An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

July 15, 2010

Third Annual Citywide Bloom Day

Long-term viewers of this blog may recall that in July I celebrate this city's signature tree, the Crape Myrtle. For no particular reason, this year I decided to only take pictures of trees that I walked or biked to, perhaps I am trying to operate a greener (or pinker) blog. Fortunately, my neighborhood's streets are lined with Crapes and everything that takes place on them at this time of year is done so underneath a giant pink canopy.


New York Ave.

Newport Ave.

Colley Ave. Closer

Many people don't like the Crape Myrtle because of what it leaves on cars, on sidewalks or in the street, but this is one of the reasons I like the tree. When you go out in the morning you find everything has been festooned with blossoms as if a parade just went by while you were still inside brushing your teeth.

Lavender in the Gutter

Pink Rain

State Inspection Due

Sidewalk Blooms

Pink in the Gutter

Norfolk once had a reputation of being a drab Navy town, and is indeed home to the largest naval facility in the world, but at this time of year it is anything but drab, and even so, battleship grey goes well with pink.

Battleship Gray and Coral Pink

If you would like to see what is blooming in other parts of the country and the larger world beyond, please pay a visit to Carol at May Dreams Garden who each month hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day from the beautiful green hills of Indiana.


  1. Ha! I was just thinking I sited a very large 'Biloxi' in a bad spot because the petals are falling into my gutters and on my house then you say you like those falling petals. It does have kind of a ring to it that the place had a parade while you slept. The crepes in NC and VA are always my favorite.

  2. Hope that is not your car with the expired inspection sticker.

  3. Our street trees are controversial too, particularly the jacaranda, and the broom is in constant use due to something or other falling from them for at least nine months. Sweeping is good for the soul, I say. Glad to see you're another defender of trees.

  4. I love flowers that leave a fiesta behind. The crepe myrtles here in Texas have been fabulous this year. Must be the rain.


  6. I must ask, Les, what kind of camera do you use? Do you have photographic training?

  7. Wish I could grow those beauties.

  8. I love your comparison to a parade, perfect.

  9. I like the green theme and the gorgeous images. That first shot is stunning – like a painting. I love how you put an original spin (literally by bike) to Bloom Day.

    BTW even if your kids don't call you "cool dad," you are a cool blogger.

  10. Tina,
    My customers major complaint about Crapes are their size, but with so many compact and dwarf varieties available, it is just a matter of what color now. Enjoy your petal fall.

    It is and it is no longer expired.

    I let the wind sweep for me.

    Yes, this year has been a good one for the blooms, despite our heat and lack of rain.


    I have a Nikon D5000 digital SLR and am still learning how to use it. I have not had any photography training.

    I am sure there is something I covet that you can grow.



  11. I'm fond of flowery leaf litter too--pink, blue, yellow, whatever.

    The blue sky makes a great contrast.

  12. Les, it's great you focused on the beautiful crapes this time of year. I was just thinking about what we would grow if we didn't have them. I loved your comment. Glad she's ready for early church.~~Dee

  13. Your crepe myrtle was one of my Mom's favorites. It is also one of the few plants that survive in suburban Maryland where I grew up and here in So Cal where I ended up. Thanx for the pix.

  14. Great pictures of the Crape Myrtle trees. I was just about to go outside to plant a tiny Crape Myrtle that grows no bigger than 12 inches - Violet Fili. This will be my first Crape Myrtle and the little flowers look as beautiful as those on the trees in your lovely photos.

  15. That first picture really showcases the beauty of the crepe myrtle. Now I can see why they are so popular.

    How could people not like the litter of flowers? It is beautiful. When our catulpa trees bloom they litter the streets with big, white, orchid-like flowers and I look forward to it every year.

  16. Hooray for these bloomers, I look forward to seeing my one tree blossom every summer. Is it raining there? I felt a couple of drops earlier and it is thundering at the moment. Here's hoping we get a nice shower (long would be preferable) :)

  17. Happened to come accross your website. The pictures are beautiful. Really nice job. I will add you to my follow list.

  18. Hey Les,
    I just wanted you to know I added your blog to the soon to be launched North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association blog roll for NC Blogs!

    I also wanted to make sure you received my new link for Gardening With Confidence's blog


    I hope you are doing well!

  19. Chuck,
    My wife once scooped up some of the litter and mailed to a friend in NYC. The postal inspector had to open it.

    I can't imagine gardening without this tree.

    I did not know they would take to Cali. I know the heat would not bother them, but I would think the arid climate would keep them from thriving.

    I guess our timing was good. Thanks for stopping by.

    I love catalpas and wish more people would plant them, and I too think they look like orchids.

    Truth be told, the ones I enjoy belong to the city and live on the other side of the sidewalk from my garden, but I claim them as my own.

    Thanks for adding me to your list. You are welcome back at anytime.

    I really appreciate you adding me to your list and yes I have your link.