In a field of roses, be the wildflower

July 11, 2016 0 Comments

Giant Pelican Flower (2016) in my Moleskine 5.5 H x 3.5 W x 0 in

‘The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.’

I love this quote from ‘The Garden Party’, a beautiful short story by Katherine Mansfield because it perfectly describes my idea of a perfect garden.
I’ve always loved plants, but my plant lust really took off when my parents moved into a house with a big yard in 1988.

Suddenly I had roots, in both a literal and figurative sense. Both my grandfathers were also green-thumbed botanical wizards, so that helped too.

I really love succulents and tropicals. I like extremes. I’m not a plant snob though. All plants are cool to me and I like pretty much everything. I’m a self-confessed anthomaniac and my favorite plants are the Frangipani, Allamanda, Morning Glory, Ravenula, Cannonball tree, Devil’s Trumpet, Passion Flower, Amaryllis and the list goes on. I also have what I call a ‘plantgasm’ every time I see any cactus flower. Of course, I’m a huge sucker for the rare and exotic and I’m perennially stuck inside a plant wiki wormhole.

We were at this huge nursery yesterday to pick out a flowering vine for our garden. And then there it was – I’d never seen anything like it before – this vine had huge leaves and gigantic flowers that were both beautiful and ugly at the same time. As usual, a quick look online revealed that this plant is called the Giant Pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora) native to the Caribbean. The wiki page describes it thus, ‘the pelican flower, is a deciduous vine with one of the world’s largest flowers that emits an odor that smells like rotting meat, attracting flies.’

I’d love to hear about your favorite plants/flowers. Thanks for reading, now go outside and smell the flowers.