One of the finest things about living in Texas is spring wildflower season. In Abilene, it all happens a bit later than in most of the rest of the state. I've been watching reports come in all week from places like Brenham and San Antonio and Marble Falls, where the bloom is coming on strong. But in Abilene, we've got but a few small bluebonnets and assorted early flowers, but are still a few weeks away from anything approaching a full bloom. And so we wait, still not sure what kind of year it will be in and around Abilene.
As a hedge against nature's year-in, year-out fickleness, I planted a wildflower garden in my backyard a few years ago as a way to ensure that no matter what kind of year we had and what else might or might not be happening outside the confines of my own shire, I'd have my own little world of color to enjoy.
Last week I saw the first sign of spring in my yard: the grape hyacinths were emerging from their long winter's nap. Grape Hyacinth is a small delicate little flower that just happens to emerge in my yard for a few weeks each March, brightening my world and validating my stubborn refusal to mow my grass in the month of March. You can see them below.
And then this week, my little patch of Four Nerve Daisies began to bloom in my wildflower garden, which you saw at the beginning of the post. They're the only thing blooming in my wildflower garden at the moment, but the reason I planted them in the first place is that they almost bloom year round. If you get 3-4 warm days in January, which we get here fairly regularly, the little buggers will start showing yellow. They'll shrivel up again when it gets cold, but by this time of year, they've decided winter is done for and are in full regalia.
Soon the Purple Coneflower plants will start to poke up from the fresh layer of mulch I laid down this weekend, followed by the Shasta Daisies and then the Lantana, which by the end of the summer will have taken over the whole garden, giving the butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees something to enjoy.
Yep, spring has sprung in the big country, says my backyard. Hopefully soon the rest of the area will catch on as well.