Now THIS is what a proper bougainvillea is supposed to look like. Covered in papery textured “flowers” in riotously brilliant display. What a stunner!
That’s not what the bougainvillea on my patio looks like though. It’s not really mine, but the growth that spills over the fence between my neighbor’s place and mine, FEELS like its mine because its located in a space that actually IS mine. Whatever. The thing is, the dually enjoyed bougainvillea in my garden pales in comparison to the one pictured above. That one belongs to another neighbor a few doors down.
Out of sheer blossom-envy I recently did some research to find out what these potential beauties need and what treatment they prefer in order to flourish. And what do you know? They don’t like to be watered frequently and apparently they need to have their leafy wandering shoots trimmed back constantly if they are to flower in full array. A friend in a nearby town confirmed this as the strictly adhered to protocol for her own bougainvillea’s glamorous appearance. I’ve included photographic evidence from her spacious backyard.
Both my neighbor and I have been watering constantly and pretty much letting the thing grow wild (except for the time she had her gardener hack a lot of it down but that’s another story). It dawned on me just this morning that sometimes we think we know what’s needed to make something thrive and become beautiful. Perhaps that thing is a dream or a business; a garden or a project at the office. A relationship even. When we keep on treating this thing in the same way gaining no improvement towards the desired result then it’s very likely high time to re-evaluate, research, and revise our strategy.