Spring Flowers 2

Years ago we transplanted a Cherokee rose bush but over the years it grew too big for the front yard and when Otto tried to trim it back and get it under control, it went into shock and died that winter.  I enjoyed the white blossoms because they are perfect in size and shape on the vine however, they were too fragile to cut and use in arrangements. 

After losing that shrub we replaced it with several knock-out roses but they do not bloom like the Cherokee rose did even though I continue to use specific fertilizer and trim away the spent blooms. 

Roses are by far the favorite flower among consumers, but here are some interesting facts that you might not know about roses.  Georgia, Iowa, North Dakota and New York all claim the rose as their state flower and since 1986 it has been the national flower of the United States.  There is one specimen in Germany, growing on the wall of a cathedral that is rumored to be over a thousand years old; there is a rose bush in New Jersey that is over eighteen feet tall.  There are only three flowers mentioned specifically in the Bible, and the rose is one; also mentioned are henna and lilies. 

Rose petals and rose hips, the fruit of the rose, can be transformed into jelly and jam, or into tea for drinking and the flower pedals are edible.  The pedals are used to flavor waters and in the perfume industry.  The buds of the tiniest rose in existence are the size of a grain of rice. 

There are over one hundred and fifty kinds of lantana; these plants thrive in my yard, perhaps because they get plenty of sun and enjoy hot weather. The varied colors are bright and a great attraction for butterflies and occasionally hummingbirds.  Lantana and verbena are cousins in the floral world and produce black pods at the end of the season that are poison to humans but are candy to birds. 

Deer do not like the taste of lantana therefore I plant it around my property.  The deer that live on my country acres have killed numerous tender plants so I intentionally plant vegetation that the cousins of Bambi do not crave.  I have bright golden colored plants scattered over the acres and one that is variegated that is preferred by the hummingbirds. 

Deer also do not like rosemary so I have several styles; rosemary is a form of mint and smells like pine bark.  We have the rosemary that grows long stalks and the bushing kind and each kind has tiny blooms in the spring.  Romans, Greek and Egyptians used it to fashion headdresses for brides because it was thought to be a love charm and according to research, the plant is associated with remembrance. 

Rosemary is used in various forms of cooking, springs are great when used to stuff the inside of a turkey or hen before roasting, or added as garnish. 

 

Brenda S. Brown 

 

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