The Bluebonnets of Washington County Texas

The Bluebonnets of Washington County Texas
It’s the state flower of Texas, the famous Texas bluebonnet, Lupinus texinsis. Each spring, from mid-March through May, East Texas becomes a wildflower lover's dream come true. Roadsides, fields, pastures, and yards transform into a beautiful floral carpet only Mother Nature could weave. Blue Bonnets Farm N FieldLovely little towns such as Brenham, Chappell Hill, Independence, Bellville, and Burton, in Washington County, become the backdrop for a spectacular show of flower power.

Washington County, located midway between Austin and Houston on U.S. 290, is known as “The Birthplace of Texas.” The original town of Washington, located not far from the banks of the Brazos River, once held the title of state capital.Texas Museum It was here on March 2nd, 1836, that Sam Houston, along with fifty-nine other Texans, drafted and signed, the Declaration of Independence from Mexico, creating the Republic of Texas.

There’s plenty of Texas history to be found in Washington County year-round but spring here means wildflowers. As the cold winter winds give way to warmer days, Nature paints a masterpiece across this sprawling Texas landscape. All my life, I’d heard about it but had yet to experience it. I had wanted to view this annual spring wildflower display, so much so that it even had a place on my “Bucket List.” You know, the list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket.

The week before I arrived, Washington County celebrated a two-and-a-half-inch drenching of badly needed rain. Even after the recent rain, stock tanks and ponds were mere puddles. Many were almost completely dry. Texas has been suffering for some time from the effects of a serious drought. Many local residents expressed concerns about whether the wildflowers would “make a show.” But Mother Nature has a way of bouncing back even though we think she may not.

The recent deluge of rain had turned the world green again. A drive along Farm Road 390 around Washington County was a visual delight. Pastures of lush grass, masses of bluebonnets, bright orange Indian paintbrush, and delicate pink primrose danced in the Texas wind.Longhorns in Bluebonnets Speckled Longhorns, Black Angus, and creamy white Brahman cattle painted a picturesque watercolor as they grazed against the colorful backdrop. Each pasture was sprinkled with baby calves, napping, nursing, and frolicking among the bluebonnets.

It’s a piece of cake to navigate your way along a self-guided driving tour of Washington County’s Bluebonnet Trails. Brochures with an easy-to-follow map can be found at many locations around the area. If you find you're on bluebonnet overload, there are plenty of other items to put on your itinerary. You can stop at the Funky Art Café or Must Be Heaven Sandwich Shoppe in Brenham for great soups, sandwiches, and delectable desserts. Take a tour of the Blue Bell Creameries, ice cream factory, and get a free dip of ice cream.

For plant lovers, you’ll want to visit the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, Antique Rose Emporium, Martha’s Bloomers, and Ellison’s Greenhouses. There are far too many unique and interesting shops, boutiques, galleries, and gift stores to mention. You’ll just have to force yourself to take a day to go shopping!

Before I knew it my time in Washington County was over. On my last morning in Texas, I sat at an antique kitchen table in a cozy and comfortable B&B in the historic little town of Burton. I sipped a cup of coffee and nibbled a piece of cranberry nut bread slathered with whipped butter. I listened as a pair of barn swallows chattered just outside the door.

I’d had a peaceful night’s sleep in Flora’s Room. Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and spring. It seemed an appropriately odd twist of fate that of all the B & B rooms in Washington County, I should get Flora’s Room as my lodging while on my “Bucket List,” spring wildflower pilgrimage.BlueBonnets Close UP
I think Flora may have peeked at my list. If so, thank you, Flora, for a wonderful week amid the magnificent spring wildflowers of Texas.

The official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas is located in the small town of Chappell Hill at US 290 and FM 1155, about halfway between Houston and Austin. The festival is usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend in April. For 2024 the dates are April 13th & 14th. For more info visit: or call 979-337-9910.

APRIL 6-8, 2024

APRIL 12-14, 2024


APRIL 20-21, 2024

Washington County has lots of great things to see and do, and there's a wide variety of lodging options available, including many delightful B&Bs, country cabins, inns, hotels, campgrounds, and RV parks. For more info, visit, call 979-337-9910, or email

Note: Thanks to Visit Brenham for introducing me to Brenham, Texas, and the surrounding area.

You Should Also Read:
Texas Ranch Life
Brazos B & B Chocolate Chip Cookie Recip
Tour Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Hazel M. Freeman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Hazel M. Freeman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Hazel M. Freeman for details.