Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mom's Mock Orange...

Over at Mom and Jim's last week, we managed to catch the mock orange near the peak of its blooming, and the floral feast brought back wonderful childhood memories, many of which reside in that tiny little spot of sandy ground just out in front of my childhood home where the mock orange still stands sentinel today.  

For my three siblings and me, this tiny little front yard was our portal to the great outdoors,
where we conspired to spend as much time as possible,
growing up wild as we did in the Sandhills. 

And Spring was the best of times "out front," 
playing amidst a wonderful assortment of traditional Southern flora, 
some native and some introduced.

The show started in early to mid-February with the sweet-breath-of-spring, 
Lonicera fragrantissima, 
which had indirectly travelled all the way from China to grace one front corner of the house. Practically all our friends and neighbors had at least one old sweet-breath-of-spring somewhere on their property, and the fragrance was downright delicious!

Right next door, immediately outside my parents' bedroom window, 
stood the mock orange, 
which graciously bloomed a good bit later, 
so as not to outshine its fragrant, but less showy, neighbor.

Alongside and overhead climbed the wisteria vine, another Asian visitor, 
but one which was already more prevalent in the Southern landscape than many native species during my childhood.

Shading the sandy front walk, which later became brick, 
there stood a handsome dogwood, 
and at the other front corner stood a rather scraggly but productive red rosebush;

while a couple or three oaks, a hickory and a long leaf pine 
spread their protective branches over the lot of them.

I didn't realize how good I had it, then;

but today the old mock orange reminds me...

what a priceless Spring 

are those perfect, blue-skied, little boy and little girl days, 
whiled away
beneath mock orange's glorious sunshiny gaze...

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