Thursday, March 26, 2015

Signs of Spring

Thankfully, some signs of spring just happen without any help from or work by the neglectful gardener, with whom I shamefully identify. Except for the happenstance pulling of a few, and I mean very few, weeds in my yard nothing has been done to improve the sad condition of it so far this spring.

I love violets and these sweet little blue flowers are among the first to bloom when spring arrives.
Spring  Violets
I noticed a plant growing in my yard last summer, but could not remember what it was nor when I had planted it near my deck. It had leaves much like those of a Catawba tree. Some of you might know that the Catawba tree is home to a caterpillar-like insect called the Catawba worm. There are those who reside in the southern United States that think these little "worms" make very good fish bait. Well, up until I noticed this thing blooming today I thought it was a Catawba tree. The leaves are no longer as large nor are they shaped like those of the Catawba tree. I now realize that it is something my friend gave me. An Angel Trumpet.
Angel Trumpet
I was puzzled about the change in the shape of the leaves, so I Googled it and, believe it or not, found that the leaves on the Trumpet Flower actually do change their shape sometimes. I was disturbed when I read on all the different websites I visited that all parts of the plant are extremely toxic to humans and animals. My granddaughters love to pick every flower in sight when playing in my yard, so I am going to have to think about whether or not to keep it where it is. In spite of the fact that it is poisonous, it is still a beautiful flowering plant.

Carolina Jessamine is a another welcoming assurance that spring has sprung down south!
Carolina Jessamine
The yellow bloom of this plant has a sweet and lovely fragrance. Some people may disagree, but I have always thought that Carolina Jessamine smells very much like baby powder. Unfortunately, all parts of this plant are also poisonous, though perhaps not as toxic as the Angel Trumpet. I remembered hearing this years ago, so I Googled this one as well here. It is one of the plants that deer will not eat, probably because of its being poisonous. Smart animals, deer! Okay T.M.I.,  I am starting to get a little depressed with all this!

The Dogwood tree is a southern favorite in early spring! It is one whose leaves appear pretty much after its blooms disappear. The leaves turn a beautiful red when fall arrives, so it has something to offer several seasons of the year.

Dogwood Tree
Another fragrant bloomer is the Tulip tree.

Tulip Tree
The tree is named Tulip tree because its scented flowers are shaped very much like an actual Tulip flower. 

Of all the flowering trees and shrubs in my yard, the Tea Olive shrub is my favorite. It is not a particularly showy plant, but its fragrance is the quality that makes it so remarkable and noteworthy. Its tiny white blooms fill the air with an intoxicating aroma, like that of  a rare and exotic perfume. It takes me away to another place and time. It is simply heavenly!
Tea Olive Shrub
These herbs which were planted in pots, I am pleased to say,  survived through the winter!
The blooms on my Blueberry bushes are a hopeful sign of a bumper crop to come!
Blueberry Bush in Bloom
God is so very good to have given us all these and many more beautiful blessings. He has awakened spring with its bountiful signs of life and new beginnings!

Song of Solomon 2:11-13
The Bride's Adoration
10"My beloved responded and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along. 11For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 12The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land...

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