Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Scarcity and Desire

Growing up in Central Texas, I liked Pink Evening Primroses the best of all the spring flowers.  As a little girl, the masses of blossoms reminded me of the scene where Dorothy skips through a field of poppies in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz".
While most other people were waxing rapturous over the bluebonnets, it was the masses of pink flowers that I waited for with joyous anticipation.  Typically beginning their bloom phase later than the striking blue stalks of our state flower, the pink primrose patches lasted far longer, blooming well past the point when the oak pollen fell to negligible levels and I could venture out of doors again without concern for a supply of tissues for my nose.
After primroses, it was the appearance of Hill Country Rain Lilies I yearned for the most.  I was born during a historic draught.  As a young girl I picked up from the adults around me how desperately we needed precipitation.  It was no mystery why all but the most hardened hearts would quicken at the beautiful sight of tiny white flowers appearing alongside roads and fence rows in response to rain.  It was not only the beauty of the blooms that Texans welcomed, but also the life giving moisture that preceded them.
That was all forgotten however when I saw my first Winecup (Callirhoe involucrata).  Though I no longer remember exactly when or where it was I saw my first deep magenta bloom with the striking white center, I do know I fell immediately and deeply under its spell.
To this day I find them absolutely enchanting.  The shape, the color, the brevity of each flower's appearance.  I never get enough.
With my infatuation undiminished, it is a given that now I have my own outdoor spaces to manage, I've got a couple of winecup plants in our garden beds out back.  I had to move them from the front beds.  The deer like to eat them as much as I like looking at them.  Unfortunately, the only spots out back with enough sun and drainage in combination were already crowded. The winecups must fight for their place year to year.
But fight they do.  And perhaps it is precisely because of their relative scarcity that I still find myself  drawn time and time again to this particular scattering of blooms.

The Wine

by Sara Teasdale
I cannot die, who drank delight
 From the cup of the crescent moon,
And hungrily as men eat bread,
 Loved the scented nights of June.
The rest may die — but is there not
 Some shining strange escape for me
Who sought in Beauty the bright wine
 Of immortality?


Debra said...

I believe the rain lily truly is a magical plant. How can it grow in the worst of places?

I love the juxtaposition of the primrose with the winecup. I would try that if I had any sun to work with. maniacal hahahhaha followed by heartbreaking sob.

How can a person live in Texas and not have enough sun? How ?!?!?

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Ha! I feel you. Few spaces here get enough sun to support the plants I love. The primroses are under oaks that lose leaves at the start of their season. The winecup is edging into a small sunny patch. It is as tough as it is beautiful, just like rain lilies.

Tina said...

I also have childhood memories of primrose. We had an ally that ran the length of the street at the back of property and the primroses were rampant. I pretended that little groups of them were families and friends and remember having little plays and conversations between the flowers. I was a weird kid. Like Debra, I also like the photo with the soft pink of the primrose paired with the deep magenta of the winecup.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: If by "weird", you mean awesome... You and I'd have gotten along famously. I agree - the winecup does look extra pretty next to the primrose, which is a good thing because I doubt I could do anything about either plant in that bed at this point. (Not that I would even try...).

Linda Lehmusvirta said...

Love your pictures and your garden! I actually have white winecup and crazy pink primrose together.

TexasDeb said...

Linda: Thank you! That means a lot coming from Central Texas' Bodhisattva of Blossoms. White winecups mixed in with primroses sounds very dainty and somehow very Southern to me.

I've got daisies coming up in the primrose and winecup here and those white bloomsdancing overhead just make the pink and magenta flowers pop all the more.