Last Saturday, I spent the day on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. My son Cooper is a junior there, and Brad and I went down for Family Weekend. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this university, it is a beautiful campus in the middle of an urban setting. It consistently appears on lists of ‘the most beautiful college campuses in America’ – including those issued by Condé Nast Traveler and The Princeton Review. My photography cannot compare to that of the professionals. If this post piques your interest, perform a Google search and find truly spectacular images of this college campus.
From SMU, here are my Six on Saturday. Six things. In a garden. On a Saturday.
1. Hibiscus. The flower show over Family Weekend was perfectly timed. These hibiscus plants are strategically placed around campus, including around the ponies statue in the feature photo (above). The official mascot of SMU is a Mustang. On campus, they have a lively black stallion Shetland pony named Peruna. Throughout campus there are numerous references to horses, including the statue featured above.
2. Trees. The trees on the SMU campus are plentiful and gorgeous. I love the intricate limbs on each. As a bonus picture, notice the football tailgating area. The Boulevard forms the main oval of campus and is lined with trees – mostly Southern Live Oaks.
3. Coleus. This spring, I purchased a couple of coleus plants for my front porch. I was not familiar with these plants, but I love the pop of color without flowers. I’ve been noticing coleus every since then – amazed at the varieties of solid colors, splashes, blotches, streaks, flecks, margins, and veins. The mature plants at SMU have foliage that is lush and full. I’ve discovered that it is an annual, and is described as very easy to grow from seed. I will be trying that next spring!
4. Planters. I love the natural appearance of these planters with the native grasses and ornamental sweet potato vines. It just proves that you don’t need to be manicured and exotic to make a statement.
5. White Lantana. After living in Arizona, I am accustomed to seeing the bright yellow, pink, and orange flowers of lantana. I have never seen white lantana, but I love it. The delicate flowers are perfect for a white hue. And I especially enjoyed seeing them around Perkins Chapel. In Seattle, Brad grew a white garden. I think seeing the white lantana may have motivated him to try that concept again in Oklahoma.
6. Crepe Myrtle. There are so many things to like about these trees/shrubs. Of course, the flowers are truly beautiful. Everyone I know in Oklahoma has their favorite color – pink, magenta, purple, lavender, white, or red. These plants grow well in our hot, humid summers. And then there is the bark and the overall structure. This one at SMU adds a pop of color to a fraternity house, but I really enjoy the look where many crepe myrtles are planted in a row and you can truly appreciate the trunks as well as the flowers.
I love visiting Cooper at SMU – always an adventure to be had! And good BBQ, too! We enjoyed ours at the Katy Trail Ice House.
To see what other gardeners are featuring this week, check out the post and comment section in this link: Six on Saturday. Until next time …