In case you are wondering, those aren't butterflies in the painting. They're seed pods! Funny story there. Back at Richland College in Dallas, where I studied horticulture, they had the most gorgeous vine I had ever seen in their demonstration gardens -- a Butterfly Vine. The flowers were insignificant, but in fall? Oh my, my! The vine was covered in these outrageous, multi-layered, wing-shaped seed pods, which started out chartreuse, then morphed into shades of coral and rust. I wanted one soooooo bad! Actually, I got one, but then we moved to Houston before it had a chance to take off.
So, as soon as I moved up here full-time and got to work on the Cantina Garden, I went in search of another. I found something called Butterfly Vine and planted it, but apparently it was the wrong thing. It got boring little yellow flowers in spring, but never anything else. Zip. Nada. Then last fall, at the Gardenville nursery in San Marcos, I spotted a magnificent specimen of that very vine, growing right next to their front door. It was absolutely dripping with butterfly seed pods in shades of limey green, coral, and every shade combo in between! I ran inside and asked if they had any for sale. Turns out they had done some cuttings in spring, but had already sold out. Finally, a few months ago, I managed to get my hands on a couple and get them planted. They were pretty small, without many roots, so I feared it would be a very long time before I saw any results.
A few weeks later I went down to admire my pink muhly grass, which was in bloom. As a leaned over the porch rail, I happened to glance down at that original, disappointing vine, and guess what I found?
What's really great is that they pretty much dry and "self-preserve" right there on the vine. You can bring them into the house and they will keep their shape indefinitely. I love having butterflies in my house all winter!
Speaking of winter, guess I'd better skip the rest of Junelle's fall projects for now, and get started on some of those delectable holiday projects!