Well, not exactly. More flower despite Scotland. That’s where we went last week, and I cursed as I saw how my Bougainvillea was looking its very best. And looking its very best for the first time in years and years.
I’m good at this. Something flowers, and I leave. I then return when whatever flowered is past its best. Or worse. I have a cactus, which is the grandchild of Uncle’s cactus. Cutting taken at Aunt’s 50th birthday party (she very sensibly had her birthday when it flowered so prettily), around 40 years ago. And every year I find I ‘have to’ go away at the wrong time.
When we moved to Bookwitch Towers it was March and not much looked exciting in our new garden. In May we went on holiday for a couple of weeks, and when we returned the Resident IT Consultant thought we lived further down the road, because he certainly didn’t recognise those flowers on the Rhododendron next to the drive…
The Bougainvillea here has its own story. I’d never even seen one before Mother-of-witch was given two of them within a few weeks, back in the early 1970s. She was good with stuff like that, so they flourished. I half absorbed what one was supposed to do with them, despite being a teenager.
After her funeral, 25 years later, I made sure all the guests left with some pot plant or other. But for some reason I hung on to the two Bougainvilleas. Too precious to give away, maybe? So they remained on the kitchen drainer when I left.
I was very surprised to find them still there and doing magnificently the next year. The lady next door had ‘thrown some water at them’ whenever she checked the house. It was my birthday during our visit, and as my guests left, I handed one of the pots to School Friend and the other to Favourite Aunt. That way they continued to flower (and the Bougainvillea did quite well, too…) and everyone was happy.
Sorry. I seem to go on and on about two pot plants.
Five years on, a few days before Favourite Aunt died, I came to see her. I knew she’d never leave hospital again, so I decided to rescue her Bougainvillea there and then, or it would also die, there being no watery type of neighbour on her horizon.
They are prickly, so I cut off all the sticky-out bits with the kitchen scissors. My suitcase was fairly small, but I reckoned it would fit after its ‘haircut.’ The other thing I ‘helped myself to’ was a very old tin, into which I tucked the pot end.
At the airport there was extra security for people flying to England, so the case got some personal X-ray attention. The operator said ‘there is some kind of large metal object in here. What is it?’ ‘An antique cake tin,’ I replied. I didn’t mention the pot plant inside it. All three of us got through. Tin, plant and me.
Ever since the Bougainvillea has done so so. OK, but never great. Until this year, when I had to go and leave it.
Luckily it was almost as nice when I returned home. Or I would have cried. I might have been prepared to see it die 15 years ago, but not now.