Wildflowers in Texas (believe it or not)

When The Patient Gardener and I announced to our friends in the UK that we were travelling to Austin, Texas to see not only gardens, but wildflowers, we were greeted with reactions that ranged from mystified to downright sceptical.
"Do they have gardens in Texas?" people would ask. "Isn't it just desert?" And as for wildflowers: "Is this a joke? Are you winding me up?" they would say.
I'm not sure whether these responses are due to Western movie imagery, or just general ignorance about America, but to confound the disbelievers, here are some pictures from my first days on the annual Garden Bloggers Fling.

Blanket flowers (Gaillardia aristata)

The jolly chaps in this picture are blanket flowers (Gaillardia aristata), and these are growing in the garden of Laura Wills, one of the Austin Fling hosts. Laura very kindly invited those of us who had flown in early (which always means the Brits!) to brunch at her house, which is an urban farm.

Wildflowers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The first day of the Fling included a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, part of the University of Texas at Austin, and the state botanical garden and arboretum. Unfortunately, our visit there coincided with a spectacular thunderstorm, so picture opportunities were somewhat limited. However, these images might give you some idea of what an amazing place this is, and how gorgeous the Texas wildflowers are.

Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) and coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)

The Savanna Meadow at the Center

Pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

I should point out that you don't have to go to the Wildflower Center to see flowers like this - you will see them growing by the roadside, and even down the central reservations.


Renee said…
Love seeing the wildflower center through your lens!
I was very surprised (pleasantly!) to see so many wildflowers by the roadside. More than we would see in California!

I had a blast hanging out with you at the Fling! I wish you didn't live to far away :-)
Dee Nash said…
And, you were in Texas at the perfect time for the best wildflower viewing. Did you see any bluebonnets? I think they were mostly bloomed out because they are now at peak bloom in Oklahoma. It's funny, when I travel, I always get asked about Native Americans and teepees. I never quite know what to say. Loved seeing you Victoria!~~Dee
And here we thought our Texas wildflowers were world famous! I'm glad we had a good showing for you, despite it being past prime for our most beloved wildflower, the Texas bluebonnet. It was lovely to see you again, Victoria.
slc said…
Lovely images of the wildflowers. That's what I like best about living in Central Texas. The months of April and May are terrific for the displays of wildflowers that are pretty much found everywhere.
Margaret said…
What a fantastic fling - it was wonderful to once again spend time with you, Victoria. The Wildflower Center was lovely, wasn't it. I must say that, while I didn't expect desert, Texas was certainly much "greener" than I had anticipated.
Anonymous said…
I was so sad to learn about this gathering the day of because of a hashtag on Twitter. But hoping to attend next year. I love your photos especially the Lady Bird Johnson wildflower center.

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