Sarah loves wildflowers and wanted this reflected in her wedding flowers. She made specific color requests and I matched this style with the best blooms that are in season in the heat of summer. This was a slight challenge, but I believe the result was well worth it. The bride and I shared a vision and saw it to fruition, with beautiful results!Read More
The Window Trail is probably the most heavily traveled path in Big Bend National Park, and for good reason. The trail is so aptly named for the framing of the western desert floor by Carter Peak to the south (left) and Vernon Bailey Peak to the north (right). Rain that falls in the Chisos Basin gathers and runs through this opening between the mountains, supporting residents of the park, animals and humans alike. The trail follows this gradual slope down to the opening, crossing arroyos and rolling foothills of scrub brush.Read More
The Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend of Texas are some of the most botanically and ecologically diverse areas in America. Where arid desert meets juniper forests, you can imagine the abundance of species diversity and unique biological situations. Succulents, coniferous trees, grasses, and herbs thrive in harmony.
Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park is a 5 mile round-trip hike that tops out at nearly 7,000 feet in elevation and offers some of the most spectacular views in the park. In the photo below, you can see the paved road through Panther Pass, near the location of the trailhead.Read More
On a mission to forage mesquite wood for succulent arrangements, I ventured back out to the YL Ranch. I showcased this area in southwestern Throckmorton County last summer. Unlike then, it is the dead of winter without much living botanical interest, but the history of the property is interesting enough. I was easily distracted by the discarded and out-dated farm equipment that was scattered across a slope behind the barn. I even picked up a few bottles in some unique shapes.Read More
This past fall, I was lucky enough to collaborate with my talented friend, Elizabeth Thacker, an accomplished wedding photographer in East Texas, in creating a styled shoot featuring moody tones and lush looks. Under the beams of a new barn frame, Elizabeth draped the setting in shear fabric and smilax from the woods on the property.Read More
Throckmorton County is a 900 square mile, sparsely populated jurisdiction in north central Texas. The landscape is defined by a transition from the oak-dominated Cross Timbers to the scrubby grasslands of the Plains. The area explored lies about 1 mile from the Brazos River where Hog Creek empties into it, and a few hundred yards away from Coon Hollow, a drainage bounded by exposed bluffs of sandstone, rising 30 feet above the horizon. While these features are not particularly impressive, they do vary from the norm of relatively low, rolling hills of the surrounding terrain. If this area of northeastern Throckmorton County had a name, it would be Koger, a small community that once had a school, but leaves no evidence of establishment today.Read More
I am so fortunate to be able to offer these in-home parties for very enthusiastic hosts and their guests. The idea is that you invite your friends over, they bring a pumpkin, and I help you fill it with succulents, flora, and other elements from nature.Read More
Typical of Texas beaches (with the exception of South Padre), the water is muddy and the sand is pretty brown. But for someone who can count on one hand how many times they've been to a warm-weather beach, it was a treat. Although the weather was not that cooperative, I was still able to observe a lot of great native Texas species of flora, and many are unique to coastal areas.Read More
Over the July 4th holiday, I visited Chicago and its Garfield Park Conservatory. The conservatory was established in the 1880s with the structure pictured below constructed in 1907, and designed by famous Chicago landscape architect Jens Jensen. The shape of the greenhouses was meant to emulate the haystacks of the Midwest. The interior specimens were planted in forms that relate to each other naturally and create "landscapes under glass", a style that was revolutionary at the time of construction. The conservatory is one of the largest in the US at 4.5 acres, 2 of which is under glass. It is known for its extensive collection of rare palms and its popular Desert House.Read More
Big Bend National Park is probably my favorite place to be outside. The contrasts of the Chihuahuan Desert is continually impressive to me. Luckily, my dear friends also share this love for the park and I was fortunate enough to design and construct the florals for their wedding. In October, we explored possible ceremony sites along easily-accessible trails so family and friends of all abilities could attend.
We decided on the open space below the pour-off of Burro Mesa. The walls rise from the desert wash some 60 plus feet into the air, creating a natural, 3-sided room. Even in late April, this area can get quite hot, but we lucked out with overcast skies and even intermittent sprinkles. Because of National Park Service regulations, you can not have organic plant material on the trail. This created a challenge in designing the body wear for the grooms and party. I instead made boutonnieres and bouquets out of paper and copper wire, playing off of the colors of the desert.Read More