Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bouganvilla - a bunch of thorns, or a bunch of flowers?

 Hubby really likes the rather wild hot pink bouganvilla, and kept asking me to plant one somewhere.  This is a very heavy plant and has been known to pull down fences with its weight, so I was not sure I wanted one in my garden..   I stuck one in the corner, and didn't really focus too much on the fact that it has lots and lots of horrible sharp thorns.  It also has lots and lots of flowers....

It is sort of out of the way here, and hopefully will climb along the fence, creating lots of  welcoming colour and enticing visitors to enter through the gates.

Unfortunately at the moment I think it just looks rather messy.  I have tended to just plonk plants here without much thought.  Originally I had the strelitzia - which will have orange and purple flowers, then the Chinese lantern - a reddish color, then the bleeding heart vine - white and  red.  What on earth was I thinking when I added hot pink to the mix?  I am really not sure about the bouganvilla, but it seems to have made itself at home now, and is covering the area - what none of the other plants were doing.  I guess it is here to stay.  I cut it back and wove it around the wires in the hopes that it will train into a draping flowery mass along the fence.  Of course I wore gloves because of all the thorns - horrible thorns, so many thorns, gosh do I really need this plant in my life?, in my garden.....then I took a closer look......

Look at that! out of every thorn emerges a tiny bunch of flowers.... so the more thorns, the more flowers, and I do like flowers....  Above every leaf there is a thorn which turns into a beautiful little bunch of flowers....

So once the thorns turn into flowers you have nothing but beauty left - I took some of the branches I had cut off and put them into my vase.  I suppose life does comes with thorns, but isn't it marvelous to know that every thorn has the ability to turn into a bunch of flowers?


  1. I love them but my hubby thinks they are a weed. We used to have one in the NT when we lived there and it was massive, bent the fence, hard to prune and made my hubby swear lots.

    Did you know that all Bouganvilla flowers are white? It is the leaves around the flowers that are coloured.

  2. I did not know every thorn turns into flower eventually! I am kind like you that I am not sure if I want Bouganvilla in my garden. It is a little too big to handle in my tiny garden, but it doesn't stop me enjoying the flowers in others' garden. Your hot pink one looks beautiful!

  3. I love their colour but I'm scared they will take over so try to have it both ways and bought some "dwarf" varieties which I keep in pots. They will never be as spectacular as their big cousins though.

  4. You must have a very special kind of Bougainvillea where the thorns turn to flowers. Had I not seen the pictures you posted I would not have believed it.

    The Bougainvilleas I've seen have both thorns and flowers and the thorns don't develop into flowers.

  5. I love bougainvillea in any color, in spite of the thorns! The show is unmatched and year round. Can't ask for much more than that! Here, the purple is the most popular, I think because it's more cold hardy than the others. I used to have the purple and opted for a new color in my new garden...I went with your choice - the hot pink/fuschia. I like it! I was unaware, though, that the thorns turn into flowers. Interesting fact!

  6. KJ,
    I just hope I am not setting myself up for trouble.... I have heard that - cant see the little white flower on these.
    Ami you are probably quite sensible enjoying if from afar..
    Missy some of those dwarf potted ones are very pretty, especially the ones with the variegated leaves.
    Solitdue rising,
    I have have to keep an eye out and see if this is the only one whose thorns turn into flowers.
    Kimberley - I think they only flower in the dry season here, but cant say that I have paid much attention.


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