25 October 2013

a burst of colour

The other day we went out and bought two big, very bright bougainvillea bushes. To add a burst of colour at the entrance to the house. They are beautiful and certainly welcome you with an impressive flutter of colour. Who doesn’t love bougainvillea? They are stereotypically mediterranean and for me, they are typically Spanish. They can, of course, also be found anywhere where the climate permits, hence the Swiss city of Locarno proudly showing off its stunning collection with which they really want to say, “Hurrah, we have a fantastic climate here despite being in the Alps!” Fair enough.

That’s just it, bougainvillea is not a quiet background kinda plant, it’s all showy and “look at me! look at me!”, maybe even boisterous. In fact, we could go as far as say, it’s quite Spanish. Its long tentacle-like branches waving demonstratively in the air, waving the brightest colours you’ve ever seen, almost fake-looking they are so bright. It’s almost fluorescent, very loud and uncontrollable and strangely moody - you get too near and it’ll prick you, for behind that vivacious front is a spikey stem just waiting to attack. Who doesn’t love a bougainvillea?

It turns out our pool man doesn’t. Despite the beauty of the faux flowers, they are indeed a little too temperamental for Malcolm. Unfortunately, the pool is right in front of the house, welcoming people as they arrive, much as the bougainvillea will be unless Malcolm gets his way. I saw him cursing the new arrivals through his teeth this morning. More flowers in the skimmers. It’s true, the flowers and the leaves can go astray, right in to the pool, ready to be fished out by the skimmers. That’s what they are for, the skimmers. Admittedly, there are times of year when a light breeze will de-flower, so to speak, half a bush. But the good old bougainvillea just keeps on flowering, that’s what it’s there for. I’ll plant them while he’s not looking.

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