April 2, 2014
Cody Edgerton The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR — “If you seed it, they will come” could be a motto for Art Williams and wife Dixie of Port Arthur. The Williamses have their own field of dreams, but it doesn’t involve the crack of a bat or call of an announcer.
Along the side of their home on Pure Atlantic Road, they have spent more than 25 years cultivating Texas Bluebonnets. And they are seeing the product of years of work.
“My dream has been to make that field solid bluebonnets,” Art said, pointing at the hundreds of blue flowers spreading their petals into the mid-day sun.
Every year the number of flowers should increase dramatically, he said. In about five years the whole field should be a carpet of the indigo.
According to Art Williams, bluebonnet seeds are notoriously difficult to propagate. They have tough hulls, and it can take more than five years for the seed to germinate.
“This year they started coming and I kept telling Dixie, ‘I think this will be the year.’” Art said.
As for Mrs. Williams, she thinks the flowers are quite special.
“I think it’s great,” Dixie said. “He gets a lot of joy out of it.”
And the Williamses don’t simply keep that joy to themselves. Art spoke of recently spending time with a large group of friends playing table tennis, and he decided to bring them all a vase of bluebonnets. At first he thought maybe the guys wouldn’t want the flowers.
“They all loved them,” Art said, adding they were looking forward to getting them home and giving them to their wives.
They’ve even had someone stop and ask if it would be OK if she took a few photos of their blooming bonnets. As for how Art became so interested in the flowers, the story goes that a woman living in Port Neches long ago had a small plot in her front yard and he thought they looked great.
So he planted his first little patch and it’s grown from there.
“I wanted to be a Master Gardener, I took a two week course over there, but I never became one,” Art said.
“I’ve just always loved the Texas bluebonnet.”