Sunday, August 3, 2008

Southern Belles

There are several blooming trees on my list of favorites. One that rates high on the list would have to be the Crepe Myrtle tree! I refer to the Crepe Myrtle and Magnolia trees as Southern Belles. They are a true staple in many gardens and business landscapes here in Georgia.

We were lucky enough to purchase this house with many Myrtles in the ground showing off their pretty colors. We had the home inspection during the month of July when all trees were in full bloom, convincing us we had made the correct choice in picking this house as our new home. I find it interesting how the Myrtles don't all bloom at the same time. The deep pink one above starts to show us her colors in mid June. Look in the driveway island how the pale pink Myrtle is not showing any color at all in this picture snapped on July 1... You can see in this picture below how the branches are starting to curve over towards the ground from the weight of the heavy blooms. Tomorrow you will see what happens after a quick steady rainfall. By the middle of July, the pale pink Myrtle was putting off a show as well. She has been seen with more blooms in past years, but I am not complaining.

Here is another pale pink Myrtle that I almost lost to the Saints saw blades! This little beauty was sheltered from the sun until 2 years ago when a tree fell near her. While cleaning up the downed tree, the Saint wanted to remove the little Myrtle as well. In his mind a blooming tree that does not bloom does not belong in the yard plus the tree was in his way. The Saints mind also tells him, trees do not belong in the yard solely surrounded by grass because they are a pain in the butt to mow around. Ha, you better not go near Miss Myrtle with that saw or I will be on you like a Japanese beetle on a Maple! Well, what I really said was worse but you get the jest.

He left his paws off Miss Myrtle and two years later, look at that Belle glow in her pink dress! All she needed were a few beams of the sun shining on her body to bring out her true colors. The Saint is happy he did not cut down Miss Myrtle. Ah, Gloating here.
My southern Belles are loosing their bloomers this summer! Yep the Bark is falling off the trees this year. I have no idea if the drought is to blame or if they are maturing and this is normal for the type Myrtle in our yard. Miss Myrtles legs are smooth and a beautiful white color similar to a Birch Tree.

As I type this and gaze out the office window, to the left of my view is the Butterfly Island and to the right is Miss Myrtle, pretty in bright pink showing her stuff. Ah, what a view!
Here is one more Southern Belle, which stands tall in the front yard. This one blooms even later then the one in the driveway island. I don't know what causes the blooms staggering time but with this happening, we have blooms from mid June until late August! Notice the Myrtle to the right of the blooming one. No blooms at all...

We have 12 Myrtles lining our property line up on the street by the county right of way. Those poor things were planted under tall pine trees and have yet to bloom in the 7 years we have lived here. I wish the previous homeowners would have removed a few pines behind them then we would have a great show going on with them as well.

We have 10 Myrtles in our landscaped areas of the yard but the ones I have shown you today are the ones which bloom profusely for us. I don't think one can have too many SOUTHERN BELLES, In the Garden...


  1. I love your southern belles. How lovely that they bloom for you all summer! The timing is just right! I have Natchez, a white flowering Crape myrtle with exfoliating bark. A hugely tall variety but a beauty in the landscape. Have a good day,

  2. I LOVE these!!! Especially pink --I have 3 white and just recently was blessed with a blooming pink crepe myrtle that didn't bloom last year at all. Heading out now but see you all later! These are truly southern belles --such a pretty addition to any landscape. Ciao!

  3. Southern Belles indeed! My FAVORITE small tree. You have highlighted them perfectly! Lucky you with so many and gloat all you must-silly Saint to want to take out a crepe-never! Japanese beetle on a maple? Funny!

  4. I love Crepe Myrtles, you are lucky to have so many. I have one, but the exfoliating bark thing is what they do. Isn't it beautiful underneith? They are planted everywhere here.

  5. These trees are beautiful! I only wish they would grow up here! No matter how I one will give me one! Boo Hooo!

  6. Good Morning everyone!

    Gail, I am lucky to have so many myrtles in the yard even though I have no idea what type they are, LOL. This is the first year they have lost their bark though! No really sure about why this year... hummm, the mind ponders....

    Anonymous, Myrtles are a great addition to any landscape. Their beauty takes the mind off the hot summer temps, LOL... I only have two shades of pink but wish I had more colors. I forgot to mention colors in the posting, arg, but we see Bright Pink, Pale Pink, Pale Purple, Red and White around here. I wish I had several in each color!

    Tina, you call them small trees, well the one by the house and the one in the driveway are getting really tall. Since I stopped pruning them 5 years ago, they are getting really big and about to take over their areas! I dont think those two are the smaller variety's. Wait until you see what happened to my pretty bright pink one; stay tuned tomorrow.... :)

    Perennial Gardener, This is the first year for our bark to fall off such as this so I was not sure that was a normal thing for them or not. We had Myrtles in our yard at the house we rented while living in TX and their bark did not fall off either. But it is falling off the large ones this year. The bark is really smooth and is beautiful underneath!

    Dawn, I wish you could have my 12 up on the street! I would love for them to be somewhere else other then in a spot were they cannot perform! So come dig one out and take it back to Maine with you! You dont really think I am going to dig in this heat do you??? LOL....

    Everyone have a good day!

