05 June 2005

A persistence of thorns

By the back gate, I used to have a bougainvillea. This was not some tame, pretty, lipstick-leafed little vine; this was massive, a huge and gnarly shrub which was as high as the house. It had to be trimmed with chainsaws or else it reached for passersby with clawed tendrils. It sprouted red vines from its top like a faceless, thorn-ridden Medusa.

I had it assassinated in January by my intrepid gardener.

The gardener is good at cleaning things out, less good about keeping plants alive. I had bought two lovely climbing roses as a replacement for the monster. Whatever he did to them during the planting killed them on the spot. The former expanse taken up by the bush made a lovely flower bed, in which I planted stock, nasturtiums, and morning glories, to clamber over the ugly fence. I came home from work one day to find the bed cleared of all but the nasturtiums. Sigh.

However, I've got to get that ugly chain link covered, and quickly; I will not consider putting in a new fence until the rebuild of my car's engine is paid off. So, on my way home from work on Friday, I stopped at the drugstore, and made an impulse buy. Can you guess? Indeed: a bougainvillea, thriving, with green-and-yellow leaves, which I am going to plant today. Take that, fence. Take that, gardener.

I think this goes somewhere in that weird place of life which is that you think you want to be rid of your troubles, but, given the alternative, you end up taking back your own again, or something like that.

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