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, 2015

Eighth Annual Citywide Bloom Day

     If you have ever visited here for July's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, then you may remember that I use the occasion to celebrate the crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia species and hybrids). You can get the backstory on the relationship between the city of Norfolk and this particular tree from my first July GBBD. Recently I came across a breakdown of street trees in the city by species, and crapemytles account for 50.9% of all street trees. That's an amazingly large, and frighteningly undiverse, percentage. However, let's not contemplate the inherent danger of mono-cultures right now. Let's instead contemplate twisting, muscular trunks holding up huge canopies of dripping pinks, whites, and purples that gently rain down petals from late June until September, only to be followed by beautiful fall foliage, and later, strong winter silhouettes.

     Like I've down in the past, I hopped on my bike to see what could be seen for this month's Bloom Day. I headed to Ghent, one of Norfolk's most gentrified neighborhoods, and then made my way downtown, and there were plenty of crapemyrtles along the way to fill my lens.
Lagerstroemia (1)

Lagerstroemia (2)

Lagerstroemia (3)

Lagerstroemia (5)

Lagerstroemia (6)

Lagerstroemia (15)
Underneath this live oak, and to the right of the swing, is a stone circle in the ground. It is where my wife and I got married. The pink crapemyrtle had not been planted then.

Lagerstroemia (10)
We had our reception in this building, where the red crapemyrtle pictured had already been a presence for years. 
Lagerstroemia (14)

Lagerstroemia (4)

Church for Sale (2)
The Unitarian Church, with its beautiful waterfront setting, is for sale. However, the congregants are tired of the increased flooding, and are looking for a drier place to worship.

Church for Sale (1)
After New Orleans, Norfolk is the city most at risk from sea level rise in North America. Fortunately it is not being ignored, but many hard choices will need to be made in the not so distant future, and not just at church board meetings. 

The TIde

Lagerstroemia (17)

Lagerstroemia (18)

Lagerstroemia (19)

Lagerstroemia (21)

Lagerstroemia (7)
The most interesting crapemyrtle I saw on my ride was nearly dead, but was adorned with about 50 clear glass ornaments, each holding a small plastic bone.

      Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is held on the 15th of each month, and is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. Beautiful city scenes!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

  2. I read that Dutch experts were coming to Norfolk to advise on methods of harnessing the water. Hope that something comes from that. I do miss those crapemyrtles.

  3. I enjoyed this bloom day tour on wheels. What a gorgeous place to live. Thanks for the ride!

  4. The ornaments and bones are very Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. What a gorgeous city!

  5. It's easy to see why you love crapemyrtle; so showy. I took a detour to the original post from 2008. I believe you had since upgraded your camera... Today's pictures are wonderful, and I especially love the one of the sail boats framed by the crapemyrtle. Perfect timing to get them all together; a few more minutes and they'd be scattered.

  6. I am beginning to warm up to crate myrtles, after not finding them to my liking. I could go for the really dark red one I have seen in recent years.

  7. OH lovely images Les. BTW the one after the tram didn't load.

    Halifax harbour residences will be in trouble when the sea starts to rise ...

  8. Interesting. That is, indeed, a large percentage of the total street trees. I first saw a large number of Crape Myrtles in bloom during a vacation in Branson in late June. They were lovely. Reminded me of Lilacs of the south. Norfolk is a beautiful city.

  9. I loved your city when we were through there in early summer. There is nothing fun about flooding. That's for sure. Beautiful crapemyrtles. I don't know what Oklahoma would do without this tree/shrub that asks for so little. I'm wondering about the significance of the clear ornaments each containing a bone. That's strange.~~Dee