Myrtle has been called “tough and beautiful.” It is my opinion this is,
indeed true. The temperature here has been around 102 degrees in northern
Oklahoma during this August 2003. This is no challenge at all to our Crepe
Myrtles. Watering is the only way to keep the landscape half way green.
But, those hardy Crepe Myrtle bloom their loveliest at this time. Huge
clusters of pinks, whites, dark pink and even darker wine reds are just
breathtaking. Of course, if they are watered the bush only becomes richer
in color with even larger flowers. The ruffled edges of the small bursts
crowd in with many like it and become one large flirty costume of
If the bush is planted on
the south side of the house it will eventually become like a small tree
but, also putting out many side branches. Once, long ago, a sister-in-law,
now lost to the family through divorce, showed me how to prune them. One
simply snips off the ends of the branches at the close of summer. The next
year two blooms appear instead of one and the “tree” becomes even more
Because we do have a very
complete freeze in some winters we planted one by the bird bath. Daily
washing of the bird bath runs the water off to the plant and it has
thrived. Also, the bird bath is a stack of rocks. In this way the ground
is warmed in the winter from the sun striking the rock and transfering the
heat to the soil at night. So far, we haven't lost this bush to a winter
freeze as has happened before.
There are two planted off a
deck and they provide quick growth and shade for a place like this also.
Plus, the lovely bloom is an added pleasure when one is sitting on the
deck. This is also a nice place to entertain guests since the plants
give so much to the background.
Cut flowers make stunning
arrangements for the vase in the house also. They make great hospital
gifts, arrangements for showers, or any other occasion. It is my opinion
one cannot plant too many of them.
One of our fondest memories
of the tall bushes was down both sides of the drive at a house in Texas.
It was by far a more striking drive than that of the one close to it which
was used in the series called, “Dallas.” The home owner told me the
plants had been dug up from the drive at their farm home before they sold
the house in order to move closer to town. They transplanted them to the
drive in their new home and not one bush died. While others in the new
housing district were devoid of trees and bushes here was this lovely
drive lined with blooming Crepe Myrtles leading up to our neighbors house.
It was such a pleasure to see them, especially since they were only two
houses away from ours.