Wildscapes Workshop

Bluebonnets, Paintbrushes and Buttercups

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Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs recommends books on Texas bluebonnets. 

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

Despite the sneezing and watery eyes that accompany spring in Houston, I gladly suffer these pesky ailments and the light dusting of green on everything for spring in Texas. These past two weekends have teased me out into the yard kicking at the weeds already growing tall and then relaxing on the porch enjoying the cool evening after pulling a few of the taller, unwanted stalks of those aggravating plants.

As these weekends approach, I start thinking about another tradition in Texas – driving out of Houston to see the wildflowers that blanket acres of land, creating breath-taking vviews. And of course these driving give you an opportunity for the obligatory baby/dog-in-the-field-of-bluebonnets photograph.

I also look forward to seeing Indian paintbrushes, Phlox, buttercups (primroses) and black-eyed susans.  These are the flowers that would adorn the sides of the roads on the drive to East Texas every Easter. There are hundreds, nay thousands, of wildflowers to identify and a new title, Wildflowers of Texas (A Timber Press Field Guide) by Michael Eason due out in April will help. Organized by flower color, this comprehensive guide includes perennials, annuals and bulbs will make you a wildflower identification expert on your day trip.

Already a classic among lovers of Texas wildflowers, The Texas Bluebonnet by Jean Andrews, not only gives you tips on growing bluebonnets in your own garden, but shares the lore and legend of this beautiful flower.

The children’s book, The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola, is a wonderful book that shares an old tale of Texas based on Comanche Indian lore telling the story of how the bluebonnet came to be. The illustrations are perfect in telling the bluebonnet story.

Another fun resource for your drive is Why Stop?: A Guide to Texas Roadside Historical Markers. Ever wonder what that historical marker was about as you sped by? This book is a  guide to more than 2,500 Texas roadside markers describing historical events; famous and infamous Texans; origins of towns, churches, and organizations; battles, skirmishes, and gunfights; and settlers, pioneers, Indians, and outlaws.

Plan your next day trip today and stop and smell the flowers.


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