Grass Won't Grow

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! Hope you guys get some good rains this Spring. Seems like we haven't even had much of a Spring this year. Every week I'm having to hold off on putting my jacket away.