Carolina jessamine

My yellow jasmine is starting to bloom in my backyard! The name of this vine  varies from Carolina jessamine, yellow jessamine, trumpet vine, evening trumpet flower etc. etc. Basically all one should know is that it is native to South Carolina and their state flower. This jasmine should not be confused with the decadent star jasmine that was my first introduction to jasmine while living in Spain. Ladies would put it in their hair behind the ear and depending on which ear the intoxicating jasmine was place would determine her availability i.e. single or take. Then men would walk on the opposite side of the square, flowerless.
yellow2yellow1

poppies

Poppies can be quite controversial to some nationalities depending on the color. Red poppies are worn in remembrance of war, representing the blood that was shed. This was based on a poem about Flanders where the poppies grew quite profusely. White poppies originally were utilized by pacifists in place of the red poppy thus representing peace.  There are about 120 species of poppy and we can thank bees for pollinating them.white-poppy

shamrock

According to legend, the leaves of shamrock represent hope, faith, love and the fourth for luck. There are approximately 10,000 regular three leaf clovers for each 4 leaf. Shamrocks or clover were used a metaphor by the patron saint of Ireland to represent Father, Son and Holy Ghost which is why they became a symbol of St Patrick’s Day. Wear your green and don’t get pinched!

shamrock

mahonia

It never ceases to amaze me of how much I learn from my backyard.  Mahonia this beautiful shrub with pointed leaves that resembles holly evolves from yellow flowers to grape like cluster to berries. Birds and bees benefit gather nutrition from it. However, I have just learned that it is an invasive plant originating in Asia. There is a mahonia that is native to the west coast however mine is a no-no and is even forbidden in certain southern states.

mahonia