The beautiful Azalea plants are in full bloom all over Houston right now. A few weeks ago, a friend and I toured the Bayou Bend Gardens, despite the cold and the rain. We muddled through because it was all so very beautiful, both naturalized and gorgeously sculpted. A full fourteen acres of lush landscape with a magnificent mansion on the hill, looking over it all. Prominent along the walks were the azaleas in full bloom, creating a beauty all their own. This wonderful oasis in the middle of Houston was the brainchild of Ms. Ima Hogg (yes, that was her real name.) She and her two brothers scoped out the land until they found the perfect place with woodland and creeks. Ms. Hogg began the gardens in 1927 and continued to add to the plantings and concepts until 1942. In 1961, Ms. Hogg invited the River Oaks Garden Club to supervise permanently the gardens and they continue with characteristic devotion to this day. The estate and its collections along with the gardens were deeded to The Museum of Fine Arts in 1957.
Enjoy these photos of the holly tree in my backyard, loaded with berries, just in time for the holidays.
Here are some "holly facts."
Holly is an ancient plant that was used by the earliest British Isle settlers called The Druids. They would hang the plants in their homes to bring good luck or for protection. The old carol, "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly" is from an early Christian tradition of the church, going back to the earliest Christian times, borrowed from the Druid, Celtic and Roman traditions.
Below is my favorite photo of the smooth holly leaves and the red berries. The ends of the leaves are still quite sharp and the trunk bears thorns.
Here's another: I like the way the foreground is clear and the background is more fuzzy.
And another photo of the holly...
Notice the bug on the leaf.
Yet some additional photos of the holly plant. We could really deck the halls with all this holly!
To all my viewers, have yourself a wonderful, love-filled, peaceful and joyous Christmas!
We've had a fair bit of rain in Houston which makes the plants happy. (Sounds like a Texan, doesn't it?) Here are a few things blooming in the garden now. This little trumpet vine just keeps on giving and I love it!
There are so many varieties of oaks in Houston that I cannot be sure these are pin oak leaves. The sharp tips make me wonder what kind of oak it may be. Still, love the deep green and the detail that show up in this photo.
Always learning, growing, seeking. Lover of all things creative. I'm a pretty funny person. May have missed my calling as a stand-up comedienne. LOL! I can make just about anyone laugh. I love to sing, too. I sing for anyone who will listen. My favorite song to sing in public is "The Water is Wide," a 16th century English ballad. It has a sweet tune and is short enough to hold people's attention. As an appreciation, most people clap when I finish the song which is always a delightful surprise.