The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Springtime fresh?

Ahhhh, spring is in the air.

Do you smell something gross? It’s not my dog this time, I swear.

Get a little closer. Now take a big whiff.

Oh yes. That’s it… the ubiquitous Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana). How something can look so good and smell so bad is just beyond comprehension. I imagine this odd combo holds true for Johnny Depp as well.

No matter. The stinky blossoms will be gone soon enough and the golden shower of the pine pollen will take its place here in the south. Yippee.

But let’s focus on the positive shall we?

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

Oh spring – you are a sight for sore eyes. We welcome you, stinky blossoms, stuffy noses, and all. Please pull up a chair and stay for a while. I’ll fix you a cup of tea and we’ll watch a Johnny Depp film together. How ’bout Edward Scissorhands? That’s my favorite.


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. the johnny depp analogy is PERFECT! so funny!!! kind of like my 4 year old’s chubby little square feet. so cute and then a little closer to play this little piggy and… WHOA!

  2. Oh so true. A flowering Bradford Pear is so beautiful but so stinky!

  3. There is only one thing that smells worse than Bradford Pear trees in bloom. It is — phallus impudicus also known as the common stinkhorn. Google it and take a look, it looks pretty offensive too:) Our yard has been cursed with this in years past and let me tell you it is a smelly and embarrassing problem!

    • The Bearded Iris

      March 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      You had me at “phallus.” Oooh-weee… that surely is one funky fungi. A “smelly and embarrassing problem” indeed. According to Wikipedia though, they are a delicacy in France. Go figure.

  4. Actually, I have a friend who met Johnny Depp. She says that he smelled like clove cigarettes. Which…if the only cigarettes out there were clove cigarettes, I would never, ever have a problem with smokers or smoking. They actually smell uber-good.

    However, she met him before he quit smoking. So I have no idea what he smells like. Gore Verbinski once said in an interview that Jonathan Pryce was supposed to react to something Captain Jack Sparrow said, “as though his breath smells like a dead donkey’s ass.”

    I may just need to take that on as a personal mission. To see what Johnny Depp smells like. I like to think he smells like part beach, part expensive French wine, part well-oiled leather, part manly hair products, and part musty obscure library books.

    • The Bearded Iris

      March 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Ooooh, that sounds deeee-licious! I would definitely enjoy a manly-man smell like that. I just can’t get the visual out of my mind of him snorkeling with a handful of hot dogs (from that Letterman interview… so damn funny!) In which case, I’m imagining a smell that is more reminiscent of body odor, low tide, and processed meat. Meh, no thanks.

  5. Ever smell a paperwhite. They smell like cat piss. Martha Stewart told me to fill my house with them at Christmas one year, so I did. Mmm…pine tree and cat piss.

  6. Bradford pear blossoms stink? Must be something wrong with my nose cause I haven’t noticed! I’ve got a good size tree in my back yard too. Now I’m gonna have to go sniff my tree when I get home.
    Pics are beautiful by the way!

  7. One of my co-workers is from western North Cackalacky and she has just a hint of a TTWWAAANNGGG – the other day when we were leaving work she commented on how much “those stanky parr trees smell.” Now I can’t look at those stanky parr trees w/o thinking how stanky they are.

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