Tuesday, May 20, 2014


   After waiting months to post anything, I feel like the property and the gardens are healed enough from the double whammy of destructive flood followed by months of hard freezes, topped off by two March deep freezes and one April freeze, to begin sharing  my humble efforts again.. I know I`m not the only one, but two years of hard work was difficult to watch get washed away and frozen to death.
   One of my projects has been to take two quarter acre sections of this property and try to turn it back to native Post Oak Savannah. It`s been easier said than done. I thought I could just sort of let it go, selective mowing in lieu of burning,  seed scattering and some transplanting. I have met with mixed results after two years. It`s obviously going to take a long time to restore the over mowed, poor ,sandy soil to it`s natural state. One of the things that happened in the aftermath of the October 30th flood was my Stepson, thinking he was helping, decided to shred the back prairie patch (to surprise me ). This would have been ok, but it was months before it was time to do so. He mowed everything, including transplanted cacti ! He also mowed down the Little Bluestem and Splitbeard Bluestem before their seeds had matured. I walked over the patch and found  bit of cactus intact, albeit run over and nicked. I decided to just stick it back in the ground and see if it would root. The following picture is the result followed by some others of the recovering landscape. Nature is truly amazing and a true self healer.

Among the grasses, Firewheel, and Black Eyed Susan , a tough survivor in bloom.

 Part of the back patch, with Goldenrod and Little Bluestem emerging.

 A closer view

The front patch, which has more types of wildflowers, including Phlox, Firewheel, Wooly White, Basket Flower, Spotted Bee Balm, Lemon Bee Balm, Coreopsis, Indian Paintbrush,Wild Onion,Gayfeather, Scarlet Sage, Bluebonnet, Black Eyed Susan, Beach Sunflower and more.

  Drummond Phlox. There are many colors of it in the patch. White, blue, red, and pink.

 The Monardas are coming on strong and I feel by next week the Wild Bergamot will be in bloom.
Spotted Bee Balm.

 Lemon Bee Balm

 Cowpen Daisy and emerging Maximillian Sunflower

The recovering front beds

You have to love  Mealy Blue Sage, I lost of lot of it, but this small patch came back

This is the area with the most flood destruction. A complete dismantling of the fence and then load after load after load of wheelbarrowed fill, fence reassembly, planting soil, and new plants. It is still a work in progress, but it has come a long way.


  1. The recovery looks amazing! The prairie is returning and it seems the mowing was just a minor setback. There are a number of folks out there posting varying success with returning natural prairie and it does seem to take a while.

    The amount of work you put in this past year is impressive and it will all pay off in the long run. Rain is predicted this weekend and I'm hoping for rain without the floods.

    1. Thanks, Shirley. Things have come back better than I would have expected although we did have quite a few casulties. All part of the process and all part of noting what survives the best.

  2. You are right - Nature is an amazing healer. Your place looks wonderful.

  3. So does yours Dorothy ! Thank You.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your severe disasters, it's great that the prairie is recovering. I have so many noxious weeds I fight in some larger open areas, we have to mow a lot of it regularly so can't enjoy wildflowers there. BTW I checked and the Monarda Punctata is blooming the spotted flowers and colored bracts are so unusual, like a punk rocker or costume. I will post some photos next week.

    1. Monarda has been a plant that has really grown on me the last couple of years. The Punctata has always been profuse here at my place, and mostly mowed down, until recently. The other two species , I have introduced and am determined to have spread. I`m happy you have a piece of Texas taking to your place! The smell of the Punctata is unmistakable.

  5. Randy's back! Even with all of the problems you had, I think it all looks pretty good. Who knows, maybe the mowing will be beneficial in the long run.

  6. LOL. I don`t know about the mowing, but I do think the hard winter ha\d some good effects! The reason I hated the mowing was the fact that the grasses had not seed matured.

  7. Randy I remember the pictures after your flood and this is wonderful to see...so much reclaimed and growing. I know how hard it is to reclaim land and try to get it back to a meadow...but yours seems to be doing wonderfully so far.

  8. Thanks for noticing, Donna. Sometimes , even disaster can bring opportunity! The labor has been good for my waistline. :)