Ladybug, Ladybug... Have You Been to Texas?

"Ladybug, ladybug, where have you been?"

I've been to Dallas, Texas to attend the 62nd Garden Writers Association Symposium, that's where I've been!

I had a Texas-sized good time, too, meeting all kinds of fabulous garden writers and communicators and representatives of companies who sell plants, tools, and all manner of gardeny things. I also attended some educational sessions and visited an eclectic mix of gardens while sweating in the heat.

Now I know what "hot as Texas" really means.

And I discovered a new garden design element that I call "horttery", a word I created by combining "horticulture" with "mystery". Get it? Hort-tery?

The Hoosier Gardener got it and sent me this picture she took of a horttery in a Texas garden.
I'll let you try to figure out what that is for, it is a horttery to me and I'd rather conjecture and surmise than know for sure, because if I knew for sure, then that would take all the fun, the horttery, out of it.

Like everyone else, I took all kinds of pictures of the gardens I saw in and around Dallas.

I'll start at the beginning with the first garden we visited, the Dallas Arboretum.

It nearly brought tears to my eyes to see grass so green and lush. I briefly thought of offering my services to mow it because my lawn is so burnt up with no rain since, gosh, I don't know when, that the last time I mowed was August 6th.

I know some people would rejoice at that gap in summertime mowing, but my lawn is nothing to rejoice about now.

And if you are thinking "Hey, Carol, it's a lawn, use this as an opportunity to let it die and plant a garden there", let me also add that the trees, shrubs, and perennials are also suffering from lack of rain and those who have tried to dig and plant have had to use pick-axes to do so. Not to mention that a well-done, properly maintained lawn is just as much a part of a garden as the trees, shrubs, perennials, containers, patios, paths, and everything else you can find in a garden. Don't get me started!

Waiting for rain to come to my garden, I feel like Emily Baldwin from The Waltons, who waited patiently for Ashley Longworth to return for her. I just hope the rain eventually does return to my garden.

Anyway, after the Dallas Arboretum, we visited another dozen or so gardens on Sunday morning and Monday morning. Would you like to see all of my pictures? I've got a Texas-sized mess of them to share.

Scared you!

You know it isn't my style to show pictures one after the other. Instead, let me conclude with one of the last pictures I took in a Texas garden.

I love a good path in the garden. Who wouldn't want to go up this path to see where it leads? It's a metaphor for life. We never know what's at the end of the path or how steep the climb will be, but we ought to take it anyway.

And with that, I'll conclude this early report on Dallas, Texas by noting that I came home Tuesday mid-day to my dry garden and took pictures for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Once again, I am overwhelmed by the number of gardeners who participate each month.

A Texas-sized Thank You to all!


  1. I am also using a pick-ax to break a new garden bed! I was so excited when there was an 80% chance of rain last night. Well, it rained, but it was dry under my deck table so I think we may have received 1/16" of rain.

    Word Verification is dismi or dismal me

  2. Honey, that horttery was a Texas star. They love 'em and put them everywhere. I, being an Okie, don't have TX stars or longhorns in my garden, although I love my Texas friends who have hearts as big as their state.

    Loved seeing you, and I agree, I like a little lawn. It's a nice soothing space for the eye to rest, and who says we have to baby it so much.

    Of course, some water would help.

  3. Dear Carol, it is you we wish to thank for inventing Bloom Day. What else brings all the garden bloggers worldwide together for such a happy celebration? We would love to see every single shot from your Texas trip, but love those you shared. Like Dee, I have no Texas stars since Oklahoma has a wee bit of star envy, but we won't tell anyone that. We once went to Dallas for a soccer tournament, and the field was the most perfect, most beautiful grass I have ever seen, in gardens or anywhere else. There is something special about the conditions there, I suppose. :-)

  4. Dear Carol, To follow Dee and Frances, I'm married to an Okie, but as a Missourian/Show Me State I sure want you to show me more from your Texas trip!

    I, too, am worried about the trees and shrubs~We need rain in Nashville. it's been a long hot summer


  5. I love the 'horterry' concept - I think my own garden could do a with a dose! And I have to agree about a good path. I also love interesting gates, for similar reasons - an invitation to advance, a sense of mystery, being on the threshold of something new...

  6. This made me laugh out loud, except for the dry as dust, crispy plant stuff, which made me cry.

  7. Glad you made it back to Texas and had a good time.

    Seeing that lawn "nearly brought tears to my eyes to see grass so green and lush," too. It would be a lovely lawn in Wales but it just seems wrong in Texas especially coming out of August.

  8. I think that star shaped horterry is a fancy floor drain! Your trip to Texas sounds wonderful. I'd think I was in Paradise if I got the chance to attend a garden writer's symposium, not to mention the fabulous gardens! I loved the photo of the path.

    I hope your drought ends soon! We had a fairly wet summer, but we've had no rain for two weeks with none in sight. With temps still in the 90s during the afternoon, already everything is becoming crispy.

  9. Hi Carol,
    I sure do wish I could have made it to GWA this year. Especially since I used to live in Texas and actually miss it from time to time.

    I'm glad you had a good time, and good luck with the weather -- I wish we could have given you some of the excessive rain we got here in southern Wisconsin!

  10. I love, it "horttery!" And yea, it's still hot as Texas though we have a brief respite tonight before the mosquitoes & steam join us again. Must say: I'm envious that your goldenrods are blooming before mine! You've got some really pretty plants in those dry cracks.

  11. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. That green lawn is so smooth, it looks like algae bloom on a pond. I'm surprised by how lush Dallas looks.


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