Having survived a rough summer last year, Austin has been rewarded with a mild winter and a sizable chunk of rain. The result is a very lush green spring full of growth, flowers and what I consider to be the scent of what spring is here on my side of town. Every year when the grass gets long and lush you hear the sound of the lawnmowers revving up in various parts of the neighbor hood. Our front lawn got mowed (minus the bits of wildflowers I was allowed to leave and let bloom. (Alas, it need mowing again although it's been about a week and a half. Its that scent of the assorted mowed herbage that tells me it's spring. But it's one particular plant that tells me it's spring.
Thomas, one of my friends from way back drifted over with flower pots looking for wild plants to "borrow". We three wandered out and I found him spiderwort, pigeon berry and escapee sunflowers from the bird feeder. I also offered up the main produce from our back yard and the reason I know it's spring. Wild onions. They grow wild freely in our part of Austin - actually most of Austin . Our back yead is full of them. We dig them up and eat them. I dug some up for a co-worker (one of my fellow temps). The plants I'm growing are technically not wild onions but wild garlic or Allium canadese var. canadense - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_canadense Texas has 16 varieties of wild onion throughout the state. In my neck of the woods, these take the prize. The onions not only produce underground bulbs but little flowers and bulbets on the top. All edible. They are amazingly strong but really tasty. We have other varieties including the Allium drummundii with it's cute little pink flowers (it's milder as well) growing near us but the canadense certainly wins as the big crop in the yard.
The back yard with its sense of abandon and mayhem has been allowed the freedom of expression. Those dead trees make it hard to do a simple mow, not only are they big but they also drop stray branches, bits (actually chunks) of dead bark making us pick them all up before we can mow. Since I'm not more or less on crutches until we figure out (and afford) what it is to make it better and Gene's into aversion on mowing without me for fear of cutting down the wild plant I want to keep things just don't get mowed. So our weeds have gotten quite tall. The onions have managed over about a third of the yard although I've found them hidden in the rosemary and culinary sage - (the survivors of last summer 100+ degree weather. They haven't been as hearty as the ones in the main patch.
on the left the patch of wild alliums behind the tree - ignore the weeds.