Years ago, there were not the numbers of bluebonnets seen today. Don’t go all political on me because this is a non-partisan blog! Lady Bird Johnson is largely responsible for beautifying Texas, and it has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. She made it her mission to improve the landscape, and she did. She crusaded for wildflowers along the roadsides. Through her efforts (nagging) at former Governor John Connally, packets of wildflower seed were given to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and anyone who wrote to Austin, but I don’t remember what office. Sorry.
|Lady Bird Johnson and her wildflowers|
If you see wildflowers along the Interstates, thank Lady Bird Johnson. She legislated (what else can you call it) to get wildflowers sewn along all the Interstate highways in the contiguous United States and enlisted Texas Senator Loyd Bentsen’s help. The wildflowers don’t need to be mown, yet prevent soil erosion. This saves taxpayer dollars while providing a beautiful view. I know that funding cuts the past few decades have eliminated many of the seed sowing programs, but you simply have to give Lady Bird a lot of credit for her foresight and determination.
|Pasture between Weatherford and Mineral Well, TX. |
I aimed carefully to exclude the dead coyote
carcass hanging on the fence nearby.
My family and I visited Lady Bird's wildflower test area near Austin. It was lovely. When docents explained the process, growing wildflowers seemed so easy. For me, not so much. I have tried many methods to plant bluebonnets and paintbrush and have given up - almost. On our acreage, we have a few native paintbrush, winecups, Indian blanket, and many other varieties, but NO BLUEBONNETS! It’s as if the bluebonnets mock me. I hear them sending me raspberries from afar. However, less than half a mile away bluebonnets abound.
Will I give up? No. I am determined to grow those lovely flowers! Did you know they smell very sweet, similar to orange blossoms? If you know a good way to cultivate bluebonnets in places where you can't water, please tell me.
What is your favorite wildflower?