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Author Topic: A Photographic Essay of Spring . . .  (Read 5593 times)
Oldcarsarecool
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« on: April 16, 2010, 11:17:45 AM »

My Mom is the gardener in the family.  She takes great pride in her garden, and spends many hours planting, fertilizing, seeding, weeding, and maintaining.  Whatever she plants grows abundantly and beautifully each spring.  Trust me, she’s good !

I, on the other hand, have a tendency to kill stuff.  Not just the stuff that’s hard to grow, I kill those things known for being indestructible, like bamboo.  If I plant it and try to make it grow, it most likely will not live to see anything that resembles maturity.  Do you have any relatives you’re not particularly fond of ?  Just invite them go camping in my yard.  They’ll be dead within the week.

Enter Mother Nature.  She sees my inability and says, “don’t worry, I got you covered,” and knows exactly what to do to ensure that something grows each spring.  This means that regardless of what I do, or don’t do, to help the process along, stuff will still grow.  Yes, what grows may be nothing but weeds.  But, that’s not the point. 

My wife and I moved into our home in Athens, GA in May 2009.  Prior to that time, it was unoccupied for something like 18 months.  The rehab company hired someone to mow the grass, but nothing more.  By the time we moved in, the front yard looked ok, but the back yard was quite wild, a look which I really didn’t mind.  I just needed to get rid of the really excessive growth.  My autistic personality is not really concerned with what is there, just that it looks neat and tidy.

So, not knowing where to begin, I did what any horticulturally challenged individual would do – I ran everything over with the lawn mower.  I figured if I mow over everything, and wait for spring, I can get a better idea of what I have to work with.

And what I found this spring actually surprised me.  Turns out, I have some really cool stuff in my yard, (not that I know what any of it is, or what to do with it).  I also found the greening process, itself, both fascinating and uplifting.  I did nothing that could be considered “gardening,” yet some really beautiful stuff just appeared out of nowhere.  I credit this to Mother Nature, who is pretty smart. 

And so, I present my Photographic Essay of Spring.  If anyone can identify any of the items pictured below, please post, because I am clueless.

Our story begins in the summer of 2009.  My wife and I had just moved into our home in Athens, Ga.



This early ‘70s home sits on .7 tree-lined acres in a nice subdivision that is close to the UGA campus.  The yard, itself, looks pretty average in front, but somewhat wild in the back, due to lack of any maintenance.



The neighborhood welcoming committee seemed to enjoy it, though .  .  .



By late July 2009, I had begun the previously mentioned process of mowing over everything.  That one step made a huge positive difference to my autistic mind.





And, that’s how the yard stayed.  With the summer heat being what it is in northern Georgia, an abundance of outdoor yard work is not really a good idea.  So, I decided to concentrate on cleaning out the dead trees and bushes, and keep what passed for grass cut to a reasonable level. 

Now, during the winter, the temperatures are quite comfortable for yard work.  As 2010 began, I found myself spending more time outdoors with the lawn mower, reciprocating saw, hedge clippers, hand cutters, and weed eater.  My intent remained the same as before – to “clean out.”




And, you know, after I was finished, it didn’t look that bad at all .  .  .



Remember, I have no idea what, exactly, I am mowing over, and cutting down.  For instance, whatever this is .  .  .



.  .  .looks positively dangerous.  Note to self:  DO NOT accidently fall into this.  Bad things will happen.



I think of it as Mother Nature’s version of razor wire.



This particular kind of bush resides in several places in the yard.  It looks nice when kept trimed.  But, more importantly, it seems to grow without any input from me.  It’s probably not a good idea to eat the berries.



This vine is pretty prevalent in the back yard.



I’ve heard the name “English Ivy” mentioned by someone one time, but, I’m not sure.  Whatever it is, it looks nice, and makes a decent ground covering, as well as a climbing vine.

Here’s an unusual find.  I found this particular specimen tucked away in the far corner of my back yard.



It’s unusual in the fact that it has absolutely no “green” whatsoever.

In front of my house by the corner of my garage sits this unusual, but very nice tree .  .  .



I believe it eventually flowers, but I’m not sure.  I find the smooth surface kind of cool.



Across from my garage, in the side yard is a tree that kept its leaves throughout the winter months, as this photo from February 13 shows .  .  .



It has a very distinctive leaf pattern.  It was nice to see this green tree in the midst of all the other plants that had lost their leaves over the winter.



As March 2010 arrived, Mother Nature decided to take over.  Things began to happen .  .  .

The first thing I noticed was one of the trees in the front yard started blooming.  It didn’t just “bloom,” it exploded.  By the time I took this photo on March 19, a lot of the blooms had already began to fall off.



