Magnificence of Spring and Summer

Southern Magnolia, evergreen, kingdom of Plantae and named after French botanist Pierre Magnolia. Having lived for millions of year it’s symbolic of magnificence and large, fragrant flower. Another significant fact of the Magnolia: fertilization occurs from beetles, not bees.

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Lori Harris Photography

The flower and buds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine, known as hou po. The leaves are often used for wrapping food and in some parts of the world as a cooking dish. In Louisiana and Mississippi, the Magnolia is the official State flower and tree.

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Lori Harris Photography

Living in the South, I resonate with this beautiful bloom mostly through its stardom in the movie “Steel Magnolias” and in numerous local images of the South. The sweet fragrance permeates the spring and summer air, giving confirmation of living in the South.

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Lori Harris Photography

Because of its beauty and fragrance, the symbolism of its roots, trunk, leaves, shade and flora combine to create magnificence of life and its journey.

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Ornamental Bliss

In Southeastern North Carolina, the Azalea bloom, its flora, color and symbolism, is anxiously awaited. It signifies the start of spring and festival for most Southerners, as the azalea is native to this region’s heritage and cultural traditions.

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Lori Harris Photography

There have been a variety of azaleas planted and nurtured, especially at the Dr. Heber W. Johnson Rotary Garden – Home of the World’s Largest Rotary Wheel in Greenfield Lake Park, Wilmington, NC. There are currently 264 plants: 134 Autumn Rouge and Autumn Royalty. In and around Wilmington and Greenfield Lake Park, you will find thousands of plants showcasing the many varieties of azaleas, exploding with vibrant colors such as: red, white, corals, pinks, purples and bi-colors.

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Lori Harris Photography

As the city comes alive with color and blooms, most often in late March and April, with ongoing blooms throughout the season, people begin to get outdoors to enjoy the warm spring days and park and private gardens. The symbolism of an azalea is that off “home” or “city.” In my interpretation would be that of community and purpose. Wilmington has been blessed with being named an Azalea City, and has held a major festival each April, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, to celebrate its beauty and symbolism. (Ncazaleafestival.org) in Mobile, Alabama the Azalea Trail Run is held each March. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_Trail_Run)

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Lori Harris Photgraphy

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Lori Harris Photography

Up close, the Azalea is rich in pollen for the bees and wasps that drink its nectar, and are velvet to touch. They are a stunning burst of color and create a sense of peace, serenity and purity.

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Lori Harris Photography