Springtime with Wildflowers

Spring columbine, so delicate and alluring.

“Wildflowers and native plants are as much a part of our national heritage as Old Faithful or the Capitol Building.” — Lady Bird Johnson

I spent one May day last year wandering the paths of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

It was mesmerizing to see how beautiful the native prairie flowers looked in their rightful home. The Former First Lady was a true Texan and is remembered for her advocacy work beautifying the highways and byways of America.
She is quoted as saying:

“Wherever I go in America, I like when the land speaks its own language in its own regional accent.”

Look at this meadow of naturalized black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia sp.)

That’s a true “Slow Flowers” ethos, Mrs. Johnson. Thank you for the legacy that inspired me and inspires so many others, from school children to preservationists.

Here are the scenes and details that caught my attention. As an avid gardener who evaluates every plant in the landscape for its potential as a floral design element, I have to say that these gardens are an ideal Muse for the garden-to-vase floral designer.

Mixed together, these carefree wild and native perennials create a naturalistic tapestry.

The Wildflower Center’s mission is: “To increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.”

As a national leader in plant conservation, sustainable landscaping and ecology-based design, the Wildflower Center is also a research unit of The University of Texas at Austin.

Enjoy this gallery . . . I know I enjoyed photographing it!

Cirsium brevistylum (I believe). This is a tiny tufted meadow flower. Also known as Indian Thistle.
I love any flower that fulfills the role of a spire or spikes, such as this beautiful purple-flowering Cleveland sage.
Salvias, purple and red together.
Love this stand of Mexican hat flower (Ratibida columnaris).
And here is another lovely variety — look at the playfulness of its form.
A wild rose.
Texas red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora).
Mallow
Purple cone flower (Echinaceae).
Another variety of cone flower with fine whitish-pink petals.
A type of native grass called “Habiturf,” developed as a water-wise lawn alternative.
Opuntia cactus in the wild meadow. LOVE THIS!
A majestic live oak.
A cluster of beautiful oak leaves dangling from a low branch.
A mixed meadow at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is the founder of Slow Flowers and the author of several books.

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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)slowflowers.com.