It’s one of my favorite times of the year in the American South, that few weeks where the mountain laurel blooms in abundance, lining the roads and trails with their graceful bouquets of white and pink colors.
The buds and blooms are so delicate, and so small, that you might miss their intricate design if you rush by them on the way to somewhere else. Take a minute and look at the complexity of the colors, the dots and circles of pink overlaid on the white petals. It’s really something amazing.
I didn’t grow up with mountain laurel, or any native flowers, really, unless you count the California poppy, which wasn’t very popular back when I was a kid. Now people drive out to see fields of them in bloom in the right season. Mountain laurel is more subtle than that. It hides in between trees in forests and along narrow roads out in the country, looking like any other leafy green bush until suddenly, one day, masses of pink and white buds shoot out from between those leaves.
And shortly after that, those buds unfurl into the most delicate little flowers that captivate me endlessly. I’ve probably taken a hundred pictures of different blooms this month, trying to capture the essence of how much I love this time of the mountain laurel.
Some things we love without reservation, simply because they bring such delight to life. That’s the situation with me and mountain laurel. I could have just put a ton of photos here but then you might not appreciate the beauty and brevity of such a thing as a spring flower.
A flower blossoms for its own joy.
5 thoughts on “Time of the Mountain Laurel”
We’re happy we’ve planted ourselves in North Carolina, where we’re enjoying an abundance of mountain laurel on the trails right now. 🙂 This is a beautiful meditation on a beautiful flower.
Beautiful! Mountain laurel is the state flower of PA, not quite out yet here though!
I think there are some around our condo complex, but I thought they were some kind of azalea.
I’ve never seen this plant before, Annie. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.