Get the picture? … by Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 23, 2010

Sherry Hopkins

With Plum Point rain, Sherry’s mood improves

We finally got enough rain here to turn the grass green and make it grow like crazy. Even if I do have to cut it more often, I like it much better green than brown.

Back in May I bought some heavily discounted and really neglected plants for my yard. I don’t often plant anything this time of year because it requires too much babysitting. But because the prices were so low and these were plants I had wanted for a while I took a chance. I was rewarded beyond my expectations.

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Now I have beautiful pink and red Double Knockout Roses growing in abundance. I only needed to trim off the dead parts, water liberally and plant in a fertilized area. The results are lovely and they have been blooming all summer.

Also in that bunch I purchased a Lantana bush. It too is really pretty with deep red orange and bright golden yellow blooms. It will make a nice addition to the corner of the yard. A hydrangea bush was added about a month ago and it looked the poorest of all that I bought. But I really wanted a hydrangea. So I planted it where it will get the morning sun and it has established itself nicely close to the porch. I can’t wait until it blooms next year to see what color the blossoms will be.

Growing up we had a beautiful hydrangea on the side of our house. The original blooms were a deep blue but Mama would insert rusty nails around the perimeter to change the color from blue to lavender to pink. I hope to do the same.

The plants added this year complete the ones I remember from my childhood. Forsythias and nandinas, crepe myrtles and magnolias and azaleas and even an apple tree that is loaded with ripe apples.

I don’t have a green thumb but I do have a desire to surround myself with memorable attractive foliage. That desire has helped to create a yard that I love.

There is a serenity that comes from taking care of living things, a peace that is akin to watching the sun and moon rise or Redtail hawks soaring above.

I have stopped feeding hummingbirds already because the big red wasps had taken over the feeders. Now the little painted birds try to get through my storm doors to get at the red door behind the glass. I catch them hovering in the early morning and late evenings. Hopefully they are finding their fill in the flowering plants in the yard.

The heat and humidity are heavy and stifling this time of year and it is not pleasant to be outside at any time other than early or very late. I mowed last week shortly before 7 a.m. I hope my neighbors understand my desire to finish outside before this ol’ girl overheats.

Did you know that bluebirds will only use the same house for a couple of seasons? You will need to clean them out thoroughly before they will nest again. I had wondered why they had abandoned one of their favorite houses in the yard. Lots to see and do outside this time of year if you can stand the heat in North Mississippi.

You get the picture.

(Contact award-winning columnist Sherry Hopkins at