Thursday, May 2, 2013

Three for Thursday: Blue, Blue, My Love is Blue ...

MAD MEN's most recent episode concluded with a classic '60s ballad, "Love is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu)*  and it's been coming back to me all week. I do love my bluebonnets, even thought it's not been a good year for them.  The lack of winter rain made for poor germination and stunted growth.   I'm celebrating those that I do have and hoping for a better show next year.   *[note: at 1:42 the haunting melody ends and a jazzy version begins, which is somewhat disconcerting.]


I told the Head Gardener that the south bed between Wit's End and my neighbor's cried out for bluebonnets. That bed is home to Cher, the younger of the two Bauhinia galpinii, whose extravagant red-orange blooms are so showy.  I had a mental picture of how striking those blooms and the blue Lupinus texensis would look together.  Just one problem: the Bauhinia blooms several months later than the bluebonnets. Oh, well.  (The Head Gardener can kindly stuff a sock in it.)



You'll notice different colors in the middles of the flowers: some are pure white and some are reddish-purple.  Somewhere I'd heard that the color change occurred with pollination.  This Texas Beewatchers site says it's more likely a result of age but gives a good explanation of why the bees choose the white spots.  


And this is the ugly part of growing bluebonnets. The plants can look absolutely horrendous while they set seed and they violate the Head Gardener's amenities dreadfully. She concedes, however, that a gardener is often required to overlook such things if s/he wishes to enjoy future beauty.  

8 comments:

Carol said...

The blue bonnets and other wild flowers in my neck of the woods have been awesome this year! I have really enjoyed them. Plants are very happy at my ranch, too. I don't want them to know what's in store for them in a few weeks. (heat). Have a great weekend! Carol

Dee Nash said...

Such lovely things those bluebonnets. I've bought them in pots to have here, but they never set seed. We are too cold. Something I've always wondered . . . do these lupines not mild alkaline soils? Or, are they prolific in areas that have acidic soils? Does Texas even have any acidic soils? Maybe you know. Thanks, Dee

Alison said...

I watch Mad Men too, and that song has been stuck in my head now too. I like to leave seedheads on many plants for the birds and so that they will self-sow. But it does leave them looking so messy. I guess we just have to put up with it.

My plans for plants don't always work out either. The ones that do look good together are usually happy accidents.

Leslie said...

That song is a blast from the past! Your bluebonnets are sweet even if they do look a bit raggedy before they are done.

Rose said...

I was disappointed I didn't get to see any blue bonnets on my recent trip to Dallas, so thanks for sharing these, Cindy;I love the deep blue blooms.

Now I'lI have "Love is Blue" running through my mind all night:)

Patrick said...

After seeing "A Trip to Bountiful', I've always wanted to see a field of blue bonnets in person. Now, I'm paralyzed that's not going to happen but I can still dream in blue.

Kathy said...

I just hate it when the timing doesn't work out. We have other lupines that grow here, but they are not as blue as bluebonnets.

Jean said...

My bluebonnets look a mess now too. It remains to be seen if I'll get any next year. I am worried we get too much cold rain here for them!