Blown away by the beauty of this place

Published 6:17 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

Each spring I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the multiple colored azaleas, the Japanese magnolias and above all, the splendor of the dogwood trees.

These may be things natives of Bainbridge take for granted; but, where I come from, these are considered luxuries. They do not do so well in northern climates where even the soil is different.  Down here it seems they just grow wild, all over the place without any effort.

In northern Ohio springs are illuminated by crocus, tulips, daffodils and lilac bushes. I do kind of miss those flowers, but realize they won’t make it here without lots of coddling.

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One flowering bush I see that we have in common is the white spirea. I always think of my father when I see spirea blooming. He loved them and planted them all along one side of the house.

He also loved hydrangea and enjoyed making them change colors by adding different soil nutrients. He loved growing things.  Our house sat on a small lot, and nearly every square inch of lawn was planted with flowers, fruits and vegetables.

I enjoy gardening here, but have had to learn some lessons the hard way.  I have put things on the wrong side of the house and have had to adjust to the extreme heat and drought of some summers. I planted two dogwood trees. Both died after a year or two. The same for my lemon tree.

For some reason I cannot grow a decent tomato here. I have tried several varieties and they just don’t turn out right.

This time of year I am eager to start planting. I dream over gardening books and catalogues. I sit out in my back yard, visualizing how it will look when I put out my new plants.

Somehow, they rarely turn out like the pictures, and I end up disappointed.

But, the plants that grow wild down here, including the invasive wisteria, are just gorgeous.

Maybe some day I will master southern gardening. Until then, I must be satisfied with driving around town and enjoying the gardens of others.