Since I've been here in Texarkana, I just buy my plants and seeds at Lowes or WalMart because I'm not familiar with the territory yet and I don't know of any nurseries. But my friend Ann, told me about this little nursery just down the street from me and it has some Crape Myrtles on sale for $4.44 - WOW - I have always wanted some crape myrtles. So I stopped in to take a look. Well these were not lovely little bushy crape myrtles like I see at Lowes. These were tall, leggy sticks with a little foliage at the top. And I mean they were tall, taller than I am and I'm 5'2", so they were about 6' tall at least. So I passed on them. But then I strolled around the rest of her little nursery and oh wow! She had all kinds of plants that I want. I love flowering shrubs and she had the kind of selection that I don't see at Lowes and WalMart: Rose of Sharon, a wonderful Spirea, this beautiful, beautiful hibiscus - the great big huge ones - and oh others I can't remember right at the moment. I told my hubby I needed a piece of paper to write them all down cause my memory is so bad - I just knew I "wanted, wanted, wanted"!!!!!
And then she had this lovely Lantana in a hanging basket that I just have to have, but I'll have to go back for it - not enough money in the pocketbook right now.
And I talked to my friend Ann about the Crape Myrtle and she said I should buy it - that with good pruning it will bush out at the top and be beautiful - just like the ones in the median along the highways. Well I always admire those along the highway, so maybe this novice crape myrtle gardner may go back and get one of those crape myrtles and give it a go . . .
We went to visit my sister-in-law today. She lives way, way, way out in the country. I live in a rural community, but I'm really just outside the city limits, she lives way out there. It's a 45 minute drive from town. But it's a nice drive and the Texas wildflowers are just coming into bloom. I saw Red Clover, Coreopsis, Thistle and Indian Paintbrush today. I think I also some some Honesty (Money Plant), but I'm not sure about that - it was back in some woods and not along the highway.
As I was trying to take pictures, Maggie, my sister-in-law's dog, who is still in puppy stage, ran around me and bit the heads off the flowers - silly dog.
Sherry also had some lovely azaelas blooming and a little Bridal Wreath Spirea. I've never seen that particular Spirea before, so I'm hoping to get a cutting from it when we go back next weekend for Easter dinner. It was really pretty. She told me her husband planted it before he died and this is the first year it has bloomed.
She also had an amaryllis ready to burst into bloom in one of her borders. I didn't now that you could plant those outside, I thought they only grew as indoor plants. Even as many years as I've been gardening, I learn something new everyday about gardening.
On Sunday we made the three hour drive to the Dallas Arboretum for Dallas Blooms 2009 - the 25th anniversary of this annual event. It was wonderful. The tulips and daffodils were winding down, but still spectacular and the azaelas were fantastic. There was color, color, color everywhere and the whole thing just made me want to go home and garden like crazy. Of course I don't have that kind of money!
The gardens are apparently a favorite of local photographers and appropriately so. They are very photogenic. I myself took a ton of pictures. I was impressed that the planners/designers made allowances for this. At some of the most photogenic spots, there were little paths and alcoves just made for that perfect picture. And there were plenty of photographers; both professional and amatuer. Also lots of little girls in frilly little dresses being posed here there and everywhere.
There was one spot where there were three flowering peach trees and behind them a spirea and in front of them a flowering japanese rose - I wanted to get all of that in one picture - most everyone was just photgrpahing the trees - I followed this little path and kept going up and up and lo and behold there were some stone steps that took me right up above them and a perfect shot of all of them together. It had to be planned - it was too perfect: the pink trees, the yellow rose, the white spirea - just beautiful.
I also saw several lace leaf leaf Japanese maples - some in large pots. I absolutly love lace leaf Japanese maples and I wasn't sure if they would grow here, so I was pleased to see them and they looked very healthy and some were quite old and growing very well. I once grew one from a "stick" I got at a gardening show and it was so beautiful - I just stuck it in the ground and it grew into this amazing plant in just a few short years. I miss that tree (sigh).
I also saw foxglove which is another favorite of mine. I have some foxglove seedlings growing now, but I wasn't sure how they would do in this climate. I guess they do ok, cause they had some they had just set out and they were just coming in to flower now. So that was encouraging also.
I also saw a plant that was new to me that I just fell in love with. It was Texas Mountain Laurel. It was just beautiful. I had never seen it before. The flower reminded me of Texas Bluebonnets somewhat and had a slight fragrance. There were two of them flanking an entrance to a walled garden and they were just beautiful. One had many more blooms than the other, not sure why, but it was beautiful (you can just see one of the Japanese Maples around the corner in this picture).
There was a HUGE snowball viburnum down on the backside towards White Rock Lake. I've never seen one quite that large. My husband asked me what it was and I told him it was a snowball hydrangea - that's always what I thought those were, he corrected me - thought he was so smart, but he was reading the little sign. Smart alec! That was one nice thing about the gardens, everything was well labeled. I really liked that. Some places do a haphazard job of that, but everything here was labeled with both the common and botanical name. Very, very nice.
As you can tell, I had a wonderful day. I could go on and on and on. But alas, it ended too soon. The place was too crowded and too many children and we had a long drive home, so we had to leave. I didn't get to see the entire garden, but I plan to return and this time I shall go sans hubby and spend the entire day and I will NOT go on a weekend and not on a special day when there are tons of people. I want to be able to stroll at my leisure and drink in all the beauty there to my hearts content.