Sunday, June 11, 2006

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle blooms profusely in almost every yard in Mississippi and in almost every color and shape imaginable. This low maintenance summer bloomer puts on an almost obscene show with its huge showy blossoms of white, pale pink, lavender, and hot pink. I have two Natchez White Crepe Myrtles at the front of the house along with the gardenia. This hot pink, nameless 100 year old tree is on the patio we constructed around the tree. I can see it from my office window.

Rick Griffin, a landscape architect, came over soon after we moved into this old place. We wanted to get a plan of the hardscapes before we did too much planting. I was lamenting that the workers had mutilated this old crepe myrtle and he said, "You can't kill them." He is frequently horrified at the atrocious pruning that most people perform on these beautiful trees. The cities often plant these in the median and then yearly go through and cut the tops out. Rick Griffin calls it "Crepe Murder" though the plants don't die, they look like they had died and gone to hell.

I, too, like the natural look with light pruning each year to train and increase blooms. When my mother's crepe myrtles bloom I will take a picture because it creates a fairy land underneath the spreading old growth. They almost look like giant pink mushrooms.

No comments: