Berries and Blossoms

I took a walk in my neighborhood today and looked at berries and blossoms and I want to share them with you just in case you weren't able to take a Sunday afternoon walk. I didn't walk far; I had on my Tennessee orange heels and even though they are low, they are heels.

First stop was in my yard, and my neighbor's across the drive we share. Her Cornus florida (dogwood) still has lots of berries but the birds have stripped ours. She is also the one who has the lovely pink camellia.

The robins really love dogwood berries and our tree is in the sun more than hers is so they come to mine first. The leaves are all off ours also and that gives the birds an easier snack than this with leaves still hanging.  Dogwoods are so pretty from spring when they are covered with blooms through their summer leaves to the red berries of fall and right on through the tracery of their twiggy branches all winter. Unfortunately, many of them , including ours, are suffering from a blight for which there seems to be no cure. Sad.

Camellias look like they should be spring or summer bloomers but they are best in the fall. This is a small shrub but it is covered with these lovely blooms. The white ones are beautiful but my heart belongs to the pinks like this. All kinds of pink and rose have been developed, some with stripes, but this is my favorite of all, with white coming in a distant second. Delicate looking but rather hardy, and green all winter.

Nandina is sometimes known as the air-conditioner plant because today's landscape designers do not find it valuable for anything other than to hide the air-conditioner. Living in an old neighborhood, though, there is at least one on almost every lot. What is not to like about this huge shrub which berries prolifically, requires next to no care and stays green all year.

I will give  you that dwarf Nandinas should be outlawed, but these big old ones are such a reminder of the days when there weren't a zillion imports and varieties of plants and these were new and wonderful. Ours holds berries all year and is patient with whatever weather comes its way. Most likely it should have had some canes cut out long ago but it is now too thick at the base to get secateurs in there so I am just letting it go. There are plants around it that need to be taken out. I am not sure why they were ever put there - perhaps it was the squirrels who planted them. We plan to move some of them to better places.

I know that these are leaves and not berries but they were so bright against the clear blue sky that I had to show you. Most of my life I have lived in oak or pine forests, but here we are in a mixed and Maple forest. This area of town is covered in Maples, Crepe Myrtles and now some new elms have been planted. This fence,on an alley I pass walking to Vicki's house, has luxuriant Pyracantha on three sides. The branches are quite thick indicating that it is far from new, but I have no idea of its age. I always enjoy going down that alley. Isn't it striking against the grey of the unpainted wood fence?

When we moved into this house we had no idea what a wonderful area this would be to live in. I am thankful every day that we are here. It suits me to a T and does that bring us back to the  orange heels? TN actually won yesterday in a very high scoring game. A win is a win, though, and the coach gets just a little job security for another week.

Thanks for letting me share a little of my corner of the world.

XOXOXO, Caroline


Unknown said…
I have a friend who thinks that Nandina is a poor person's plant. It goes back to his childhood but I like the berries and the fact they grow so easily. Of course they do tend to get rather "stalky." This autumn has been beautiful and it is one of the reasons that I always loved Tennessee during this season. Columbia had a few pretty trees when the leaves changed colors but the spring was a much better season there....all 2 days of it.
Pyracantha is beautiful but deadly. I have had that plant and the thorns are not to be taken lightly.
Today is another beautiful day in Cleveland, for sure.
Chrissy said…
Those berries look fabulous - and the Nandina is new to me (perhaps not a European thing). I can't imagine rejecting it but that's easy to say when I don't have those troubling associations. (There are certain wild flowers which I can't abide as they were weeds in bomb sites left long after the war (London).

Saucy yellow shoes, Caroline!

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