“Enjoying Nature”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
I think it is important to beautify all our surroundings, not just the area around our homes. I work in a suburb of New Orleans which is about thirty miles south of where I live, and it is one zone higher than my zone 8. Today was a bright, sunny day (the first one we have had in almost a week), and I noticed what was blooming in the gardens where I work. The first flowers I noticed were the Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia x grandiflora). I swear they were not there yesterday, so I don’t know how they got so big overnight. Seriously, I get to work about 6:50 AM, and lately, with the cloudy weather, it is still fairly dark, so that must be the reason I had not noticed them before. With the bright sun, they looked so cheerful that I just might put some in my garden. They have to be extremely easy to care for because no one tends these gardens at all. Rarely are they weeded, watered, or fertilized, so these are very tough plants to make it on their own next to a hot parking lot.
Around the courtyard area, the Fashion azaleas are in full bloom. These are among the earliest blooming azaleas, sometimes blooming at Christmas. These salmon-colored flowers add a great deal of cheery color to this area.
Outside the main building, the pomegranate tree is in flower. I know this has just started blooming because there is not many flowers on this bush yet. I have often thought of planting a pomegranate tree in our garden, but haven’t so far. The one at work has delicious fruit that no one picks but me. I guess no one really notices or knows that it is edible. It is amazing how little most people know about or pay attention to the natural world all that is all around then
Whenever there are plants around businesses, schools, or government buildings, these plants seem to make the world a little nicer. There seems to be other benefits as well: health benefits (enjoying fresh air), psychological benefits (less job stress when enjoying nature), social and personal benefits (enjoying green spaces and interacting with others). It would be nice if in addition to homes, other areas were landscaped.