The entire tree was covered with these beautiful flowers .  .  .



I noticed these flowers growing by my mailbox .  .  .



My wife seemed to think they are called daffodils, although neither of us really knows for sure .  .  .



Things just pop up out of nowhere, like this item I found in the back yard .  .  .



Some of the greening that took place did so quite rapidly.  The side yard next to the driveway is stuffed rather full of trees and bushes, mainly for separating my property from my neighbor’s.  Over the winter, with all the leaves gone, the space looked rather bare.  And then the greening began .  .  .

March 19



March 28



April 1





April 4



April 7



All of that growth took place within the space of three weeks. 

Here’s another example.   This large tree sits beside my back porch .  .  .

March 19



Just one week later  on March 26



March 28



April 1



Once the blooming process was completed, the petals started to fall.  In any kind of wind, it looked like it was snowing !



Some green leaves began to appear along with the beautiful flowers.



Then, by April 4 .  .  .



.  .  . most of the white flowers were gone.  In the space of three weeks, this tree went from bare, to beautiful white, to completely green.  Truth be told, if you looked long enough, you could still find a flower or two in the mix.



In my front yard resides a large Sweet Gum tree.  This is one of the rare occasions in which I actually know the name of the tree, (only because we had several of them in our yard in Missouri).  All winter long, it sat dormant and bare.  Then, on April 1 .  .  .



.  .  . I noticed the green beginning to appear.

Just three days later on April 4, a decent amount of growth seemed to have taken place .  .  .



Fast forward  three more days  to April 7 .  .  .



And then to April 10 .  .  .



At the front of my driveway sits a large bush.  I had begun to notice some green appearing during my picture taking adventure.  I had never given it a second thought, until on April 1.  .  .



.  .  .  It started to turn Red with blooms. 

By April 4, the blooms were sprouting everywhere .  .  .



.  .  . to the point that by April 7,



the bush looked really nice.

And then came the surprise.  I appear to have two separate bushes here, one red, one white .  .  .






I’m sure that the growing process will continue for a while.  So, as spring progresses, I’ll ad a few photos here and there.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to keep things trimmed, neat, and orderly, and enjoy what I have.

So, I think I have a really cool yard.  It may not make the cover of a magazine.  But, I enjoy it .  .  .







Thanks for listening .  .  .
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 09:32:55 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 12:30:06 PM »

Nice Todd, I may do a photo journal of my yard too.

Those yellow/white flowers, you are right daffodils. The flowers with the small blue buds, bluebells.

That plant with the barbed wire and berries, a variant of hollyhock (95% sure). Here in illinois, stuff doesnt grow that large.

That tree near the beginning that you said believe flowers, it looks like its in the birch family Here we have white birch. Those are the trees with white bark. Very pretty. Not all birch have white bark though.

That large white flowering tree by your back porch is either a hawthorne crab, a dogwood, or possibly a bradford pear tree (they dont actually grow pears though)

Nice yard

And if you plant that nice old shock you found in the back yard, you have yourself a shock bush soon!
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Axe
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 05:16:01 PM »

And if he doesn't kill it he'll never have to buy shocks again!  

Definitely Daffodils on the yellow flowers. They are bulbs that were left in the ground. Very nice.

I don't think the barbed bush is a Hollyhock. My parents in Indiana have several types and I've never seen any like that. I can't remember the name, but when I was young people used to plant that bush with the red berries along the sidewalk near my elementary school to keep the kids out of their yards. Yes I was always told the berries were poison, but not like you'll die from eating one or two.

The distinctive leaves that stayed green all year is a Holly Tree/or Bush. Mine was an actual tree and about 30 ft tall until I cut it down last fall. It was planted about 2-3 feet from the house and raccoons used it to get to my roof. Had to go. My parent's had one that was more of a bush.

The Ivy is beautiful! The only problem with that is it will take over everything. It is very hard to kill so don't be afraid to rip it out anywhere it's not wanted. It will eventually spread everywhere if you let it.

The undergrowth from March 28th needs to be removed. I can't think of the name but it's everywhere in our area and will also take over the entire yard if left alone. It must be killed!  Grin

I used to be really good on tree varieties but am drawing a blank. I think I'm on too many post-surgery meds, lol.

Axe

Edit: (I posted before my computer crapped out and I lost the entire post)

The Red Flowered Bush looks like an Azalea Bush.

The Tree in the front yard with the big Pink Flowers looks like a Magnolia Tree, but I've never seen them with that exact bloom. It normally has less pedals and looks more like a Tulip than a Rose. Yours is full and round, more like a Rose.

