When I grow up…



…I want to be just like this:

We’ve just planted our second bougainvillea after mkI met with a chilly end this winter. As usual we didn’t have a frost, but the nights were cold enough for a tender young bougainvillea naively planted on a warm November’s day, to meet its end. So, the bougainvillea is dead, long live the bougainvillea! MkII has tougher looking leaves and should be big and strong enough to cope with next winter. Oh of course, 28ºC a week ago does not mean winter is over. Just after planting mkII, we had a biting cold snap which meant I had to wrap the little fella in a hessian sack for warmth. We had hail and cold winds blowing off the icy mountains. Friends not more than 3/4 hour sensible drive from here had snow. I hear stories of less than 1/2 an hour for that drive, but I don’t want to challenge it for fear of being an entry in the next edition of the Darwin Awards! The second photo is of a magnificent specimen down the road from us.

Of course you want me to tell you the origin of the name bougainvillea. No it isn’t Bogan (for the Aussies reading), “an uncouth or unsophisticated person regarded as being of low social status”. The name comes from a French explorer, Louis Antoine de Bougainville who lead the first French circumnavigation of this little planet covered in water that we call Earth.

Our garden is suddenly looking as we always wanted it to look, and then some. Well, in certain spots because other areas we haven’t attempted to tackle yet. Or if we’ve made an attempt, we got bored and moved on to something more interesting. One day I’ll finish varnishing the porch timbers. It was built two years ago.


5 responses »

  1. Garden Looks absolutely fantastic,my first sighting of a Bougainvillea was when travelling along the Suez Canal & the first plant Dad planted in Australia!

  2. Thank you for the post,I knew the origins of the name,but always nice to be reminded of one’s knowledge
    It is not a true climber, but relies on the angled spikes to hook on to any surrounding object for support. This includes your arm and face when you are trimming it

  3. Seeing a bougainvillea, reminds me of Dad. He had plenty of encounters with “that devil,” resulting in scratches and punctures that bled for hours and then bruised. It is really pretty though, I can see the attraction. The garden is really beautiful.

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