April 14, 2008

Active passivities on the East Green.

Spring is creeping up on Central Park:

The East Green, Central Park

This is the East Green. With magnolias:

The East Green, Central Park

I'm told Southerners don't regard these flowers as real magnolias, but they seemed real enough today....

The East Green, Central Park

... on the East Green. Where there are written rules:

The East Green, Central Park

"Passive Activities Encouraged."

Passive activities.
I prefer active passivities.


Meade said...

My (I don't know... dyslexic?) mind read that as " Passive aggressive activities encouraged"

North, east, west, and south, thanks, Ms Althouse, for your actively peaceful Magnolia magnanimousness.

rhhardin said...

The spring crop of citrus hand sanitizer is in Kroger today.

Also passive football season opened in the backyard.

Terry Cowgill said...

Those look like flowering dogwoods to me. Perhaps that's why "Southerners don't regard these flowers as real magnolias."

Meade said...

I think that may be Mike Huckabee in the top photo, passive aggressively eyeing those two squirrels at the base of that White Oak.

Lamar63 said...

Aren't those tulip trees?

Christy said...

Magnolia x soulangiana

A very old one dominates my front yard and I have a love/hate relationship with it. This has been a good year; Bloom has been glorious for over a week already. Some years I never see even a good day before freeze destroys the bloom. 16 yard bags of smelly slippery fallen petals means I usually call it a trash tree.

Tulip Poplar blooms are green and orange. Another tree that causes problems in the home landscape.

former law student said...

Tulip trees they are.

Meade said...

No they aren't Tulip trees and Flowering Dogwoods won't bloom in Madison for another 2 or 3 weeks. Christy is correct, they are Saucer Magnolias.

But why on earth would anyone need to rake up spent Magnolia or Liriodendron tepals? If they're in the lawn, just mow them and leave the clippings. If they're not, just let them decompose and feed the earthworms.

While I'm patiently waiting for photos of Althouse's twin front yard Redbuds, here is a splendid Magnolia for the home garden that deserves more attention:

Meade said...

My mistake. That's Central Park. I thought she was back home.

Beth said...

Those look like what we call Japanese Magnolias here in New Orleans. I like them. They're much smaller, in every way, than the Southern Magnolias but they're part of our local flora.

cardeblu said...

Do they have the same citrusy, astringent aroma as southern magnolias? I used to live in Houston, and those could be pretty powerful smelling.

Mr. Forward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Forward said...

Passionate Activities Encouraged

rightwingprof said...

They aren't real magnolias. They're nothing like real magnolias. They're the wrong color, they lose their leaves in the winter, their flowers don't last, they don't resemble magnolias in any way. Calling them magnolias is the botanical equivalent of trendy fake food, like "soy milk," or "non-fat cheese."

MadisonMan said...

There are several such magnolias -- saucer magnolias -- in our neighborhood, and they are glorious in the Spring. But nothing like their southern always-green cousins.

Many many dogwoods (C. florida) have succumbed to anthracnose. The one in my parents' back yard in PA did. I'm not sure how endemic that is to the midwest now. Maybe a different variety is planted out here.

rhhardin said...

Activity activity on the north lawn this morning.

Bissage said...

MM, sorry to hear about your parents' dogwood.

They might try one of the Rutgers hybrids, reputed to have the beauty of florida and the disease resistance of kousa.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recommends three.

Beth said...

Magnolias in the areas flooded after Katrina when our levees failed were not able to withstand several weeks in standing, brackish water. Their loss is one of the heartbreaks of the flood. The big live oaks came back, crepe myrtles seem to have survived, as have cedars and cypresses.

Along the river, where we didn't flood, there are still plenty of huge, ancient magnolias that I appreciate more and more, even with their overpowering smell.

Bissage said...

Okay, okay, okay . . . For Meade I broke my rule against cutting and pasting links.

(Such favoritism, I know.)

Anyway, let me say this about the Sweetbay Magnolia. We have a low-lying area prone to flooding that's been a dead zone.

Three years ago we planted a Sweetbay Magnolia.

It's been struggling, but it’s STILL ALIVE and even GROWING!!!

(Well, it’s growing just a little bit every now and then.)

But where I come from . . . that’s what we call WINNING!!!


Bissage said...

Beth, your sad tale reminded me of a visit to Winterthur.

The house is still surrounded by these enormous, ancient Sycamore/London Plane trees.

The tour guide told us that this dude left a standing order that in the event the house should ever catch fire, the staff were to keep the trees watered down.

His thinking was that the house could always be rebuilt but never the trees.

Beth said...

Bissage, I like that guy. He's got his priorities straight.

While I mourn the magnolias in Mid City and Broadmoor and Lakeview (and on and on), the survival of the oaks in those areas is still a blessing. They define New Orleans is so many ways. Many are centuries old, like the Dueling Oak in City Park, and have been through other floods. They looked terrible for at least a year after the flood, and no one could be sure they'd make it. But last year, the green came back, and this year, I'm fighting my yearly war with oak pollen allergies again. Nature takes its toll, and there are certainly dead oaks in town, but most of those were already weakened by the Formosan termites that did alot of damage in the 90s.

Trooper York said...

You don't want to indulge in passive activities because passive losses are often not deductable against other forms of income. You should consult you tax advisor cause I ain't doing any more returns for the rest of the freakin' month.

Trooper York said...

This is normally the time of year I would fly to Vegas and wear a stripper like a derby hat, but those days are over as I am a sedate married man. Sorry accounting flashback. It post-accounting-stress syndrome.

rhhardin said...

It's spring weird-stuff day in Ohio

Cutleaf Toothwort,
Downscale car sale signthat is at the same house as two years ago this car and sign were on,
Marketing demographics at Kroger,
Sign security in the subprime mortgage era,
nature nurtured,
gate ruins
gate mystery.

Bissage said...

Beth, . . . allergies suck.

That aside, I know you’re looking for it, so I hope you find it everywhere.

Beauty, that is.

P.S. I don't really know you, but still I like you.

(Call it a hunch.)

Beth said...

Thanks, Bissage. Right back at you.

There's so much beauty here, which is why we returned, and why we stay.