Travis Heights was one of the first suburbs in Austin. Houses were built from the 1920's to 1950's in my section. They were primarily small houses on big lots- great wood floors, porches, but not much storage space. In the last decade or so, builders, California transplants, and returning Texans like me have moved to the neighborhood in droves. Of course, I first lived here in 1994 (I think there were still hookers on S. Congress..), but then I moved away and here and there for a few years. One of the common things builders do is split lots- refinish an older house on one side of a lot and squeeze in a new house on the other side. I prefer when they do that to when they demolish a house and build a duplex.. but I guess dense urban infill is preferable to rampant building in the suburbs and over the aquifer..
The point of the story is that the house across the street had its lot split, and one day it was evident that bulldozers were going to take out the plants growing in what used to be a driveway. My good friend (and neighbor at the time) Debbi noticed these yellow bearded irises and decided to stage a late-night rescue. She crept over with a pitchfork and dug the majority up, sharing them with various neighbors the next day (as the bulldozers leveled anything that remained). I planted a bucket full in my front yard (they are filling in beautifully) and they have been the sturdiest, most xeriscape friendly bulbs I have had. I have no idea what kind they are. They bloom brilliant yellow for only 2-3 days, but their leaves are gorgeous, glossy (and work amazingly well to hold the soil in place on my sloping front yard). I bet their ancestors were planted 60-80 years ago and I'm grateful that I have lucked into getting to enjoy their tenacity and beauty. Go Debbi!
The rest of my blooms are brand new by comparison.
My Mexican plum blooms have faded, but they made me want to have a Japanese tea service and meditate in the backyard when they were blooming!
My spontaneously planted hyacinths are patchy, but I loved showing my eldest how they smell today. It's pretty amazing that nature can smell so good..
Thanks to Carol at http://www.maydreamsgardens.com for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!