Friday, May 08, 2015

Mystery plants identified

This yard is full of plants I didn't recognize when we moved in. I'm not from the south, and we arrived in midsummer when most things were done blooming. Also, a poison ivy attacked me the first week we were here when I was sweeping the deck, and we had to clear out wasps and a huge snake, and all I could identify were yew berries (don't eat) and pokeweed berries (also don't eat), so I was not feeling the great outdoors for a while there. Who knew what other vicious plant forms were out to get us?

Anyway, all fall and winter I had this mystery tree at the end of the drive, that produced burgundy leaves and these little pod cherry things. I asked around and searched and searched online to figure it out, with absolutely no success. The bark looked like maybe a fruit tree? But the pod things didn't look edible?

And then this spring it bloomed. Ta-da! Dogwood!

Then there were these bush things out front. They got pretty big and then died completely flat for the winter. What are they? Will they poison us? The girls and I went on a field trip today to the gardens at Ida Lee, and one of the master gardeners happened to be in. I saw another of these mystery plants and asked her, and she was able not only to identify it for me, but also describe its habits, which also lined up exactly with ours. Peony, people.

It's kind of nice, figuring things out.

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