Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Husband's Flower

My husband helps me out tremendously in the garden, but most of the flowers I consider "mine".   There is one flower, however, that he has adopted - a bougainvillea.

I had purchased the bougainvillea to be used as an annual.  Our winters are too cold for them.  But my husband noticed that I had callously left it out to die, and lovingly placed it in our garage.  Occasionally, I would look at it and just shake my head.

All winter, it looked dead.  I hate to admit it, but I was secretly hoping it actually was dead.  But, no such luck.  Instead, this past spring we noticed new growth.

I pretended not to notice.  I decided to just ignore it.

Finally, realizing that I wasn't going to help out this poor plant at all, my husband decided to water it.  Eventually he moved it from the garage to the driveway, where it could get some sun.

I continued to ignore it.  So, Mr. Holleygarden continued to care for it, splashing it with water occasionally and marveling at the bougainvillea's growth.

Then it bloomed.


Yep, right there in the driveway.

And Mr. Holleygarden beamed.

Now that the weather has turned colder, guess where the bougainvillea is?  You got it!  Mr. Holleygarden has put "his flower" back in the garage for the winter.

Obviously, bougainvilleas are not hard to overwinter in a garage.  Even an amateur gardener (or a husband) can do it.




61 comments:

  1. Neat how your husband rescued and nurtured the bougainvillea, now it is his, but you can both enjoy it. I hope it enjoys its rest this winter.

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    1. I really must find a place for it now - I think it's going to be around longer than I expected!

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  2. I love your humor, Holley! Your husband has his flower and I hope it will bloom the next summer as well.

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    1. I am silently rooting for it this year! :)

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  3. Beautiful is the photo!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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  4. Well it sounds like he is taking pride in the fact that he saved it and did so again this year. We'll see how long this lasts. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. It will be quite a disappointment if/when it ever dies!

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  5. Made me smile ! We too have division of labour where plants are concerned and even have our own parts of the garden. Neither dare do anything in the other's plot without consent ! Bit weird ??

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    1. No, Jane, I don't think that's weird. My husband usually just sticks to vegetables. And I really don't want him in my flower beds! (Well, except to do the irrigation system and put together obelisks, arbors, mowing, and you know, all that other stuff!)

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  6. I overwintered one also. It has really long stems. Is it ok to trim it back when I put it in the garage, so it won't take so much space? So, the lack of sunlight in the garage won't hurt it?
    Thanks,
    Kim
    Gardener wanna-be

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    1. Yes, Kim trim it back some. DH actually would put this one outside on the days it wasn't going to freeze so it could get some sunlight. Don't overwater, but don't let it dry out completely. We really didn't do much to it. I think freezing is the biggest threat. Good luck again - you've already been promoted to gardener (not just wanna-be) if you've already overwintered one! Congratulations!

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  7. What a funny story - I felt a bit sorry for him when I read it. Perhaps he needs more to take care of? My husband also takes on little missions in the garden (things he feels I've neglected). He's a bit of a perfectionist so these tend to be very time-consuming. But afterwards I am usually pleased. For instance, I am still using the walnuts he spent hours 'saving' in 2011.

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    1. Your husband and mine seem to be quite alike. Mine is a perfectionist, too, so I can relate to things becoming very time-consuming with them. But it's a good thing that mine is a perfectionist - it balances the lackadaisical attitude I usually have when putting things together!

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  8. Congrats to your husband for his TLC of this boug. I have two of them and their thorns are some of the most horrible to get stuck with. I prune them carefully.

    Happy Gardening to you both ~ FlowerLady

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    1. They do have vicious thorns! I love seeing photos of them, though, trained over garages, etc. Unfortunately, since they can't stay outside all year long here, they can never be the glorious plant I want them to be.

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  9. You may have a gardening partner in training there Holley! I'd cultivate him...haha.

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  10. Why did you want it to die? Shame on you. They are so pretty!

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    1. My husband's exact words! ;) Actually, I had it in a planter the year before, but I bought a perennial for this planter (one that I won't have to drag into the garage each winter), and I really didn't have a spot for it. That's why it stayed in the driveway all summer!

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    2. Well, buy him his own planter! My bougainvillea has gotten to big to go in the greenhouse and they aren't particularly winter hardy so my fingers are double crossed.

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  11. Hi Holley,
    I, too, wintered a bougainvillea and it actually did great. I was so proud of it and a couple of weeks before a shower I had at my house it got water-logged. - all of the leaves turned yellow and I just knew I had killed it...I pruned off all the dead/yellow branches and now - 2 months later it has greened up and looks beautiful again! They must be really hard to kill - LOL. My husband cleaned ice off the windshield this morning - time to move anything I want to keep indoors. :)
    Blessings!
    Ava

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    1. Ice already?!! I'm not ready for that! As for the bougainvilleas, I do think they are hard to kill. Unless they freeze!

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  12. Another gardener in the family....will you be sharing the garden spaces?? :)

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    1. He has his own space - a space for vegetables! I really don't think he'll be moving into the flower beds any time soon!

