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Beautiful Southern Trees and Flowers

I love beautiful scenery and the changes of the season offer us some scenes of beauty and I love to travel. Learn from travel experience.

beautiful-southern-trees-and-flowers

Spring Sometimes Arrives Early

There was almost no winter in northern Florida this year, but then is seemed like Spring happened overnight. We have roses in bloom, despite very little rain this spring.The Red Bud trees were blooming by the end of March. We have enjoyed the Azaleas, dogwood trees and a variety of other trees and flowers for the past few weeks as well. The spring flowers are already gone this year. It seems to happen so quickly.

It was necessary for us to pick almost 100 grapefruits off of our tree since January, as the tree was already starting to bloom for this season. The orange tree is also starting to bloom. There are numerous birds flocking to our bird feeder and bird bath also. Yesterday morning I decided to put out the hummingbird feeder. In the late afternoon I saw one of those precious little birds feeding.

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year but when it comes this early it makes you wonder if you are not going to have a scorching hot summer. Gardens must be planted early in this areas because the sun and heat will dry them up by July.

Queen of the Garden

I started taking pictures of some of the beautiful flowered shrubs and trees a few weeks ago. Azaleas are very popular in this area and typically about half the houses on any given street will have this beautiful shrub in their yard. They come in many beautiful colors. They can grow to 6’ high and many are very large.

Azaleas were originally considered to be a type of rhododendron, which looks very similar. They now have an individual genus and are a member of the Ericacaea family. This is an ancient group which dates back to 70 million years ago. They were originally cultivated by monks in Buddhist monasteries. Nepal’s national flower is the azalea. There are two types of azalea, the evergreen azalea and the deciduous variety, but there are literally thousands of varieties. They are know as Queen of the Garden.

My Photo

My Photo

Azalea Information and History

So many people love azaleas that there have been over 10,000 different cultivars, which have been propagated by cuttings. Seeds may also be collected and germinated. The first azaleas were planted in Charleston in 1848. There are numerous azalea festivals in the south and in many places throughout the world. Alabama has the Azalea Trail, which is a path that runs through private gardens in Mobile, and there is an annual race in late March. There are fifty women wearing antebellum dresses that act as ambassadors of the city of Mobile.

Azaleas take very little work but they do the best is slightly acidic soil because it drains well. They can only be trimmed right after they are through blooming. If trimming is done too late in the year the plant will not bloom on those cut branches the following spring. They don’t require very much fertilizer either.

beautiful-southern-trees-and-flowers

The Legend of the Dogwood

“When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew
To a towering size with a lovely hue.
Its branches were strong and interwoven,
And for Christ's cross its timbers were chosen.

“Being distressed at the use of the wood,
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
'Never again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for a tree, and so,
Slender and twisted it shall always be,
With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.

“'The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown,
And in the blossom's center a thorny crown.
All who see it will think of me,
Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished this tree shall be,
A reflection to all of my agony.'”

White Flowering Dogwood Trees

More Dogwood Tree Legends

The popular Dogwoods are among the prettiest trees and often used in landscaping. There are also numerous Dogwood Festivals.

Dogwood trees are part of the genus Cornus group containing about 30-60 different species. They are found around the world. Originally, in England they were called “dog-tree” in 1548, but the name was changed to dogwood in 1614.

They have also been called other names through the centuries. In Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” he referred to them as whipple-tree. The whipple tree was used to provide traction in a horse-drawn cart as it linked the harnesses to the drawpole of the cart.

Dogwoods were planted for their dense, fine-grained wood which was used to make loom shuttles, tool handles and some of the first laminated tennis rackets utilized this wood. Pioneers used the twigs, peeling off the bark, to brush their teeth. Thomas Jefferson grew many of these trees at his home, in Monticello, Virginia.

There are many legends associated with the dogwood tree. The Christian legend states that the dogwood grew tall and strong, like an Oak, when Jesus walked the earth and that this wood was used for his crucifixion.

The Cherokee Indians also have a legend. They believe that a small race of people, called the Dogwood People, lived in the forest, while watching over the trees and teaching them to live in harmony.

It is said they believed in doing good deeds for others just because they were kind. Native Americans used the blooms of the Dogwood as a sign that it was time to plant their corn.

Dogwood Increasing Popularity

The popularity of the Dogwood tree has grown through the years. They thrive best in a woodland type of habitat, with some afternoon shade. They need soil that drains well. They are a small tree, growing about 30’ tall and 35’ across.

The branches are layered in tiers and their blooms only last for about 2- 3 weeks. The blooms are usually a beautiful showy white or pink. There are many different varieties, one with variegated yellow leaves.We were able to purchase a dogwood tree at a city tree sale for a very reasonable price.

Many have been hurt by a dogwood blight which is a fungus disease. Trees out in the open with good air circulation are affected less often, but the disease will eventually kill the tree if left untreated. There are several other diseases that can also affect the tree, so it is important to check the tree periodically to maintain its health. They should also be fertilized occasionally.