The vine with the beautiful Flowers looks like a Climatis. There are a lot of varieties, but my wife thought it was one also at first glance.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 05:32:44 PM by Axe » Logged
clutch
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 11:32:27 PM »

My wife seemed to think they are called daffodils, although neither of us really knows for sure .  .  .


Things just pop up out of nowhere, like this item I found in the back yard .  .  .


I have these two starting to emerge in my yard as well. Neat to see they grow down there too.

And if you plant that nice old shock you found in the back yard, you have yourself a shock bush soon!

Still waiting for that $100 bill I planted to become a money tree.  Grin


Todd (if I may refer to you as so) my grandparents and uncle live in Lawrenceville, GA about 35 miles West of you. My grandma maintains a bunch of flowers/flower bushes, and a fairly large garden with lots of tomatoes, lettuce, various peppers, and other veggies while my grandpa put up some apple and peach tree as well. Everything seems to grow in that soil! I love going down there so seeing your house and yard reminds me of that wonderful scenery that encompasses North-central GA.
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Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 09:47:12 PM »

Thanks guys for the info.  I appreciate the comments .  .  .


Todd (if I may refer to you as so) my grandparents and uncle live in Lawrenceville, GA about 35 miles West of you. My grandma maintains a bunch of flowers/flower bushes, and a fairly large garden with lots of tomatoes, lettuce, various peppers, and other veggies while my grandpa put up some apple and peach tree as well. Everything seems to grow in that soil! I love going down there so seeing your house and yard reminds me of that wonderful scenery that encompasses North-central GA.

Please do, by all means.  Lawrenceville isn't too far from Athens.  There's a nice classic car dealer there .  .  .
www.dixiedreamcars.com
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Axe
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 11:01:00 PM »

I got lost in the cars for a while, lol.

I hope no one here bought the '70 SS 396 4 Spd that's listed on the sold page for $49,900. There are a few things that make me think it wasn't an original SS.

Axe
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Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 01:02:18 PM »

As the days continue to progress, my yard continues to amaze me.  The blooming continues .  .  .

Bushes by the driveway on April 14 .  .  .









April 16 - more blooms appear .  .  .









April 22 - even more blooms .  .  .















The bushes behind the driveway wall began sprouting new growth at the beginning of April.  By April 14 .  .  .



.  .  . they looked pretty wild.  Even more growth had taken place by April 22 .  .  .





The Sweet Gum tree in the front yard looks beautiful !  April 17 .  .  .



April 22 .  .  .





The same is true with the now flowerless flowering tree by the back porch.
April 22 .  .  .





I've added some additional photos of plants that need an I.D.  These bushes are located behind the wall at the front of my driveway .  .  .



They look nice and grow quite well.  I hope they aren't some rare creeping-bush-of-death, because I like them .  .  .





I used to have an old dog pen in the back of my yard by the neighbor's fence.  I've hated it since day one, and removed it over the winter.  This gave me access to an area that had previously been quite overgrown.  I hacked and cut away at the excessive growth over the winter.  On April 17, I noticed this .  .  .





In the middle of my back yard sits one single plant that looks somewhat out of place .  .  .



The leaves look large, and the whole plant seems like an accident in the midst of the other plants and trees around it .  .  .





On the other side of my house, (i.e. the opposite side of the driveway), my house is separated from my other neighbor's property by a series of beautiful trees.  While not a flowering tree like the tree by my back porch, they do have some nice small flowers .  .  .



They grow very well, look quite nice, and provide a good thick barrier between the properties .  .  .







I've mentioned before what I have been told is called "English Ivy."  I now realize that this .  .  .



.  .  . is  V E R Y  different from this .  .  .



.  .  . only because it does this .  .  .



.  .  . further up the tree.  If I had to guess, I would call it either Poison Ivy or Poison Oak.  On the driveway side of the yard, I find this tree that seems to be overrun with it .  .  .





In my back yard, I have what appears to be several much, much older versions of that vine .  .  .


Whatever it is, it looks like it's been there a while .  .  .





I also spotted this growing by itself in the back yard.  I just can't help but think of the "leaves of three, let it be," saying right now.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 09:36:54 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2010, 04:25:27 PM »

Yes! Those Hairy vines are very poisonous. The big ones are Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. http://poisonivy.aesir.com/view

The little flowering bush that was behind the dog pen looks like Honey Suckle. They can grow HUGE and spread out wide, but smell great. They will attract a LOT of bees, but if it's not in the way I'd leave it. If you taste one of the blooms, there should be a syrup in the middle that is very sweet.



Axe
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