Redbuds in bloom and Lawn Gone! at the Wildflower Center

A blue sky and mild spring breeze drew me outdoors yesterday, and I ended up popping into the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a brief visit. A raspberry-colored Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) in full bloom arrested my progress through the parking lot. Just look at it against that azure sky.

Up close the blossoms hummed with black bees of some sort. They were camera shy and a little touchy about my nosing in, but they left me alone.

The flowers cluster along the redbud’s smooth limbs.

A little further along, this combo had me pulling out my camera again: a Wheeler sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) and Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora), just past peak bloom but still dripping with purple flowers.

I got a snootful of the grape soda fragrance—the essence of spring for me since moving to Austin.

This majestic live oak is in the process of releafing. Though considered evergreen, live oaks actually do drop their leaves—all at once in spring—and releaf within a week or two. My own live oaks are “molting” too.

I’ve often admired this simple but effective part-shade combo of Texas dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) and Texas nolina (Nolina texana). I like the contrast between the upright, fan-shaped palm leaves and the nolina’s puddles of limp spaghetti.

Inside the gift shop, I spotted bags of Habiturf seed for sale. Habiturf is an ecological lawn made up of several native grasses, developed by the Wildflower Center for the hot, dry Southwest and Southern Plains. I have a picture of a Habiturf lawn in my book—it’s quite nice looking and requires very little mowing or watering once established.

Speaking of Lawn Gone!—it’s now in stock at the Wildflower Center’s gift shop! The volunteer at the register who kindly took my picture asked, “Aren’t you proud?” when she learned I was there to visit my book. Yes, but more than that, I’m honored that it’s being sold at the garden that taught me so much of what I know about gardening in central Texas. The Wildflower Center is where my love of gardening blossomed. I’m so happy to have the chance to share that love with others.

Oh, and if you want to purchase a copy of Lawn Gone! at the Wildflower Center, it’s in the general interest section on the far right.

And don’t forget: The Lawn Gone! Book Party is rockin’, and you’re invited! Seven bloggers are hosting 7 cool, alt-lawn related giveaways this week. Find all the links on my giveaway post, and leave a comment on each one for your chance to win!

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

11 Responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It won’t be long and our redbuds will be sporting their blooms. Seeing these makes me anxious to see them. I am so proud of you Pam. It is great seeing you in print.

    Thank you, Lisa. :-) I am picturing redbuds awakening all the way north to Indiana. —Pam

  2. Chris says:

    Could not agree more about the Mountain Laurels. When I get my first whiff after the dull winter season I know…it’s ON.

    And it is definitely ON right now. I’m sniffing them all over town. —Pam

  3. Peter says:

    Alas we’ve no mountain laurels here but I’ve been reading about how wonderful they are on several southern blogs.
    How exciting to see your book in a place that nurtured your central Texas gardening knowledge. Congratulations again, Pam! I hope book sales are going well!

    Thank you, Peter! Someday you need to visit Austin in the spring just to smell those Texas mountain laurels. —Pam

  4. Susan says:

    Great photos! I absolutely love this time of year when the Redbuds and Mountain Laurels are in bloom.
    Congrats on your book being sold at LBJ Wildflower Center, a great place to learn about natives!

    It’s the best place to learn about natives, Susan, and also to appreciate the unique beauty of our native landscape. I’m no purist as far as native plants go, but I do use a lot of them, and I love to design with a sense of place. —Pam

  5. Love that photo of you with your book!

    You can see I was pretty psyched. :-) —Pam

  6. You go, girl!

    Whoo-hoo! —Pam

  7. Cat says:

    Cutie pie.

    Aw, shucks. (blushing). —Pam

  8. Lori says:

    I get a thrill whenever I see your book for sale, and I imagine it’s way more awesome for you! I got my copy yesterday, and it is fantastic. My mom’s gonna order a copy too. I am hoping this will help her convince my dad to get rid of some of their 5 acres of golf course turf. Fingers crossed!

    Thank you, Lori and Mom!! I so appreciate your support. And wow, 5 acres of grass?! They have plenty to spare and then some. —Pam

  9. Jason says:

    The mountain laurel is gorgeous. I would love to visit the Ladybird Johnson Center, I use their website all the time.

    They have such a useful plant database, don’t they? —Pam

  10. michael says:

    Speaking of waiting for redbud blooms Pam, is there any reason my yard’s trees and plants bloom at least a week later than everyone else in our neighborhood?

    Yes, they’re lazy. Ha! Seriously though, maybe they’re a different cultivar or even a different species? There are Texas redbuds and Mexican redbuds here in Austin. Or maybe yours are just a bit more shaded or cool than the ones down the street, and so they wait a bit longer. —Pam

  11. Gale says:

    Beautiful blooms…but today I’m not here to see your lovely pictures. I got to hear one of my favorite poets ever at a reading this week…and ever since then each time I see you blog name on my blogroll I think of a poem he wrote called Digging. Had to share it with you…

    Thanks for sharing, Gale. —Pam