Amaryllis Care, After Flowering

Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a spring flower that is a nice border plant, which grows from a bulb. They are quite common in this area and take absolutely no care once the bulb is planted,

The genus name is "amarysso", which is a Greek word that means to sparkle. In Greek mythology it refers to a shepherdess who shed her blood to prove her love, hence the color of the flower. It is thought the Portuguese brought the flower to Europe in the early 16th century. Amaryllis means "St. Joseph's Staff" to the Portuguese. There are other legends from other countries as well.

Grapefruit Bloom My Photo

Grapefruit Bloom My Photo

Citrus Trees

As I mentioned earlier, our citrus trees are blooming while the grapefruit tree still had a large amount of unpicked fruit from its grand bounty this year. The photos I took show the flower unopened, then opened. If you look carefully as the base of the center of the flower you will see a small round green area, which is actually the new fruit beginning to grow.

Final Thoughts

I always enjoy the spring flowers and the trees. This year has been wonderful as everything has already bern in bloom, and it has been so beautiful. I love the Dogwoods, the Azaleas, and I am happy about the blooms on the citrus trees.

Dogwoods or Azaleas

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

Thank you Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 19, 2021:

Nevertheless, you have shared a beautiful hub about the trees and flowers.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

Hi Devika,

I didn't write that poem, I found it and loved it. The rest is mine. I love the flowers and trees. I am glad you liked the article.

Thank you so much for your comments.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 19, 2021:

Hi Pamela Beautiful nature of trees. Stunning photos and sounds great too. Time and patience and there you have it. The amazing sights of different trees. You are good at poetry and I am glad you are sharing from your side of life.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

Hi Thelma,

There are such a colorful and beautiful plant. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Thank you so much for your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

Hi Doris,

The carpenter ants have been a problem for us at times, and now we pay monthly to have our yard sprayed. It has stopped the problem at least.

That blizzard affected a lot of states, and it sounds awful. That back yard of your friend sounds amazing. I didn't realize there were so many varieties of azaleas.

Our only problem now is a lack of rain recently, but such is nature. The forsythia is also beautiful.

Thank you for your comments, Doris.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

Hi Flourish,

You feed more than I do, as I try to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder. I do like squirrels however, and all nature really. This has been a good springtime.

Thank you for your comments.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 19, 2021:

I love Azalea and other rhododendron plants. They are blooming now in our city park and in our neighbourhood. The poem is lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 18, 2021:

This is a very nice article by a fellow southerner. Our flowering bushes, trees, and flowers in Arkansas bloomed right on schedule this year despite our blizzard. I always look forward to my neighbor's forsythia's bright yellow blooms as a harbinger of spring, but this year they were nipped in the bud by our 20 inch snow (the heaviest snow I've ever encountered in my almost 8 decades.) Everything else bloomed right on schedule.

I love dogwoods and wish some grew in our yard. They grow in the woods all around us. We had one azalea when we moved here, but carpenter ants killed it. I had an elderly friend who collected them. He had over 200 azaleas in his back yard in Little Rock, some very rare. My neighbors have some nice ones, though.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 18, 2021:

Beautiful job. I've always had azaleas and find them easy to tend to. What a treat that your hummingbird feeder already has customers. I put mine up too recently. We feed them as well as regular birds and squirrels, plus neighborhood cats. I love nature and springtime is second only to fall.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Fran,

Florida is beautiful in the spring. Thank you for reading and commenting. I always appreciate your comments.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on May 18, 2021:

Pamela, excellent as usual, and how I miss the color and beauty of Florida. Thanks for sharing.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 18, 2021:

You are welcome

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

I am glad you enjoyed this article. The azaleas have been in the group for a long time which is common in this neighborhood. I do love the fruit, which is available in January in FL.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 18, 2021:

Pamela

I love this article. The pictures of your Azaleas are beautiful!

I've never known them to get so big.

Dogwoods are ine of my Mother's favorite trees but she doesn't have one where she lives right now.

Your poem, "The Legend of the Dogwood" is fantastic.

I enjoyed it immensely.

I've never heard of that legend of the Cherokee's.

I would love to just walk outside in my backyard and pick some fruit for breakfast.

Gotta love that!

Great job on this one.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

I am glad you enjoyed the article and thought it was interesting. I appreciate your nice comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Linda,

Spring is such a beautiful time of year. I do like rhododendrons too. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

I enjoy all flowers with their beautiful colors and fragrance. Spring is a beautiful time of year.

Thank you for your comments.

Blessings and love for you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi MG,

I have traveled through deserts only seeing cactus grow. Thank you for reading and commenting.

VIDYA D SAGAR on May 18, 2021:

A very interesting and informative article Pamela. The photos are lovely too. It was interesting to read about the legends of the dogwood plant. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 18, 2021:

Pamela, your azaleas are stunning. I have just a few; I've filled my garden with their cousin, the rhododendron. The largest one is 15 feet tall! How wonderful that you have citrus trees. The fragrance is heavenly. I had no idea that amaryllis can be grown outdoors.

