Hawk’s Nest in our Sweetgum Tree

A pair of hawks have built their nest in the sweetgum tree in our front yard in Louisiana. The nest is too high for us to see any chicks, but there are calls that sound like chicks and the two adult hawks seem to be tending a brood. Identification of the hawk’s species was difficult …

Advocating for Planting Roses

Rose plants in your landscape reward a little effort with terrific value. Over the past month in my yard in SE Louisiana several roses have exploded with blooms. Some of these roses also bloomed in the winter months, but then it was just one flower at a time and the blooms developed over several weeks. …

A Good Year for Azaleas

This is a gorgeous time of year in SE Louisiana, and the azaleas are blooming vigorously. By my memory, this azalea display in 2021 is much better than last year’s. To bloom their best, azaleas typically need 4-8 weeks of temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the preceding winter. So, I wondered whether a mild …

Sweetgum Balls

The American Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is the second most common tree in Louisiana forests (the most common is the Loblolly Pine). Sweetgums are also plentiful in our local suburban landscape despite a significant drawback, the spiny seed-carrying balls that fall from their branches by the hundreds this time of year. The sweetgum is a …

Japanese Camellia

The Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica), is one of two camellias commonly used as ornamental shrubs in the southern United States. The other common camellia is the Sasanqua camellia, which has smaller blooms and leaves. In SE Louisiana the Japanese camellia has recently begun blooming in early January, just as the earlier-blooming Sasanquas are finishing flowering. …

Magnolia and Mimosa

This is one more look at trees of SE Louisiana, where Magnolia and Mimosa trees bloom in the late spring. The next blog post will shift focus back to the lake country of Minnesota. Magnolia Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) are highly valued trees that are strongly associated with the southern United States. It is the …

Gardenia and Star Jasmine

This is a fragrant time of year in Louisiana. Two of our most sweetly scented flowers are blooming, Gardenia and Star Jasmine. Gardenia There are over 200 varieties of gardenia in a wide variety of sizes that are available for landscaping. As pictured above, we have several types thriving in our backyard. The scientific name …