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  13. Love it! Watch out, he will be requiring his own patch to plant it in soon...

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    1. Janet - he already thinks our flower beds are much too big. I don't think he'll be wanting to add to them! But, I'll keep an eye on him just in case!

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  14. I'd be happy if my husband showed interest in a plant - any plant. I'm afraid he particularly dislikes the Bougainvillea, which he calls "evil" because of its excessively aggressive growth here. He pulled several out at our former home because the vines along our driveway grew a foot a week and scratched his beloved electric car (one he converted from a gas-powered vehicle). They make a good boundary plant, though, and the bract colors are luscious.

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    1. They really are evil, but pretty! If they would winter over outside here, I would have them all over, probably!

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  15. Fun your husband has his own plant and it even survived the winter. In our country it is not hardy either.
    But be careful now he has one plant on the driveway, may be next year you have a driveway full of tender plants, haha, and all to the garage to spend the winter.

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    1. Oh, I hope not - I need the garage and the driveway for my car!

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  16. I'm surprised he didn't put it in a place of honor. . .in the house. Or, buy a green house for it!

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    1. Now, that's a thought! I would love for him to buy a greenhouse for it! To share with me, of course! :)

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  17. I love Bougainvilleas! I'm so jealous that you can overwinter them in your climate. No way here in the north! When they really get going on a trellis or an arbor, they're gorgeous! Kudos to your husband! ;-)

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    1. They really are pretty plants. I even overlook their vicious thorns, even though I try to stay away from those!

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  18. This just warmed my heart. Hooray for your husband! My own dear hubby adopted a poinsettia that not only survived through last Christmas but tripled in size outside on the patio this summer. It is now in his office.

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    1. I'm impressed! Is it turning red, too? I have kept poinsettias for a while, but they have never looked very good, so I learned to just throw them away. Such a waste.

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  19. Our "first" rose garden was all hubby's idea. He started clearing the grass, we amended the soil and then he had "his" roses to plant! We ended up dividing the garden in half, his side and my side. I have old garden roses and he has hybrid teas. He didn't want any additional plantings, I just added a few and then a few more!

    I suggested making the grass portion a perfect circle instead of just outlining the area--he did like that idea!

    I do most of the weeding but I think he really enjoys "his" garden!

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    1. How fun for you to each have your own garden - you get to plant what you like the best. I think that is great! But, maybe you should teach him how to weed! ;)

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  20. You just think they don't notice.

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    1. haha - so true! He has a way of pointing out all my sick plants, too! :)

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  21. This post is so sweet Holley! I can just envision how this all played out! I also got a good chuckle when you said you ignored it and secretly wished it was dead. Your husband has a good eye because that bloom is gorgeous!!! What a joy to share the garden with your husband! Happy week to you!

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    1. He really is a big help to me. I don't think I could have a garden without him!

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  22. It's beautiful and the story behind it is so special. My husband also likes our bougainvilleas and enjoys making sure they will be around for a while. They can take a lot and keep on ticking which is why I like them too.

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    1. They must be tough plants! I think this one was barely watered all winter!

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  23. Congratulations to your husband for saving the bougainvillea, I guess you have found something else to plant your perennial in by now? Bougainvilleas are such pretty flowers, I wish I had a garage too I could store one, my parents have lots of bougainvilleas in their garden but they live in southern Spain and not in London, I know for a fact it would not survive outdoors in my garden!

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    1. I wonder if you could store one indoors during freezes. I know this one was barely watered all winter, and mostly just ignored!

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  24. That is really sweet! My husband's 'flower' is the lawn. I think if he started adopting plants in the garden, he'd probably drive me crazy. :o)

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    1. Our poor lawn is not "owned" by either of us - we mostly just curse it, and mow it occasionally! :O

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  25. Your husband has excellent taste. Bougainvillea is one of my all-time favorites and always one of my favorites sites when I visit my sister in southern California. I haven't tried to grow it here, but if my husband wanted to take responsibility for keeping it alive, I'd be thrilled.

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  26. What a great post...I have several...& swear to get no more..because despite a huge greenhouse,,they are filling it quickly...it's very sweet notion...about your husband & the flower.

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    1. How I wish I had a greenhouse. I can imagine it is tempting to fill it with several of each type of plant!

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  27. Holley, that is a cute story! My husband also helps me a lot in the garden (when I ask him to), but otherwise has no interest in gardening himself. Once I wanted to through away an 'Pierre de Ronsard' rose, which was outgrowing in a big container and I thought it was to heavy to transplant into the ground. But my husband really fought for it and in the end we managed to transplanted it into the ground. By now it is one of my most magnificent roses in the garden. I am so glad he saved this rose live!
    Christina

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    1. I guess your husband saw some promise in that rose - so glad he was right and that PdR turned out to be a real gem!

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  28. My husband wouldn't notice a Bougainvillea or any other plant even if it leapt up and nipped his nose.
    Is it normal for Bougainvilleas to look naked and dead as mine does in winter?

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    1. Yes, they do look naked and dead in the winter. It will wake up next spring. Good luck with it!

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