Human Flower Project

Seeing Another Day

Coming through last year’s weather misery, the winecups and daisies were casualties, but the garden bounces back.


2012: Louis Philippe (Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15, Austin, TX, with Jerusalem sage and Desert Museum Palo Verde

All photos: Human Flower Project

About the only record keeping we do of the garden is a tax-day photo of one front bed with a close up of Louis Phillippe, a china rose.


2009: Louis Philippe (a.k.a. Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15

This plant was passed along to us from Terry Childress, who took a cutting from the rose bush of beloved neighbor Betsy Pirie. We took out an Archduke Charles to make room for Betsy in 2009.

In 2010, fully a year after Stan Powers had worked his wonders in the yard, and thanks to a delicious rainy fall, it bloomed in concert with the bluebonnets.


2010: Louis Philippe (a.k.a. Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15

2011 was a very different story, dismal and memorable, with our record breaking drought. Everything was desiccated, including the few rose blossoms. They fried before even opening. Betsy died that year, at age 99.


2011: Louis Philippe (a.k.a. Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15

Finally rains came last fall and we’ve had more showers this year, along with temperatures in the humane 70s. A hot spell in March and early April seemed to bring on the bluebonnets early. They’ve been going to seed for about two weeks now. And Louis Philippe’s major spring flush is nearly over.

Here’s what Betsy’s rose looked like April 4.


April 4, 2012, Louis Philippe’s big spring flush, though this china rose reblooms throughout the year.

The poppies are about finished, too, though only about half the seed pods have opened their airholes so we’re letting them hang on, looking ragged. The Jerusalem sage, which never froze back last winter, is enormous and loaded up with its yellow pom-poms (unfortunately, worms and/or snails have taken a shine to its leaves but these plants will not be phased by several hundred holes.)

Now in their glory are the desert museum palo verde trees, domesticated and non-thorny relatives of the native huisache. They’re covered with yellow blossoms and bees, dropping flowers into the creeping germander and onto the street.

We wouldn’t have thought it possible last year, but along with Betsy’s rose have lived to see another day.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/16 at 05:28 PM


A wonderful account of time and Betsy’s rose!
what a difference a few years makes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/18 at 05:48 PM
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