Thanks to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and an enterprising Girl Scout, spring will be even more special at the Wildflower Center.
Girl Scout Kelcie Stoneking achieved the Gold Star Service Award for creating the edible plants garden, which is finished and on display in the theme gardens. It features a basket-weave border and farmlike rows of wild onions (Allium Canadense), prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza), winecup (Callirhoe involucrata), chili piquin (Capsicum annuum) and other edible species.
Stoneking raised more than $300 and recruited a crew of seven volunteers to help her install the garden that the horticulture staff designed. Working more than 10 hours over two days, they gutted the existing garden, brought in soil, installed a trellis, planted edibles, mulched and added the border fence. Stoneking learned to love nature from her family—her father is involved in landscaping. She has been in Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten.
A $15,000 grant from the Horticultural Trust will fund construction of a 1,600-square-foot Homeowner Inspiration Garden, where English style will meet Texas climate. The Texas Mixed Border will demonstrate the elegance and beauty of Texas native plants in a novel way—an English cottage garden.
The Texas Mixed Border will be a conversion of what is now the Members Garden adjacent to the three present Homeowner Inspiration Gardens—Naturalistic, Traditional and Formal. The new Members Garden will be located near the café.
A Texas wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)–laden arbor framing closely clipped shrubs will invite visitors inside the Mixed Border garden. Just outside, a large live oak offers shade. At this end of the garden, the colors will be reds and oranges contrasted with cool whites and many shades of green. Looking north past the arbor, more sun permits a larger selection of flowers in pink, lavender, blue and yellow.
This is to be an all-season garden, with bluebonnets (Lupinus Texensis) in the spring and white-flowered Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii) following. Giant buttercups (Ranunculus macranthus) will bloom in winter after white Plumbago (Plumbago scandens) has stopped flowering.
This garden will demonstrate the versatility of native Texas plants, showing off contrasting colors, forms and textures. Sheared dwarf yaupon hollies (Ilex vomitoria) and tightly clipped cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) will define the main axis, while relaxed and lively drift plantings will set a different tone.
This is to be a people garden with a bistro table and chairs and a bench from which to enjoy the garden with its birdbath and platform for art. We invite you to come see this garden as well as the other garden improvements at the Wildflower Center.