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Lupins and Bluebonnets

PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

When my husband and I took a 6-week driving tour of Great Britain in 1980, I was quite taken with the gardens there........especially the lupins that abounded.  I'd never seen such spectacular spires of color.  Well, turns out that our Texas Bluebonnets are related but are much smaller. What they lack in height they make up for in quantity.  :)  They abound from about March 20th to mid April.  So in about 3 weeks, for miles and miles across the state all you can see:  huge fields of blue.  The countryside is ablaze with them.  They're around town, they're all over the Central Hill Country, they's around Dallas and even as far south as Houston.  Just nothing more beautiful in my opinion. So I'll be sharing some photos with you all when the blooming begins.  But here's a teaser until the madness begins:  https://www.facebook.com/TexasHillCountry/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

Last edited: 04 March 2017 15:57:30

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

    Sorry I don't know how to make links here.  If you copy/paste that link string, it doesn't actually take you direct to the video I wanted to share.  Scroll down a few posts and you'll see it there.  It's the video that says "More of our blue beauties". 

    Last edited: 04 March 2017 16:03:55

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

    Verdun, I had some in the limestone rock garden at my last house and the distinctive lupin leaves sprouted up often in January and February (they they don't bloom until late March) so I think they might go for you.  Since the larger lupins do, and those grow in mountains also, I think it's a fair guess they would go fine in your colder area  They're real hard to germinate and you have to prick or score the rock-like seeds and soak to get them to germinate, but once they do, they grow and come back every year with more and more plants if you let the seed pods mature and either drop off naturally or harvest them when dried up and plant where you wish. The downside to bluebonnets (I don't know if taller lupins are like this or not) is that as you let the plants die off and allow the seeds to naturally mature on the stem, the plants get pretty brown and trashy looking.  So they are best suited for rural settings and fields away from your manicured gardens........if you're fussy and like a tidy garden.  Out in the open fields, that scruffy look is hidden in tall grasses here in Texas.  Might not be the case in the UK where the countryside often looks like pristeen, mowed lawn. :) 

    Last edited: 04 March 2017 16:13:31

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

    Definitely, the new plants will come up wherever the mature seeds drop off the pods.  Do the taller lupins not produce any seed pods?  Like I said, rural settings are best for them, but as Britain is so much more compact than Texas, that spreading might become problematic over time, I suppose.  We welcome the fields of blue in Texas' endless miles and miles of mostly flat plains.  If you want to kill off a field of bluebonnets, you just mow them down right after blooming BEFORE the seed pods open up and drop their seeds.  That kills them off.  We did that intentionally at my last house as I got tired of the messy brown plants out front of my house waiting for seeds to drop. A few plants came back for 2 seasons, but the small "crop" roughly 20'x30' was pretty much gone in 2 seasons after that early mowing.  

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

    Sometimes they get so dense it just takes your breath away.  This was shot around San Antonio last year off one of the major motorways we traveled to visit my mother, who lived there until she died last year.      image

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  • PeggyTXPeggyTX Posts: 555

    And the explosion begins around the state.  The photos for each city/rural sighting are in the lower left of each post.  Just click them to see all the pretty roadside wildflowers beginning to show off in Texas.  I'll post again when they are in "full madness" phase, but here's the opening curtain across the state (copy/paste into your browser as I don't know how to do links on this forum):  http://texas.wildflowersightings.org/sightings

    Last edited: 09 March 2017 18:52:02

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