Saturday, May 18, 2013

May Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Well, let’s see what’s blooming in my yard this month…

The smell of the jasmine is heavenly.
The desert rose is the only one that's staying in its pot.
The yellow on the left is butterfly weed.

mmm, the plumeria smell great too!
Maybe, I'll get some pomegranates this year.
This shrimp plant is called Lemon Sorbet.
Coreopsis Mercury Rising

I think I'll finally be able to start planting in a couple of weeks. I've spent the last few months building beds, and lining up people to install a new sidewalk and sprinkler system. I'm a few weeks behind schedule, but that has been ok since we have had an extended spring this year. However, summer has finally hit Houston, I think the high today is 93.

Thanks for stopping by to see what's blooming in my garden. For more Garden Blogger's Bloom Day posts, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Shangri La Macro Monday

These are some of the photos I took at Shangri La Botanic Gardens in Orange, TX last weekend.





Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Visit to Shangri La

East of Houston, in a town called Orange, lies Shangri La. It was created by H.J. Lutcher Stark in 1937. Shangri La was H.J.’s vision turned reality. While he was overseeing Shangri La, he would open it to the public during the spring blooming season. There were countless spring days when the garden received thousands of visitors.
After a devastating ice storm in 1958, the gardens were abandoned. Nearly 50 years later, they were rejuvenated by the Stark foundation and re-opened to the public, but this time year-round.
Two of the water gardens were packed with perennials.
This is the entrance to the children's garden.
Definitely not just for kids.
Unusual to see this many different columbines growing in these parts.
I'm always on the lookout for bottle trees.

They had some great vegetable beds and bird mansions.
Getting closer to the bird blind.
Thousands of Great Egrets were visiting.



The Stark family made their fortune in the lumber business and grew it with the oil and financial industries. The home of H.J. Lutcher Stark’s parents is still standing and is in pristine condition with all of the original furnishings (as things went out of style his mom would send them to a warehouse for storage, luckily she was a bit of a pack rat.) The only family to ever live in the house is the Starks. However, the house was not saved by H.J. Lutcher, but instead his wife Nelda. He was ambivalent towards its preservation, thank goodness Nelda had the foresight to save it.


The interior of the house was a sight to behold. Literally, I could have spent an hour in each room of the 14,000 square foot house. It was gorgeous. But, you’ll have to go there to see it for yourself. Unfortunately they do not allow photography.

The gardens were beautiful this time of year, but I bet they would also be stunning in the spring when the 41 varieties of azaleas are blooming.