Bill and I went on a little trip a couple of weeks ago. We were on the lookout for Texas wildflowers, bluebonnets in particular. And, did we ever find them!!
To get the timing right, I’m a member of several Texas wildflower groups. I follow the Texas Wildflower Report on Facebook, and the projections for wildflowers were more exciting than I’d seen in years. Much of Texas had abundant rainfall last September, which many wildflowers, including bluebonnets, require, so this was expected to be a banner year.
The Texas wildflowers did not disappoint us.
Our journey began by driving down to Waco. Of course, we had to drive by the Cottonland Castle, restored by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I was surprised that the castle was right next to a main thoroughfare. We’ve been to Magnolia Market before, so we didn’t stop there.
Then, we drove to Brenham, Texas, home to Blue Bell Creamery and the nearby Antique Rose Emporium in Independence. One of the things I love about Brenham is its small-town charm. Even though it was almost time for the nearby RoundTop Antique Show, we were still able to get into a restaurant and our hotel without much trouble. Also, we went to the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and asked where bluebonnets were blooming; they were such a great help. What nice ladies! Turns out the best bluebonnets of the day were in a field behind Walmart and at the entry to the high school, two separate places.
While at ARE, I also bought two roses, ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ and ‘Thomas Affleck,’ to grow here. Now, where will I put them? My gardens are pretty full. I also found Phlox paniculata Luminary® ‘Ultraviolet’ that reminded me of the ones I saw at King Charles’ garden, Highgrove, last summer, and I replaced my Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ plants that died in last summer’s humidity and heat.
We also ate at the BT Longhorn Saloon and Steakhouse, a historic bar in Brenham. The food and drinks were delicious.
Then, we drove south of Austin to avoid the traffic. Austin has grown so much in recent years. It is nothing like the Austin I visited for the first Garden Bloggers’ Fling way back in 2008. By the way, GBF has rebranded and is now known as The Fling. This year’s fling is in Philadelphia, and yes, I’m going. I’m excited to fling again. Last I read, there are ten spaces left.
I also visited Austin and Lucinda Hutson’s garden for the 10th anniversary of the Fling.
But, back to the wildflowers.
We drove through Johnson City and then on to Fredericksburg. The last time we visited Fredericksburg was five years ago. We noticed that from Johnson City onward, one winery tasting room after another. I had no idea Texas and, specifically, Fredericksburg became a huge wine destination. It was also spring break, so the town was swamped. Bill and I decided to move on. We weren’t really there to taste wine anyway.
We were there to see wildflowers and taste good food and drink. We were also there to drive. We always forget how big Texas is, so we added an extra day to our travels.
On our way home, we timed it so that we could eat at Two Frogs Grill in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It was recently featured on Discover Oklahoma, and it didn’t disappoint with its Cajun food and rockstar vibe. I had blackened catfish. It was tasty.
From what I’ve seen online, there are still plenty of Texas wildflowers to enjoy, and now some of them are blooming further north. If you have time, you should take a trip because a wildflower banner year like this one doesn’t always happen.
Are you thinking about taking in the Texas wildflowers this spring, or have you already? Do tell. Oklahomans will also start seeing wildflowers soon too.
Oh, and one more thing, I wrote this post right before wildfires swept through Logan County and my neighborhood. We lost our barn and almost all of the trees across the street and had some damage to the garden and the irrigation system. Many of my neighbors lost their homes. We feel very blessed that no one died and we didn’t lose our home. I’ll try to write about my experience next week, but if you want to see some of the damage to my property, go to my Instagram profile. I shared some videos there.
As you turn North off the Kilpatrick onto I-35, isn’t that a patch of bluebonnets on the left?
Yes, it is! The highway department planted those years ago. The patch gets a little smaller each year. Enjoy it while you can. ~~Dee
Thank God you, your family and home were spared the worst of fire.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Texas adventure. Houston to San Antonio and Austin- lots of wildflowers.
Hi Lydia, yes, thank God. I’m so grateful no one died in Oklahoma that day. It truly is a miracle. Yes, Texas was great fun!~~Dee
Melissa D Kitchens
I can’t wait to retire at the end of the year so I don’t have to get permission to be off work and can take road trips. I am sorry about the fire but glad your home was spared.
Hi Melissa, are you retiring at the end of they year? If so, happy days! I’m so grateful our home, Masha and Francis are all safe. ~~Dee
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
Love your new design. I’m glad you still have your house and your pets? Did you stop keeping bees? You don’t mention how they fared.
Hi Kathy, Thank you! I love it too.. It took a ton of work for Katie Elzer-Peters team, but it was definitely time. My bees died over winter, and I’ve decided I don’t have time or energy to keep them and the huge garden. The garden wins. Plus, right now, they wouldn’t have enough forage. I’ll be selling my equipment this spring as soon as I have time. ~~Dee
Beautiful photos, as always, Dee. We enjoyed our Texas trip this year, too. We drove right around Austin, but spent a bit of time in the Hill Country and most of our days in San Antonio. It was great to see the bluebonnets and other wildflowers. So sorry about the fires. I’ve been thinking about you.
Hi Beth, we drove on the south side of Austin. Still nutty busy, but we so enjoyed our time. I’m so glad you did too. As for the fires, well, we have our home and most of the garden is intact. I lost a lot of plants, but still you can’t stop spring.~~Dee