Winter Bloom

I often wonder why I suffer through 7-ish months of coddling tender plants that don’t give me fruit. The constant watering, mealy bugs, spider mites. Stinky fish emulsion and fertilizers. Yes, the citrus & fig get all that too but at least there are oranges at the end. And I’ll tell you what, those oranges and figs delight me to my core and are my pride and joy. Plus guests and family are all suitably impressed when I present them. (And yes, I always share!)

The others? They kind of just sit there. Especially the infernal Bougainvillea. I bought a variegated variety ‘Blueberry Ice’ at an end of season sale for a song about 2 years ago. I had nearly no hope for it, but thought it would be a fun experiment. Alas, its a pain.

It sheds its leaves no matter how often or how little you water it. Branches break of if you look at it wrong. Its fussy and has done precisely nothing other than get rangey and leggy and require constant pruning. It sulked all summer and did nothing despite being in what would seem a perfect location. It was healthy enough, but it honestly looked like a shrub I was trying to pass off as a houseplant.

All very Meh.

But alas! Just around Thanksgiving she finally has given me what I had hoped for and earned back all that good will that had been nearly lost. Blooms!

In bloom she beats the pants off Thanksgiving/Christmas cactuses and she most certainly doesn’t look like a boring shrub masquerading as a houseplant. If she keeps this up, she’ll always have a space to be coddled inside!

What’s blooming in your house/conservatory these days?

We are soon to have orange blossoms (my forever favorite smell) which never fail to delight, but also means constant hand pollinating if we are to get any fruit. I can’t say I mind the task because it means getting my nose all up in that glorious scent.

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