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Just Outside My Door

June 22, 2011
Westfield Republican
By Elaine G. Cole


It’s time once again to get on my computer and tell you what I see just outside my door today. The really hot days we had this week made two shrubs and the locust trees in our yard burst into bloom. The latter doesn’t bother my allergies too much, except at dusk, because they are very tall, nor does the mock orange for it’s further away in the north hedgerow. The lilac however, keeps me inside especially in the late morning and afternoon. Its fragrance, which is similar to orange or jasmine blooms, wafts over the whole yard. Nevertheless, it is beautiful and it reminds me of my grandma, my mom and other “old timers.”

Although lilacs are high on the list of most memorable flowers, they are not native to the United States. Most of them originated in Asia and the old fashion one was first found in the mountains of eastern Europe. My first lilac bush was a cutting from my mom’s lilac. The one that fills our yard with its scent now is the Dwarf Korean one that I purchased a few years ago. It blooms a little later than the common old fashioned one and it’s just outside our living room window.

I couldn’t find a lot of information on my “old fashioned yellow rose.” I only know that is the name that my family called it. Nor did I find a description that totally fit it. I think it might have once been called a wild rose that originated somewhere in the old world. I do know that it is a single yellow rose, blooms only once in June, and it is very fragrant. It is also very hardy and once it gets started, it gets a little bigger every year and little plants develop from the original shrub. I got one from my mom, but didn’t live. Then I got another one years ago from a friend and it continues to flourish.

I’m not sure when I first saw locust trees in bloom, but I really became aware of them when, as a teenager, my family moved to Sherman and we had two large locust in our front yard. Their beautiful white blossoms cascaded downward eight inches reminding me of a wedding gown. Then we built our house on land my dad gave us and there are locust trees in our yard and woodland.

The black locust is native to parts of the United States, but it originated in the southern and central Appalachians from northern Georgia to Pennsylvania. Its bark is light brown, rough and gets deep furrows as it ages. Its long clusters of white blossoms are showy and fragrant. It is considered to be invasive in prairies and savanna regions in the midwest where it dominates and shades the open areas.

The last blooming shrub is the mock orange.

Article Photos

Photo by Elaine G. Cole
Top: The Dwarf Korean Lilac just outside Elaine G. Cole’s picture window in her front yard.



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