Wildflowers|Seeds of History

Wildflowers|Seeds of History KLRU

Last spring, I bet more cameras focused on wildflowers than ever before.

field of phlox and other wildflowers

KLRU was there too, thanks to Director of Photography Ed Fuentes and additional camera by Derek Joyoprayitno, for a project inspired by Betsy Gerdeman, KLRU’s Senior Vice President, and supported every step of the way by General Manager Bill Stotesbery and Production Manager JJ Weber.

Wildflowers|Seeds of History

But with this assignment, my first one in HD video, I wanted to do more than just another travelogue or collage of “pretty faces.” I wanted to tell the significant story behind the wildflowers that impact our ecology and thus our lives. So, Wildflowers|Seeds of History travels the back roads of history that forecast the seeds of the future.

bluebonnets back roads
How did Native Americans and pioneers historically (and us, today) use wildflowers and other native plants for medicine, food, teas, and art?

thelesperma, greenthread wildflower
What are the legends inspired by spring’s majestic transformation?

gaillardia field

Did you know that the prickly pear cactus almost won out over the bluebonnet as the State flower (though prickly pear is the State plant)?

Prickly pear cactus with bluebonnets

And, if you happened to nab a picture of grazing cows in a field of bluebonnets, get the story behind that picturesque scene.

cows in bluebonnets
Find out how prickly poppy, prickly pear cactus, and wild garlic shaped our history.

prickly poppy with tree
And how native phlox got a new rendition when Europeans fell in love with it.

Phlox in Texas wildflower meadow
For gardeners, what’s the deal that these flowers show up in bizarre spots but crater in our gardens?

4-nerve daisy seeded in rock
What are the wildflowers really doing out there? Why is their diversity and self-sown companion planting so crucial to our destiny?

Indian paintbrush Wildflowers|Seeds of History

How does this all impact our food chain and a symbiosis to a healthy economy, wildlife, and ecological security?

Texas wildflowers

Go behind the wildflower scenery with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Executive Director, Susan Rieff, Senior Director Damon Waitt, Director of Horticulture Andrea DeLong-Amaya, and Invasive Plant Specialist Travis Gallo; Matt Turner, author of Remarkable Plants of Texas; Luci Baines Johnson; Jennifer Robb, Lady Bird Johnson’s granddaughter, Dennis Markwardt from TxDOT, and Carrie & Dean Wolf, young gardeners who are passing along Lady Bird’s mission with native plants for wildlife in all seasons.


Ray Benson from Asleep at the Wheel narrates; musician John Mills composed the powerful score with acclaimed musicians.

Indian paintbrush Texas wildflower field

This couldn’t have happened without the support and project direction from Saralee Tiede, Director of Communications at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

largeflower evening primrose with Texas bluebonnets and phlox
Also, thanks to Kathleen Scott from Hill Country Mysteries for assisting us on locations.  I found her super blog one night, sent her a message, and bang, she was on it!

Texas wildflowers
I extend a heartfelt thanks to the The LBJ Family Foundation for providing funding.

Texas wildflowers

And to Sarah Cunningham, archivist at the LBJ Library, who helped me locate Lady Bird footage and sound bites.

Yellow flax

And I must thank my husband, Greg, who traveled this road with me, along with lots of late dinners!

4-nerve daisy with bluebonnets in Texas field

Finally, I send a big emotional hug to all the incredible, fabulous people at KLRU who jumped into this one, on top of everything else they do, with total creative energy and enthusiasm, including solving technical frazzles, tossing ideas, and just simply being there when I needed them most.

Thank Sara Robertson, graphics designer Mark Pedini, and effects editor Eve Tarlo for incredible graphics and all the “extras.”

turks and spiderwort Wildflowers|Seeds of History

It takes a village to make Wildflowers, like Maury Sullivan, April Burcham, Libby Peterek (web genius), Paul Sweeney (final editor and technical guru), Sharon Cullen (audio mixer supreme), Gene Harris, Maria Rodriguez, David Lauderman, Shane Guiter, Lauren Burton, Rebecca Adams and everyone at KLRU.

Texas bluebonnets
Wildflowers|Seeds of History, a one-hour documentary, premieres on KLRU March 10 at 7 p.m. Other PBS stations will air later. Until you can see it on your PBS station, we launch the web site on March 10, to watch online, get resources, and wildflower identification.

Until next week, Linda