Living in the midwest my entire life, I didn’t realize how different foliage would be, south of Kansas.
It’s been fun to see the seasons change and watch the plants transition in a new part of the country.
This spring, in north Texas we experienced a “Super Bloom” of bluebonnets. Yards and yards of the blue hue covered the hillside behind our home.
After that, a sea of red and gold Indian Blanket flowers took over the space.
Once the heat of summer set in, the red and gold transitioned to shades of lavender. I thought they were thistles, but they were much softer. Our neighbor kids thought these feathery flowers were so cool, they filled a bag of the purple puffs and brought them over as a “gift”. These blooms are called American Basket flowers.
Fast forward to August. We endured a very hot summer with NO RAIN. Those majestic purple puffs dried up and the landscape fell to a shade light shade of brown.
One morning in mid-August, I was walking the dog through that brownish-beige hillside behind our home. As I got off-road and moved closer to the field, all I could see were acres and acres of golden pods that looked like mini baskets of sunshine. Looking closely at the intricate weave of this dried flower, it was clear, that this flower was perfectly named.
An idea came to me. I was compelled to gather up these pods for a fall decor piece. I took the dog back home and returned with a large bag and scissors.
I understand that these pods will drop seeds for next year's crop, but my little gathering shouldn’t impact their season. When I say there were millions of them, I am not exaggerating. I clipped about 100 for my little project.
I let the bag sit in the garage for a few weeks before I could get to work on my idea. I was hoping any little bugs that might have hitched a ride with these pods, would use this time to make their escape.
My plan was to turn the pods into a wreath for our front door. I ran to our local Michaels craft store for supplies: a wreath base, glue sticks for my glue gun, and a spool of ribbon. This project took me back to a memory from the mid-70s when my parents foraged pinecones to make wreaths for their annual Sugar and Spice Boutique.
I began to hot-glue my foraged gold treasure to the straw wreath base. It took more than I expected to get three rounds onto the form. As I neared the end, I was short 20 pods. I was afraid that after almost a month from when I picked the first batch, those left on the hillside may not match the color of what I started with.
I was right. My August pick was prime time for the golden pods. The September patch was beginning to break down. Surely in the sea of millions of these pods, I could find 20 that would work. The pods which had shelter from the trees were in better condition and I scored enough to finish the project.
Here’s how the final wreath looks on our door.
Almost as welcoming as the new cooler temperatures which finally arrived today!