January 9, 2012

Free Visits in January ~ Lady Bird Wildflower Center





During the month of January, visits to the Lady Bird Wildflower Center are free!  We may have brutally hot and dry summers but our winter months give us a chance to get out and about in the sunshine and discover the subdued, quiet beauty that is Austin.







It's true you won't be carried away with delight by masses of flowers but it is a good time to get ideas for structural elements to add to your garden.   The bones of the garden take center stage this time of year and hardscape elements that are sometimes hard to see for the plants and people are clearly defined. You'll have a clear view of the paths that meander through the gardens and their construction, a myriad of vessels used to hold plants are clearly on display, and you'll see which plants add texture and color during these quiet months. 

Personally, the most important observation I made was the way some of the shrubs and understory trees are pruned. While dormant, you can see where strategic cuts have been made to allow the plant to maintain a pleasing, natural shape but at the same time, coaxing it to fit in the desired location.  This inspired me to try a couple of shrubs I've been wanting to add knowing that with some gentle persuasion they can flourish in my small garden.   Note:  I'm not talking about trying to grow a 20 ft tree in a space worthy of a 5 ft shrub...I'm talking gentle persuasion not tree topping!

If you're able, I hope you'll get out and experience the simple beauty the Wildflower Center has to offer this time of year.  I definitely wasn't disappointed!







15 comments:

  1. Such a fine distinction between gentle pruning and severe hacking, one that I am still trying to learn with the trees and shrubs in my garden. More art than science, and how great that you have living examples right there, and for free!

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  2. love your images! i personally think weeds are as beautiful as flowers. :)

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  3. Ahhh...the thought of seeing that garden now, bones more obvious (last time it was very sticky when your Oct rain returned). Mixed with great live music, BBQ...I'm almost there.

    Great point on what gentle persuasion is and isn't for a tree!

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  4. That's a great recommendation, Cat. We'll try to get up there. One of my goals is to keep structure in the winter.

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  5. Your winters sound divine! Thanks for the great reminder of getting out and appreciating the winter perspective. My gardens bones sure could use some attention ;)
    Looking forward to a beautiful new gardening year ahead...cheers Julia

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  6. It's good to have the winter to observe the "bones" of the garden and to remind oneself to appreciate something which might be overshadowed by the showy plants of other seasons.

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  7. For me a total thrill to visit, Cat ... do so wish I lived near. Happy New Year, fun sharing friend!

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  8. You make good observations. Just because there isn't much color in a winter garden doesn't mean there isn't anything to see or learn. So nice to appreciate a garden from a different perspective/season. And you got ideas for your own garden. That's great!

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  9. I would love to visit the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. Unlikely, but I can always dream. I am sure it is a wonderful place.

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  10. January in Austin sounds fabulous! I can't complain too much this year about our winter, but most years Austin would be a top desired destination in January. Lovely images and descriptions!

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  11. How wonderful to live close to this amazing place. It is on my list of must sees one day. A major resource I use for my native plants is the website.

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  12. I love your photos, interesting art pieces on their own, most especially the last one! marvelous.

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  13. Lovely images Cat. As much as I complained about this recent brutally hot summer, this mild, sunny winter almost (almost!) makes up for it :)

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  14. Hi Cat, It would be nice to visit Austin someday and winter sounds like a perfect time of year to do it. I love your shot of the clematis seeds. The lighting is terrific!

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  15. I love that last image and the one below especially - it seems to dance across the page. Thanks for sharing your warm Texan air on this cold day in Maine.

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!