Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Underappreciated Crapemyrtle


Yesterday, the first official day of summer, I was driving home from work in my extremely hot car (must have been 150 F in there!), thinking about the heat (it was the third day in a row that it hit 100 F), and noticing the lawns and other plants that were crisping up (no rain for a long time). Then all of a sudden, I pulled into my drive and saw this lovely tree. This crapemyrtle, asking for nothing in return except a little appreciation. How can you not appreciate a plant that blooms like this when the rest of us are frying?!

I must admit that I seldom give crapemyrtles any thought as they're so common here (unless it's winter and I see people lopping their pretty heads off). But of course, the fact that they're common should clue me in to the fact that they can survive and even thrive despite our heat, lack of rain and other beastly acts of nature.


This lighter pink crapemyrtle is on the side of our house and definitely too close to it. But I enjoy it so much in the winter when the birds start eating the seeds out of the seedpods. My office window looks on to its tops. Many people don't realize how much food crapemyrtles provide, if only you'll leave the tops alone. For a rant about what some people do to crapes in the winter, here's one of my old posts.

And now for something completely different, a quick look at some of my 'maters. The larger ones are Caro Rich and the little ones are the sublime Sun Golds.

Caro Rich and Sun Gold tomatoes

This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.

16 comments:

  1. Hi Jean,
    The temperature sounds unbearable.
    I love your Crapemyrtles, most times it's the flowers that are one of the things to go in heat like that, it's good that there are some tough stalwarts that can still look so beautiful, and the tomatoes look scrummy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your crape myrtle is breathtaking. Such a beautiful tree to come home to. We grow the shrub type down here but they keep chopping them now they grow in untidy clumps. Because some things are easily grown, we tend to take them for granted a until one day we see them from another perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stay cool Jean! Pretty crapemyrtles, we don't have them here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so jealous of your fine old crape myrtles. I'd love to have a couple. But our conditions are brutal--thin clay, limestone, baking summer and intermittent drought. So I'm going to enjoy yours. Glad you posted them, and the old post about crape murder and the pictures of those gorgeous tomatoes!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Crepes are overplanted and underappreciated here too, Jean. But there's a LOT to appreciate, especially in a bloom year like this one---I've never seen them look prettier. It's a spectacular four-season tree.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, if I only lived farther south, I would definitely have a crape myrtle! Such a lovely tree. Actually, I think there is a cultivar that is hardy here, but it's one of many plants on my long plant wish list:)

    It's been so hot here, too, but we've had lots (and I do mean lots!) of rain to go with it. Temperatures have only gotten into the 90's, but the heat index has hit over 100--feels like a sauna out there! I am one wilted rose:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't think crape myrtles can ever be overplanted. They're one of the best things about summer down here.

    I planted my first purple one ... a Catawba a couple months ago. The gloriosa daisies beneath it are the perfect companion.

    Sun Golds are my favorite. I made a fresh (uncooked) sauce with them for dinner tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  9. They are such beautiful trees, it must be very frustrating seeing them pruned into crapmurtles. I wish there was one hardy enough for the Chicago area, but, alas, even the hardiest isn't quite enough.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish i could find the right spot for one here in the Pacific Northwest. I'd love to appreciate them more.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your crepe myrtle is beautiful! The ones that were already planted on my property are white, but you are right - they put up with a lot! :) Your tomatoes look yummy! I need to go check on mine. It is hot and dry here, too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The smell in the air from these trees is all about summer. Reminds me of my summers at Clemson when all the students went home for the summer. I stayed and worked at what was then called the Clemson Botanical Garden. I'd walk the campus after work and the evening air would be filled with the smell of Crepe Myrtle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What pretty flowers! Never seen a picture of this tree in bloom - thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Crape myrtles are one of those plants that make me wish I lived in the south.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love crepe myrtles, but maybe that's because they don't grow here. But, no! They are colorful and pretty--I'd love them anyway. It's weird you haven't had rain when we've had too much rain!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! I truly appreciate your comments. In the past I always returned your comment with a visit to your blog. Alas, these days I cannot promise that but I will try.

If you ask me a question in your comment, I will answer it here. Thanks again!