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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Support Wildflowers (on Cars!) (for Free!)

It's true.  For just a few days longer you can support wildflowers and the LBJ Wildflower center, through the Texas DMV!
While you may read the statement above and conclude that I am crazy (I probably am, but not for this!) bear with me.  What I'm proposing is so easy it won't require you to even leave your chair.

Between now and Friday, November 21st, you can visit the State of Texas DMV site and register your preferences for a batch of newly proposed specialty license plates.  One of those plates, the first specialty plate offered up for public approval in this particular group, features wildflowers.

If approved, a portion of the fee for the plate ($22 out of the total $30) will be distributed to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to  "increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes in Texas".

You don't have to buy the license plate, you don't even have to register any information to vote your preferences. You simply visit the page, scroll down to the choices section, select the "I like it" button for the wildflower plate and submit your vote here at this site.  Boom.  Done.

How easy was that!  Now go have yourself another cup of coffee or tea and put your feet up for a while.  Then get out there and cover those plants you forgot about last night before tonight's hard freeze hits.

What?  You didn't forget to cover any of your tender plants last night?  Well, we sure enough did.  All that misty wet yesterday lulled us into a false sense that the lows were going to be plant friendly overnight.  And as the mercury is hovering at thirty degrees here currently, I'd say we were sorely mistaken.  I'm not sure how many hours below freezing the plants have already endured, the resulting browning to come will let us know how wrongfooted we've gotten.  And it isn't even Thanksgiving!

The "forgetting to cover" mishap occurs for us every year at some point in the season, just not usually so early on.  We consider it a bit of Darwinian overlay, a long range natural approval (or rejection) process around the plant choices we've made for these spaces.
Just another wonderful feature of wildflowers...they seem to take our winterly swings between above and below freezing temps in stride.  Here's one last peek at some blooms from last year, coming after an especially cold winter, just to remind you how forgiving native plants can be.  
Pretty, yeah?  I think so too.  Now get yourself over to the Texas DMV before the end of the day Friday, and vote for wildflowers.  On cars! For free!


Kathleen Scott said...

Shoot! I missed the voting.

Loved your wildflower photos though!

TexasDeb said...

Kat: There's still time to vote...the process is open through this coming Friday November 21st. (and thanks - those photos are gimmes - the flowers do all the work).

Tina said...

I saw that this morning--thanks for the reminder. I'm not much for vanity plates, but really, could I resist?? Go wildflowers! Go natives!

Debra said...

Easy choice to vote for flowers over oil rigs hahaha

Loved seeing your photos. As always. =D Each time I read the forecast the number gets smaller. yipes.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: I'm not the "special" plate type myself, but having those license plates as a choice for the folks who do want something different, along with the added benefit of supporting the Wildflower Center? That is easy to get behind.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Tonight is going to change the views around here no question about that. Snap. Winter mode:ON.

Kris Peterson said...

How nice to be able to influence the DMV! I was thinking that California didn't have any options other than a coastal commission version with a whale's tail but I discovered there are more than a dozen, including one offered by my grad school alma mater. Who knew? No wildflowers, though.

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Go Alma Mater! We certainly couldn't legitimately have a whale's tail here for Texas plates and a shrimp isn't quite so iconic.

Perhaps you (and others) can begin the movement for a native plant license plate all your own. Poppies and buttercups and who knows what else?

Rock rose said...

It warms my heart to see those pretty Texas wildflowers. It would be nice to see them every time you go out for a drive.

TexasDeb said...

RockRose: I know exactly what you're saying Jenny. Wildflower season is my favorite - that beauty in abundance is hard to resist.

That said, I wonder if I'd treasure them as much if their blossoms were apparent more year-round? I'm afraid I'd eventually get so used to seeing them I'd start taking them for granted. (I'm shallow that way...)

Anonymous said...

I would have to have a fleet of cars, just to cover all the license plates I like in this state. So I used the catch-all one for all thing creative, cultural and visual...the State of the Arts plate! But go wildflowers, too.

TexasDeb said...

David/DHB: Hmmm. No plates for bicycles, either, so I suppose you're stuck with just the one plate for now. Good you have so many options you like though.

Judging by how many bluebonnet seedlings still coming up to join other rosettes already in place, 2015 could be a banner year for wildflowers. Yeah, you heard it here, first!