The Ties That Bind Us

Henry Bluebonnets

[April 2, 2024 – Blog] In every corner of the world, there are symbols, traditions and icons that bind together the people of that region. For Texans, one of those ties is the official state flower, the bluebonnet. The scientific name is Lupinus texensis, but it is also known as the “wolf flower” and “el conejo,” which means rabbit in Spanish. The bluebonnet is to Texas as the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom is to Japan, the lily is to France and the tulip is to Holland.

My birth month of April is when bluebonnets peak and can be seen adorning roadways and fields across the state. I am always inspired by the plant’s determination to come back year after year despite poor soil and varying weather conditions. In fact, the seeds do better when tumbled in rocks before planting! For me, this is symbolic of the grit and resilience we all muster up to get through the ups and downs of life.

But these hardy, lovely blue and white flowers also had a tough time earning the designation as the state’s official flower. The first flowers nominated were the cotton plant and the pear cactus for their hardiness and strength.

During a heated “flower war” in 1901, leave it to women to come to the rescue. The National Society of Colonial Dames of America successfully convinced the Texas legislature to choose the bluebonnet, a name that paid homage to the many brave Texas pioneer women.

Of course, as a marketer myself, I was impressed to learn that the Dames deployed some clever tactics to sway the legislators. They displayed paintings of bluebonnets on the floor of the legislature and made floral arrangements to adorn each politician’s desk on the day of voting. And the rest is history. Bluebonnets won the vote because of their striking beauty.

We enjoy these wonderful flowers at the Double Heart Ranch each spring. I snapped this photo above of our dog, Henry amongst a bluebonnet batch right outside my kitchen window. As an artist, I also occasionally paint bluebonnets and often enjoy the annual Bluebonnet Festival in nearby Burnet, Texas. It’s the second weekend of April in the Texas Hill Country complete with a parade, carnival and food galore.

But at the end of it all, Texas bluebonnets are uplifting and an attractive reminder that “staying power” is a key characteristic of a great leader.

Basking in the beauty of bluebonnets,

Gay Gaddis Signature

Gay Gaddis
Founder. Author. Artist. Trailblazer.

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