Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lovely But Poisonous Oleander

Oleanders were always part of the gardens of my childhood. They make great hedges and many afternoons of my childhood were spent standing by my mother as she watered the oleander hedge. As part of my education, I was warned about the poisonous qualities of oleanders. I was even told not to stand under an oleander during a rain storm or allow it to drip on me.

The largest oleander I have ever seen was in my own backyard in Tucson, AZ. I would often cut it back but it would continue to grow, despite the arid conditions.

Oleanders come in several colors and there is even a dwarf variety. The small or dwarf oleanders remind me of my neighbors in Tucson, who had their backyard professionally landscaped. Dwarf oleanders were planted along one side of the house and in a few sporadic plantings. Their flowers were peachy-colored. Very pretty.

These oleanders are planted in a median in southwest Houston. They require little care and make the landscape quite graceful.

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