Tag Archive for: Texas Mountain Laurel

Do you ever wish you had flowers to give to a friend or to decorate your table?

Instead of heading to the store for a generic bouquet, how about creating a lovely bouquet straight from your garden?

Now before you say that you don’t have any flowers suitable for a bouquet, think again.  

Here are several bouquets from my garden and a few that my mother put together from her own garden…

gold lantana(Lantana 'New Gold Mound'), orange jubilee(Tecoma x Orange Jubilee) and Texas sage(Leucophyllum frutescens)

Isn’t this a lovely arrangement?

Believe it or not, the flowers in these vases all came from plants that many of you probably have in your own garden.

My mother created this arrangement using gold lantana (Lantana ‘New Gold Mound’), orange jubilee (Tecoma x Orange Jubilee), and Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) flowers.  As you can see, it is beautiful, didn’t cost her anything, and took minutes to create.

 Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) , Goodding's verbena (Glandularia gooddingii)

This is a bouquet that I created using flowers from my late winter garden. Pink and white globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) coupled with Goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii) is a vision of pinks and purples.

purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

I used a small pitcher to put cuttings of purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and flowers from my cascalote tree (Caesalpinia cacalaco).

 white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)flowers.

This antique milk of magnesia glass jar makes the perfect vase for sweet white alyssum (Lobularia maritima) , purple violas and pink bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides) flowers.

create a bouquet

Flowers aren’t the only thing from the garden that you can use to create a bouquet with.

A mason jar filled with cut branches from a kumquat tree looks lovely on this table in winter.

create a bouquet

Maybe your winter garden has no flowers.  Well, don’t let that stop you. A small vase filled with seedpods and dried leaves from a Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) looks great on my mother’s diningroom table.

create a bouquet

Perhaps you’ve never thought that petunias could look be used in a vase. But, if you use a small, shallow bowl, they can add a beautiful spot of color on your table.

create a bouquet

Of course, roses always make a lovely bouquet.

Bouquets created from items in your garden are a great way to add a personal touch of beauty to your space.

So, are you inspired to create your own unique garden bouquet? Step outside in your garden and take a new look at your plants – you’ll probably be surprised at how many would look nice in a vase.

**How about you?  What plants would you use to create a bouquet with?

Okay, you may be thinking, what am I talking about?  Well long ago, on a spring morning, I noticed an intoxicating fragrance in the air that reminded me of grape bubblegum.  Well, there were no candy stores nearby, but I did notice a small tree with beautiful purple blossoms.  It turns out, that the fragrance was coming from the flowers.

Texas Mountain Laurel

The flowers hung down like grape clusters and I later found out that this tree was called Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora).  

I have wanted to share this tree with you for a long time, but wanted to wait until they were flowering.  Well, yesterday as I was visiting my mother (Pastor Farmer) at Double S Farms, I noticed that their Texas Mountain Laurel were beginning to flower and so hurried home to prepare this post.

Texas Mountain Laurel

There are so many wonderful things that I love about this tree.   Of course, the fragrant, purple flowers are my favorite thing, but I also like that this tree is evergreen, drought-tolerant and easy to maintain.

They are native to Texas, New Mexico and Mexico.  They grow approximately 20 – 25 ft. high and 10 – 15 ft. wide.  They grow naturally as a large shrub, but are often seen trained as small trees. 

This beautiful tree is hardy to approximately 20 degrees F.  So, I highly recommend trying it in your landscape.  

They flower in March and their grape bubblegum fragrance is unmistakable.  Seedpods are formed shortly after flowering stops.  I am not a huge fan of seedpods in general, but I really like the ones from this tree – their creamy color and shapes add interest to the tree.

Texas Mountain Laurel

Inside the seedpods are bright red seeds that are extremely hard and poisonous.  Long ago, Native Americans would use the seeds to create bracelets and necklaces.

*One year, my nephews, (Mr. Green Jeans & Monkey Boy), took the seedpods and painted them yellow and painted little snowman faces on them and gave them as gifts for Christmas.  I still have mine and it decorates my Christmas tree every year.

There is a another variety that has gray leaves, which is also just as beautiful in my opinion.

*Caterpillars can become a problem during warm weather, but you can just ignore them and/or pick them off.  If you see loose webbing on the leaves, that is a sign that it is infected by caterpillars.  The damage caused from the caterpillars does not usually hurt the tree.  It helps if you detect the eggs before they hatch and remove them.  Since caterpillars usually infect the new growth, I just prune off the affected areas.

Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas Mountain Laurel is a slow-growing shrub/tree and so I recommend buying the largest size you can afford if possible.  Like so many flowering plants, there are those who formally prune it and remove all of the beautiful flowers – PLEASE don’t do this.

And so in closing, the next time you detect the fragrance of grape bubblegum in the air, look around you and see if you discover the beautiful Texas Mountain Laurel nearby.