One of the most challenging projects in my yard is the front entrance beds. I’ve spent much money and time finding appropriate plants for this focal point that should invite you into my home. When I say “appropriate”, I mean perennial, native or adapted, drought tolerant in the shade of live oaks, on the exposed north side of the house, and fit in my with purple and yellow color scheme there. I’ve planted many things in this bed over the years, and the beds are currently barren as most things I’ve attempted haven’t worked well. They have either died from lack of sun or exposure, or were moved to a better spot to flourish.
I’ve looked and looked for something, even online, but nothing seemed to fit the need. Behold below!
My wishes have been fulfilled by Scott Ogden, via John Dromgool at Natural Gardener. Scott discovered a new species of shade-loving, drought tolerant, Texas heat and soil resistant, Tropical Sage (Salvia Coccinea) in purple! The photo may not do it justice, but it is a lovely shady of dusty purple.
I love that he named it “Molly Ivins”, in honor of our venerable political columnist infamous not only for her friendship with Governor Ann Richards and sharing with her that rowdy Texas female personality that is bigger than life, and for her searing wit. From Wikipedia: “Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins (August 30, 1944 – January 31, 2007) was a populist, American newspaper columnist, political commentator, humorist and bestselling author from Austin, Texas.”
By adding this hardy Salvia to my front beds, I set the stage with humor, tongue in cheek irreverence, intelligence, unabashed opinions, warmth, courage and grace. All traits I wholeheartedly welcome into my home.
Some of Molly’s famous quotations include (again from Wiki):
On the subject of Pat Buchanan’s famously combative “culture war speech” at the 1992 Republican Convention, which attracted controversy over Buchanan’s aggressive rhetoric against Bill Clinton, liberals, supporters of reproductive and gay rights, and for his comparison of American politics to religious warfare, Ivins famously quipped that the speech had “probably sounded better in the original German,” implicitly comparing Buchanan to Adolf Hitler.
“We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war…We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!'” (from her last column)
“Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.”
“So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”
On Bill Clinton: “If left to my own devices, I’d spend all my time pointing out that he’s weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied. Besides, no one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal.” (Introduction to You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You)
On James M. Collins, US Representative, R-Dallas: “If his IQ slips any lower we’ll have to water him twice a day.”This quotation engendered substantial controversy, with calls and letters pouring into her newspaper, The Dallas Times Herald. The newspaper turned the controversy into a publicity campaign, with billboards all over the city asking, “Molly Ivins can’t say that…can she?”—which she employed as the title for her first book.
On President George W. Bush, she likened him to a Post Turtle.