Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
The spicy-sweet fragrance of the Southern Wax Myrtle is often noticeable floating on the breezes along the Grand Strand of South Carolina. This evergreen shrub has bright olive-green new growth that matures to a deep glossy green and sways in even a slight breeze. When stroking one’s hand through the foliage of the wax myrtle, even more fragrance is released. The growth habit of the wax myrtle is loose, open, and almost lacy-looking. It speaks of cool breeziness, which is especially nice on hot summer days.
Myrtle Beach is named for the Southern Wax Myrtle, a result of a contest held in 1900. The winner of the contest was the widow of Franklin G. Burroughs, Adeline, who wanted to give recognition to this native shrub that grows so abundantly in the area. Franklin G. Burroughs was a developer who wanted the Horry County beaches to become a vacation retreat like those in Florida, and the Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum is yet another gift to enjoy while visiting the Grand Strand.
Praising the fragrance of wax myrtle would not be complete without mentioning the earthy, addictive fragrance of pluff mud in the inlets and marshes of this coastal region. The fragrance of pluff mud is a result of the decaying spartina grass and sea creatures in the tidal pools and tidal creeks, and is surely loved by some people, and not loved by others!
Next time you are visiting the beaches, look away from the commercial elements for a moment and embrace these natural gifts. And say Thank You.
Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!
THE JOY OF GARDENING IN THE SHADOWS
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