An End-of-Vacation Surprise

Guess what I found when we returned home from vacation??

Blooming Crepe Myrtle

Ta-Da! One of the three Crepe Myrtles we planted a year or so ago has decided to bloom!

I was stunned, to say the least. Sure, we’ve had ideal weather for it — hot and dry — but I never expected it to produce flowers this soon! And in my favorite color, too!

You can’t really tell from this photo, but there are buds literally all over this plant. It’s going to be spectacular soon and, if it holds true to others of its species, it will stay gorgeous right into Autumn!

Before I forget, here’s an update on the Crepe Myrtle I’ve been babying since the landscapers snapped off the solitary green shoot it was producing at the beginning of this season:

"Baby" Crepe Myrtle

Yep, no blooms (yet!), but its foliage looks healthy, don’t you think?

The third plant looks much the same as this “baby,” though I think it’s a bit taller.

We all complain about the heat, but I guess it’s been good something!

Celebrating Crepe Myrtles

Right now, I’m having a mini love affair with crepe myrtles.

It started a couple of months ago when we had some landscaping done, and the workers accidentally broke off the emerging shoot from a newly planted crepe myrtle on one side of our house.

No big deal, they assured us. It’ll grow right back.

Seriously?

I wasn’t taking any chances. Frantically, I fertilized and watered it, checking daily to see whether it would produce another shoot. At length, I saw a tiny speck of green, which grew and multiplied into what’s now an almost-foot-high plant!

There are lots of varieties of crepe myrtle. Some are hardier for cooler climates; some are shrub-height, some are trees. When they bloom, they do so in a variety of colors, including pale pink, watermelon pink, lilac, coral, and white. Crepe myrtles love lots of sunshine and summer heat; they do best in Zones 7-9, which encompasses the southern region of the U.S. from about Cairo, IL, south to the Gulf of Mexico.

While I’m farther north than that, the store where we bought this plant assured us it would do just fine. I hope so because I can hardly wait to see its predicted watermelon pink blossoms!

On a recent trip to South Mississippi, I enjoyed a profusion of crepe myrtles along the highway medians, in people’s yards, beside office buildings. Oddly, the farther south we went, the fewer the explosion of flowers (probably something to do with the coastal region’s wetter weather conditions).

Anyway, I captured a few photos of some crepe myrtles for those who (like my blogging friend Wendy over at Herding Cats in Hammond River) aren’t familiar with this gorgeous plant.

Enjoy!

White crepe myrtle

Lilac crepe myrtles

Pink crepe myrtle

Crepe myrtle bark

More crepe myrtles in lilac

Watermelon pink crepe myrtle