  7. They sure are a pretty tree with so many pretty colors. Like Dawn I wish they would grow up here. You are lucky to have so many Skeeter but sad about the ones near you. What a waste of such a pretty tree.

  8. Hi Skeeter, what a wonderful selection of the Belles you have. I grew up with these trees in my neighborhood and used to pick the buds and squeeze the flowers out, for some reason that eludes me now. LOL When I moved to PA I missed the crepes so badly. Here in TN we have several, including a huge one not on our property but within sight of my window. I think the bark is supposed to peel, but the trees must be mature enough? Like the birches maybe? I have a new one called Pink Velour that has purple leaves, darker when young and dark pink blooms, very pretty.

  9. How beautiful they are Skeeter! It's no wonder you love them so much. Trees blooming all summer? Awesome!

  10. Jean, they seem to like the heat and dont mind this drought either! It is a shame with the 12 on our property line that will not bloom. There are just way too many trees to remove in order to get sun on them so they will remain hidden treasures for the next homeowner to unveil...

    Frances, Funny the things we recall doing as children like squeezing buds. LOL Lucky you with a neighbors blooms to view! I think it is nice to have blooming things in view for others to enjoy. I assumed that maturing has something to do with the bark since this is the first year it has peeled. I guess that means they are healthy and happy with their home. Oh my Belles are growing up now…LOL

    Garden Girl, they give me almost as much color as the butterfly bushes! I just love them with their blooming longevity...


  12. Hi Dawn --my Aunt came to visit last year --took home a crepe myrtle and it did not make it. She has a totally green thumb too:( She is in Northeast PA. My guess is that something down here keeps them going --like Skeeter mentioned heat/drought they still seem to do okay --but last year they didn't bloom nearly as much for me since we had a drought. I love them! But, lilacs are still number one:0) lol Must get the kiddos out for a swim --school bells ring tomorrow for orientation --and Tina -yes parents are supposed to come for the first half hour. (at ours) I'm sure your orientation will be very similar to ours. Catch you all later!

  13. We went out to the lake today. It was like bathwater. I was noticing all the crepes with damage from last year's freeze but they sure are blooming nicely. What a shame.

    Anonymous, I will be at the school o'darkthirty in the morning with the Jimster. Should be fun. I used to sub there and loved the high school so I am fairly familiar with it. Have fun with your big boy too.

  14. Your Southern Belles are indeed beautiful. I am always just a little sad when the redbuds and flowering crabs stop blooming in the spring; having a show like this in the summer would be wonderful. The Saint sounds a little like my husband--I have to be careful where I plant flowers or they will fall victim to the mower blades:)

  15. Hi Skeeter, The Crape Myrtle are by far my best flowering tree also. I ordered about 25 from a nursery about 3 years ago. I landscaped my road side and driveway with them. I have the pints, purples and the whites.

  16. HELLO ALL,
    Great post skeeter. I have really been noticing the crepes lately. I have been looking for a dark purple, but can't find one as of yet. My brother in Winder is looking for one. I am trying to root a white one. Hope they make it. Would like to root a dark pink one too.
    Yes, school starting soon here, the 18th. Things sure will quieten down. Kiddies came home with us for a couple hrs. Gone home with Mom.
    Hope all have a good night.

  17. Anonymous, (In caps) not sure who I am talking to but hello! Myrtles do come in many different sizes. Most people clip the larger ones back to keep them in the scale of their landscaping. I say plant the bush ones instead of butchering the trees! My trees are all over 6 feet tall. The first one I showed you is as tall as the house!

    Anonymous, Hope you enjoyed your swim with the kiddos! Ah, the sound of school bells. Soon I will be able to go into Wal-Mart without hearing moms scream at their wild kids! lol...

    Tina, we had damage last year but those hardy gals came back to life and produced blooms then also!

    Rose, I must mark things in the yard for the blade may get them and I dont dare ask for help with weed pulling! LOL... The Belles do put on a long show for me...

    Doris, I do love the myrtles! I wish the ones lining our street would bloom but too much shade for the ladies! You are lucky to have several colors. We have only pinks and they are pretty but more colors would be nice too...

    Lola, I am sure you had a nice day with the kiddies! Glad you had a good visit with them. I have not seen a deep purple one in our area! Only the light lavender shade of purple. I will keep my eyes peeled....

    Hope everyone had a nice weekend; it is back to the grindstone tomorrow!

  18. They are great trees Skeeter! We only have four in the yard but I have several more being propagated. Some might even be rooted by now, I'd better check them tomorrow! They are very pretty trees. They would work well as a fast growing privacy screen.

  19. Yes Dave they would make a great privacy screen as long as they have plenty of sun...

  20. I love these trees. I have a myrtle that was planted a few years ago that my dog ate. But it is coming up this year. I also have two Magnolia's that are still in pots.Great post

  21. Sarah, feed doggie some kibble and maybe your myrtle will survive! lol. Dogs can be stinkers in the yard cant they? Cats too as my neighbors kitty keeps using my pinestraw as a litter box! arggg... I dont have a magnolia due to space but I enjoy seeing them all over GA...

  22. Actually, Cam has a myrtle in his yard. I never knew what it was until this post! I've always heard about them, lol, but never knew. They are really pretty, aren't they?

  23. Well DP, you learn something new every day! I assume Cam's is pink.??..