Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pruning before Spring

We were asked to be on the local garden tour to raise money for our hospital. This hospital is actually the hospital that saved Jennifer's life back on that terrible day in July 2000, when a drunk driver decided to drive drunk. They were a new hospital with state of the art equipment. We are eternally grateful to them and excited that we will be able to give back in support of their extraordinary efforts. What is funny is that this pressure to have the yard look perfect is going to kill me! LOL We have been working on pruning and planting and just things that we seem to keep putting off until you have about 800 people coming to look at everything! I have wanted to tie up my bougainvilleas so that they just lay across the tops of the wall above the rose garden. Last year I did get them tied but not trimmed so before they become out of control I trimmed off all the lower growth and I am tying them to the tops of the wall so that they lay across the wall and bloom only above the roses. I feel very fortunate to live where these amazing tropical plants live and flourish. Living here in Southern California we almost take them for granted as they glow almost all year long. They come in many colors but are very aggressive and they will easily over grow an area and become messy, woody and unsightly so they take some work but are well worth the effort. They are also full of nasty thorns as are many of the things I love to grow! If you have never seen these papery flowers you are missing out on an amazing color display. I am saving the petals to add to my homemade papers.
Some info on Bougainvilleas;
In 1768 Louis de Bougainvillea bagan a long journey to the Pacific Ocean where he discovered the vine that now bears his name. Although normally climbers they can be trained to stay bushy or as potted plants. The vibrant color comes not from the small white tubular flowers, but from the 3 large paper-like bracts that surround each flower.

Although the colors are hard to capture in paint here is my interpretation.


  1. Oh Desiree! This is lovely. You captured the texture perfectly. I love the whole page. Here is central VA, Bougainvilleas are grown as annuals but for the past few years I've had some in hanging baskets. Some years they bloom better than others and I have yet to figure out why but I keep trying. The hummingbirds love them. Your color is perfect, too.

  2. Thanks for your comments. Paula,I read that they are very heavy feeders and like to be on the stressed side to bloom well. They say to keep them dry and root bound!

  3. What a wonderful, informative post, Desiree, not to mention your gorgeous sketch. I learned a lot...


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