Honestly, it's hard to find the desire to go outside in 118 degrees. The heat is unrelenting and oppressive....an environmental pressure cooker. The gardens just stare at me as if they are saying  "Make it stop!!!!"  Bright yellow leaves are falling all around, as flowers just  hang their faces towards the earth.

Gardeners  know that it is impossible to fight Mother Nature during extreme heat waves. Drought, hard freezes, storms and floods are simply part of weather cycles.   

As a "bulber" (That's slang for someone who lives and breathes bulbs) I am grateful that heirloom bulbs see beyond the elements. The present day triple digit temperatures will soon be just a fleeting thought for these old bulbs. I imagine these old bulbs as old Texas ranchers. "Remember the heat wave and drought of 1953? Ah yes, good times!" Heirloom bulbs are in it for the long haul. In fact, I'm always amazed at a bulb's sheer will to live.

I recently visited Rockdale, Texas. In the 1900's, Rockdale was a thriving town full of historic homes and gardens. Milan County has a rich German heritage, and Oxblood Lilies can be found naturalizing in old homesteads.

One particular house that always caught my eye. A stately, two story, brick home that boasted architectural features that were pure 'eye-candy' for this architect's daughter. Dark wooden, spiral staircases, elaborate crown molding, and stained glass made this house look like something right of Martha Stewart's imagination......but the gardens were truly something to behold.


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