Tag Archives: Spring

Nature 101: Legacy of Lady Bird


Texas Bluebonnet - state flower

Texas Bluebonnet – state flower


Spring and Summer is wildflower season in Texas.  Wildflowers are found on our busiest highways  and the loneliest back roads.  Texans love their wildflowers so much that we have wildflower trails and even Bluebonnet specific touring trails.  We even spend money for official road signs that mark wildflowers trails.  Nearly every store with a gardening section will have special Texas wildflower seed packets for sale.

Bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, are especially popular with both Texans and visitors.  In April, before the grass gets too tall and drowns the color of the flowers, there are seas of Bluebonnets waving their heads in the breeze.

During peak Bluebonnet season, you can find cars lined up on the shoulders of even the busiest of highways, with people taking family photos surrounded by a Bluebonnet ocean.  These days you even see family pet portraits with Bluebonnet backgrounds.

Growing up in Texas, I learned early that the reason we had such beautiful flowers growing on the sides of our roads was because of a special woman.  Lady Bird Johnson did a lot of work to make sure that wildflower seeds were planted every year.

Back then I didn’t know exactly what Lady Bird did to make sure we had pretty flowers, just that she was the reason for the pretty flowers.  But I knew she was special because she had been a First Lady and she was from Texas.  Not only was she from Texas, but Lady Bird grew up where I lived.  To a kid, that’s a pretty cool thing.

I got to meet Lady Bird Johnson when I was about 6 or 7, while on a school field trip.  It was a dedication for a historical marker in Jefferson, Texas.  I don’t remember what her speech was about or even what the historical marker was commemorating, but meeting her was something I’ve never forgotten.  It was very exciting that such a celebrity would meet with “normal” folks while TV cameras were rolling.

Today, I know more about Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy to make the world a beautiful place.  Every year when the wildflowers bloom, I can’t help but think of a woman who I met briefly more than 30 years ago.  As a kid, I was wowed by the chance to meet Lady Bird.  As an adult, I am grateful that she made wildflowers and nature such a priority.

To some people wildflowers are “weeds”.  But even weeds can be beautiful if given a chance to bloom.   Because of one woman’s desire to preserve nature for the future, Texas highways and by-ways burst forth in a stunning color palette of God’s creation each Spring and Summer.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a wonderful place to visit.  At the center you can learn about wildflowers and nature conservation, view spectacular flowers, and even buy unique gifts.  But you don’t have to go all the way to Austin to enjoy what they have to offer.  Thanks to the internet, you can even learn how to make your own wildflower seed balls and carry on the tradition of nature conservation that Lady Bird Johnson was passionate about.

Spring is Sproutin’

Close up of sprouting veggies and herbs
Mini greenhouse photo

The mini greenhouse. Who can resist buying one when it’s on sale AND encourages you to have fun playing with dirt?

Winter was weird.  Again.  The pond has gotten a little water back into it, but winter didn’t bring us nearly enough rain to fill the pond back up or help with the drought situation.  The frequent high winter winds did drop the wind chills and make it miserable to be outside, even if it wasn’t wet enough for a more normal Texas winter though.

Now that March is here, it is nice to start seeing a bit more sun and experience some mild Spring days.  Even if it isn’t officially spring yet.  (I won’t hold my breath that the mild pleasant temps will stay.  I am fully expecting it to be 90+ degrees starting in a few weeks.  As usual. :/ )  Even though the weather here isn’t always pleasing, it IS pleasing to see signs of spring sproutin’ in our new mini greenhouse!

For $20 on sale, I just couldn’t pass up the chance to buy this little mini greenhouse to see what it can do.  Hopefully it will be good not only for sprouting seeds, but to grow some things next winter.  Fresh winter tomatoes grown in a big pot sounds good.

There is something exciting about seeing the little sprouts popping their heads up to say hello.  We still have a few more things to plant (ok, more than a few cuz I tend to be a planting nut once I get started), but this is a pretty good start, considering we haven’t grown anything for several years. (Those evil grasshoppers just kept plotting against us and thwarted previous gardening efforts at this house.)  But, now that we have chickens that LOVE to eat grasshoppers, we figured it was time to  get back on the garden wagon.

Look but don’t taste the plants grasshoppers!  (Although I hope our chickens will taste a LOT of you hoppers!)  Cheers for Spring Sprouts!



Close up of sprouting veggies and herbs

Sprouting veggies and herbs!

Photo of more veggie/herb sprouts

More sprouting veggies and herbs!