Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Southern Belle of Flowers

How could a Mississippi Southern Belle not just love the flowering vine that is called "Southern Belle"? Wisteria brings back sweet memories of my childhood, living next door to my grandparents whose home was my great-grandparents before theirs. It had majestic white columns on the front porch and was surrounded by gardens of flowers that are staples for a Southern landscape -- azaleas, gardenias, Confederate Jasmine, Irises, and magnolia trees.

As I looked out my living room window a few days ago, I saw this majestic site and could, without even going outside, smell the sweet smell of wisteria. It is an ambitious vine and many Southerners have a love/hate relationship with it.

For avid gardeners, this vine will drive you crazy for 11 months of the year. My brown thumb is not too bothered by it, especially because when wisteria is in bloom the delicate perfume that permeates my yard is intoxicating. I know it can be trained, but in reality I spend my time training my children, so in this life season the wisteria vine training is going to have to wait.

I am not the only one who loves it, the bumble bees swarm to wisteria. I do not have a macro lens, so I was pretty close to these guys when taking the pictures. But, don't worry, I survived without being stung (do these kind of bees sting? remember, brown thumb girl, I ran away just in case).

Here is another bee-pleasing tree in our yard, a flowering crabapple tree.

Although these trees are customarily grown as ornamentals, later this year we will have crabapples that can be made into wonderful jelly. I tried making the jelly once and it was alright, but one of the cooks at the park restaurant can make some extraordinary crabapple jelly. So, now I just let her pick them for the price of a couple of jars. It's a win-win situation, well, maybe I win a little more because I don't have to do anything, I did not plant the tree. I do have to make the biscuits though, does that count?
I hope Spring is coming to your area.
The Park Wife


Amy said...

Spring is in full bloom, down South here! The Bluebonnets are in full bloom, as well as the Indian Paint Brushes!
I guess this means I need to be in my yard, getting it all "PRETTY" looking. Being in the Garden Club makes me keep up on my green thumb!
**Great pictures!! :)

OKGardners said...

Beautiful blooms! Thanks for sharing these. We have our first-ever, newborn Redbud tree blooming now. It was planted last August and struggled through the winter, but its twin tree is dead! :( I think the builder will replace the dead one. (I hope)

Enjoy your spring blooms and beautiful park.

Betty in Oklahoma

Shirley said...

Don't you just love it when things are blooming for the first time in the spring?

I brought daffodils in yesterday and am enjoying them on my desk.

Valarie said...

I love wisteria, and I love gardening. I can get things to grow for awhile, but then they end up dieing. :(