Celebrating Appalachia Videos Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

The Mountains Are Full of Blooms

Ivy blooms

The mountains are just spectacular this time of the year. Every where I look I see the pinkish white blooms of Ivy. There’s not one window of my house that doesn’t have a glimpse of the beauty—the plants are just that plentiful in my holler.

Over the years I’ve written about Appalachians calling the plant Ivy while other folks call it Mountain Laurel. We use the name Laurel too…only for a different plant—one that most folks call rhododendron.

Matt and I hiked up the creek to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the blooming Ivy over the weekend. Come along with us as you watch this video.

I hope you enjoyed the trip!

Every spring I’m shocked by the beauty of Ivy decorating the mountainsides. You’d think after all these years I’d get over it, but I don’t think I ever will.


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  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 27, 2021 at 1:25 am

    tipper those flowers are almost as beautiful as you. thank you for showing us these beautiful pictures…i miss not being able to take walks and just be still and enjoy the beauty around us…but i miss most being able to garden and feel the dirt under my feet and smell and feel the leaves of the lambs ears…and others,
    hope you are well…sending love and prayers and ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    May 25, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Always wanted to take a trip to the mountains in the Spring. Hopefully one day. Thank you for the beauty of God’s world you bring to me. Your videos are so appreciated.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 24, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    On Wiggins Creek we called the big plant with big leathery leaves Laurel just like you do. And the smaller plant with smaller shiny leaves was Ivy like you too. But there was a third plant we call Rhododendron. It was as small as Ivy but its leaves were miniatures of Laurel. The blooms were also smaller versions in shape and texture. The blooms were white with just a hint of pink toward the center and bloomed later that Laurel and Ivy if I remember correctly.
    I remember when a man and his two helpers drove up and asked if they could dig some of our Laurel. Daddy told him “yes but leave the Rhododendron alone.” We had other things to do and being people who tend to trust other people, even strangers, nobody went to watch them. Guess what they got? The very thing Daddy told them not to! We watched them leave in distance. A 2 ton flatbed truck full of balled and burlapped Laurels, or so we thought. I forget which one of us discovered the theft but Daddy was enraged. He was always an even tempered man but that got him boiling. They had taken the one thing he forbade them to! He went around to all the neighbors, asked if they had seen the men, and asked them to let him know if they showed up.
    The thieves didn’t get them all though and they recovered eventually somewhat. I have been unable to go back for several years but I keep hoping and praying to regain enough strength to return just one more time to the place I have always considered home.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      Ed-I hope you get to make that trip!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 24, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Ivy is poison! Listen! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRfRITVdz4k

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    May 24, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks to Tipper and Matt for sharing the beautiful mountain scenery – none better or more beautiful. And I learned something new about rhododendrons. I’d always thought they would be at home in the mountains, but never heard anyone say it. That “ivy” growing in the trees is also something new to my eyes. It’s also beautiful, and I can see how the Wilson/Presleys have become addicted to it.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 24, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    So beautiful! I loved “The Tall Woman” need to read it again!

    The creek is wonderful–I’ve always wanted to live near one.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    I have not heard mountain laurel called ivy so I’m glad you explained that. Ivy to me is a green plant that is a trailing plant. I had some in a pot on my porch but this winter may have killed it off. It came through ok the previous winter but this one was colder and icier I think…at least where I live just north of Murphy. Yes, I agree it is lovely. I think we even have some pink azaleas blooming at the bottom of the slope of our property, which I cannot get down to verify what it is because I have a deteriorating spine. Whatever it is, it is lovely and pink. I see similar looking plants along the road down from the top of our mountain side, and I’m pretty sure those are azaleas. Bottom line, it is even more beautiful here in the spring.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    May 24, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Oh, thank you! I so miss the flowers that grew on “our” mountain in Waynesville. The flame azalea grew in some patches so abundantly that it looked like the side of the mountain was on fire. I’d be interested to know what you call poison ivy. I’ve heard it called just “ivy” so often and that’s terribly confusing. Sure don’t want to find a patch of that!

    • Reply
      May 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

      Melissa-I’m glad you enjoyed the video! We call it all poison oak 🙂

  • Reply
    Margie G
    May 24, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Thanks, Tipper, for Just a wonderful and beautiful video! Listening to the water and seeing the scenery made my day. I liked the story of your childhood playhouse. I know for a fact deer bed down in those thickets and now I know why. Have a wonderful and blessed day!!!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    May 24, 2021 at 10:24 am

    How lucky we are to have this beauty just outside our door.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Thank you for sharing the video and providing information about the different names for different flowers that have always confused me. I think it’s Rhododendrons that grow in The Breaks Interstate Park, the closest place from my hometown to see them in bloom. I’ve never been there during the spring to see their beauty, but have heard it’s a breath-taking sight.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2021 at 9:09 am

    My favorite plants! Love seeing them every spring!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 24, 2021 at 9:00 am

    I agree with you about your playground in the ivy and laurel. It makes a dwarf forest just right for little people. They are open enough inside for children to be able to move around without too much trouble but too closed for an adult.

    Do you all hear “laurel slick” in your area? I did not hear either “slick” or “hell” for either laurel or ivy growing up in SE KY. I’m inclined to think those terms are more restricted to mountainous terrain where the addition of steep slope and larger areas makes them much worse.

    I need to take a picture of my Piedmont rhododendron, also known as “red-stemmed ivy”, and send you. It is a deep pink and is blooming heavily now. I can’t be sure but I think it is darker colored this year than it has ever been before.

    Your post reminded me that I forgot to go back up to the river walk at Helen, GA to see the multi-colored ivy blooming. I went too early and there were just a few blooms then but lots of buds. Can’t think how I forgot it. I’m sure it is through blooming now.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    May 24, 2021 at 8:52 am

    This is a “gift” to those of us who are fortunate enough be exposed to such beauty year after year. (“You’d think after all these years I’d get over it, but I don’t think I ever will.)”

  • Reply
    Wanda Robertson
    May 24, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Loved the mountain walk!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 24, 2021 at 7:53 am

    The Laurel, Rhododendron, Ivy is such a wonderful mountain surprise, no matter what you call it! God’s Country is what we call these mountains!
    I feel truley blessed to live here in these glorious mountains!

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    May 24, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Thank you Tipper and Matt for taking us along on your Ivy Hike….Or, Mountain Laurel Hike…..No, Mountain Laurel is Rhododendron…..Ok, it’s ok to be a little confused, hahaha, but I loved the hike anyway!….It was beautiful and descriptive…..I want to look up that book, The Tall Woman by Wilma Dikeman……I think that is her name.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    May 24, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Spring is always do beautiful in the mountains

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