All The Wildflowers Are Making A Bouquet We Have Been Waiting For

By Jannie Vaught

Here are a few to be on the lookout for.

Pink evening primrose, Large petal yellow stamen, and lower growing. Fleabane Daisy, Upright stem with white clusters of narrow petals with a bright yellow center. Giant Spiderwort, Tall lanky upright with blade leaves and usually a 3 petal blue flower. Antelope Horns Milkweed, Center stem with rounded multi-flowered blossom, Green and white it looks like wax. This is highly needed as this is Monarch Butterfly food.

Texas mountain laurel, this is a flowering tree that has clusters of aromatic purple flowers. Four-nerve daisy, upright stem with a cluster of yellow petals and orange-gold center. Indian blanket, the color wheel of yellow and orange with a dark center. Mexican hat, upright stem with yellow gold petals and a pronounce tall upright dark center. Rock rose. Not a true rose. Small leafy bush with multiple flowers of 5 petals that are a deep pink with a yellow center. Texas bluebell Small flower with 5 purple petals and yellow center. Standing cypress an upright plant with red trumped flowers usually seen along fence rows. looks like a salvia. Corona de Cristo, passion flower. Vining plant with exotic tropical looking purple flowers. A favorite for the sulfur butterfly.

Of course, the Blue Bonnet is our all-time favorite and rightly so, a field of bluebonnets with a dusting of yellow and orange is why people travel to the Hill Country to take pictures and gaze at natures beauty. There is a multitude of wildflowers but these are a sampling of a few that are abundant here. Also, the Agarita have berries now for those who dare the stickers to make a great jelly. The garden is in full swing and many of the seeds are up and I have been placing composted straw mulch around. I have seen some stinkbugs so beware. All the brassicas are pulled out and gone to the chicken yard as they were and are a favorite for harlequin bugs and I need room for other seasonal plants as the season is pressing in on us. Watch for flea beetle and aphids also.

But let’s look at some excellent bugs that we have here. Dragon and Damselflies. These add fluttering beauty to the garden with large, lacy wings and bold colors. They are also known to eat less desirable insects such as aphids and mosquitos. Here’s how to tell them apart. Dragonflies. Blue Dasher is one. They have close-set eyes. The compound eyes of dragonflies (which contain up to 30.000 “ommatidia,” or visual units, each) are so close-set they almost appear to touch, in fact, they sometimes do! Open Wings. Dragonflies, leave their big, net-like wings open when resting. Its a telltale sign of a dragon in your midst. Bigger, Larger in girth and longer overall( with average lengths up to 4 inches), dragonflies are typically stronger, more confident fliers than damselflies. Brawn and beauty. Damselflies. Familiar Bluet. Wide-set eyes. Damselfly eyes- also compound and crazy-cool. Are so wide set their positioned more like human ears, giving damselflies heads the shape of tiny barbells. Closed wings. Damsels rest with their wings folded. They are daintier in flight and tend to look delicate and fluttery, hence the name “bog dancer”. They are usually smaller than dragonflies with slimmer abdomens and the typical length ranging from 3/4 to 1 3/4 inches. You will see them around water and even down by the LLano river. And the Damsel is an electric blue color.

Time to pull some weeds and tend the tomatoes.

Growing green with Jannie