Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, or something like that. Here in central Texas, there really is not much to find that is truly beautiful or even pretty. Here in central Texas we just do not have breath taking vistas as some states. We don’t have many pretty fall leaves either. They are scattered about town and one has to know where to look to see wine, yellow, red, and gold and some other fall colors in the mix.
Many years ago I hired a man that really new how to dig up small trees and native shrubs and those were transplanted from a wild area before all the vegetation was destroyed to make way for an apartment complex. We’ve owned this property for a long time and have held on to it simply because where else could I find an oasis in the city on one acre of land?
All the native shrubs and small trees that I planted offer just a small retreat for me and my dogs. I relish walking through the parts of the yard that I let go wild. There aren’t a great number of flowering plants, for water was a determining factor of what would grow with the least amount of water during a drought. This summer was a real doozie. The heat was fierce and I had to concentrate on what I knew might not hold up to the prolonged heat and lack of rain.
I had to let my litle garden go and water the live oaks, red oaks, elms, and some of the understory trees and native shrubs. My water bill was $300 plus for two months in a row. But you can not replace well over a hundred year old tree and I wanted to keep the live oaks from stressing. The oaks are more susceptible to disease (live oak wilt and live oak decline) if they become stressed from lack of moisture.
Back to the blooming plants in the yard- Most of them attract bees and butterflies, and some of the shrubs and trees attract the white wing doves beginning early September. The doves come in droves to the gum bumelia trees and in the summer I have to work hard to beat the doves and squirrels to the figs.
About 1/2 of the the yard is kept as wild or as native as possible. I leave everything looking messy so the migratory birds that winter here, have good cover and shelter to protect them from the owls and hawks. Plus there are seeds from the native sunflowers and prairie grasses that helps them make if through part of the winter. I love seeing and hearing the birds and when the weather turns colder I put out sunflower, cracked corn, and milo so that they’ll stay here in the yard and not have to hunt for food.
Here are some pics of scenes of the yard and of the plants that the birds enjoy. The pics are not much to look at for I did not enhance them in any way. They should have gone to Photoshop but I could not get photoshop to cooperate with my ineptness last night or this morning.
Post and Photographs Yvonne Daniel