What a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing your garden with us and the history of these beautiful plants.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 18, 2021:

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and interesting article,Pamela. Nature is always beautiful. Spring is my favourite season. I love azaleas.

Take care and stay safe

Blessings and love

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Sp,

I am fortunate to have beautiful flowers in the spring. I am glad you liked the flowers. I appreciate your comments.

MG Singh from UAE on May 18, 2021:

Excellent article. In the desert such trees don't bloom.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on May 18, 2021:

These look beautiful. You are lucky to have trees and flowers around where you live. Where I live, all we have is grass. It's nice to see what other neighbourhoods do in their area.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Nell Rose,

I like marigolds, so I hope yours do well. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Peggy,

I knew your climate was similar to mine. We had such a mild winter that I think we may have a scorching summer as well. I agree air-conditioning is a lifesaver!

Thank you for your generous comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Bobbi,

I don't have enough roses either. I have lost a couple over the last couple of years. I have grown roses over many years, yet I don't know if I know enough about them to write an article.

I understand the tearing up when anything is written about Jesus. I am glad you liked the information about the Dogwood Tree.

I appreciate your nice comments.

Nell Rose from England on May 18, 2021:

Hi, I love the Legend of the Dogwood. Beautiful flowers and interesting info. I am growing a few marigolds on my balcony at the moment, so fingers crossed the rain doesn't get them! lol!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on May 18, 2021:

Pamela99,

Hi,

I enjoyed this hub so much, especially about the Dogwood Tree. I always

tear up when Jesus is mention in any reference on the cross.

Anyway, I have many flowers but not enough roses, but I plan on having a rose garden as another project of mine. If you know a lot about roses, please do a hub on it. You are so detailed--I love that about your hubs.

Until Later,

Bobbi Hunter

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 18, 2021:

Hi Pamela,

We have a similar climate in Houston. All of the plants you mentioned also grow here. Springtime is such a beautiful time of year! We have things in bloom year-round, as you undoubtedly do also. I do think that we are headed for another scorching summer. We have already had temperatures in the upper 80s. With the humidity, the feel-like temps are in the upper 90s. Thank heavens for air-conditioning!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Lorna,

I love the citrus trees, but we can't grow some other type of trees like apple trees. I guess every climate has limitations.

I very much appreciate your thoughtful comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Shauna,

I really enjoy all the flowers and trees. The azaleas have been in the ground for a long time, but I don't remember the exact number of years.

I didn't know about Christ's crucifix either until I found that information.

I always appreciate your comments, Shauna. Thank you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Rozlin,

I am glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Lorna Lamon on May 18, 2021:

I would love to have a grapefruit tree, however, our climate makes this impossible. A great article Pamela with lots of interesting information and beautiful photos. I particularly enjoyed reading 'The Legend of the Dogwood'. Spring is a beautiful season and you have captured this timeless beauty.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 18, 2021:

Pamela, I love the flowers and blooms of Florida. You're right about our mild winter this year. We didn't have too many cold days.

I didn't know that Christ's crucifix was made from dogwood. So sad. I love dogwood trees. The ones in Florida aren't as grand as those that grow in cooler climates, though.

Your azaleas are gorgeous! How long have they been in the ground? Your property must smell amazing when your citrus trees are in bloom. Such a fragrant scent!

Thanks for sharing your garden with us, Pamela!

Rozlin from UAE on May 18, 2021:

Hi, Pamela. Your article is very interesting & informative. Dogwood and azalea both are beautiful flowers.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

I am so glad that you feel good and that you are back. You were missed!

Rosina S Khan on May 18, 2021:

I feel good to be back on HubPages. And I missed the community too here. It feels refreshing and renergizing to be in touch with fellow hubbers like you once again.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

I am glad you enjoyed the article. I know you appreciate all types of beautiful flowers, as do I. What more can we ask than joy and happiness? Your response warms my heart.

I always appreciate your comments.

Many blessings.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 18, 2021:

Beautiful article about the wonderful trees, flowers and plants growing in your part of the World.

Nature is so beautiful, so colourful, and so diverse. These flowers resemble some of those, growing here, though the names may be different.

I have keen interest in gardening and photography. And your article gave me joy and happiness.

Thank you for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi Rosina,

I am glad you liked the article. It sure is good to have you back on Hubpages. We all missed you when you were sick.

Thank you so much for your comments, my friend.

Rosina S Khan on May 18, 2021:

This is a beautiful article describing Southern trees and flowers in spring time. I am especially intrigued by the Legend of the Dogwood. Sure, Dogwood trees, Azalea bushes and blooms on citrus trees grace us with charm and beauty and cannot help us from falling in love with mother earth and naure.

Thank you, Pamela, for this praiseworthy contribution.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

Hi John,

I love all the plants that grow here, but the season for spring is short. I am glad you enjoyed the article, and I appreciate your comments.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2021:

A lovely article, Pamela. You have some beautiful plants in your location. We don't have dogwood trees here in Australia as far as I know, at least not where I live. Azaleas are beautiful, and your grapefruit tree sounds as though it is thriving.

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