Monday, August 27, 2018

SUMMER'S BRIGHTEST STAR

A few years ago a seed germinated in my garden. I wasn't totally sure what it was at the time but I was hoping that it might be what it turned out to be, Pride of Barbados, Casaelpinia pulcherrima. The tiny bipinnate leaves and stem had small spines and that was what made me think it was the Pride of Barbados.


I have no idea how it got there. Maybe I cast out a handful of unknown seeds and this was among them. That winter the small plant died back to the ground. When I searched for it in the spring it was nowhere to be seen. I forgot about it and then one day in early summer, when the ground was truly warm, it began to grow again. That's how it goes every year-me looking for it and not seeing it, and finally thinking it has died, and then weeks later here it comes to brighten the summer garden. Since then it has flowered every summer putting out more side branches until it is now overhanging the pool. I might have to do a little pruning.


This is a plant that you see growing in desert gardens so not surprising it does well here. In warmer climates it is evergreen and can grow to enormous size so I am happy that it dies to the ground in winter. Just having one in the pool garden is enough for me, although I did try to transplant a seedling this spring. It died. And the 3 plants I grew from seed and planted in the front garden also died, probably from lack of water during my absence. I do have one growing out at the front which is even slower to come back. It just started blooming but is quite spindly compared with the one in the back. A little rain might help.


I often turn my head, to look out of the window and across the garden, at this flowering wonder. At least one plant likes endless 100º days.

8 comments:

  1. Your Pride of Barbados looks fabulous with your pool. What a lucky volunteer!

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  2. It looks especially pretty hanging over your pool like that! The plants cost an arm and a leg here and they're usually available only in large pots, although I recently saw one in a smaller pot with a price tag that didn't give me a stomach ache. Of course, now the question is: just where would I put it?

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  3. It’s one of my favorites in my brother’s Arizona garden, lucky you!

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  4. I'm seeing this bloom around town in Socal and then predictably covet one of my own. But as you say, it's evergreen here and awkward to place in a small garden. I think you've got the perfect sitch with it in your garden!

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  5. That shot of the fiery flower overhanging the cool, still pool is recharging to the soul. Hurrah for self-sowing...

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  6. It’s hard to imagine something so lovely standing up to your heat.

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  7. I hate this plant. It grows everywhere here... except in my garden! And I've tried at least 3-5 times! Maybe I just don't give them enough time to come back? Yours is so pretty over your pool, it inspires me to try one more time...

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  8. It would be heaven to just float around the pool beneath that plant. In the evening.

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