This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson sums up my feelings and desires this spring. In Texas, the wildflowers are in full swing this time of year. Delicate pink and yellow primroses and orange Indian paintbrush line the highways and byways, as well as carpets of bluebonnets, the State Flower.
Last year when the pandemic was just beginning, I was nervous about venturing out to the garden center, so I didn't buy or plant anything. My standing garden, built by my son-in-law Matt and me a couple years ago, stood empty. This year, I made up for lost time. First, I planted some gorgeous annuals in front. These are called dipladenia, which have small trumpet-like blooms in white, pink and red. They will grow into a large dome-like shape. I need to add some new shrubs to replace those that got killed off in the big freeze, but that can wait until next month.
My new walled garden in the back yard features red oleander, Mexican feather grass, dwarf gardenia, a striped yucca and a butterfly bush. In front of those, I put in ten perennials, including Shasta Daisy, pink dianthus, red salvia, purple dianthus, catmint, and Texas primrose. Many have burst into bloom, with an array of colors. I smile every time I look out the window at this glorious display.
The aforementioned son-in-law and I visited the local nursery to purchase herbs for the standing garden, which include parsley, two kinds of basil, two kinds of rosemary, Greek oregano, and thyme. We also planted several kinds of peppers and mulched everything to keep the moisture in. I found that other kinds of vegetables didn't do very well, so we skipped those. However, I did put a patio tomato plant in a container and it's already producing lots of yellow blossoms and little fruits.
Today, I planted five large containers of annuals to add some color to the pool deck. Each one got a bright pink geranium, delicate purple vinca, white zinnias, purple petunias and new to me, a red gazania. As the weather warms up and we get lots of sun, they will quickly fill out the container. I filled some smaller containers with impatiens, which will do well on the shaded patio. Now, my challenge is to keep all of it alive and thriving in the Texas heat, which will be upon us soon!
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.