Wednesday, January 28, 2009

View from the Front Porch

Ice has gathered on one of our crape myrtles in the front yard. It seems everyone else on our street has already pruned theirs, so they don't have the opportunity to see the ice accumulate on last year's growth.

Did you know that in 1997 the crape myrtle became the Official State Shrub of Texas? It is true!

75R13667 PAN-D By Pitts H.C.R. No. 14
Substitute the following for H.C.R. No. 14: By Pitts C.S.H.C.R. No. 14

WHEREAS, The crape myrtle has been a distinctive part of the Texas landscape for more than 100 years, and this striking shrub never fails to add a touch of class and beauty to its surroundings; and

WHEREAS, Many Texans appreciate the splendor of the crape myrtle and have taken a special interest in its proliferation in their communities, making it difficult to traverse our great state without witnessing the plant's annual summer flush of color; and

WHEREAS, Originally imported from China, the crape myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica, has thrived in the Lone Star State's often brutal climate, and the establishment of these hardy hybrids has done much to encourage tourism for many Texas cities while also bolstering civic pride among their residents; and

WHEREAS, In 1857, the wife of Confederate General Sam Bell Maxey introduced the crape myrtle to Paris, Texas, and in 1916, after a fire devastated this Northeast Texas town, one of the community's first beautification projects incorporated these colorful shrubs; several years later, newspaper publisher A. G. "Pat" Mayse further established the city's link to the plant when he sold thousands of crape myrtle seedlings for 25 cents each as Paris's residents prepared to celebrate Texas' centennial; and

WHEREAS, More recently, citizens planted crape myrtles along the 18-mile stretch of highway between Paris and the Texas-Oklahoma border; this prominent display provides a distinctive welcome to travelers entering the Lone Star State from the north and offers a memorable Texas farewell to those individuals who must leave the friendly confines of our state; and ...

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