Dirt Road Flowers, Natives & No Sprinkler Systems…

A year ago when we had our bridge re-worked on the lane,

the charming drive down the hill,

overhung with tree branches,

hugged by tightly meshed undergrowth and

brightened with the wildest and hardiest of flowers,

was completely laid waste.

I wondered if it would ever grow back?

For a year it remained depleted.  Nothing but rocks and dust.

Then grass started sprouting, slowly.

Then winter came with the big freeze and snow.

Followed by a rainy spring and a reasonable summer, mostly overcast and humid.

And then the miracle that’s God’s creation slowly burst upon the arid scene.

First came Candelabra Thistle.


I marvel at the symmetry, the richness of colour, the hardiness and how it enhances the dirt road side of my property…

I really don’t want it in my fields that are ear-marked for Little Bluestem, Pink Muhlygrass, Prairie Dropseed and Inland Sea Oats now that we’ve battled the Johnson Grass invasion brought on by the unseasonal rain during early summer.

Next I see a golden splatter on the barren roadside, a single, fresh, wild, sunflower.


Another hardy volunteer I don’t want in our fields although I allow them to play in some of my garden areas to teach the other natives how to survive and thrive with minimal nurturing.

I particularly like this version that always shows up just as fall begins.


My flowerbeds above the dirt road leave a lot to be desired as summer closes.  They are planted with natives demanding little water, that by the end of the 100º season are usually left withered and gasping.

My salvia is still blooming on the morning-sun-side of the house and is coming back on the West side where the afternoon sun beats down from noon to setting.

A cool front is helping my annual Zinnias to rally and I’m getting some vibrant, fresh new flowers,


Ruella is steadfastly showing off its purple; my garden club friends tell me this perennial spreads and takes over…I’m waiting and plant more each year but there are still bare patches, perhaps I need to plant them closer together.


My Agave, a true desert plant, flowered the other day, just like that!

Although its leaves are needle-sharp its blooms are delicate and iridescent adding an exotic flavour to my property.


I’m slowly learning how to raise a native garden.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not in England, and definitely no longer in Kent, the garden county of my home.

I live in Texas and I’m embracing the native plant movement, wildflowers and all, except for thistle!

It means putting up with bare patches until I find the perfect seasonal fillers that don’t require a sprinkler system.



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