Sunday, June 6, 2010

Horticulture 101

Although I usually do not enjoy summers in the deep south (nothing personal, I'm just not "heat tolerant"), I do love it when the crepe mrytles are in bloom. The one at the end of our driveway is in full bloom, the one at the top of the driveway isn't yet.

I love the different varieties of crepe mrytle and the vibrant colors. I really like it when crepe mrytles are planted in a row (like the photo above) and line a street.

So, this got me thinking about all the different plants and trees I associate with living in different states....different phases of my life.

When I was growing up, both sets of my grandparents had wonderful azalea bushes in Edison, NJ. There are many, many photos of different generations standing in front of those bushes. My dad's younger brother still lives in my grandparents house and although he has made many changes and improvements to the house over the years, those azalea bushes are still there.
At my parents house on Dogwood Lane, we had forsythia bushes lining one side of the driveway and a large lilac bush in the backyard (lots of prom pictures were taken in front of that lilac bush).

We had a large, dead crab apple tree in the backyard at our house on Adele Boulevard (our first home as husband and wife). Cosmo and my dad cut it down the spring I was pregnant with T and Cosmo received a wicked case of poison ivy in return. Not just a rash but nasty, oozing, open wounds. We had planted portulaca on a little hilly section at the end of our walkway and it thrived. As it rained and the seeds migrated down the hill, weird color combinations started to pop up. I think we had originally only planted white and yellow portulaca but ended up with shades of orange, peach, and pink. We had done some landscaping at our house in Saddlewood Place in Ohio (my favorite house EVER!) and Cosmo bought me a weeping cherry blossom for Mother's Day. The blossoms didn't last long (one strong wind and it was pretty much over) but I loved the way the white blossoms looked against the dark mulch we had put down.
Which brings me to this house (I skipped over the house in Annapolis because it was a rental and we were only there 50 weeks, not even a full year. However, the previous tenant had planted day lillies and we enjoyed them the summer we moved in). This house has a variety of flora.....crepe mrytles, gardenias, roses, baby's breath (I'm sure there's a Latin term for this bush, I just call it the baby's breath bush). My favorites are the GORGEOUS Japanese maple out our kitchen window and the crepe mrytles. Our Japanese maple isn't quite this tall, more like the bottom half of this photo. Cosmo luvs, luvs, luvs this maple. We've talked several times over the years about busting thru the breakfast nook and building a screen porch off the kitchen. Every time the subject comes up, Cosmo always says something about the tree. He wants a screen porch as much as I do, he's just afraid we'll kill the tree if we transplanted it.
So there you have it. Horticulture 101

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