Mescal Bean tree – a purty sight!

OK, so my new yard is covered in weeds (and more than a few thorns…) A little work will clear that right up. It also boasts a few trees placed in some odd locations, and each with some less-than-charming features…

The front yard features matching ficus trees, that someone, at some point along the line, pruned into perfect little balls. Personally, I’m not into that kind of symetry, and I much prefer a more natural shape, so those are easy enough – simply allow them to flesh out, with judicious pruning, into a more natural and pleasing (and less symetrical) shape.

The back yard, on the other hand, is home to three trees, and here is where the genuine dilemma begins…

Tree #1 is a fruiting olive, it’s smallish, compactish, and located in a corner of the yard – meaning it doesn’t give shade to anything useful, and its only two purposes seem to be decorating that particular corner and dropping messy fruit on the ground.

Tree #2 is an as yet unidentified monster – it’s large and lovely, with a big, beautiful canopy that offers plenty of shade to the center-rear of the yard – which means it’s perfect. Well, perfect except for the fact that it seems to be home to every single bird within a 50-mile radius. Have you any idea how much bird crap can collect under a tree like that? So much for the idea of placing a lounger under there. In two days, the lounger would be rendered unusable by virtue of being covered in poo.

Tree #3 was also unidentified – until it suddenly burst into bloom the other day… It sits against an otherwise plain wall, a lonely tree, big enough to provide a bit of shade and some pretty greenery,  but nothing else. I debated moving it. I debated removing it entirely. I just wasn’t sure I wanted this odd green thing with the strange light brown pods…

And then it bloomed!

Wonder of wonders, that lonely little tree was a Texas Mountain Laurel – AKA Mescal Bean (no relation to the drink, or to peyote, though… it is the “red bean” of Native American lore…) And I think it’s going to stay right where it is – in perfect view of my family room.