Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spiderwort and more

What is this dimunitive little flower growing all over my yard every spring? It's tradescantia, otherwise known as spiderwort. It grows wild here in my part of Louisiana. It's cute and springy, so I try to mow around them till they are finished.

My purple bearded irises are going crazy again this year. I don't know what kind this is, they are just the old-fashioned purple ones and they are very fragrant. Jo has a bouquet in the kitchen right now that is smelling up the whole house. I've been told that other types of bearded irises don't do well here, but I'm thinking about trying some out just to see.

Why would I put a picture of such a boring little flower shrub? Well, this is a sweet tea olive or osmanthus fragrans (we call them sweet olives) and it's fragrance will fill an entire yard. It gets tall and full and it is evergreen. My mom has 3 huge ones that you can smell as soon as you get out of your car at her house. Everybody in the South should have at least one of these! I think they would make a good hedge too. Want another good reason to have them? Well, they bloom nearly all year, though late winter/early spring seems to be the best time. Don't try them if you live north of Arkansas because they can't take the cold.


Anonymous said...

For some reason you and mama seem to have no problems growing beautiful sweet olives, but both of the ones I planted last year dried up and died for no apparent reason. Maybe it's because I had them in the back and they couldn't handle the chemicals the farmers sprayed on the field. When should they be planted?

Davy Barr said...

Where I live, the best time to plant shrubs is fall. However, I've planted all types of shrubs at all times of the years, if they are in pots. You just have to keep them well-watered. It's very possible that the chemicals killed them, especially if the field had corn in it and they were spraying some sort of broadleaf killer like 2-4-D.