When Lady Bird became our nation's First Lady after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, one of her first projects was promoting green space in our nation's capitol. She didn't like the concrete parks nearly devoid of flowers. She went on from there to get behind the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, which limited signage along public highways.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center because of her financial contributions, today the center is part of the University of Texas at Austin. The Center celebrated 30 years in December, when Lady Bird would have been 100 years old.
Kathi Appelt and illustrator Joy Fisher Hein collaborated to create a beautiful and charming children's book, Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America (Harper Collins Publishers, 2005), targeted for ages 7-10. Kids will learn a little bit about Lady Bird Johnson, including how she got her nickname, as well as what led her to lead the way for a more beautiful America. It's important to know the story behind Lady Bird's legacy and this book is a wonderful way to learn about it. There's even an online activity kit that coordinates with the book.
When I visited Jenny Peterson, my co-author of our upcoming book, Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants, at her home in Austin last July, we took time out to visit the Wildflower Center. It was a very warm day, with a high of 102° F, so we didn't really care that we only had a couple of hours to spend there. It wasn't necessarily a high bloom time for the Center, but still very beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent there with my good friend. I'd like to make a return visit someday.
Here are some photos I took during my brief visit at the Wildflower Center. Enjoy!
|Now THAT'S an agave!|
|Metal wildflower sculptures are located throughout the center, |
including this native Texas Bluebonnet.
|Yes, the sky really was that blue.|
|Kiss Me Quick (Portulaca pilosa)|
|Dragonfly - possibly a Neon Skimmer|
|I have agave envy!|
|Texas sotol (Dasylirion texana)|
|Top to bottom:|
Cardinal Feather (Acalypha radians)
Silver Pony-foot (Dichondra argentea)
Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana)
|The requisite cactus.|
|Jenny has a similar photo on her camera! ;-)|
|Hey, I know that one! I have one in MY yard!|
Beautyberry Shrub (Callicarpa americana)
|I just hope the snakes know how to read.|
|I guessed this to be a Euphorbia because it reminded me a |
little of a poinsettia. It's Euphorbia cyathophora.
|Gulf Fritillary butterfly|
|Click on photo to enlarge for easier reading.|
Learn more about the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center by visiting their website.