By Natalie Strom
As summer fast approaches, locals and visitors to Goodland have been treated to the beautiful colors of the blooming trees and flowers.
One of the most popular flowers in Goodland is the frangipani. Also known as plumeria, it is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. They are also found in Hawaii and are made into leis by the locals. Marked by its slim, long limbs and lack of leaves in the winter time, come May, this plant has one of the most fragrant and beautiful flowers in the area. Flowers come in pink yellow and white, with a hybrid of pink, white and yellow being the rarest. Many will recognize the surname, plumeria, which is often used in describing perfume fragrances.
The Royal Poinciana is not a native plant yet it grows rather well in South Florida. This tree will only flower in Southern Florida, Southern Texas and Southern California. Its modern name is derived from the 17th century governor of the island of St. Kitts. Phillipe de Longvilliers de Poincy is credited with bringing the tree to the Americas. However, its common name in other countries speaks of its bright red flowers. In India it is known as Gulmohar; which translates into flowering peacock. Its name in Vietnamese translates to phoenix tail. These “flaming trees” grow extremely large and branch out far past their trunks to make for theperfect shade tree on a hot summer afternoon.
The native fruit trees of Goodland have also begun the long process of bearing fruit. The avocado trees in town are currently covered with small, golf ball sized versions of the fruit. Come September or October they should be ready to eat. The mango trees are also bursting with the sweet fruit that should be ripe within the next few months.
Not to be outdone by the bright flowering plants of Goodland, two local restaurants, Stan’s and The Little Bar, have painted some of their buildings to mimic the bright colors. Stan’s, once white, is now a bright peach with dark green trim. The Little Bar’s office building has been painted a bright melon green. Both establishments blend quite nicely with the other vibrantly colored buildings such as the bright yellow shop, The Island Woman, as well as the Community Center which dons bright yellows and greens.
Visitors to Goodland often love to drive up and down the roads to view the unique architecture and style that Goodland offers. With the trees in full bloom and the addition of fresh paint to a number of buildings in town, there is no better time to cruise through Goodland.
Natalie Strom has lived in Goodland for over two years and has worked in Goodland on and off for more than five years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is also a former Buzzard Queen of Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland.