Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A flowering shrub................................. My hostess and I were spending some time outdoors this evening. It was quite warm today and even now the outside temp is 84 degrees. I posed in front of a flowering shrub out in the yard. This is an Oleander shrub. While driving around town today with my hostess, I say many of them. Some had white flowers, red flowers, or pink flowers and many of them were very tall. Most that I saw were planted to be dividers between yards. After we got home, I researched about these shrubs on the computer. I learned that they can grow as tall as 20 ft. and I'm sure that many I saw today were this tall! They also can tolerate bad soil, lots of hot sun (both of which exist here in the desert!) and they don't need much water, another plus when living in the desert. The downside of these shrubs, though, is that the oleander is poisonous. One has to make sure that the children and pets don't eat the leaves or the flowers. The dog that lives here, Lady, has never eaten anything from this shrub, thank goodness. Lady is an older dog now but in many ways she still acts like a pup when it comes to chewing on things. Leave any kindling lying around for firewood, or any pinecones, and Lady helps herself to them!
Oh my, that is terrible, what happened to those guys who used the oleander branches to cook hotdogs! A strong lesson to educate yourself on local plant life! I did read, while researching, the statement that the branches and leaves were not to be used in a barbeque fire. It is very scary, to me, to have a poisonous plant on the property! My hostess feels the same way and said it would not hurt her feelings any if the rest of the shrubs were cut down. Better to plant something that isn't harmful to anyone! Hitty Agatha

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