Visit to Wildseed Farms

Front-porch “farmer” at Wildseed Farms

It’s 89 degrees on my shady back porch right now, at 3 in the afternoon. I just came inside from weeding the sunny front garden, and it must be at least 90 or 92 out there. Summer-like temps in February, you might wonder? No indeed. Summer is ever so much hotter. Sigh.

A cold front is supposed to blow in from the north this evening, bringing us back to seasonal temperatures. This is typical late-February weather in Austin: warm one day, cool the next.

It was toasty yesterday too. We took a little road trip into the Hill Country around Fredericksburg, and on the way home we stopped at Wildseed Farms to see what was happening. As it turned out, not much.

It’s too early for their fields of wildflowers to be doing anything but growing greener by the day—no flowers yet. Wildseed Farms—“the largest working wildflower farm in the U.S.,” according to its website—grows its own wildflower seed to sell through its catalog. In late March and April, the fields surrounding the nursery are a riot of color, as bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, blanketflower, and the like bloom in cultivated rows. This is also when the surrounding Hill Country landscape puts on a wildflower show, drawing throngs of bluebonnet gazers.

But on this visit, few plants were for sale except some lifelike steel cacti and their real-life counterparts.

Isn’t this steel agave sculpture amazing?

Still, we had a good time poking around the Texas-kitschy gift shop and the food store, where we were lured by ice cream sandwiches and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.

Back outside, a Texas-style windmill turned in a light breeze.

These blue pots reminded me of the promise of bluebonnets to come.

All material © 2006-2008 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

14 Responses

  1. bill says:

    Another good spot for wildflower seeds is Native American Seeds in Junction. Personally I prefer the content of their mixes.

    Thanks for the tip, Bill. —Pam

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I would love to see those fields full of wildflowers blooming. I am in lust with that agave sculpture.
    This is one I could actually keep in my garden. I don’t think I could kill it. :)

    Yeah, I think that agave is kill-proof. I didn’t even look for a price tag, but I really liked it too. —Pam

  3. Diana Kirby says:

    Looks like you had a lovely outing in the Hill Country yesterday – it certainly was a good day for it. I shopped early and then planted with a vengeance trying to outrun the cooler weather tonight!

    You were busy this weekend! I just visited your blog and read all that you accomplished. Way to go. —Pam

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve been tempted to order seed from them. It looks like a good operation. I’d like to see it in bloom also!

    It’s a fun place to stop while bluebonnet peeping in the spring. —Pam

  5. Kylee says:

    Oh wow, I would LOVE that agave sculpture! I bought three hardy ones for the garden, which will arrive at the end of April. And those blue pots……..LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

    I look forward to seeing your hardy agaves when you get them planted, Kylee. Where did you order them from? —Pam

  6. Gail says:

    I am wanting that agave sculpture myself…it is fabulous. The saguaro cactus made me pause and ask, “Wait is that real?”
    And I was thinking 57 was a nice winter temperature (tomorrow night it will be 26) such is winter in Tennessee.


    We did double-takes on several of the steel cactus sculptures too. The golden barrel cacti were especially realistic, though I didn’t get a good shot of them for this post.

    Temps are falling tonight. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be back in the 60s, for which I’m grateful. I’m not ready for heat yet. —Pam

  7. Carol says:

    That’s hot. Wait, is Paris H. around? I mean, what a warm day. We warmed up above freezing today.
    I can just imagine what those fields must look like in bloom.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

    It was hot, even without Paris. —Pam

  8. irena says:

    awesome steel sculptures and the blue pots are amazing. looks like a fun outing.

    We did have a fun time, Irena. A Sunday drive in the country on a beautiful day can’t be beat. —Pam

  9. Frances says:

    No one has mentioned chocolate covered sunflower seeds! Did you try some, what were they like, as a topping on ice cream? Those metal sculptures are wonderful, but probably pricey. I remember the wildflowers blooming on the trip from The Woodlands, north of Houston, where we lived, to Brenham to the Rose Emporium. All along the medians in the Woodlands were planted with the wildflower mix. Cars lined the streets with people taking pictures, we have a good one of our kids in the middle of the bluebonnets, unforgettable. Can’t wait to see them, the wildflowers, we see the kids all the time, again!

    Frances at Faire Garden

    It was the first time I’d seen chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, Frances. The chocolate coating was multicolored, like M&Ms, and they were packaged so delightfully in a long tube with a sunflower head on top. I bought one for a hostess gift and, of course, got to sample them that way. Yummy! —Pam

  10. Pam, I love those blue pots. Blue is my favorite color.~~Dee

    I really like blue pots too. They look beautiful against the orangey granite paths so prevalent around here. —Pam

  11. Robin says:

    Pam, I think I prefer my snow to your heat. I’d love to see that field in full bloom! Hopefully you can take us back there when the bluebonnets bloom. :)

    Perhaps I’ll get back out there after the Spring Fling, Robin. —Pam

  12. kate says:

    I can only imagine what these fields must look like in bloom. The agave sculpture is beautiful.

    One word—colorful! :-) —Pam

  13. Catherine says:

    I enjoy seeing all your great images. Love those blue pots. I’ll bet their nice to look at in the heat of the summer, with their cool blue color.

    Yes, they would cool things off visually. A cool, blue swimming pool would be even better. ;-) Thanks for visiting, Catherine. —Pam

  14. Nicole says:

    Thanks for another enjoyable tour. My poor friend will be dragged to all sorts of garden related things when I visit her in Dallas LOL. The steel sculptures are really cool-I’d love one of those and the blue pots for my garden.

    I would too, Nicole. Have fun sightseeing in Dallas and elsewhere when you visit. —Pam