From:Takoma Park, MD Region: Mid-Atlantic Topic: Wildflowers Title: Information on Mrs. Johnsons efforts in highway beautification Answered by: Nan Hampton
Perhaps you can help. I am trying to unearth a little history of Lady Bird and her involvement in the beautification of our highways, especially as it relates to using native plants. This is for a proposal I am writing to support development of native plant materials for use along Maryland roadsides. I am rather surprised that there is nothing specific about this topic on the web. There are several references to the Highway Beautification Act, but only as it pertains to billboards. I recall reading a quote once where she had said something to the effect of she wanted a road in Texas to look like it was in Texas, and a road in some other place to look like it was in some other place - sorry my memory fails me. I would love to have that quote. Ms. Johnson really motivates people, and I think this information could help us here in Maryland. Can you provide us any information?
I found a passage in Mrs. Johnson's book "Wildflowers Across America" that sounds a little like what you are looking for. It is from the Foreword, p. 11:
"...my life has taken me to many areas of the United States. I think of walking down a quiet land in Martha's Vineyard, bordered by tangles of pink wild roses, with a cloud of daisylike white blossoms frosting the meadows, or strolling a forest path beside a crystal stream in the Callaway Gardens of Georgia and being stopped still by a heady blaze of wild orange-red azaleas against the forest's emerald green. In New Mexico in September, I saw golden aspen climbing the hillsides and wild purple asters dotting the roadsides. I have always been a natural tourist; Lyndon used to say I kept "one foot in the middle of the big road." Wherever I go in America, I like it when the land speaks its own language in its own regional accent."
One of the chapters in the book, "The Beautification Movement and Highway Legislation", gives a brief history in Mrs. Johnson's own words. The full citation for the book is: Lady Bird Johnson and Carlton B. Lees. 1993. Wildflowers Across America. New York: Artabras. It is probably available at your local library, and it is definitely available for sale in Wild Ideas, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center store.
More Wildflowers Questions
Green thread-Thelesperman filifolium May 13, 2007 - Looking for information on a wild flower called green thread. Can you tell us the actual name or any information about this flower. view the full question and answer
More on bluebonnets May 12, 2005 - My bluebonnet plants have seed pods (I guess they are, they look like pods of snap peas). Can I collect these or do I just leave them alone and hope they multiply? If I can collect them, what is the ... view the full question and answer
Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ... view the full question and answer
Bluebonnets to bloom in September in Harlingen, TX April 30, 2008 - How can I get bluebonnets to bloom in the first week of September? I need them for my daughter's wedding! We live in Harlingen. Thank you. view the full question and answer
Wildflower season in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado region June 19, 2012 - Hello, I plan on going to the San Juan, Co. area next month (mid-July) around Ouray to see the wildflowers. As you may know it has been very dry in Colorado. What do you expect the wildflower season t... view the full question and answer