This week's featured flowers are from one of our flowering trees - Mimosa! This fast-growing deciduous tree has lovely petal-less, pink flowers that bloom all summer long. The flowers have a distinctive sweet fragrance. The feather-like bipinnate leaves are silvery green on top and bright green underneath. They fold inward at night and remain open during daylight hours. Mimosas have smooth greyish bark, an airy branching habit, and grow to around 30 feet tall. They bloom well in full sun, and butterflies and birds seem to enjoy the soft pink flowers. This tree is very easy to grow. In fact, while it is not considered an invasive species where we live, it is apparently considered invasive in warmer regions. If you would like to learn more about mimosa trees (also known as Silk trees or Persian Silk trees), check out Dave's Garden's Mimosa tree page, Garden Guides' Mimosa tree page, or Wikipedia's Mimosa tree page.
A few book and blogosphere updates:
1. Novel Novice is hosting a steampunk writing contest in honor of Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel. Five winners will receive finished, hardcover copies of Clockwork Angel as well as a Clockwork Angel journal and poster. Very cool! There are two ways to enter - by submitting a short story with steampunk elements or by submitting a description of your idea for a steampunk-era device. The contest ends 8/31, and you can learn more about it here.
2. If you want to read Alex Flinn's Beastly before the movie adaptation hits theaters next March, you can read the first eleven chapters online for free courtesy of HarperTEEN's awesome Browse Inside feature. It can be found here.
Looking for more fun reading online? Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature will now allow you to read the first forty-eight pages of Lisa Desrochers' Personal Demons. You can check that out here.