Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Persistence of Bougainvilleas

We've got bougainvilleas growing outside our dining room window, that are now 10 feet tall.

We transplanted a bougainvillea into the front court yard, that is now huge, and generated (literally) a bushel of petals that swirled to a 1 foot high, 3 foot diameter pile on our front door welcome mat.

Outside the big bay windows of our living room, is this bougainvillea, growing as huge as Barry Bonds on steroids did, but taking in just Arizona sunshine and 30 minutes of drip irrigation, 3 days a week.

Bougainvilleas can be beautiful, and hummingbirds apparently think they are delicious, but my goodness they generate lots of purple blossoms that float through the breeze like thin tissue paper / onion skin paper! ...and invariably wind up in the pool, or in large piles, or as underbrush beneath all the other surrounding plants. It's ok... their beauty is worth the hassle I guess, and the blossoms are not toxic. But you gotta watch out for the oxalates in the sap and thorns. They have pricked my fingers and irritated my skin several times when I've been dumb enough to garden without gloves. Nearly everything that is pretty in the desert has a vicious defense mechanism.

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